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