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Constitution Day: September 17

Prepared by UP Library to commemorate Constitution Day
Painting: Scene at the Signing of the Constitution
Articles of Confederation cover page and page one
ERA demonstrators (AP photo, via Opposing Viewpoints)
The Looking Glass 1887 political cartoon: a house divided
top of the Bill of Rights
map showing concentrations of federalists, anti-federalists, and mixed support
Clipped section from a Connecticut newspaper about the state's ratification of the Constitution
Title page of collected Federalist Papers

Context for the Constitutional Convention

"The Constitutional Convention convened in response to dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation and the need for a strong centralized government. After four months of secret debate and many compromises, the proposed Constitution was submitted to the states for approval. Although the vote was close in some states, the Constitution was eventually ratified and the new Federal government came into existence in 1789. The Constitution established the U.S. government as it exists today."

-- United States Constitution: Primary Documents In American History - Library of Congress

Constitution resting on an American flagIn 2004, the U.S. Congress established September 17 as Constitution Day, to commemorate and celebrate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

One provision of the new law was that colleges and universities around the country should offer educational resources to better understand the Constitution as a founding document of the U.S. political and social order.

The Constitution in Modernity