The Constitution of the united states of america

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The Preamble

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e the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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From the Blog

Sep 02

Constitution Check: What are the Supreme Court’s options now on same-sex marriage?

Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, previews the various dimensions of the same-sex marriage cases that await the Supreme Court on its return in later this month.

Featured Issue

Sep 11
Our brand-new episode, “Constitution Day 2013: The Legislative Branch,” provides a behind-the-scenes look at how laws are made in the United States and features a special introduction by Congressman John Lewis.


Sep 02
1st Amendment:

Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Where is the Constitution?

The National Constitution Center owns a rare, original copy of the first public printing of the Constitution. The Constitutional Convention was conducted under an oath of secrecy, so this printing represents the first time that “We the People” saw the Constitution. The original signed, handwritten Constitution is at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

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Fast Facts

  • The U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest written constitution of any national government in the world.

  • There are 4,543 words in the original, unamended Constitution, including the signatures.

  • More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress, but only 33 have gone to the states to be ratified, and 27 have actually become amendments to the Constitution.

  • The Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787, and lasted until the day the finished document was signed on September 17, 1787.

  • The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. The Center is the best place to celebrate Constitution Day on that date.