The U.S. Constitution went into effect on March 4, 1789, by agreement of the Confederation Congress. It was written during the Constitutional Convention, held from May to September in 1787, and it was signed on Sept. 17, 1787.
The delay from the signing of the Constitution to its enactment occurred because it had to be ratified, a process that allowed the people to decide whether it represented their interests. The Constitution created the foundation for the country’s system of government. It gave power to the people by separating the government into three branches, dividing power between the state and federal governments, and it established checks and balances to prevent too much power from going to any one person or branch.Learn More
Before life, liberty or property can be taken away by the state, an individual has to be afforded the protection of due process of law. The Fifth and 14th Amendments safeguard fair legal process prior to any taking, according to Cornell University Law School.Full Answer >
The Constitution's framers intended to alleviate many of the inefficiencies of the Articles of Confederation, but in so doing, they created a system that many felt threatened the sovereignty of the states and the freedom of the American people. Those who favored ratification of the Constitution were known as federalists; those who opposed its ratification were known as anti-federalists.Full Answer >
The 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that neither the nation nor any individual state can deny or change the voting rights of an American citizen, regardless of his race, color or past experiences as a slave. It was designed to give African-American men the right to vote.Full Answer >
The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 15, 1791. Virginia was the 10th state to ratify the Bill of Rights, which provided the majority needed for legal ratification.Full Answer >