21 June 2017

History for the day: 1788: Constitution ratified

From History.com:


On 21 June, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.
By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederation were apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on 25 May 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On 17 September 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new constitution, which created a strong Federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the then-thirteen states.
Beginning on 7 December, five states– Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut– ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve un-delegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February of 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On 21 June 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the Constitution would begin on 4 March 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.
On 25 September 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted twelve amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November of 1789, North Carolina became the twelveth state to ratify the Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed Federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On 29 May 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original thirteen colonies joined the United States. The US Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.
Rico says we're lucky to have it, even with the on-going arguments over the Second Amendment... 

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