Before the U.S. Constitution came in to existence, the thirteen original colonies (first states) were governed loosely under the Articles of Confederation, our first constitution. However, due to several weakness of the Articles of Confederation, all the states called for a meeting to discuss changes to be made, eventually recreating a whole new Constitution. This meeting took place in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, and was attended by thirty nine delegates from thirteen of the states (National Constitution Center). After extensive deliberations, the U.S. Constitution was signed on September 17th, 1787. However, even though it was signed, it did not come into effect until the required number of states ratified the constitution, or accepted it in their individual states (National Constitution Center). The Bill of Rights, which protect certain freedoms from government encroachment, were not originally part of the Constitution and were added later.
So why is the Constitution important? The U.S. Constitution is important because it not only establishes and sets out a framework for the role and scope of the federal government, but also protects our basic freedoms that every person has and that cant be taken from them (National Constitution Center).
Did You Know? : Some Interesting Facts
- The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution.
- The oldest delegate at the convention (meeting) was Benjamin Franklin, who was 81 at the time.
Want to learn more about the Constitution? Check out some of the books listed below that are available in the library: