A History of the United States Constitution

The Constitution of the United Stated was signed during the Philadelphia Convention on September 17, 1787. There was a need for a completely new government system, as under the Articles of Confederation (the first governing paper of the US) there was no unity between states. The government was concentrated in legislature that had the rights to work on foreign affairs questions, to start or stop a war, etc.

10 years after the US got its independence, it became necessary to create a new system. In 1786, a New-York citizen, lawyer, and politician Alexander Hamilton decided to hold a constitutional convention. A year later representatives from all 13 states were invited to the event. The place was decided to be the Pennsylvania State House, where 11 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed.

As the result, the total of 55 delegates were present at the convention. They represented 12 states, as Rhode Island refused to accept the new centralized government. George Washington was chosen the president of the convention due to his merit.

The debate was going on during the summer of 1787, and eventually the three branches of power were determined: executive, legislative, and judicial. Along with that, it was decided that no branch will have more power than the other two, and this will be controlled by the balancing and checking system.

On the 17th of September, 39 of 55 representatives signed the document. The ratification process was going on for a long time, although many states ratified the Constitution quickly. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were resistant to the idea that centralized government will have something to do with their economical affairs. The latter was the last state to ratify the document in 1790.

The Bill of Rights

In 1789 19 amendments to the constitution were offered by James Madison, a member of the House of Representatives. 12 of them were sent to all states for ratification, 10 were ratified and called the Bill of Rights. It was a compilation of people rights guarantees, including the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right of peaceful assemblies; the right of public trials with nonpartisan jury, etc.
These amendments became the official part of the Constitution in 1791. After that, only 17 more were adopted, completing the set on 27 amendments ratified until now.

The Constitution starts with the words “We the People” that show the government’s aim – serving the nation. The document is still valid after more than two centuries, the power branches are equal, and the rights are safe.

Need help? Email Us Here! Chat With Us Now!

← Prev Step

Thanks for contacting us. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Please provide a valid name, email, and question.

Powered by LivelyChat
Powered by LivelyChat Delete History