Celebrate Constitution Day!

Background

Since May of 1787, delegates had gathered in the State House (Independence Hall) of Philadelphia, PA, to revise the Articles of Confederation, the first governing documents of the United States of America as adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777.

After several months of debate and redrafting, delegates voted to design an entirely new framework for the government, the Constitution. After the Constitution was signed by members of the Continental Congress in September 1787, fierce debates ensued at the state level over issues such as the power of central government and states, and the process of electing representatives.

The Constitution was eventually ratified and took effect on June 21, 1788.

Constitution Documents

View images and the text of the Constitution and related documents from the
National Archives:

The Constitution Today

Today the constitution is housed at the National Archives and Records
Administration on Constitution Ave NW [between 7th and 9th St.] in
Washington, DC. You can visit the National Archives website for more
information, hours, and directions.

Historical Timeline of the United States Constitution

  • March 25-28, 1785 - The Mount Vernon Conference: Representatives
    of Maryland and Virginia meet at George Washington's plantation to resolve
    conflicts over the navigation of the Potomac and Pocomoke Rivers.
  • September 11-14, 1786 - The Annapolis Convention: New York, New
    Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia meet to discuss uniform trade
    regulations, but agree to appeal to all states to meet again to discuss
    broader reforms.
  • February 21, 1787 - Congress approves convention to amend the
    Articles of the Confederation.
  • May 25, 1787 - First Meeting of the Constitutional Convention in
    Philadelphia.
  • May 29, 1787 - Edmund Randolph proposes the Virginia Plan.
  • July 26, 1787 - Constitution submitted to a Committee of Detail, who
    were appointed to prepare the first formal draft of the constitution.
  • August 6, 1787 - First Draft of Constitution Presented to Convention
  • September 17, 1787 - All delegates, except Randolph, Mason, and
    Gerry, sign the Constitution.

Constitution Trivia and Information

More information from the National Archives:

Related Web Sites

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