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United States Constitution | Study Guide

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United States Constitution | Article 7 | Summary



The Constitution will become valid and will take effect when ratified unanimously by nine states, who will hold conventions and votes to decide. The date noted for this final article is September 17, 1787.


The last article before the Bill of Rights sets the guidelines for the ratification and enactment of the Constitution. At least nine states must sign the document for it to take effect. Delaware was the first state to sign, in December 1787. It was followed by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, and finally New Hampshire. Shortly thereafter, Virginia and New York gave their signatures. The states of North Carolina and Rhode Island held out until the Bill of Rights was introduced. Many states hesitated to sign before the Bill of Rights was added, as they feared the federal government would gain too much power. The creation of the Bill of Rights was made top priority after the Constitution went into effect in 1789.

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