Article Seven of the United States Constitution

For the closing endorsement following Article Seven, see Signing of the United States Constitution
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Article Seven of the United States Constitution sets the number of state ratifications necessary in order for the Constitution to take effect and prescribes the method through which the states may ratify it.


The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.[1]


On September 20, 1787, three days after its adoption by the Constitutional Convention, the drafted Constitution was submitted to the Congress of the Confederation for its endorsement. After eight days of debate, the opposing sides came to the first of many compromises that would define the ratification process. The Confederation Congress voted to release the proposed Constitution to the states for their consideration, but neither endorsed nor opposed its ratification.[2]


In 1787 and 1788, following the Constitutional Convention, a great debate took place throughout the United States over the Constitution that had been proposed. The supporters of the Constitution began the ratification campaign in those states where there was little or no controversy, postponing until later the more difficult ones.

New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the proposed constitution on June 21, 1788, thus establishing it as the new framework of governance for the United States. Though officially enacted, four states, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island remained outside the new government. The Congress of the Confederation chose March 4, 1789 as the day "for commencing proceedings under the Constitution."[3] Virginia and New York ratified the Constitution before the members of the new Congress assembled on the appointed day to bring the new Government into operation. North Carolina and Rhode Island ratified only after Congress sent a series of constitutional amendments to the states (specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights; clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings; and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people) for ratification.

The Constitution was ratified by the states in the following order:[4]

Date State Votes % Approval
Yea Nay
1 December 7, 1787 Delaware 30 0 100%
2 December 12, 1787 Pennsylvania 46 23 67%
3 December 18, 1787 New Jersey 38 0 100%
4 January 2, 1788 Georgia 26 0 100%
5 January 9, 1788 Connecticut 128 40 76%
6 February 6, 1788 Massachusetts 187 168 53%
7 April 28, 1788 Maryland 63 11 85%
8 May 23, 1788 South Carolina 149 73 67%
9 June 21, 1788 New Hampshire 57 47 55%
10 June 25, 1788 Virginia 89 79 53%
11 July 26, 1788 New York 30 27 53%
12 November 21, 1789 North Carolina 194 77 72%
13 May 29, 1790 Rhode Island 34 32 52%
Total: 1071 577 65%

See also

External links


  1. "Article VII, Ratification". Cornell University Law School. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  2. "The Six Stages of Ratification - Teaching American History".
  3. "Article VII. Ratification".
  4. "The States and the Ratification Process". Center for the Study of the American Constitution, University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of History.
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