The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution was fully written by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. But when was the Constitution ratified? This post will answer that question!
When was the Constitution Ratified?
Before the Constitution would be adopted by the American people, nine out of the thirteen states (at the time) had to ratify the document. Ratification of the Constitution took place on June 21, 1788 when the ninth state (New Hampshire) agreed to ratify the Constitution. Eventually, all thirteen states would ratify the Constitution. The closest votes were in Rhode Island (34 yes to 32 no) and New York (30 yes to 27 no). Once the ninth state ratified the Constitution, the Congress set a timetable to begin government under the Constitution. The government eventually began operations on March 4, 1789.
The first ten amendments were added to the Constitution in 1791, as promised in 1788. These amendments are known as the United States Bill of Rights. The amendments promise a right to keep and bear arms, a right to a jury trial, prohibit excessive bail being set and forbid cruel and unusual punishment. In addition, the Supreme Court found in the 1803 case Marbury v Madison that it had to right to examine legislation and determine whether it was unconstitutional. This provides a ‘check’ to ensure that the government cannot pass laws outside the constitutional boundaries.
Did you know… the original handwritten United States Constitution is on display at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. The writers and transcribers (the main writer was Jacob Shallus) were paid $30 for their work!