Us Constitution Party History

Throughout American history, the government has written many important documents and adopted various policies to establish and guarantee the rights of the American people.

Perhaps one of the most important documents associated with the U.S. government is the Constitution, which serves as the supreme law of the land in the United States. The process of ratifying (approving and enacting) the Constitution began in 1787 after the document was completed at the Philadelphia Convention. However, many states did not agree to ratify it right away. Nine of the 13 states eventually agreed to the Constitution, setting the new government in motion.

Originally, the Constitution consisted of a preamble and seven articles. Over the years, as the U.S. government expanded and started to deal with more complicated issues, amendments were added to refine it. Today, the U.S. Constitution has 27.

The first 10 amendments, commonly known as the Bill of Rights, give power to the people and limit the powers of the federal government. The Bill of Rights, among other provisions, allows for:

  • freedom of press
  • freedom of speech
  • right to assemble
  • right to keep and bear arms
  • right to petition, also known as the writ of habeas corpus
  • separation of church and state (Along with stating that Congress may not establish one religion over the other, this amendment also allows for freedom of religion).

Another important document of American history is the Declaration of Independence that was adopted on July 4, 1776. As the name suggests, it declared the independence of the 13 colonies of the United States from Britain. The adoption of the Declaration of Independence is the reason that Americans celebrate the Fourth of July each year.

This section covers the key documents in U.S. history. Learn about all aspects of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence in these articles.

The Constitution

The Constitution originally included only a preamble and seven articles, which outlined the separation of powers between the three branches of government, namely the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Also, it set forth limits and provisions on the power of states and government and outlined the processes of writing and ratifying amendments to the Constitution.

While the Constitutional amendments may seem like a foreign concept, they do, in fact, shape the lives of all Americans. Specifically, Constitutional amendments are responsible for giving women the right to vote, ending slavery, limiting presidential terms and much more.

Learn about the amendments, the ratification and the creation of the U.S. Constitution.

Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was created to give more freedom and liberty to American people. Encompassing the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was created between 1789 and 1791.

Learn about how the Bill of Rights was created and added to the Constitution, what freedoms it grants, how it limits the power of the federal government and more with our comprehensive look at the Bill of Rights.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence, principally written by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted in 1776. This document was a unanimous declaration from all 13 colonies, which expressed their desire to be separate and independent from the Kingdom of Britain. The Declaration of Independence outlines the colonies’ justifications for desiring independence.

While Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, most delegates signed it on Aug. 2. Learn more about what this document did for the United States, how it was formed and more in our in-depth look at the Declaration of Independence.