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Constitution Day

Why Constitution Day?

This drawing shows a quill pen, some pages, and the words We the People.

Maybe you've never thought about it, but when the United States won its war for independence from Great Britain, it wasn't a fully-formed nation, complete with Constitution and three-branched government.  A lot of thought, debate, and working together had to happen for the delegates at the Constitutional Convention to come up with the document that has guided us for more than 200 years.

The Convention delegates were some of the most respected statesmen and businessmen of the day, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and George Mason.

On September 17, 1787, the final draft of the Constitution was signed.  Although only 39 of the 55 people who attended the Convention actually signed it (some were protesting its lack of a bill of rights), the document's majority approval after months of work was a relief.  It was still up to the states to accept it, but the first major step had been taken—an occasion to celebrate!

Constitution Trivia Quiz

Get to know the Constitution and some of the men who signed it!

  1. What does the Constitution contain?
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    These rules were written for reasons like establishing "a more perfect union."

  3. Why was it necessary to write a Constitution?
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    Under the Articles, the national government was too weak and ineffective to keep the nation together.

  5. Who was called "the sage of the Constitutional Convention"?
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    Franklin was the oldest member of the Convention and the first to suggest that the meetings begin with prayer.

  7. Who was called "Father of the Constitution"?
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    Madison played the biggest part in having the Constitution written.

  9. Who was president of the Constitutional Convention?
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    Washington was chosen by unanimous vote.

  11. What did the Connecticut Compromise settle?
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    The Compromise set the members of the Senate at two per state and the members of the House of Representatives according to each state's population.

  13. Which was the first state to approve (ratify) the Constitution?
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    Being the first state to ratify the Constitution gives Delaware its nickname, "The First State."

  15. Was Thomas Jefferson a member of the Constitutional Convention?
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    Jefferson was not available, serving as Minister to France at the time of the Convention.

  17. In what year was the Constitution written?
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    It was composed in Pennsylvania's State House, where the Declaration of Independence was also drafted 11 years before.

  19. When did the Constitution go into effect?
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    The last vote needed for ratification came in on June 21, 1788.

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