Celebrate Constitution Day!

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The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation†. Because the delegations from only two states were at first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.

Constitution Documents

View images and the text of the Constitution and related documents from the
National Archives:

The Constitution Today

Today the constitution is housed at the National Archives and Records
Administration on Constitution Ave NW [between 7th and 9th St.] in
Washington, DC. You can visit theNational Archives website†for more
information, hours, and directions.

Historical Timeline of the United States Constitution

  • March 25-28, 1785- The Mount Vernon Conference: Representatives
    of Maryland and Virginia meet at George Washington's plantation to resolve
    conflicts over the navigation of the Potomac and Pocomoke Rivers.
  • September 11-14, 1786- The Annapolis Convention: New York, New
    Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia meet to discuss uniform trade
    regulations, but agree to appeal to all states to meet again to discuss
    broader reforms.
  • February 21, 1787- Congress approves convention to amend the
    Articles of the Confederation.
  • May 25, 1787- First Meeting of the Constitutional Convention in
  • May 29, 1787- Edmund Randolph proposes the Virginia Plan.
  • July 26, 1787- Constitution submitted to a Committee of Detail,
    appointed to prepare the first formal draft of the constitution.
  • August 6, 1787- First Draft of Constitution Presented to Convention
  • September 17, 1787- All delegates, except Randolph, Mason, and
    Gerry, sign the Constitution.

Constitution Trivia and Information

More information from the National Archives:

Related Web Sites

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