The Constitution was not the first established document of government for the United States, it was actually the Articles of Confederation. A document calling for “inter-colonial collaboration,”-friendship between the states. There was fear of a centralized government being too powerful and the concern for what happened in Britain to happen again was prevalent, so ALL power was in the states. They had their own militia’s, taxes, commerce with no checks and balances. This idea obviously wouldn’t last long, because nothing was overseeing and monitoring the states actions and a war between states was brewing. Daniel Shay, Revolutionary War Veteran, lead a rebellion, known as “Shay’s Rebellion.” This rebellion was against the state of Massachusetts in protest that no one was holding the states accountable and that the non-wealthy citizens were going broke, because of this. This rebellion spurred a strong reaction, and in May 1787, a convention was held to ratify the Articles of Confederation.
By 1790 the United States Constitution became the supreme law of the land, and replaced the Articles of Confederation.
The Constitution is composed of just 4,400 words, it is the shortest and oldest Constitution of any government in the world. The Constitution consists of 7 articles. The balance of powers are established in the first 3 articles, addressing the three separate branches of the federal government, remember School House Rock 😉 -The Executive Branch (President), The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court), and The Legislative Branch (Congress-Senate and House of Reps). Not allowing the states too much power and definitely not allowing the Federal Government too much power. Thank God for checks and balances! The 4th, 5th, and 6th Articles address the states and their governing authority and rights. And the 7th Article addresses the steps taken in ratifying the Constitution.
The Constitution was actually strongly opposed by Patrick Henry-you know the “give me liberty or give me death” guy- whom I love! He did not support the Constitution, because it did not have individual rights originally composed in it. Thus the Bill of Rights was formed-the first 10 amendments of the Constitution-which are VITAL!!!
I encourage you to know these Rights!
|1||Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.|
|2||Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia.|
|3||No quartering “housing” of soldiers|
|4||Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.|
|5||Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy.|
|6||Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial.|
|7||Right of trial by jury in civil cases.|
|8||Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments.|
|9||Other rights of the people.|
|10||Powers reserved to the states.
For more interesting Facts on the Constitution visit: ConstitutionFacts.com
Enjoy your Saturday!