Identify the steps required to ratify the Constitution Describe arguments the framers raised in support of a strong national government and counterpoints raised by the Anti-Federalists On September 17,the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia voted to approve the document they had drafted over the course of many months.
United States Government The Constitution of the United States is the central instrument of American government and the supreme law of the land. For years it has guided the evolution of governmental institutions and has provided the basis for political stability, individual freedom, economic growth, and social progress.
The American Constitution is the world's oldest written constitution in force, one that has served as the model for a number of other constitutions around the world. The Constitution owes its staying power to its simplicity and flexibility.
Originally designed in the late 18th century to provide a framework for governing 4 million people in 13 very different states along America's Atlantic coast, its basic provisions were so soundly conceived that, with only 27 amendments, it now serves the needs of more than million Americans in 50 even more diverse states that stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.
The path to the Constitution was neither straight nor easy.
A draft document emerged inbut only after intense debate and six years of experience with an earlier federal union. The 13 British colonies in America declared their independence from their motherland in A year before, war had broken out between the colonies and Britain, a war for independence that lasted for six bitter years.
The compact, designated the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union," was adopted by a congress of the states in and formally signed in July The Articles became binding when they were ratified by the 13th state, Maryland, in March The Articles of Confederation devised a loose association among the states and set up a federal government with very limited powers.
In such critical matters as defense, public finance, and trade, the federal government was at the mercy of the state legislatures.
It was not an arrangement conducive to stability or strength.
Within a short time the weakness of the confederation was apparent to all. Politically and economically, the new nation was close to chaos. In the words of George Washington, who would become the first president of the United States inthe 13 states were united only "by a rope of sand.
In February the Continental Congress, the legislative body of the republic, issued a call for the states to send delegates to Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, to revise the Articles. The Constitutional Convention convened on May 25,in Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence had been adopted 11 years earlier, on July 4, Although the delegates had been authorized only to amend the Articles of Confederation, they pushed aside the Articles and proceeded to construct a charter for a wholly new, more centralized form of government.
The new document, the Constitution, was completed September 17,and was officially adopted March 4, The 55 delegates who drafted the Constitution included most of the outstanding leaders, or Founding Fathers, of the new nation. They represented a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and stations in life.
All agreed, however, on the central objectives expressed in the preamble to the Constitution:This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary .
State-by-State Ratification. Each state was to hold a convention to debate, and ratify or reject, the Constitution.
The Constitution was proposed in September , and by year’s end states that were in favor (including Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut) had quickly ratified it. These three documents, known collectively as the Charters of Freedom, have secured the rights of the American people for more than two and a quarter centuries and are considered instrumental to the founding and philosophy of the United States.
The Preamble to the Constitution has been largely ignored by lawyers and courts through American history. Rarely has a Supreme Court decision relied on it, even as a guide in interpreting the Constitution.
The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, , as one of the Reconstruction caninariojana.comly one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War.
Constitutional Principles and Provisions. LEARNING OBJECTIVES. By the end of this section, you will be able to: Article VI includes a crucial provision that endorses the move away from a loose confederation to a national government superior to the states.