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.
December 23, 1783: General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull (1822–1824)
1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed on November 15, 1777
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
The Act of the Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles of Confederation, February 2, 1781
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
Preamble to Art. V, Sec. 1
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Art. V, Sec. 2 to Art. VI
"We the People" in an original edition
Art. VII to Art. IX, Sec. 2
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
Art. IX, Sec. 2 to Sec. 5
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
Art. IX, Sec. 5 to Art. XIII, Sec. 2
John Jay, 1789–1795
Art. XIII, Sec. 2 to signatures
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

It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution.

- Constitution of the United States

It was preceded by the Second Continental Congress (1775–1781) and was created by the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union in 1781.

- Congress of the Confederation

The Congress of the Confederation was succeeded by the Congress of the United States as provided for in the new United States Constitution, proposed September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia and adopted by the United States in 1788.

- Congress of the Confederation

On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution.

- Articles of Confederation

5) Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation (the "United States in Congress Assembled") to each state, which is entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members. Members of Congress are to be appointed by state legislatures. No congressman may serve more than three out of any six years.

- Articles of Confederation

Transmitted to the Congress of the Confederation, then sitting in New York City, it was within the power of Congress to expedite or block ratification of the proposed Constitution.

- Constitution of the United States

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Constitutional Convention (United States)

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The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787.

The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787.

Independence Hall's Assembly Room
James Madison, the author of the Virginia Plan
Virginia Plan
Charles Pinckney Plan
Edmund Randolph, the Governor of Virginia, introduced the Virginia Plan
James Wilson's ideas shaped the American presidency more than any other delegate
New Jersey Plan
Hamilton's Plan
Roger Sherman of Connecticut
Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
U.S. Postage, Issue of 1937, depicting Delegates at the signing of the Constitution, engraving after a painting by Junius Brutus Stearns
Quaker John Dickinson argued forcefully against slavery during the convention. Once Delaware's largest slaveholder, he had freed all of his slaves by 1787.

Although the convention was intended to revise the league of states and first system of government under the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, was to create a new Frame of Government rather than fix the existing one.

The result of the convention was the creation of the Constitution of the United States, placing the Convention among the most significant events in American history.

The Confederation was governed by the Congress of the Confederation, a unicameral legislature whose members were chosen by the state legislatures and in which each state cast a single vote.

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

United States Congress

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Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.
The 1940 painting Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, depicting George Washington presiding over the signing of the United States Constitution.
United States Congress c. 1915
Historical graph of party control of the Senate, House, and Presidency. Since 1980, the Democrats have held the Presidency for four terms, but because of the Senate filibuster, have only been able to freely legislate in two years. The Republicans have been similarly disabled.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, and printing currency.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31).
Congress oversees other government branches, for example, the Senate Watergate Committee, investigating President Nixon and Watergate, in 1973–74.
View of the United States Capitol from the United States Supreme Court building
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Second committee room in Congress Hall in Philadelphia
Library of Congress Jefferson Building
Lobbying depends on cultivating personal relationships over many years. Photo: Lobbyist Tony Podesta (left) with former senator Kay Hagan (center) and her husband.
An Act of Congress from 1960.
The House Financial Services committee meets. Committee members sit in the tiers of raised chairs, while those testifying, and audience members sit below.
In this example, the more even distribution is on the left and the gerrymandering is presented on the right.
The Federalist Papers argued in favor of a strong connection between citizens and their representatives.

The Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation.

The Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a unicameral body with equal representation among the states in which each state had a veto over most decisions.

President of the United States

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Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

George Washington, the first president of the United States
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a radio address, 1933
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on
President Donald Trump delivers his 2018 State of the Union Address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Gorbachev sign the 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, successfully preserved the Union during the American Civil War.
President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court appointee Justice Sotomayor, 2009
President Ronald Reagan reviews honor guards during a state visit to China, 1984
President Woodrow Wilson throws out the ceremonial first ball on Opening Day, 1916
President Jimmy Carter (left) debates Republican nominee Ronald Reagan on October 28, 1980.
Map of the United States showing the number of electoral votes allocated following the 2010 census to each state and the District of Columbia for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections; it also notes that Maine and Nebraska distribute electors by way of the congressional district method. 270 electoral votes are required for a majority out of 538 votes possible.
Franklin D. Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections (1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944), leading to the adoption of a two-term limit.
President William McKinley and his successor, Theodore Roosevelt
President Reagan surrounded by Secret Service
From left: George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Photo taken in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009; Obama formally took office thirteen days later.
Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, 2013
White House, the official residence
Camp David, the official retreat
Blair House, the official guest house
The presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast"
The presidential plane, called Air Force One when the president is on board
Marine One helicopter, when the president is aboard

Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.

Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power.

It was through the closed-door negotiations at Philadelphia that the presidency framed in the U.S. Constitution emerged.

Annapolis Convention (1786)

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National political convention held September 11–14, 1786 at Mann's Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, in which twelve delegates from five U.S. states gathered to discuss and develop a consensus on reversing the protectionist trade barriers that each state had erected.

National political convention held September 11–14, 1786 at Mann's Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, in which twelve delegates from five U.S. states gathered to discuss and develop a consensus on reversing the protectionist trade barriers that each state had erected.

At the time, under the Articles of Confederation, each state was largely independent from the others, and the national government had no authority to regulate trade between and among the states.

The direct result of the Annapolis Convention's report and the ensuing events was the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, when the United States Constitution was drafted.

Continental Congress

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Series of legislative bodies, with some executive function, for thirteen of Britain's colonies in North America, and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War.

Series of legislative bodies, with some executive function, for thirteen of Britain's colonies in North America, and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War.

The term "Continental Congress" most specifically refers to the First and Second Congresses of 1774–1781 and, at the time, was also used to refer to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–1789, which operated as the first national government of the United States until being replaced under the Constitution of the United States.

In March 1781, the nation's first Frame of Government, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, came into force, at which time the body became what later was called the Congress of the Confederation.

Northwest Territory (1787)

Northwest Ordinance

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Northwest Territory (1787)
Map of the states and territories of the United States as it was on August 7, 1789, when the Northwest Territory was organized

The Northwest Ordinance (formally An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio and also known as the Ordinance of 1787), enacted July 13, 1787, was an organic act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States.

Considered one of the most important legislative acts of the Confederation Congress, it established the precedent by which the federal government would be sovereign and expand westward with the admission of new states, rather than with the expansion of existing states and their established sovereignty under the Articles of Confederation.

The natural rights provisions of the ordinance foreshadowed the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.