Article 7 of the Constitution

Article 7 of the constitution describes how many of the States ratification are needed for the constitution

Article 7

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

Summary of Article 7

It is generally agreed that what the Founding Fathers created in the United States Constitution is the most magnificent government in the world.

A reason for this is:

Because it was intended to preserve the American society and the American spirit, not to transform it or destroy it.

– Mark Levin

The final Article

Article VII of the United States Constitution is the final Article and could only be described as short and sweet. Nevertheless, it addressed a concern that all our Founding Fathers had.

Lots of time and effort went into constructing the United States Constitution that would stand as the standard for American justice and liberty for hopefully the rest of time, but there was one minor issue.

Would enough states agree to abide by this Constitution and decide to make it the supreme law of the land?

Article 7 was created to make it so that only nine out of the original thirteen states’ ratification of the Constitution was necessary to make the document valid in the entire United States of America.

Freedom to Decide

Implementing Article 7 in the Constitution further showed how our forefathers envisioned a libertarian nation. 

Independence Hall Assembly Room
Assembly Room at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the United States Constitution was signed.

When 55 state delegates met in secret at the Constitutional Convention on the seventeenth day of September 1787, and 39 signed off on the final draft of the United States Constitution, they could have forced it upon the American populace immediately.

A Founding Father would never do that, though, because the great men who supported the United States Constitution believed in having a free republic where citizens could have a voice in deciding and defining how their nation would be run. 

Thus, they took a risk and left the future of American democracy in the hands of ordinary people.

 

democracy in article 7
Article 7 endorses the idea of democracy by placing the responsibility of ratification on the states.

A precedent-setting Article

In essence, this was the very first referendum held in America, just before the first Presidential election on January 10th, 1789, before George Washington took office. Article VII of the United States Constitution set a precedent for what kind of nation America would always be.

Painting of the Constitutional Convention
39 of 55 delegates signed the US Constitution.

 

Ram Nath Kovind once said,

“Our Constitution gave us rights as citizens of a free democratic nation, but also placed on us the responsibility to always adhere to the central tenets of our democracy – justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.”

Fight for Change

The majority of Americans are very passionate about faith and politics. From the beginning of America’s formation, it has been that way. But, just as we have Democrats and Republicans standing for election, back in 1787, Federalists and Anti-Federalists were standing for election.

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was an ardent Federalist.

Federalists felt that a large government encompassing the entire nation was necessary to unify every person and keep all citizens on the same page regarding the federal government and laws therein.

The Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison Jr, and John Jay and supported by the likes of Nicholas Gilman, set out why the idea of ratification was so important and supported the ideas set out in Article 7 of the Constitution.

Book cover of federalist papers
Downloadable and Printable Version of Federalist Papers

How did the Anti-Federalists feel about a federal government?

You also had the Anti-Federalists who believed that government would work best when scaled down to a local level and limited national authority to preserve individual liberties better.

In a compilation of letters and thoughts called the Anti-Federalist Papers, George Clinton, Robert Yates, and Samuel Bryan collectively expressed the following sentiment of concern:

“Compulsive or treacherous measures to establish any government whatever, will always excite jealousy among a free people: better remain single and alone, than blindly adopt whatever a few individuals shall demand, be they ever so wise. I had rather be a free citizen of the small republic of Massachusetts, than an oppressed subject of the great American empire.”

Maintaining faith in a United States government

Throughout the United States then, people were divided. It makes one wonder how discouraged a Founding Father must have been hearing complaints and comments such as the one mentioned above. 

Still, they kept their faith that they could begin building a better, responsible, free nation that is the America we know today.

Final Ratification

Finally, on June 21st, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to accept the Constitution as the ultimate governance authority to maintain justice and reinforce God-given liberties. 

New Hampshire State Legislature
New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution.

From that point, it would forever be regarded as the supreme law of the land, although it had not been met with unanimous approval or achieved unanimous consent.

It is safe to say that our ancestors had no idea what a monumental time they were living in and how much they had changed the course of history for the better.

Once President George Washington and the vice president began their term on March 4th, 1789, they carried out their duties. He established people to serve in the House and Senate and Judiciary positions. A new republic was forming stronger than any previous attempts at a free nation.

Article 7 Created Independence

Article 7 of the United States Constitution culminated in our forefathers’ great efforts on the long road to independence. Change is never easy but necessary for progress.

Before long, they could see their vision of democracy coming to fruition. A United States government of the people, by the people, and for the people was built upon the backs of brave men who carried out their duty and stood up for what they knew was right.

Safeguarding our liberties

May we not forget these words spoken by Abraham Lincoln:

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

Photo of Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln was all too aware of the importance of the Constitution in protecting our liberties.

Citizens of the United States must remember how far it took to get to where we are now and think twice before attempting to change the text of our Constitution to fit our whims and ideas. For if we forsake our past, we are destined for future disaster.

Watch the following video on Article VII of the United States Constitution:

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