In 1787 a group of men went to a special meeting called the Constitutional Convention.
The men were from 12 of the 13 states, and they wrote a constitution for our new government . United States
A constitution is a list of rules and laws that explain what our government can and cannot do.
The meetings were held in secret, so all of the men could talk freely about their ideas.
George Washington was chosen as the leader of the Constitutional Convention.
The oldest man to attend the Constitutional Convention was Benjamin Franklin, who was 81-years-old.
During the convention, 55 men talked, argued, and made many important decisions. George Mason Alexander Hamilton
Thirty-nine men signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787. John Langdon Nicholas Gilman Nathaniel Gorham Rufus King William Samuel Johnson Roger Sherman Alexander Hamilton William Livingston David Brearly William Paterson Jonathan Dayton Benjamin Franklin Thomas Mifflin Robert Morris George Clymer Thomas Fitzsimons Jared Ingersoll James Wilson Gouverneur Morris George Read Gunning Bedford, Jr. John Dickinson Richard Bassett Jacob Broom James McHenry Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Daniel Carroll John Blair James Madison, Jr. William Blount Richard Dobbs Spaight Hugh Williamson John Rutledge Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Charles Pinckney Pierce Butler William Few Abraham Baldwin George Washington
The states were then asked to vote for or against the Constitution. • Several states would not vote for the Constitution unless a bill of rights was added.
A bill of rights lists the rights or freedoms citizens have such as: • the freedom to say what they want to say • the freedom to worship as they please • the right to a fair trial
Those who were in favor of the Constitution promised that a bill of rights would be added after the Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was added, as promised, in 1791.
The Constitution has 3 parts: • The Preamble is the beginning of the Constitution and explains why we have a Constitution. • The Articles explain how our government is set up and how the Constitution can be changed. (There are 7 articles.) • The Amendments are changes made to the Constitution. The first 10 amendments are called the Bill of Rights. (There are a total of 27 amendments.)
Our Constitution is now over 200-years-old.You can see the Constitution of the United States in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.