The framers of the Constitution drafted it in response to failings of the U.S. government under the Articles of Confederation. Many political leaders attributed the widespread economic disaster to the lack of centralized regulation of commerce. National impotence in the face of rebellion seemed indicative of the need for a stronger central government.Know More
The first government of the United States was outlined in the Articles of Confederation. Under this system, the states operated as sovereign nations. The weak national government, which consisted of nothing more than a unicameral legislature, did not have the authority to tax the states, settle interstate disputes or effectively support a military.
Following the Revolutionary War, the inadequacies of the national government became apparent. Inflation was high, businesses were closing and farmers were losing their property. The ineptitude of the national government became more clear after the famous incident known as Shays' Rebellion. Daniel Shays was a Massachusetts farmer and former captain in the Continental Army. Dissatisfied with the hardships confronting farmers, he led a group of armed men in preventing the local circuit court from sitting, and even threatened to raid the arsenal at Springfield. The inefficiency in quelling this rebellion, and the fear of anarchy it provoked, convinced many that the Articles of Confederation needed amending. This led to the drafting of the Constitution in 1787.Learn more about The Constitution
Neither John Adams nor Thomas Jefferson attended the Constitutional Convention, which opened on May 25, 1787. At the time, Thomas Jefferson was serving as the U.S. minister in France, while John Adams was a U.S. minister in Great Britain. The convention was held in the then-Pennsylvania State House.Full Answer >
Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution defines the relationship of the states toward one another, and their relationship to the federal government. Section 1 contains the "Full Faith and Credit Clause," which requires each state to extend recognition to the public and legal acts of other states.Full Answer >
The U.S. Constitution was finally ratified, or approved, by all states on May 29, 1790. Although the last of the original 13 states did not ratify the Constitution until 1790, the Constitution had already taken effect in March 1789, when the ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified the Constitution.Full Answer >
Important amendments to the U.S. Constitution include the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Sixth Amendment, 10th Amendment and 19th Amendment. The first four of these are a part of the original 10 amendments of the Bill of Rights. These amendments cover topics ranging from religion, speech, fair trial and women's rights.Full Answer >