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
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress
of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient
for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying
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.]
Gunning Bedford jun
Dan of ST ThoS. Jenifer
James Madison Jr.
RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
WM. SamL. Johnson
Attest William Jackson Secretary
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
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
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.
Note 12: The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United
States (and two others, one of which failed of ratification and the
other which later became the 27th amendment) were proposed to the
legislatures of the several States by the First Congress on September
25, 1789. The first ten amendments were ratified by the following
States, and the notifications of ratification by the Governors thereof
were successively communicated by the President to Congress: New
Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina,
December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire,
January 25, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February
24, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790;
Vermont, November 3, 1791; and Virginia, December 15, 1791.
Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791.
The amendments were subsequently ratified by the legislatures of
Massachusetts, March 2, 1939; Georgia, March 18, 1939; and Connecticut,
April 19, 1939.
Note 13: Only the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th articles of amendment
had numbers assigned to them at the time of ratification.
Note 14: This sentence has been superseded by section 3 of amendment
Note 15: See amendment XIX and section 1 of amendment XXVI.
Note 16: Repealed by section 1 of amendment XXI.
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