Q:

In what year did the constitution go into effect?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is it so difficult to amend the Constitution?

    A:

    The Constitution is difficult to amend because it requires a supermajority of either members of Congress or a supermajority of state legislatures to propose a new amendment for ratification. Even after acquiring the requisite two-thirds of either group to propose the amendment, it then has to be ratified by 75 percent of the states, either by their legislatures or state Constitutional conventions.

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  • Q:

    What is a flexible constitution?

    A:

    A flexible constitution is one that is easily influenced by change and is readily amended by general legislation. The United States has a flexible constitution because it contains amendments and has a set process by which additions are accepted in a standardized and straightforward manner. The more convoluted an amendment process, the more rigid it is considered.

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  • Q:

    What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Constitution?

    A:

    The United States Constitution provides the foundation for a strong central government with authority to regulate interstate disputes and commerce, enforce citizens' rights and defend from hostile forces. However, much of it is too vague to provide definitive interpretations. It can be amended, but the process is slow. Citizens vote for representatives directly but don't get a direct vote on policies. There is no way to address bipartisanship.

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  • Q:

    How was the Constitution ratified?

    A:

    The U.S. Constitution was ratified through votes in the individual state legislatures. According to Article VII of the Constitution, it would go into effect when nine of the 13 state legislatures approved the document.

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