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The Ratification of the Constitution of the United States


The Constitutional Convention, also known as the Philadelphia Convention, convened with the purpose of writing a new constitution for the American nation. On September 17, 1787, the Convention finished its work and 39 members signed this document creating a new government. Members, such as Benjamin Franklin, admitted that the document was not perfect, but the Convention felt confident in taking the constitution to the states for ratification. What ensued was a huge debate about state's rights, the Bill of Rights, and the powers of government. Within a year enough states had ratified the constitution to make it law, and the new government went into effect. The success of the American colonists in the Revolutionary War culminated in this moment as the men finished the document that created one of the strongest nations in the world, built upon democracy, justice, and the pursuit of happiness.


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George Washington's Copy of the Constitution

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George Washington served as the President of the Constitutional Convention. At the time, few printed copies of the constitution existed, but this is George Washington's. Washington made several annotations to the document, illustrating his opinions and views of different aspects of the document and the new government.  

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Event Details

From: May 1787 1
To: September 1787 1
Also known as: Philadelphia Convention 1
Name: Constitutional Convention 1
Delaware ratifies the Constitution:
07 Dec 1787 2
Georgia ratifies the Constitution:
02 Jan 1788 2
Maryland ratifies the Constitution:
28 Apr 1788 2
Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution:
06 Feb 1788 2
New Hampshire ratifies Constitution, legalizing it:
21 Jun 1788 2
North Carolina ratifies the Constitution:
21 Nov 1788 2
Rhode Island ratifies the Constitution:
29 May 1790 2
South Carolina ratifies the Constitution:
23 May 1788 2
Virginia ratifies the Constitution:
25 Jun 1788 2
Connecticut ratifies the Constitution:
09 Jan 1788 3
Constitution signed by members of Convention:
17 Sep 1787 3
New Jersey ratifies the Constitution:
18 Dec 1787 3
New York ratifies the Constitution:
26 Jul 1788 3
Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution:
12 Dec 1787 3
The first of the Federalist Papers is published:
27 Oct 1787 3
The U.S. adopts the Bill of Rights:
15 Dec 1791 3
Average age of delegates:
42 2
Location of Convention:
Independence Hall, Philadelphia 2
Oldest Delegate:
Benjamin Franklin, 81 2
Youngest Delegate:
Jonathan Dayton, 26 2
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1

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  1. Contributed by Clio
  2. http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/documents/constitution/background.html — Contributed by Clio
  3. http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Constitution.html — Contributed by Clio

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