History of the United States Constitution

ratification of the United States ConstitutionratificationConstitutional ConventionConstitutional Convention of 1787Constitutional historyratification of the Constitutionratification of the Federal Constitutionratification processratifiedadoption of the Federal Constitution
The United States Constitution has served as the supreme law of the United States since taking effect in 1789.wikipedia
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The Federalist Papers

Federalist PapersPubliusThe Federalist
The Federalist Papers, published while the states were debating ratification, provided background and justification for the Constitution.
The Federalist Papers is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

John Dickinson

Dickinson[John] DickinsonJohn Dickinson (delegate)
Dickinson later served as President of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which called for the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Constitutional Convention (United States)

Constitutional ConventionPhiladelphia ConventionConstitutional Convention of 1787
The document was written at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and was ratified through a series of state conventions held in 1787 and 1788.
The completed proposed Constitution was then released to the public to begin the debate and ratification process.

Thomas Jefferson

JeffersonPresident JeffersonJeffersonian
Suspicion of a powerful federal executive was answered by Washington's cabinet appointments of once-Anti-Federalists Edmund Jennings Randolph as Attorney General and Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State.
Jefferson initially thought that a Constitutional amendment was necessary to purchase and govern the new territory; but he later changed his mind, fearing that this would give cause to oppose the purchase, and he therefore urged a speedy debate and ratification.

George Mason

George Mason IVaddressedMason
George Mason, a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, refused to sign the document because he felt it did not specifically spell out or protect individual rights sufficiently.

John C. Calhoun

John CalhounJohn Caldwell CalhounCalhoun
Justification for the nullifiers was found in the U.S. Senate speeches and writings of John C. Calhoun.
He was a Patriot in the American Revolution, and opposed ratification of the federal Constitution on grounds of states' rights and personal liberties.

Constitution Day (United States)

Constitution DayConstitution Day and Citizenship DayI am an American Day
It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.

Jacob Shallus

Then, an official copy of the document was engrossed by Jacob Shallus.
*History of the United States Constitution

Federalist Party

FederalistFederalistsF
It led to accusations of treason and the demise of the Federalist Party as a force in American politics.
At first, the Federalists focused on commemorating the ratification of the Constitution and organized parades to demonstrate widespread popular support for the new Federalist Party.

Constitution of the United States

United States ConstitutionU.S. ConstitutionConstitution
The United States Constitution has served as the supreme law of the United States since taking effect in 1789.

United States Bill of Rights

Bill of RightsU.S. Bill of RightsUS Bill of Rights
Since 1789, the Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times; particularly important amendments include the ten amendments of the United States Bill of Rights and the three Reconstruction Amendments.

Reconstruction Amendments

Constitutional Amendments13th, 14th and 15th amendmentsAmendments
Since 1789, the Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times; particularly important amendments include the ten amendments of the United States Bill of Rights and the three Reconstruction Amendments.

Articles of Confederation

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual UnionConfederationArticles
The Constitution grew out of efforts to reform the Articles of Confederation, an earlier constitution which provided for a loose alliance of states with a weak central government. It was the Articles of Confederation that provided the necessary structure to the new nation during and after the American Revolution.

Virginia Plan

a plan
The nationalist majority, soon to be called "Federalists," put forth the Virginia Plan, a consolidated government based on proportional representation among the states by population.

New Jersey Plan

The "old patriots," later called "Anti-Federalists," advocated the New Jersey Plan, a purely federal proposal, based on providing each state with equal representation.

Connecticut Compromise

Great Compromisecompromise on representationConnecticut Compromise (USA)
The Connecticut Compromise allowed for both plans to work together.

Congress of the Confederation

Confederation CongressCongressContinental Congress
The drafted Constitution was submitted to the Congress of the Confederation in September 1787; that same month it approved the forwarding of the Constitution as drafted to the states, each of which would hold a ratification convention.

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights

incorporatedincorporationincorporation doctrine
The Bill of Rights initially only applied to the federal government, but following a process of incorporation most protections of the Bill of Rights now apply to state governments.

Slavery in the United States

slaveryslavesslave
Between 1865 and 1870, the states ratified the Reconstruction Amendments, which abolished slavery, guaranteed equal protection of the law, and implemented prohibitions on the restriction of voter rights.

Judicial review

judicial oversightreviewjudicially reviewed
The meaning of the Constitution is interpreted by judicial review in the federal courts.

National Archives Building

National ArchivesNational Archives in Washingtonheadquarters
The original parchment copies are on display at the National Archives Building.

Lee Resolution

resolution of independenceresolutiona resolution
On June 4, 1776, a resolution was introduced in the Second Continental Congress declaring the union with Great Britain to be dissolved, proposing the formation of foreign alliances, and suggesting the drafting of a plan of confederation to be submitted to the respective states.

Second Continental Congress

Continental CongressCongressSecond
On June 4, 1776, a resolution was introduced in the Second Continental Congress declaring the union with Great Britain to be dissolved, proposing the formation of foreign alliances, and suggesting the drafting of a plan of confederation to be submitted to the respective states.

American Revolution

RevolutionRevolutionary WarRevolutionary
It was the Articles of Confederation that provided the necessary structure to the new nation during and after the American Revolution.

Natural rights and legal rights

natural rightslegal rightsnatural right
The Declaration, however, did set forth the ideas of natural rights and the social contract that would help form the foundation of constitutional government.