The US Constitution

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION


(See Note 1)

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United
States of America.

Article. I.

Section 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the
United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen
every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each
State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous
Branch of the State Legislature.

Clause 2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to
the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United
States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which
he shall be chosen.

Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the
several States which may be included within this Union, according to their
respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of
free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and
excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (See Note
2)
 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first
Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term
of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of
Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State
shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be
made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts
eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York
six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia
ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

Clause 4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the
Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such
Vacancies.

Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other
Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators
from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, (See Note 3) for six
Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Clause 2: Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the
first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes.
The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration
of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year,
and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third
may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or
otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive
thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the
Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies. (See Note 4)

Clause 3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age
of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who
shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be
chosen.

Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the
Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Clause 5: The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President
pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the
Office of President of the United States.

Clause 6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When
sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the
President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no
Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members
present.

Clause 7: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to
removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor,
Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall
nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and
Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

Clause 1: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and
Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof;
but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except
as to the Places of chusing Senators.

Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such
Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, (See Note 5) unless
they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Clause 1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and
Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a
Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may
be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and
under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Clause 2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its
Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel
a Member.

Clause 3: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time
to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require
Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question
shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Clause 4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the
Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place
than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

Clause 1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for
their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the
United States. (See Note 6) They shall in all Cases, except Treason,
Felony and Breach of the Peace, beprivileged from Arrest during their Attendance
at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from
the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be
questioned in any other Place.

Clause 2: No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he
was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United
States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been
encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United
States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.

Clause 1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of
Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on
other Bills.

Clause 2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and
the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the
United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it,
with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall
enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If
after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the
Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by
which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that
House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses
shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for
and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.
If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays
excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in
like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment
prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Clause 3: Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the
Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of
Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and
before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being
disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of
Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case
of a Bill.

Section. 8.

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties,
Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and
general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall
be uniform throughout the United States;

Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several
States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on
the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and
fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and
current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective
Writings and Discoveries;

Clause 9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high
Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make
Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that
Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and
naval Forces;

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of
the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia,
and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the
United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the
Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline
prescribed by Congress;

Clause 17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over
such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, byCession of particular
States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the
United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the
Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the
Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful
Buildings;–And

Clause 18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying
into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this
Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or
Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

Clause 1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States
now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the
Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or
duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each
Person.

Clause 2: The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended,
unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in
Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
(See Note 7)

Clause 5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Clause 6: No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or
Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound
to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

Clause 7: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of
Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts
and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Clause 8: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no
Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the
Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of
any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

Clause 1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;
grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any
Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of
Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or
grant any Title of Nobility.

Clause 2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any
Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary
for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and
Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the
Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the
Revision and Controul of the Congress.

Clause 3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of
Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement
or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless
actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

Clause 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United
States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and,
together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as
follows

Clause 2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof
may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and
Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no
Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under
the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Clause 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by
Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the
same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted
for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and
certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States,
directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in
the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the
Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the
greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of
the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have
such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of
Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and
if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said
House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President,
the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having
one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from
two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to
a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having
the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if
there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse
from them by Ballot the Vice President. (See Note 8)

Clause 4: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and
the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same
throughout the United States.

Clause 5: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United
States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to
the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who
shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years
a Resident within the United States.

Clause 6: In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his
Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said
Office, (See Note 9) the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, and the
Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or
Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer
shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the
Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

Clause 7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a
Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period
for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that
Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Clause 8: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the
following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will
faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the
best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United
States.”

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of
the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into
the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing,
of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject
relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to
grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in
Cases of Impeachment.

Clause 2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the
Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,
shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the
supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments
are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law:
but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as
they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads
of Departments.

Clause 3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may
happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall
expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of
the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge
necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both
Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with
Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall
think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall
take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the
Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States,
shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason,
Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article. III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme
Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain
and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold
their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for
their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their
Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity,
arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties
made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and
maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a
Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and
Citizens of another State; (See Note 10)–between Citizens of different
States, –between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of
different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign
States, Citizens or Subjects.

Clause 2: In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and
Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have
original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme
Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such
Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

Clause 3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be
by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall
have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be
at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying
War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses
to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason,
but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except
during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts,
Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by
general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings
shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and
Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Clause 2: A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime,
who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of
the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be
removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

Clause 3: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws
thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation
therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on
Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due. (See Note 11)

Section. 3.

Clause 1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no
new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State;
nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of
States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well
as of the Congress.

Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful
Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to
the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to
Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican
Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on
Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot
be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary,
shall propose Amendments to this
Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the
several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in
either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this
Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several
States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode
of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment
which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall
in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the
first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its
equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

Clause 1: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the
Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under
this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

Clause 2: 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 notwithstanding.

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members
of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both
of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or
Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be
required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United
States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall
be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so
ratifying the Same.

done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the
Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred
and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the
Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

GO WASHINGTON–Presidt. and deputy from Virginia

[Signed also by the deputies of twelve States.]

Delaware

Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett

Jaco: Broom

Maryland

James MCHenry
Dan of ST ThoS. Jenifer
DanL Carroll.

Virginia

John Blair–
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

WM Blount
RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge
Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce
Butler.

Georgia

William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire

John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts

Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Connecticut
WM. SamL. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey

Wil: Livingston
David Brearley.
WM. Paterson.
Jona: Dayton

Pennsylvania

B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
RobT Morris
Geo. Clymer
ThoS.
FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson.
Gouv Morris

Attest William Jackson Secretary

NOTES

Note 1: This text of the Constitution follows the engrossed copy signed by
Gen. Washington and the deputies from 12 States. The small superior figures
preceding the paragraphs designate Clauses, and were not in the original and
have no reference to footnotes.

The Constitution was adopted by a convention of the States on September 17,
1787, and was subsequently ratified by the several States, on the following
dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey,
December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788;
Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May
23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788.

Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.

The Constitution was subsequently ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; New
York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29,
1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.

In May 1785, a committee of Congress made a report recommending an alteration
in the Articles of Confederation, but no action was taken on it, and it was left
to the State Legislatures to proceed in the matter. In January 1786, the
Legislature of Virginia passed a resolution providing for the appointment of
five commissioners, who, or any three of them, should meet such commissioners as
might be appointed in the other States of the Union, at a time and place to be
agreed upon, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to
consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be
necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to
the several States such an act, relative to this great object, as, when ratified
by them, will enable the United States in Congress effectually to provide for
the same. The Virginia commissioners, after some correspondence, fixed the first
Monday in September as the time, and the city of Annapolis as the place for the
meeting, but only four other States were represented, viz: Delaware, New York,
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; the commissioners appointed by Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, North Carolina, and Rhode Island failed to attend. Under the
circumstances of so partial a representation, the commissioners present agreed
upon a report, (drawn by Mr. Hamilton, of New York,) expressing their unanimous
conviction that it might essentially tend to advance the interests of the Union
if the States by which they were respectively delegated would concur, and use
their endeavors to procure the concurrence of the other States, in the
appointment of commissioners to meet at Philadelphia on the Second Monday of May
following, to take into consideration the situation of the United States; to
devise such further provisions as should appear to them necessary to render the
Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union;
and to report such an act for that purpose to the United States in Congress
assembled as, when agreed to by them and afterwards confirmed by the
Legislatures of every State, would effectually provide for the same.

Congress, on the 21st of February, 1787, adopted a resolution in favor of a
convention, and the Legislatures of those States which had not already done so
(with the exception of Rhode Island) promptly appointed delegates. On the 25th
of May, seven States having convened, George Washington, of Virginia, was
unanimously elected President, and the consideration of the proposed
constitution was commenced. On the 17th of September, 1787, the Constitution as
engrossed and agreed upon was signed by all the members present, except Mr.
Gerry of Massachusetts, and Messrs. Mason and Randolph, of Virginia. The
president of the convention transmitted it to Congress, with a resolution
stating how the proposed Federal Government should be put in operation, and an
explanatory letter. Congress, on the 28th of September, 1787, directed the
Constitution so framed, with the resolutions and letter concerning the same, to
“be transmitted to the several Legislatures in order to be submitted to a
convention of delegates chosen in each State by the people thereof, in
conformity to the resolves of the convention.”

On the 4th of March, 1789, the day which had been fixed for commencing the
operations of Government under the new Constitution, it had been ratified by the
conventions chosen in each State to consider it, as follows: Delaware, December
7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787;
Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February
6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire,
June 21, 1788; Virginia, June 25, 1788; and New York, July 26, 1788.

The President informed Congress, on the 28th of January, 1790, that North
Carolina had ratified the Constitution November 21, 1789; and he informed
Congress on the 1st of June, 1790, that Rhode Island had ratified the
Constitution May 29, 1790. Vermont, in convention, ratified the Constitution
January 10, 1791, and was, by an act of Congress approved February 18, 1791,
“received and admitted into this Union as a new and entire member of the United
States.”

Note 2: The part of this Clause relating to the mode of apportionment of
representatives among the several States has been affected by Section 2 of
amendment XIV, and as to taxes on incomes without apportionment by amendment
XVI.

Note 3: This Clause has been affected by Clause 1 of amendment XVII.

Note 4: This Clause has been affected by Clause 2 of amendment XVIII.

Note 5: This Clause has been affected by amendment XX.

Note 6: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXVII.

Note 7: This Clause has been affected by amendment XVI.

Note 8: This Clause has been superseded by amendment XII.

Note 9: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXV.

Note 10: This Clause has been affected by amendment XI.

Note 11: This Clause has been affected by amendment XIII.

This information has been compiled from the U.S. Code. The U.S. Code is published by the
Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Updated September 20, 2004

 

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