A brief history.
By Mike Kapic September 17, 2018.
America’s first constitution was written at Hartford CT in 1639 to give civil stability to the small community. It was then amended to include what would become New Haven CT in 1643. It was completed using a convention process that would occur many times across the colonies, and then the states, over the coming centuries.
The United States first attempt at a constitution began on June 12, 1776 when a committee led by John Dickson prepared and presented a draft of the Articles of Confederation on July 12, 1776 to the Second Continental Congress.
While still being debated the document was put into use beginning in 1777 as a de facto system until it was finally ratified on March 1, 1781 by the thirteen states.
Over the next six years the Second Congress remained in session and the country tried to use and enforce the Articles of Confederation, but major problems persisted. Issues of winning and funding the war, mixed currencies, haphazard trade, and wrestling with 13 individual sovereign states who did pretty much what they wanted to with minimal leadership from the federal level, continued. The federal was composed of a single-house Congress with a president that changed every year.
The chaotic nature of the government was moving the country toward collapse and the decision was made to reform the Articles of Confederation and the government. State legislature began calling for a convention, “to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the federal government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”
Thus, on May 4, 1787, 55 commissioners began assembling to reform the government. They completed the task on September 17, 1787. The results included a new name, some of the original Article’s content, and a structured federal government that became the envy of the world.
The framers of the US Constitution so strongly believed in the new republic and the sovereignty of the people that they included Article VII, asking the people to accept the Constitution and the new form of government by ratifying it in their states by convention. Thirteen state conventions by the people ensued and all, eventually, approved it, the last being Rhode Island on May 29, 1790.
Happy 231st Birthday, US Constitution. And God Bless its Framers and the conventions of states that approved it.