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States, one of the wisest and most statesmanlike systems of government ever

framed by the wisdom of man.

The Federal Convention which framed the Constitution met at Philadelphia

in May, 1787, and completed its work September 17th. The number of delegates

chosen to the convention was sixty-five; ten did not attend; sixteen declined

signing the Constitution, or left the convention before it was ready to be signed;

thirty-nine signed.

Twelve States were represented in the Constitutional Convention, Rhode

Island being the only one that refused to send delegates. The Constitution was

signed September 17, 1787, with the provision that it should go into effect March 4,

1789, if ratified by nine States. The Constitution was ratified by the thirteen

original States in the following order:

Delaware, December 7, 1787, unanimously.

Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787, vote 46 to 23.

New Jersey, December 18, 1787, unanimously.

Georgia, January 2,1788, unanimously.

Connecticut, January 9, 1788, vote 128 to 40.

Massachusetts, February 6, 1788, vote 187 to 168.

Maryland, April 28, 1788, vote 63 to 12.

South Carolina, May 23, 1788, vote 149 to 73.

New Hampshire, June 21, 1788, vote 57 to 46.

Virginia, June 25, 1788, vote 89 to 79.

New York, July 26, 1788, vote 30 to 28.

North Carolina, November 21, 1789, vote 193 to 75.

Rhode Island, May 29, 1790, vote 34 to 32.]

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more

perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide

for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure

the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain

and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Section 1.-All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested

in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate

and House of Representatives.

Section II.-The House of Representatives shall be composed of

members chosen every second year by the people of the several

States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications

requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State


No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained

the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the

United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of

that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the

several States which may be included within this Union, according