UNI TED STATES CONST I TUT ION
George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention. After a long struggle and many compromises, the resulting document was what we now know today as the United States Constitution. At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, it is said that Benjamin Franklin saw the symbol of a half sun on George Washington’s chair and said, “I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun.” The Constitution was then referred to several states on Sept. 28, 1787 for ratification (approval). By June 21, 1788, the required nine out of the 13 states had ratified it. The new federal government was established at New York City, which was the nation’s capital before it became Washington, D.C., on April 30, 1789. On this day, George Washington delivered his first inaugural address to a joint session of Congress. The newly elected president delivered the speech in a deep, low voice that revealed what one observer called “manifest embarrassment.” Washington had not sought the office of president and was humbled by the request to serve.
Introduction to the Constitution
T he United States Constitution has served as a model for many other countries. This founding document has stood the test of time in creating a government that has represented “ We the People ” for more than 200 years while preserving individual liberty. ON MAY 25, 1787, delegates from the various states met in Philadelphia to discuss the drawing up of a Constitution. This is a document that establishes the principles and laws of a nation, determines the powers and duties of the government, and guarantees certain rights to the people. The framers of the Constitution wanted to come up with something to replace the Articles of Confederation, which did not provide needed powers for a central government. Also, under the Articles of Confederation, the congress was a unicameral legislature with only one branch comprising congressmen appointed by state legislatures rather than elected by the people. GEORGE WASHINGTON , PRES IDENT ( 1789 - 1797 ) ❝ If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
FREEDOM FACT James Madison is known as the father of the Constitution because of his pivotal role in the document’s drafting as well as its ratification. Madison also drafted the the Bill of Rights.
Because the Articles of Confederation did not establish a federal (national) government, the separate states were arguing amongst themselves. All this squabbling resulted in the decision to call together a meeting, which became known as the Constitutional Convention.
"Portrait of James Madison" by John Vanderlyn
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