Key Concepts in the ConstitutionThe Constitution, which was approved by the delegates to the Convention on September 17, 1787, established a republican form of government, explained the organization of that government, and outlined the federal system. Republican form of governmentThe Constitution established the United States as a republic in which power ultimately is in the hands of the people and is exercised by their elected representatives. The Republic was not a democracy in the modern sense, however. The framers of the Constitution, many reluctantly, accepted slavery. There were property qualifications for voting, and some states denied the right to vote to religious minorities. Women did not get to vote in the national elections until 1920 (Nineteenth Amendment). The original draft of the Constitution did not include protection of basic civil liberties.
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