#AceHistoryNews says that The United States Constitution was written in 1787 during the Philadelphia Convention. After ratification in eleven states, in 1789 its elected officers of government assembled in New York City, replacing the earlier 1781 Articles of Confederation government.
Following its establishment, the original Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times.
The meaning of the Constitution is interpreted and extended by judicial review in the federal courts. An original copy of the parchments is held at the National Archives Building.
Two alternative plans were developed in Convention. The nationalist majority, soon to be called “Federalists,” put forth the Virginia Plan, a consolidated government based on proportional representation among the states by population.
The “old patriots,” later called “Anti-Federalists,” advocated the New Jersey Plan, a purely federal proposal, based on providing each state with equal representation.
The Connecticut Compromise allowed for both plans to work together. Other controversies developed regarding slavery and a Bill of Rights in the original document.
The drafted Constitution was submitted to the Confederation Congress. It in turn forwarded the Constitution as drafted to the states for ratification by the Constitutional method proposed.
The Federalist Papers provided background and justification for the Constitution. Some states agreed to ratify the Constitution only if the amendments that were to become the Bill of Rights would be taken up immediately by the new government, and they were duly proposed in the first session of the First Congress.
Once the Articles Congress certified that eleven states had ratified the Constitution, elections were held, the new government began on March 4, 1789, and the Articles Congress dissolved itself.
Later Amendments address individual liberties and freedoms, federal relationships, election procedures, terms of office, expanding the electorate, ending slavery, financing government, consumption of alcohol and Congressional pay.
Criticism over the life of the Constitution has centred on expanding democracy and states rights.