The Constitution of the United States
The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence
Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of
Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at
first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum
of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and
debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the
existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame
of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the
delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new
Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to
allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress
to allow each state, and how these representatives should be
elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators. The
work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of
cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.
Images of the Constitution
Click the thumbnails below to view larger versions of the 4 pages
of the Constitution.
High-Resolution versions of the Charters of Freedom documents
area available on the High-Resolution
More Pages in this Exhibit
The article "A
More Perfect Union" is an in-depth look at the Constitutional
Convention and the ratification process.
and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution" presents dozens of
fascinating facts about the Constitution.
Page two of the U.S. Constitution was unveiled in its new
encasement on September 15, 2000. Read remarks issued at the
ceremony by John
W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States, and Dr.
More Charters of Freedom Resources
Be sure to visit the Founding Fathers Page
that offers biographies of the 55 delegates to the