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1. What is the United States Constitution?
The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of
America and lays out the framework for the organization of the
United States government and for the relationship of the federal
government with the states, citizens, and all people within the
2. The United States Constitution almost didn't
When delegates of 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island being the
only exception), arrived at the Constitutional Convention, the
purpose was only to revise the Articles of Confederation.
But it was the intention of forward thinking individuals, chief
among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, to push for a
new government and new Constitution rather than fix the existing
3. How long did it take to write the Constitution?
It was drafted in fewer than one hundred working days.
4. No Bill of Rights in the original U.S.
The Constitution was created without a Bill of Rights.
It was signed on September 17, 1787, but within 2
years, the Bill of Rights would be added as the first ten
amendments. Here are all of the amendments:
- The Bill of Rights: First 10 and the 27th
- Scope of Federal Government Power: 11th and 16th
- Federal Elections & Terms: 12th, 17th, 20th,
22nd, and 25th Amendments
- Civil War Amendments: 13th, 14th and 15th
- Suffrage Amendments: 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and
- Prohibition: 18th and 21st Amendments
5. The Constitutional Convention did not end slavery.
The contentious issue of slavery was too controversial to be
resolved in the newly created Constitution. Section 9 of
Article I allowed the continued "importation" of such persons.
It would take the Civil War to end slavery over 70 years later.
Also missing from the Constitution was the right of women to
vote. This was not added until 1920.
6. How many amendments to the Constitution have been
Only one, the 18th (Prohibition) repealed by the 21st.
7. Who was the first signer of the U.S. Constitution.
As President of the Constitutional Convention, George
Washington was the first to sign the newly drafted Constitution.
Surprisingly, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams never signed
- both were away serving their country abroad.
Extra: Where is the U.S. Constitution today?
The United States Constitution is located in the National
Archives Building in Washington D. C.