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.
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Independence Hall's Assembly Room
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
James Madison, the author of the Virginia Plan
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Virginia Plan
"We the People" in an original edition
Charles Pinckney Plan
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
Edmund Randolph, the Governor of Virginia, introduced the Virginia Plan
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
James Wilson's ideas shaped the American presidency more than any other delegate
John Jay, 1789–1795
New Jersey Plan
John Marshall, 1801–1835
Hamilton's Plan
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}}
Roger Sherman of Connecticut
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}}
Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania
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}}
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
U.S. Postage, Issue of 1937, depicting Delegates at the signing of the Constitution, engraving after a painting by Junius Brutus Stearns
José Rizal
Quaker John Dickinson argued forcefully against slavery during the convention. Once Delaware's largest slaveholder, he had freed all of his slaves by 1787.
Sun Yat-sen

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.

- Constitutional Convention (United States)

According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the federal and state governments."

- 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.

29 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Articles of Confederation

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Agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first frame of government.

Agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first frame of government.

1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed on November 15, 1777
The Act of the Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles of Confederation, February 2, 1781
Preamble to Art. V, Sec. 1
Art. V, Sec. 2 to Art. VI
Art. VII to Art. IX, Sec. 2
Art. IX, Sec. 2 to Sec. 5
Art. IX, Sec. 5 to Art. XIII, Sec. 2
Art. XIII, Sec. 2 to signatures

This became the Constitutional Convention.

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

Portrait by John Vanderlyn, 1816

James Madison

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American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817.

American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817.

Portrait by John Vanderlyn, 1816
Madison's Birthplace
Madison at Princeton, portrait by James Sharples
Congressional delegate Madison, age 32 by Charles Willson Peale
page one of the original copy
of the U.S. Constitution
Gouverneur Morris signs the Constitution before George Washington. Madison sits next to Robert Morris, in front of Benjamin Franklin. Painting by John Henry Hintermeister, 1925.
Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party with Madison.
Montpelier, Madison's tobacco plantation in Virginia
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase totaled 827,987 sqmi, doubling the size of the United States.
James Madison by Gilbert Stuart,
1808 electoral vote results
James Madison engraving by David Edwin from between 1809 and 1817
USS Constitution defeats HMS Guerriere, a significant event during the war. U.S. nautical victories boosted American morale.
The British set ablaze the U.S. Capital on August 24, 1814.
Battle of New Orleans. 1815
Battle of Tippecanoe November 7, 1811
Portrait of James Madison c. 1821, by Gilbert Stuart
Madison's gravestone at Montpelier
Portrait of Madison, age 82, c. 1833
A life-sized statue of Madison at James Madison University.
Due to his support for religious liberty, James Madison (upper left) is honored alongside early U.S. Baptist figures in a stained glass window in National Baptist Memorial Church, Washington, D.C.

He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

Disillusioned by the weak national government established by the Articles of Confederation, he helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution.

Portrait by John Trumbull, 1806

Alexander Hamilton

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American revolutionary, statesman and Founding Father of the United States.

American revolutionary, statesman and Founding Father of the United States.

Portrait by John Trumbull, 1806
Coat of arms of the Hamiltons of Grange in Ayrshire, Scotland.
The Hamilton House, Charlestown, Nevis. The current structure was rebuilt from the ruins of the house where it was thought that Alexander Hamilton was born and lived as a young child.
Hamilton in his youth
Kings College c. 1756, adjacent to the New York Commons where City Hall Park is today
Alexander Hamilton in the Uniform of the New York Artillery, by Alonzo Chappel (1828–1887)
Aides-de-camp's office inside Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge. General Washington's staff officers worked in this room, writing and copying the letters and orders of the Continental Army.
The Storming of Redoubt #10, an 1840 painting by Eugene Lami
Detail of Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull, showing Colonels Alexander Hamilton, John Laurens, and Walter Stewart
Miniature of Hamilton attributed to Charles Shirreff, c. 1790
A Turban Head eagle, one of the first gold coins minted under the Coinage Act of 1792
A painting of a Revenue Marine cutter, which may be of either the Massachusetts (1791), or its replacement, the Massachusetts II
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton by Walter Robertson. Circa 1794
A statue of Hamilton by Franklin Simmons, overlooking the Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey, where Hamilton envisioned using the falls to power new factories
The Jay Treaty
Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1792
Aaron Burr, Hamilton and Philip Schuyler strolling on Wall Street, New York, 1790
Alexander Hamilton by William J. Weaver, ca. 1794-1806
A statue of Hamilton in the United States Capitol rotunda
Detail of 1802 portrait by Ezra Ames, painted after death of Hamilton's eldest son Philip
Hamilton's tomb in Trinity Church's first burial grounds at Wall Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan
Drawing (c. 1902) of the Burr–Hamilton duel, from a painting by J. Mund
This July 25, 1804 article reflected extreme lamentation over Hamilton's death, and described the plan for his funeral procession and other tributes, including a 30-day wearing of a commemorative black armband ("crape") by members of the Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania of which Hamilton had been President General.
Elizabeth Schuyler, portrait by Ralph Earl
Distinctive unit insignia of the United States Army 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment (i.e. Alexander Hamilton Battery). The crest at center is that of Clan Hamilton, with the addition of 13 gold acorns representing the original 13 states.
USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) seal. The two colors on the coat of arms represent the aspects of Alexander Hamilton's life: military and civilian. The white demarcation line is a virtual diagram of the trenches converging on the British redoubt #10 at Yorktown. Surmounting the crossed bayonets symbolizing Hamilton's taking of the redoubt is a Doric column which represents Hamilton's service as a statesman. The crest shows an ermine cinquefoil, which is the principal charge on the Hamilton family coat of arms and is worn by a unicorn, taken from the hand-carved powder horn Hamilton is believed to have owned. The motto, "Vigilant Sentinel," is derived from a quote in Federalist No. 12: "A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrance of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the law."
A starboard view of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) underway.
Alexander Hamilton on the Series 2004A U.S. $10 bill
$2
$5
$10
$20
$50
$1,000
Hamilton stamp, 1870 issue
The Hamilton Grange National Memorial in St. Nicholas Park
A statue of Hamilton outside Hamilton Hall, overlooking Hamilton Lawn at Columbia University in New York City
The Hamilton statue in Central Park
Image of the statue of Alexander Hamilton created by William Ordway Partridge, commissioned for the Hamilton Club of Brooklyn. The statue later stood in front of Hamilton Grange when the house was located at 287 Convent Ave.
A view of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge from the south
Lin-Manuel Miranda performs the title role in the 2015 musical Hamilton.
USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) seal. The two colors on the coat of arms represent the aspects of Alexander Hamilton's life: military and civilian. The white demarcation line is a virtual diagram of the trenches converging on the British redoubt #10 at Yorktown. Surmounting the crossed bayonets symbolizing Hamilton's taking of the redoubt is a Doric column which represents Hamilton's service as a statesman. The crest shows an ermine cinquefoil, which is the principal charge on the Hamilton family coat of arms and is worn by a unicorn, taken from the hand-carved powder horn Hamilton is believed to have owned. The motto, "Vigilant Sentinel," is derived from a quote in Federalist No. 12: "A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrance of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the law."

He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, and was the founder of the Federalist Party, the nation's financial system, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper.

Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak confederal government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he then served as a delegate from New York.

Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.

United States Electoral College

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Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.
In the 2020 presidential election (held using 2010 census data) Joe Biden received 306 and Donald Trump 232 of the total 538 electoral votes.
In Maine (upper-right) and Nebraska (center), the small circled numbers indicate congressional districts. These are the only two states to use a district method for some of their allocated electors, instead of a complete winner-takes-all.
Cases of certificates of the electoral college votes confirming the results of the 2020 US election, after they had been removed from the House Chambers by congressional staff during the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.
After the popular election in November, a state's Certificate of Ascertainment officially announces the state's electors for the Electoral College. The appointed Electoral College members later meet in the state capital in December to cast their votes.
Population per electoral vote for each state and Washington, D.C. (2010 census). By 2020 estimates, a single elector could represent more than 700,000 people or under 200,000.
When the state's electors meet in December, they cast their ballots and record their vote on a Certificate of Vote, which is then sent to the U.S. Congress. (From the election of 1876)
This cartogram shows the number of electors from each state for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Following the 2010 Census, New York and Ohio lost two electoral votes, 8 states lost one, 6 states gained one, Florida gained two, and Texas gained four.
This graphic demonstrates how the winner of the popular vote can still lose in an electoral college system similar to the U.S. Electoral College.
Bar graph of popular votes in presidential elections (through 2020). Black stars mark the five cases where the winner did not have the plurality of the popular vote. Black squares mark the two cases where the electoral vote resulted in a tie, or the winner did not have the majority of electoral votes. An H marks each of two cases where the election was decided by the House; an S marks the one case where the election was finalized by the Supreme Court.
These maps show the amount of attention given to each state by the Bush and Kerry campaigns (combined) during the final five weeks of the 2004 election: each waving hand (purple map) represents a visit from a presidential or vice presidential candidate; each dollar sign (green map) represents one million dollars spent on TV advertising.
Half the U.S. population lives in 143 urban / suburban counties out of 3,143 counties or county equivalents (2019 American Community Survey)

The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of appointing the president and vice president.

The Constitutional Convention in 1787 used the Virginia Plan as the basis for discussions, as the Virginia proposal was the first.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796

George Washington

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American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796
Ferry Farm, the residence of the Washington family on the Rappahannock River
Lieutenant Colonel Washington holds night council at Fort Necessity
Washington the Soldier: Lieutenant Colonel Washington on horseback during the Battle of the Monongahela (oil, Reǵnier, 1834)
Colonel George Washington, by Charles Willson Peale, 1772
Martha Washington based on a 1757 portrait by John Wollaston
General Washington, Commander of the Continental Army by Charles Willson Peale (1776)
Washington taking command of the Continental Army, just before the siege.
Battle of Long Island
Alonzo Chappel (1858)
Washington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Leutze (1851)
The Passage of the Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
See map
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776
by John Trumbull
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, by John Ward Dunsmore (1907)
Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, Emanuel Leutze (1851–1854)
An engraving of Washington, likely made after his tenure in the army.
French King Louis XVI allied with Washington and Patriot American colonists
Siege of Yorktown, Generals Washington and Rochambeau give last orders before the attack
General George Washington Resigning His Commission, by John Trumbull, 1824
Shays' Rebellion confirmed for Washington the need to overhaul the Articles of Confederation.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. Washington is the presiding officer standing at right.
President George Washington, Gilbert Stuart (1795)
The President's House in Philadelphia was Washington's residence from 1790 to 1797
John Jay, negotiator of the Jay Treaty
Seneca chief Red Jacket was Washington's peace emissary with the Northwestern Confederacy.
Battle of Fallen Timbers by R. F. Zogbaum, 1896. The Ohio Country was ceded to America in its aftermath.
USS Constitution: Commissioned and named by President Washington in 1794
Washington's Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)
distillery
Washington on his Deathbed
Junius Brutus Stearns 1799
Miniature of George Washington by Robert Field (1800)
The sarcophagi of George (right) and Martha Washington at the present tomb's entrance
The Washington Family by Edward Savage (c. 1789–1796) George and Martha Washington with her grandchildren. National Art Gallery
George Washington's bookplate with the Coat of arms of the Washington family
George Washington as Master of his Lodge, 1793
Washington as Farmer at Mount Vernon
Junius Brutus Stearns, 1851
Runaway advertisement for Oney Judge, enslaved servant in Washington's presidential household
In 1794, Washington privately expressed to Tobias Lear, his secretary, that he found slavery to be repugnant.
Washington, the Constable by Gilbert Stuart (1797)
A drawing from a Japanese manuscript of Washington fighting a tiger.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
nation's first postage stamps
Washington issue of 1862
Washington–Franklin issue of 1917
Washington quarter dollar
George Washington Presidential one-dollar coin
Washington on the 1928 dollar bill

Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of the Continental Army, Washington led the Patriot forces to victory in the American Revolutionary War and served as the president of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which created the Constitution of the United States and the American federal government.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815

John Adams

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American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815
Adams's birthplace now in Quincy, Massachusetts
Boston Massacre of 1770 by Alonzo Chappel
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence depicts the Committee of Five presenting its draft to Congress. Adams is depicted in the center with his hand on his hip.
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Adams frequently clashed with Benjamin Franklin over how to manage French relations.
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West (Adams in front).
Adams – 1785 Mather Brown Portrait
Portrait of Adams by John Trumbull, 1793
Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1795. Washington rarely consulted Vice President Adams, who often felt marginalized and overshadowed by Washington's prestige.
1796 presidential election results
President's House, Philadelphia. Adams occupied this Philadelphia mansion from March 1797 to May 1800.
A political cartoon depicts the XYZ Affair – America is a female being plundered by Frenchmen. (1798)
Thomas Jefferson, Adams's vice president, attempted to undermine many of his actions as president and eventually defeated him for reelection.
Alexander Hamilton's desire for high military rank and his push for war with France put him into conflict with Adams.
1800 presidential election results
John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and one of Adams's few dependable allies
John Adams, c. 1816, by Samuel Morse (Brooklyn Museum)
Tombs of John and Abigail Adams (far) and John Quincy and Louisa Adams (near), in family crypt at United First Parish Church
Peacefield - John Adams' Home
Thoughts on Government (1776)
John Adams by Gilbert Stuart (1823). This portrait was the last made of Adams, done at the request of John Quincy.

Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States constitution, as did his essay Thoughts on Government.

While in London, Adams learned of a convention being planned to amend the Articles of Confederation.

An animation showing when United States territories and states forbade or allowed slavery, 1789–1861

Slavery in the United States

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Prevalent in the United States of America from its founding in 1776 until 1865, predominately in states of the Southern United States.

Prevalent in the United States of America from its founding in 1776 until 1865, predominately in states of the Southern United States.

An animation showing when United States territories and states forbade or allowed slavery, 1789–1861
Slave auction block, Green Hill Plantation, Campbell County, Virginia, Historic American Buildings Survey
Slaves processing tobacco in 17th-century Virginia
Slaves on a South Carolina plantation (The Old Plantation, c. 1790)
Ledger of sale of 118 slaves, Charleston, South Carolina, c. 1754
Prince Estabrook memorial in front of Buckman Tavern on Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts. Prince Estabrook, who was wounded in the Battle of Lexington and Concord, was the first black casualty of the Revolutionary War.
Continental soldiers at Yorktown. On the left, an African American soldier of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.
This postage stamp, which was created at the time of the Bicentennial, honors Salem Poor, who was an enslaved African-American man who purchased his freedom, became a soldier, and rose to fame as a war hero during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Advertisement in The Pennsylvania Gazette, May 24, 1796, seeking the return of Oney Judge, a fugitive slave who had escaped from the household of George Washington.
Confederate $100 bill, 1862–63, showing happy slaves farming. John C. Calhoun is at left, Columbia at right.
This portrait of Judge Samuel Sewall by John Smibert is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Massachusetts.
Establishing the Northwest Territory as free soil – no slavery – by Manasseh Cutler and Rufus Putnam proved to be crucial to the outcome of the Civil War.
Statue of abolitionist and crusading minister Theodore Parker in front of the Theodore Parker Church in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Statue of prominent abolitionist Frederick Douglass in the Highland Park Bowl in Rochester, New York. Douglass was a great admirer of Theodore Parker.
Benjamin Kent, Old Burying Ground, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Simon Legree and Uncle Tom: a scene from Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), an influential abolitionist novel
Henry Clay (1777–1852), one of three founders of the American Colonization Society, which assisted free blacks in moving to Africa. Liberia was a result.
Movement of slaves between 1790 and 1860
Slaves Waiting for Sale: Richmond, Virginia. Painting by Eyre Crowe
Ashley's Sack is a cloth that recounts a slave sale separating a mother and her daughter. The sack belonged to a nine-year-old girl Ashley and was a parting gift from her mother, Rose, after Ashley had been sold. Rose filled the sack with a dress, braid of her hair, pecans, and "my love always"
Slave trader's business in Atlanta, Georgia, 1864
Peter or Gordon, a whipped slave, photo taken at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1863; the guilty overseer was fired.
Wilson Chinn, a branded slave from Louisiana--Also exhibiting instruments of torture used to punish slaves
Slave sale, Charleston, 1856
U.S. brig Perry confronting the slave ship Martha off Ambriz on June 6, 1850
Eastman Johnson's 1863 painting "The Lord is My Shepherd"
Illustration from History of American conspiracies – a record of treason, insurrection, rebellion and c., in the United States of America, from 1760 to 1860 (1863)
James Hopkinson's Plantation. Planting sweet potatoes. ca. 1862/63
Slaves for sale, a scene in New Orleans, 1861
Mixed-race slave girls of predominant European ancestry, New Orleans, 1863 (see also white slave propaganda).
A slave auction, 1853
Five-dollar banknote showing a plantation scene with enslaved people in South Carolina. Issued by the Planters Bank, Winnsboro, 1853. On display at the British Museum in London.
Eastman Johnson (American, 1824–1906). A Ride for Liberty – The Fugitive Slaves (recto), ca. 1862. Oil on paperboard. Brooklyn Museum
Uncle Marian, a slave of great notoriety, of North Carolina. Daguerreotype of elderly North Carolina slave, circa 1850.
Slaves on J. J. Smith's cotton plantation near Beaufort, South Carolina, photographed by Timothy O'Sullivan standing before their quarters in 1862
Escaped slaves, ca. 1862, at the headquarters of General Lafayette
Four generations of a slave family, Smith's Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862
Abraham Lincoln presents the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Painted by Francis Bicknell Carpenter in 1864
An industrial school set up for ex-slaves in Richmond during Reconstruction
Many Native Americans were enslaved during the California Genocide by American settlers.
Percentage of slaves in each county of the slave states in 1860
Evolution of the enslaved population of the United States as a percentage of the population of each state, 1790–1860
Abolition of slavery in the various states of the United States over time:Abolition of slavery during or shortly after the American Revolution
The Northwest Ordinance, 1787
Gradual emancipation in New York (starting 1799) and New Jersey (starting 1804)
The Missouri Compromise, 1821
Effective abolition of slavery by Mexican or joint US/British authority
Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1861
Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1862
Emancipation Proclamation as originally issued, 1 Jan 1863
Subsequent operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863
Abolition of slavery by state action during the Civil War
Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1864
Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865
Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. constitution, 18 Dec 1865
Territory incorporated into the U.S. after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

The role of slavery under the United States Constitution (1789) was the most contentious issue during its drafting.

Slavery was a contentious issue in the writing and approval of the Constitution 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.

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.

Government powerlessness led to the Convention of 1787 which proposed a revised constitution with a two–chamber or bicameral Congress.

Representation of all political parties as percentage in House of Representatives over time

United States House of Representatives

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Lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber.

Lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber.

Representation of all political parties as percentage in House of Representatives over time
Historical graph of party control of the Senate and House as well as the presidency
Republican speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed (1895–1899)
All 435 voting seats of the current House shown grouped by state, largest to smallest (From 2015)
Population per U.S. representative allocated to each of the 50 states and D.C., ranked by population. Since D.C. (ranked 49th) receives no voting seats in the House, its bar is absent.

After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation".

The House is commonly referred to as the lower house and the Senate the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology.

Three-fifths Compromise

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The Three-fifths Compromise was an agreement reached during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention over the counting of slaves in determining a state's total population.

In the United States Constitution, the Three-fifths Compromise is part of Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3.