Table of Contents
Article 7 Overview
Article VII of the United States Constitution reads, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” This article outlines the process by which the Constitution was ratified and became effective between the ratifying states. The significance of Article VII cannot be overstated, as it played a crucial role in the establishment of the United States as a constitutional republic.
The ratification process of the Constitution was no easy task. It required the approval of nine out of thirteen states. This was not a simple majority, but rather a supermajority, as it required the agreement of a two-thirds majority. The framers of the Constitution understood that the establishment of a new government required significant support from the states. Furthermore, they acknowledged the importance of having a strong and effective central government to maintain order and promote the general welfare of the country.
The ratification process began on September 17, 1787, when the Constitution was signed at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The document was then sent to the states for their consideration. Nine states ratified the document by June 1788, and the Constitution went into effect on March 4, 1789, when the new government was inaugurated.
The ratification of the Constitution was not without its detractors. The Anti-Federalists, a group of individuals who opposed the Constitution, argued that it gave too much power to the central government and threatened the liberty of the people. They also claimed that the Constitution did not adequately protect individual rights and lacked a bill of rights. In response to these concerns, the Federalists, those who supported the Constitution, agreed to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, which includes the first ten amendments, was added in 1791.
Impact on the United States
The significance of Article VII can be seen in the impact it had on the formation of the United States. Without the ratification of the Constitution, there would be no United States as we know it today. The ratification of the Constitution led to the establishment of a powerful central government that has helped maintain order and stability in the country. Furthermore, the ratification of the Constitution set a precedent for future constitutional amendments and the way in which they are ratified.
In addition to its historical significance, Article VII continues to play a role in shaping current events. States continue to ratify new amendments to the Constitution as they are proposed. For example, when the Fourteenth Amendment was proposed in 1866, Congress required the ratification of three-fourths of the states before it could be added to the Constitution. The ratification process of the Fourteenth Amendment was tumultuous, as many states initially rejected it before ultimately ratifying it in 1868.
Today, Article VII remains relevant in the ongoing fight for constitutional amendments. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee equal rights for women in the Constitution, was first proposed in 1972. However, the amendment failed to receive the required ratification by three-fourths of the states before the deadline in 1982. In recent years, several states have voted to ratify the amendment, and Congress is currently considering extending the deadline for ratification.
Article VII has also influenced the way laws are made and implemented in individual states. The Constitution outlines the powers and responsibilities of the federal government, but it also leaves room for states to make their own laws and regulations. Each state has its own constitution, which often includes provisions that allow for revisions and amendments. These changes must go throusgh a similar ratification process as the Constitution, requiring a supermajority of support from the states.
In summary, Article VII of the United States Constitution played a significant role in the establishment of the United States as a constitutional republic. The ratification of the Constitution was no easy task, but the supermajority required by Article VII ensured that the new government would have sufficient support from the states. Furthermore, the ratification of the Constitution set a precedent for future constitutional amendments and the way in which they are ratified. Today, Article VII remains relevant in the ongoing fight for constitutional amendments, and it continues to influence the way laws are made and implemented in individual states.
What is Article 7 of the Constitution?
Article 7 of the U.S. Constitution is the very last article of the United States Constitution. Article 7 explains how many state ratifications are needed in order for the proposed Constitution to take place in the United States and how a state could go about ratifying the Constitution. Before the Constitution, all of the states were following the government that was created in the Articles of Confederation.
How is Article 7 Broken Down?
While many other Articles of the Constitution are broken down into sections and clauses, Article 7 of the United States Constitution is just one sentence long.
Text of Article 7 of the Constitution
The text of Article 7 is only one sentence long. This clause says the following:
” The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.”
Background of Article 7 of the Constitution
According to Article 7, at least nine states needed to ratify the Constitution in order for it to be applied to all of the states. The states began ratifying the Constitution on December 7, 1787, when the Delaware legislature ratified the United States Constitution. The ninth state to ratify was New Hampshire on June 21, 1788. At this point, the only states who had not ratified out of the thirteen original colonies were Virginia, North Carolina, and New York. It was important to have the rest of the states ratify because Virginia had the most people living and New York was the richest state. These two states eventually ratified before Congress of the Confederation set up March 4, 1789, as the day to start proceeding under the United States Government. Rhode Island and North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution after the Bill of Rights were given to the states to ratify.
The Order of Ratifying By the States
It took two and a half years for all of the states to ratify the United States Constitution. They did this in the following order:
• Delaware on December 7, 1787
• Pennsylvania on December 12, 1787
• New Jersey on December 18, 1787
• Georgia on January 2, 1788
• Connecticut on January 9, 1788
• Massachusetts on February 6, 1788
• Maryland on April 28, 1788
• South Carolina on May 23, 1788
• New Hampshire on June 21, 1788
• Virginia on June 25, 1788
• New York on July 26, 1788
• North Carolina on November 21, 1789
• Rhode Island on May 29, 1790