Saturday, September 17, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose 
The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in each U.S. state in the name of "The People". It has been amended twenty-seven times; the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights
1.  What is the United States Constitution?
The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and lays out the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.
2.  The United States Constitution almost didn't happen.
When delegates of 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island being the only exception), arrived at the Constitutional Convention, the purpose was only to revise the Articles of Confederation.  But it was the intention of forward thinking individuals, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, to push for a new government and new Constitution rather than fix the existing one.
3.  How long did it take to write the Constitution?
It was drafted in fewer than one hundred working days.
4.  No Bill of Rights in the original U.S. Constitution.
The Constitution was created without a Bill of Rights.  It was signed on September 17, 1787, but within 2 years, the Bill of Rights would be added as the first ten amendments.  Here are all of the amendments:
  • The Bill of Rights: First 10 and the 27th Amendment
  • Scope of Federal Government Power: 11th and 16th Amendments
  • Federal Elections & Terms: 12th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, and 25th Amendments
  • Civil War Amendments: 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments
  • Suffrage Amendments: 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th Amendments
  • Prohibition: 18th and 21st Amendments
5.  The Constitutional Convention did not end slavery.
The contentious issue of slavery was too controversial to be resolved in the newly created Constitution.  Section 9 of Article I allowed the continued "importation" of such persons.  It would take the Civil War to end slavery over 70 years later.
Also missing from the Constitution was the right of women to vote.  This was not added until 1920.
6.  How many amendments to the Constitution have been repealed?
Only one, the 18th (Prohibition) repealed by the 21st.
7.  Who was the first signer of the U.S. Constitution?
As President of the Constitutional Convention, George Washington was the first to sign the newly drafted Constitution.  Surprisingly,  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams never signed it - both were away serving their country abroad.
Extra:  Where is the U.S. Constitution today?
The United States Constitution is located in the National Archives Building in Washington D. C.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! Too many Americans have NO CLUE!