Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.
The U.S. constitutional amendment process
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Resolution proposing the Nineteenth Amendment
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
Tennessee certificate of ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. With this ratification, the amendment became valid as a part of the Constitution.
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"We the People" in an original edition
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
John Jay, 1789–1795
John Marshall, 1801–1835
Salmon P. Chase {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Chase Court, 1864–1873, in 1865 were Salmon P. Chase (chief Justice); Hon. Nathan Clifford, Maine; Stephen J. Field, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Hon. Samuel F. Miller, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Noah H. Swayne, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Judge Morrison R. Waite}}
William Howard Taft {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Taft Court, 1921–1930, in 1925 were James Clark McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft (chief justice), Willis Van Devanter, Louis Brandeis. Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone}}
Earl Warren {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Warren Court, 1953–1969, in 1963 were Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (chief justice); Stanley Reed; William O. Douglas. Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton}}
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
José Rizal
Sun Yat-sen

Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process for altering the Constitution.

- Article Five of the United States Constitution

Article IV, Article V, and Article VI embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment.

- Constitution of the United States
Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

15 related topics

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Opening of the 112th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber, January 5, 2011

Article One of the United States Constitution

Opening of the 112th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber, January 5, 2011
Gilded Age monopolies could no longer control the U.S. Senate (left) by corrupting state legislatures (right).
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Newly naturalized citizen Albert Einstein received his certificate of American citizenship from Judge Phillip Forman.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, issuing notes and minting coins.
Chief Justice John Marshall established a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard.
U.S. brig Perry confronting the slave ship Martha off Ambriz on June 6, 1850

Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress.

Article Five specifies the means by which the Constitution of the United States can be amended.

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U.S. state

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

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Ownership of federal lands in the 50 states
U.S. states by date of statehood:
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union
A map showing the source languages of state names

All are grounded in republican principles (this being required by the federal constitution), and each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with separate and independent powers: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Article V of the Constitution accords states a key role in the process of amending the U.S. Constitution.

Graph showing historical party control of the U.S. Senate, House and Presidency since 1855

United States Senate

Upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber.

Upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber.

Graph showing historical party control of the U.S. Senate, House and Presidency since 1855
Members of the United States Senate for the 117th Congress
A typical Senate desk
The Senate side of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Committee Room 226 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building is used for hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Senate has the power to try impeachments; shown above is Theodore R. Davis's drawing of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 1868
U.S. Senate chamber c. 1873: two or three spittoons are visible by desks

The drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress primarily as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be equally represented, and those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.

Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent.

Bill of sale of a male slave and a building in Shuruppak, Sumerian tablet, circa 2600 BC

Ratification

Principal's approval of an act of its agent that lacked the authority to bind the principal legally.

Principal's approval of an act of its agent that lacked the authority to bind the principal legally.

Bill of sale of a male slave and a building in Shuruppak, Sumerian tablet, circa 2600 BC

Article VII of the Constitution of the United States describes the process by which the entire document was to become effective.

For subsequent amendments, Article V describes the process of a potential amendment's adoption.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) to the United States Constitution prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until after the next election of the House of Representatives has occurred.

The 1st Congress submitted the amendment to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789, along with 11 other proposed amendments (Articles I–XII).

1st United States Congress

The 1st United States Congress, comprising the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, during the first two years of George Washington's presidency, first at Federal Hall in New York City and later at Congress Hall in Philadelphia.

The 1st United States Congress, comprising the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, during the first two years of George Washington's presidency, first at Federal Hall in New York City and later at Congress Hall in Philadelphia.

Congress Hall in Philadelphia, meeting place of this Congress's third session.
Statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall, where he was first inaugurated as president.
Senate President John Adams
Senate President pro tempore John Langdon
Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania
Beginning of the Congress
End of the Congress
Beginning of the Congress
End of the Congress

With the initial meeting of the First Congress, the United States federal government officially began operations under the new (and current) frame of government established by the 1787 Constitution.

Twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution were passed by this Congress and sent to the states for ratification; the ten ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, are collectively known as the Bill of Rights, with an additional amendment ratified more than two centuries later to become the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.

List of amendments to the United States Constitution

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.

Thirty-three amendments to the United States Constitution have been proposed by the United States Congress and sent to the states for ratification since the Constitution was put into operation on March 4, 1789.

Article Five of the United States Constitution details the two-step process for amending the nation's frame of government.

The Iowa State Capitol building, where the Iowa General Assembly convenes

State legislature (United States)

Legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states.

Legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states.

The Iowa State Capitol building, where the Iowa General Assembly convenes

(The ruling does not affect the U.S. Senate, because that chamber's makeup is prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.)

Under the terms of Article V of the U.S. Constitution, state lawmakers retain the power to ratify Constitutional amendments which have been proposed by both houses of Congress and they also retain the ability to call for a national convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Coleman v. Miller

Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), is a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which clarified that if the Congress of the United States—when proposing for ratification an amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to Article V thereof—chooses not to set a deadline by which the state legislatures of three-fourths of the states or, if prescribed by Congress state ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states, must act upon the proposed amendment, then the proposed amendment remains pending business before the state legislatures (or ratifying conventions).

The U.S. constitutional amendment process

State ratifying conventions

The U.S. constitutional amendment process

State ratifying conventions are one of the two methods established by Article V of the United States Constitution for ratifying proposed constitutional amendments.