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When and Where Was the US Constitution Written?

A close up of a flag from when the US Constitution was written.

When Was the US Constitution Written?

The United States Constitution was written from May to September 1787. Since then, 27 amendments have been changed or added to the Constitution.

Where Was the US Constitution Written?

The Constitution was written and signed in Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania State House Assembly Room. This room is now known as Independence Hall to remember the events that took place there.

Photo of a vintage copy of the US Constitution
United States Constitution.

The Founding Fathers

When reading and evaluating the Constitution, it is clear that such a document could only have come about through extensive discussions by highly educated leaders.

Sculpture of George Washington at Mount Rushmore
George Washington, Mount Rushmore.

Men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison set out to create a unique and unprecedented document that would ensure a free state and one that was powerful enough to defend itself.

A Perfect Union?

This careful balancing act between state and federal power makes a union founded upon a carefully constructed constitution.

The Constitution’s value cannot be overstated, but when and where did this vital writing process happen?

To answer, it’s important to understand the historical context that led to the writing of the Constitution.

What Led to the Writing of the Constitution?

The US Constitution was written following the American Revolutionary War, in which the 13 colonies fought for their right to self-governance. The British Empire had expanded and attempted to tax the American colonies without sufficiently representing their interests in government.

Revolutionary War reenactment
Reenactment of Revolutionary War.

During this time, ideas about a government existing to serve the people became popular, and the Revolutionary War broke out to fight for these ideals.

The war lasted from 1775 to 1783, with the Declaration of Independence being pronounced in 1776. The Declaration of Independence was when the American colonies declared themselves independent, self-governing states.

Purpose of the US Constitution

In 1781, the Articles of Confederation were ratified. The Articles of Confederation are regarded as the first American Constitution ever written and were designed to set out how the American government’s functions.

Photo of the United States Capitol
United States Congress building in Washington, DC.

Although each of the 13 colonies was considered an independent nation-state, they were unified under Congress and known as the United States of America. Congress was given certain powers, including regulating currency and conducting foreign affairs.

In 1783, after winning the Revolutionary War with Great Britain, it became clear that America needed a more powerful central government to protect America’s freedom from foreign tyrants. A constitution was created to create a free and stable nation that protected the rights of the people.

When Was the US Constitution Written?

In 1787, the drafting began on the United States Constitution. The Constitutional Convention was opened in May that year, and the writing process began. Fifty-five delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies attended, and Founding Father George Washington was unanimously voted president of the Constitutional Convention.

Having become a war hero who led the colonies to victory over the British, Washington was considered the right person to oversee proceedings.

Other key contributors

Other well-educated leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton also attended the Convention. After fierce debate regarding which powers should be given to independent states and afforded to the federal government, the US Constitution was written down.

Photo of statue of Thomas Jefferson
President Thomas Jefferson.

In September 1787, the United States Constitution was signed. However, it still needed to be ratified by at least nine states to become enshrined in law. Ratification didn’t happen until June 1788, but the Constitution has remained in force ever since.

When Was the US Constitution Ratified?

Although written in 1787, the US Constitution wasn’t complete. The Founding Fathers left the option to suggest amendments. James Madison first put forward such amendments in September 1789. He introduced 19 amendments.

Statues of President James Madison and Dolley Madison
James Madison statue.

A successful amendment must pass through Congress and be ratified by at least three-fourths of the states. Out of 19 introduced, 12 were ratified and included in the Constitution, 10 of which became the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights

The ten rights protected by the Bill of Rights are: 

  • Freedom of speech
  • Right to bear arms
  • No quartering of soldiers
  • Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Right to due process of law
  • Right to a speedy and public trial
  • Right of trial by jury
  • Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment
  • Other rights of the people
  • Powers given to the states

Further Amendments to the United States Constitution

Beyond these 10, just seven other amendments have been ratified and become part of the United States Constitution. The most recent amendment was ratified in 1992, so you could say that the US Constitution was written between 1787 and 1992.

Thousands of amendments have been introduced but getting them ratified is no easy task. It could be many decades before we see another change to the Constitution.

Where was the US Constitution Written?

The American Constitution was written in Philadelphia. The Constitutional Convention, known as the Philadelphia Convention, was how the Founding Fathers gathered to debate, write, and sign the Constitution.

Photo of Independence Hall
Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Specifically, they did so in the Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House. The Founding Fathers chose this venue because it’s where the Declaration of Independence was signed 11 years earlier.

This building has since had its name changed to Independence Hall in honor of its significance in the US’s history.

How Long Did It Take To Write the Original Constitution?

The writing of the original Constitution didn’t happen overnight. It occurred over many months of high-pressure debate and depended on the cooperation of many important people.

Although the writing happened in one room, the completed document resulted from many years of fighting against tyranny in favor of freedom.

An ongoing process

Even after its initial ratification, amendments mean the Constitution is continuously being written. The debate continues, and suggestions for changes are constantly being raised.

The United States government‘s current role is to protect the US Constitution, making changes if it can be widely agreed upon as a necessary amendment. This process has produced an almost perfect document that has protected US citizens for over two centuries.

When and Where Was the US Constitution Written Quiz

If you would like to download a PDF with our quiz, then please go to: 

Download the quiz PDF

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When & Where Was the US Constitution Written Quiz

9 Responses

  1. I have never read this before, and with the fraudulent things going on in all the states regarding the voter fraud, it is important to remember what the constitution is, what it stands for, and that our vote should and MUST COUNT!

  2. Agreement to have a fair and responsible government that is not assailed by isms, and factors such as genuine real parties, D and R, have both the contributing factors to the result of divisions, it is true to divide is to conquer, so be warned.

    That the way of politics in not the way of the inner world, where we can stand unmoved and because we are sovern within. Learning to see that the world is in a civilizational emergency is not easy. Yet the predicament we are faced with is going to get more endarked, we are in the era of false liberty, false ideologies, false isms, and very soon, well all hell might break loose. To be mild about its, unassailable.

  3. In light of the attitudes and feelings of individuals over the past year, I fear that some would try to pick the constitution apart. I hope this is not the case. The Constitution has worked for me for my entire life. I have served in the military, served on jury duty, and have always voted. I do not understand the current mood of many of the American people. History tells us that when the constitution was ratified, a woman stopped Benjamin Franklin and ask ” what have you given us “? His reply was; “we have given you a Republic if you can keep it”! My hope is that we can keep it!

  4. I am more concerned about the obvious fraud and crime of the current, thankfully, outgoing president than the mythical fraud fantasies that he has foisted upon gullible people. The lunatic is leaving, but the ignorance of the people remains. This site is a step toward educating them. There was no fraud in this election. That has been objectively proven many times. People believe what they want to believe. We need to teach critical thinking skills in our schools to avoid this madness in future generations. Ignorance and stupidity, coupled with fear and bigotry will doom us, otherwise. We already have seen horrible carnage this past year as a legacy of this monster and his naive supporters. Let’s get it right forever.
    I pray that I am not Cassandra.

  5. Was Shay’s rebellion a direct cause of the creation of the Constitution and the new Government? Also, what about the presidents before George Washington? Was the Constitution seen as a refounding of the United States?

  6. I beg to differ with the individual who’s comments pertain to election fraud. I would like for you to attempt to observe a vote checker checking ballots from a distance of 20 feet or more. Do this by placing a book on a table and then try to read the book.
    I think you will find it to be impossible.
    Also, how would you react to witnessing voter fraud and reporting it only to be threatened with loss of your job or threats of bodily harm against your self, your children or spouse. These things occurred in at least three states.
    In our next election we should bring in the United Nations Election Watch Teams to help insure our elections.
    We are no longer capable or willing to self regulate our elections.

  7. David Gradwell, I hope you are happy with your senile president. Do you think we are better off now than two years ago? I am interested in the southern border situation. Do you have any comments on this? Thank you.

  8. “Beyond these 10, just seven other amendments have been ratified and become part of the United States Constitution. The most recent amendment was ratified in 1992, so you could say that the US Constitution was written between 1787 and 1992”

    Should not if be “seventeen” other amendments for a total of twenty-seven current amendments?

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