In an ongoing effort to inform and address questions concerning the Constitution, topics will be highlighted and explained on a rotating monthly basis.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved a Declaration of Independence from England. Five years later in 1781, the first federal government was established when the Articles of Confederation were ratified. In 1787, in Philadelphia, the Articles of Confederation were replaced when the Constitutional Convention drafted the current Constitution.
The backbone of our democracy, the Constitution consists of seven articles and 27 amendments. The preamble outlines lofty goals that the fight for independence hoped to achieve such as forming a more perfect union while promoting the general welfare.
Regarding powers and order, Article 1 grants all legislative powers to Congress, followed by Article 11 that addresses the executive powers of the president. Finally, Article 111 designates the judicial powers of the courts.
Over two hundred years, the Constitution has endured challenges and debates but remains the guiding force of our democracy.