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Constitution of the United States - Constitution Of The United States

rights document bill ratified

The U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787 in Philadelphia by delegates to the CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. The delegates decided soon after their arrival that the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION could not be saved through amendment and that an entirely new constitution should be written to replace it. The document that emerged from the convention was the product of a series of compromises.

Once the Constitution had been offered to the states for ratification, critics opposed it on several grounds. Most importantly, they argued that the Constitution created an overly powerful central government that could abuse the rights of citizens and criticized the Framers for failing to include a bill of rights. To win over the opposition, the supporters of the Constitution agreed that the enactment of a bill of rights should be among the business of the first Congress. By June 21, 1788, the requisite nine states had ratified the Constitution. Virginia and New York ratified it a few days later, while North Carolina did so in 1789 and Rhode Island agreed to the Constitution in 1790.

Since the Constitution went into effect in 1789, only twenty-seven amendments have been added to correct deficiencies in the original document or to adapt it to changing needs and principles.

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