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.
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Dates the 13 states ratified 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

Supreme law of the United States of America.

- 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.

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

Slavery in the United States

Prevalent in the United States of America from its founding in 1776 until 1865.

Prevalent in the United States of America from its founding in 1776 until 1865.

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

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

Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marbury v. Madison, but lost judicial review

Article Three of the United States Constitution

Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marbury v. Madison, but lost judicial review
A nineteenth-century painting of a jury
Iva Toguri, known as Tokyo Rose, and Tomoya Kawakita were two Japanese Americans who were tried for treason after World War II.

Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government.

Coat of arms

Federal government of the United States

National government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a federal district (the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, where the entire federal government is based), five major self-governing territories and several island possessions.

National government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a federal district (the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, where the entire federal government is based), five major self-governing territories and several island possessions.

Coat of arms
Political system of the United States
Seal of the U.S. Congress
The 435 seats of the House grouped by state
The United States Capitol is the seat of government for Congress.
Seal of the president of the United States
Uncle Sam, a common personification of the United States Federal Government
Seal of the vice president of the United States
Seal of the U.S. Supreme Court
Federal Revenue and Spending
Diagram of the Federal Government and American Union, 1862
The states of the United States as divided into counties (or, in Louisiana and Alaska, parishes and boroughs, respectively). Alaska and Hawaii are not to scale and the Aleutian and uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have been omitted.

The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president and the federal courts, respectively.

United States Declaration of Independence

Pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.

Pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, as painted by Rembrandt Peale
The 13 states at the Declaration of Independence
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776, an idealized depiction of Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration was widely reprinted (by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900).
Portable writing desk that Jefferson used to draft and finalize the Declaration of Independence
"Declaration House", the reconstructed boarding house at Market and S. 7th Street in Philadelphia, where Jefferson wrote the Declaration
The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson's supervision. The engrossed copy was made later (shown at the top of this article). The opening lines differ between the two versions.
English political philosopher John Locke (1632–1704)
The signed copy of the Declaration is now badly faded because of poor preserving practices in the 19th century. It is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Syng inkstand, which was used at both the 1776 signing of the Declaration and the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, is on display in Philadelphia
On July 4, 1776, Continental Congress President John Hancock's signature authenticated the United States Declaration of Independence.
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859, depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.
William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, manumitted his slave, believing that he could not both fight for liberty and own slaves.
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building
a new broadside
John Trumbull's famous 1818 painting is often identified as a depiction of the signing of the Declaration, but it actually shows the drafting committee presenting its work to the Congress.
United States two-dollar bill (reverse)
Congressman Abraham Lincoln, 1845–1846
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her two sons (1848)

This view was notably promoted by Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued that it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.

The U.S. constitutional amendment process

Article Five of the United States Constitution

The U.S. constitutional amendment process
Resolution proposing the Nineteenth Amendment
Tennessee certificate of ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. With this ratification, the amendment became valid as a part of the Constitution.

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

Abolitionist imagery focused on atrocities against slaves. (Photo of Gordon, 1863.)

Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Abolitionist imagery focused on atrocities against slaves. (Photo of Gordon, 1863.)
Abraham Lincoln
Representative James Mitchell Ashley proposed an amendment abolishing slavery in 1863.
Celebration erupts after the Thirteenth Amendment is passed by the House of Representatives.
Amendment XIII in the National Archives, bearing the signature of Abraham Lincoln
John Marshall Harlan became known as "The Great Dissenter" for his minority opinions favoring powerful Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.

John Jay, by Gilbert Stuart, 1794

John Jay

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
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.

Portrait by Henry Inman, 1832

John Marshall

American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States from 1801 until his death in 1835.

American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States from 1801 until his death in 1835.

Portrait by Henry Inman, 1832
Marshall's birthplace monument in Germantown, Virginia
Coat of arms of Marshall
The Hollow House
John Marshall's House in Richmond, Virginia
Marshall's Chief Justice nomination
Steel engraving of John Marshall by Alonzo Chappel
The text of the McCulloch v. Maryland decision, handed down March 6, 1819, as recorded in the minutes of the US Supreme Court
Marshall's grave
John Marshall and George Wythe
Oak Hill
Chief Justice John Marshall by William Wetmore Story, at John Marshall Park in Washington, D.C.
Marshall was the subject of a 2005 commemorative silver dollar.
Marshall on the 1890 $20 Treasury Note, one of 53 people depicted on United States banknotes
John Marshall on a Postal Issue of 1894

Marshall favored the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and he played a major role in Virginia's ratification of that document.

Constitution of the United States

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights

Doctrine by which portions of the Bill of Rights have been made applicable to the states.

Doctrine by which portions of the Bill of Rights have been made applicable to the states.

Constitution of the United States

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

New York (state)

State in the Northeastern United States.

State in the Northeastern United States.

New York was dominated by Iroquoian (purple) and Algonquian (pink) tribes.
New Amsterdam, present-day Lower Manhattan, 1660
New York and neighboring provinces, by Claude Joseph Sauthier, 1777
British general John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga in 1777
1800 map of New York from Low's Encyclopaedia
The Erie Canal at Lockport, New York, in 1839
Flight 175 hitting the South Tower on September11, 2001
Flooding on AvenueC in Lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy
New York is bordered by six U.S. states, two Great Lakes, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Enveloped by the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, New York City and Long Island alone are home to about eleven million residents conjointly.
Lake-effect snow is a major contributor to heavy snowfall totals in western New York, including the Tug Hill region.
Two major state parks (in green) are the Adirondack Park (north) and the Catskill Park (south).
The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor is a symbol of the United States and its ideals.
The African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan
Map of the counties in New York
New York population distribution map. New York's population is primarily concentrated in the Greater New York area, including New York City and Long Island.
The Stonewall Inn in the gay village of Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, the cradle of the modern LGBT rights movement
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The main laboratory building of the IBM Watson Research Center is located in Yorktown Heights, New York.
Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, hub of the Broadway theater district, a media center, and one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections
"I Love New York"
CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, the largest container ship to enter the Port of New York and New Jersey as of September7, 2017
Harris Hall of the City College of New York, a public college of the City University of New York
Butler Library at Columbia University
University of Rochester
South campus of the University at Buffalo, the flagship of the State University of New York
The New York City Subway is one of the world's busiest, serving more than five million passengers per average weekday.
Grand Central Terminal in New York City
John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States
The New York State Capitol in Albany
New York State Court of Appeals
Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, New York's U.S. Senators
Kathy Hochul (D), the 57th Governor of New York
Yankee Stadium in The Bronx
Koppen climate of New York

New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.