Constitutional Timeline


1. Congress proposes the Articles of Confederation

November 15, 1777 - March 1, 1781

Congress proposes to adopt the Articles on this day. A total of 6 drafts were proposed before Congress settled on one in 1777. They sent it to the individual 13 states to ratify the Articles.

2. The Articles of Confederation get ratified

March 1, 1781

The Articles of Confederation get ratified by all thirteen states after almost 4 years. The states had bickered and fought as to whether or not to ratify the Articles.

3. The Constitutional Convention

May 25, 1787 - September 17, 1787

The Constitutional Convention begins in Philadelphia. State delegates from all the states, except Rhode Island, including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, go to Philadelphia to make a new U.S. constitution. After 3 months of debating, they finally come up with a new federal system and sign it. It is called the Constitution.

4. Signing of the Constitution

September 17, 1787

The Constitution of the United States of America was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates that were at the conclusion of the convention.

5. America discovers what was going on in Philadelphia

September 19, 1787

Today’s Pennsylvania Packet finally reveals that the delegates in Philadelphia have been writing a Constitution. They have done away with the Articles.

6. Delaware

December 7, 1787

Today, Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution. This is a big step because it means that the Constitution might be a success in America.

7. Congress agrees to send the Bill of Rights for ratification

September 25, 1789

Anti-Federalists are unhappy with the Constitution and think that it lacks a bill of rights to keep the new government from trampling on individual freedoms. So James Madison introduces a bill of rights and sends it to the states for ratification today.

8. States ratify the Bill of Rights

December 15, 1791

After 2 years, the 13 states agree to ratify the first 10 constitutional amendments, known as the Bill of Rights.

9. States ratify the 11th amendment

February 7, 1795

The states ratify the 11th amendment today. This amendment limited the power of the federal court. This amendment set limits on when a state can be sued.

12th Amendment get ratified

June 15, 1804

The 12th amendment gets ratified, which requires that the president and vice president to be elected together, that way if a democratic president was elected, he wouldn't have a republican vice president.