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.
Portrait by John Vanderlyn, 1816
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Madison's Birthplace
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
Madison at Princeton, portrait by James Sharples
x120px
Congressional delegate Madison, age 32 by Charles Willson Peale
"We the People" in an original edition
page one of the original copy
of the U.S. Constitution
Closing endorsement section of the United States 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.
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party with Madison.
John Jay, 1789–1795
Montpelier, Madison's tobacco plantation in Virginia
John Marshall, 1801–1835
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase totaled 827,987 sqmi, doubling the size of the United States.
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}}
James Madison by Gilbert Stuart,
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}}
1808 electoral vote results
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}}
James Madison engraving by David Edwin from between 1809 and 1817
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
USS Constitution defeats HMS Guerriere, a significant event during the war. U.S. nautical victories boosted American morale.
José Rizal
The British set ablaze the U.S. Capital on August 24, 1814.
Sun Yat-sen
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.

- James Madison

In September 1786, during an inter–state convention to discuss and develop a consensus about reversing the protectionist trade barriers that each state had erected, James Madison questioned whether the Articles of Confederation was a binding compact or even a viable government.

- 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.

22 related topics with Alpha

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Constitutional Convention (United States)

9 links

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.

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.

In 1790, Jefferson, James Madison, and Hamilton struck a bargain guaranteeing Republican support for Hamilton's debt assumption plan in exchange for the capital being temporarily moved from New York to Philadelphia, and then to a permanent site on the Potomac River to placate Southerners.

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.

He had concerns about the legality of the convention and consulted James Madison, Henry Knox, and others.

John Jay, by Gilbert Stuart, 1794

John Jay

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American statesman, patriot, diplomat, Founding Father, abolitionist, negotiator, and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783.

American statesman, patriot, diplomat, Founding Father, abolitionist, negotiator, and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783.

John Jay, by Gilbert Stuart, 1794
John Jay, by Gilbert Stuart, 1794
Drawing of Sarah Jay by Robert Edge Pine.
Jay's childhood home in Rye, New York is a New York State Historic Site and Westchester County Park
Jay's retirement home near Katonah, New York is a New York State Historic Site
The Treaty of Paris, by Benjamin West (1783) (Jay stands farthest to the left). The British delegation refused to pose for the painting, leaving it unfinished.
Jay as he appears at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The Jay Treaty.
Gubernatorial portrait of Jay.
Certificate of Election of Jay as Governor of New York (June 6, 1795)
John Jay 15¢ Liberty Issue postage stamp, 1958.
Rye, New York Post Office Dedication Stamp and cancellation, September 5, 1936

He directed U.S. foreign policy for much of the 1780s and was an important leader of the Federalist Party after the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788.

He was a co-author of The Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, and wrote five of the eighty-five essays.

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's views became the basis for the Federalist Party, which was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

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

Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia.

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

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.

In a section negotiated by James Madison of Virginia, Section2 of ArticleI designated "other persons" (slaves) to be added to the total of the state's free population, at the rate of three-fifths of their total number, to establish the state's official population for the purposes of apportionment of congressional representation and federal taxation.

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.

United States Bill of Rights

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On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke before Virginia's ratification convention in opposition to the Constitution.
George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress
James Madison, primary author and chief advocate for the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

Due largely to the efforts of Representative James Madison, who studied the deficiencies of the Constitution pointed out by anti-federalists and then crafted a series of corrective proposals, Congress approved twelve articles of amendment on September 25, 1789, and submitted them to the states for ratification.

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

Benjamin Franklin

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American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.

American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778
La scuola della economia e della morale sketch of Franklin, 1825
Benjamin Franklin (center) at work on a printing press. Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company.
William Franklin (1730-1813), son of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle (January 1741)
Robert Feke's 1748 painting of Franklin
This Join, or Die by Franklin urged the colonies to join the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War). It later served as a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolution.
In 1751, Franklin co-founded Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, one of the first hospitals in the United States (depicted in this engaving by William Strickland, 1755)
Seal of the College of Philadelphia
Sketch of the original Tun Tavern
First U. S. postage stamp, issue of 1847, honoring Benjamin Franklin.
Pass, signed by Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin, gave William Goddard the authority to travel as needed to investigate and inspect postal routes and protect the mail.
Pennsylvania colonial currency printed by Franklin and David Hall in 1764
Franklin in London, 1767, wearing a blue suit with elaborate gold braid and buttons, a far cry from the simple dress he affected at the French court in later years. Painting by David Martin, displayed in the White House.
John Trumbull depicts the Committee of Five presenting their work to the Congress.
Franklin, in his fur hat, charmed the French with what they perceived as rustic New World genius.
While in France, Franklin designed and commissioned Augustin Dupré to engrave the medallion Libertas Americana, minted in Paris in 1783.
Franklin's return to Philadelphia, 1785, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Gouverneur Morris signs the Constitution before Washington. Franklin is behind Morris. Painting by Hintermeister, 1925.
Franklin's grave, Philadelphia
Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky c. 1816 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Benjamin West
Franklin and Electricity vignette engraved by the BEP (c. 1860)
An illustration from Franklin's paper on "Water-spouts and Whirlwinds"
A bust of Franklin by Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1778
Voltaire blessing Franklin's grandson, in the name of God and Liberty, by Pedro Américo, 1889–90
Benjamin Franklin by Hiram Powers
Dr Richard Price, the radical minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, holding a letter from Franklin
Franklin bust in the Archives Department of Columbia University in New York City
Glass harmonica
Franklin on the Series 2009 hundred dollar bill
Marble memorial statue, Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
commemorative stamps
Life-size bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin (seated with cane) in the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

While the plan was not adopted, elements of it found their way into the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

Many of the leading American founders – most notably Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison – owned slaves, but many others did not.