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U.S. Constitution

Constitution of the United States of America

[Preamble]

Article I

Article II

Article III

Article IV

Article V

Article VI

Article VII

Amendments to the Constitution of the United States

(Historical text has been edited to conform to contemporary American usage. The bracketed words are designations for your convenience; they are not part of the Constitution.)

The oldest federal constitution in existence was framed by a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states in Philadelphia in May 1787, Rhode Island failing to send a delegate. George Washington presided over the session, which lasted until September 17, 1787. The draft (originally a preamble and seven Articles) was submitted to all thirteen states and was to become effective when ratified by nine states. It went into effect on the first Wednesday in March 1789, having been ratified by New Hampshire, the ninth state to approve, on June 21, 1788. The states ratified the Constitution in the following order:

DelawareDecember 7, 1787
Pennsylvania December 12, 1787
New Jersey December 18, 1787
Georgia January 2, 1788
Connecticut January 9, 1788
MassachusettsFebruary 6, 1788
Maryland April 28, 1788
South Carolina May 23, 1788
New Hampshire June 21, 1788
Virginia June 25, 1788
New York July 26, 1788
North Carolina November 21, 1789
Rhode Island May 29, 1790

See also: U.S. Constitution Primer


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