Constitutional Convention
The Adoption of the Constitution. Froehlich, John H. (December 31, 1935) State Museum of Pennsylvania,

Timeline of the Constitution

From the beginning of the Revolution to the adoption of the Bill of Rights, trace the timeline of the American Constitution.

Events in 1776

May 15Second Continental Congress: Address to the Colonies
June 12Virginia Bill of Rights adopted
June 29Virginia Constitution adopted
July 3New Jersey Constitution adopted
July 4Declaration of Independence signed
September 21Delaware Constitution adopted
September 28Pennsylvania Constitution and Bill of Rights adopted
November 11Maryland Constitution adopted
December 18North Carolina Constitution and Bill of Rights adopted

Events in 1777

February 5Georgia Constitution adopted
April 20New York Constitution adopted

Events in 1778

March 19South Carolina Constitution adopted

Events in 1780

March 2Massachusetts Constitution and Bill of Rights adopted

Events in 1781

March 1Articles of Confederation adopted

Events in 1784

June 2New Hampshire Constitution and Bill of Rights adopted

Events in 1786

September 14Annapolis Convention: Call for a Grand Convention
October 16Virginia selects seven delegates
November 23New Jersey selects five delegates
December 30Pennsylvania selects eight delegates

Events in 1787

January 6North Carolina selects five delegates
January 17New Hampshire selects four delegates
February 3Delaware selects five delegates
February 4Shay’s Rebellion ends
February 10Georgia selects four delegates
February 21Congress approves Constitutional Convention
February 28New York selects three delegates
March 8South Carolina selects four delegates
March 10Massachusetts selects four delegates
March 14Rhode Island declines to send delegates
May 5Rhode Island again declines to send delegates
May 14Constitutional Convention lacks necessary quorum
May 21Connecticut selects three delegates
May 25Constitutional Convention meets quorum requirement
May 29Virginia Plan introduced
June 13Virginia Plan amended
June 15New Jersey Plan introduced
June 16Rhode Island again declines to send delegates
June 19New Jersey Plan rejected
July 13Northwest Ordinance adopted
July 16Connecticut Compromise accepted
July 26Constitutional Convention adjourns
August 6Constitutional Convention reconvenes: Committee of Detail Report
September 12Committee of Style Report: final draft of Constitution
September 17Constitution signed
September 20Confederation Congress reads Constitution
September 26-28Confederation Congress debates Constitution
September 28Call for state ratifying conventions by Confederation Congress
September 28Pennsylvania calls for state convention
October 17Connecticut calls for state convention
October 25Massachusetts calls for state convention
October 26Georgia calls for state convention
October 31Virginia calls for state convention
November 1New Jersey calls for state convention
November 3Rhode Island Rejects Call for a State Ratifying Convention
November 6Pennsylvania elects 69 delegates
November 10Delaware calls for state convention
November 12Connecticut elects 168 delegates
November 19-January 7Massachusetts elects 355 delegates
November 20-December 2Pennsylvania ratifying convention meets
November 26Delaware elects 30 delegates
November 27Maryland calls for state convention
November 27-December 1New Jersey elects 38 delegates
December 3-7Delaware ratifying convention meets
December 4-5Georgia elects 26 delegates
December 6North Carolina calls for state convention
December 7Delaware ratifies 30-0
December 11-20New Jersey ratifying convention meets
December 12Pennsylvania ratifies 46-23
December 14New Hampshire calls for state convention
December 18New Jersey ratifies 38-0
December 25-January 5Georgia ratifying convention meets
December 31Georgia ratifies 26-0
December 31New Hampshire elects 110 delegates

Events in 1788

January 3-9Connecticut ratifying convention meets
January 9Connecticut ratifies 128-40
January 9-February 7Massachusetts ratifying convention meets
January 19South Carolina calls for state convention
January 30Massachusetts Compromise proposed
February 1New York calls for state convention (Assembly)(Senate)
February 6Massachusetts ratifies 187-168 with 9 proposed amendments (Elliot)
February 13-22New Hampshire ratifying convention votes 56-51 for adjournment until June 18
March 3-31Virginia elects 168 delegates
March 24Rhode Island rejects call for a state ratifying convention
March 28-29North Carolina elects 268 delegates
April 7Maryland elects 76 delegates
April 11-12South Carolina elects 222 delegates
April 21-29Maryland ratifying convention meets
April 26Maryland ratifies 63-11
April 29-May 3New York elects 67 delegates
May 12-24South Carolina ratifying convention meets
May 23South Carolina ratifies 149-73
June 2-27Virginia ratifying convention meets
June 17-July 26New York ratifying convention meets
June 18-21New Hampshire ratifying convention: second session
June 21New Hampshire ratifies 57-47 with 12 proposed amendments (Tansill)
June 25Virginia ratifies 89-79 with 20 proposed amendments
July 2Congress accepts ratification of Constitution
July 21-August 4North Carolina ratifying convention meets
July 25New York rejects conditional ratification
July 26New York ratifies 30-27 with 31 proposed amendments
August 2North Carolina votes 184-84 against ratification
Sept. 13Congress prepares for a new government
November 30North Carolina calls for a second state convention

Events in 1789

January 7Presidential electors chosen
February 4Election of Senators, Representatives, and President
March 4First Congress meets
April 1House organized
April 6Senate organized
April 30First Inaugural Address of George Washington
June 8Madison argues for a Bill of Rights
July 28Report of House Select Committee on Madison’s Proposals
August 13-24House debates Select Committee Report
August 21-22North Carolina elects 271 delegates to second state convention
August 24House passes 17 Amendments to the Constitution
September 9Senate passes 12 Amendments to the Constitution
September 24Judiciary Act passed by Congress
September 25Congress sends 12 Amendments to the state legislatures for ratification
October 10Last business under Articles of Confederation
November 16-23North Carolina ratifiying convention: second session
November 20New Jersey adopts the Bill of Rights
November 21North Carolina ratifies the Constitution 194-77
December 19Maryland adopts the Bill of Rights
December 22North Carolina adopts the Bill of Rights
December 23Maryland cedes ten square miles for a federal city

Events in 1790

January 17Rhode Island calls for state convention to ratify Constitution
January 19South Carolina adopts the Bill of Rights
January 25New Hampshire adopts the Bill of Rights
January 26Delaware adopts the Bill of Rights
February 8Rhode Island elects delegates to ratifying convention
March 1-6Rhode Island ratifying convention: first session
March 10Pennsylvania adopts the Bill of Rights
March 27New York adopts the Bill of Rights
May 26-29Rhode Island ratifying convention: second session
May 29Rhode Island ratifies the Constitution 34-32
June 11Rhode Island adopts the Bill of Rights

Events in 1791

March 3Vermont admitted to the United States
November 3Vermont adopts the Bill of Rights
December 15Virginia ratifies the Bill of Rights
December 15Bill of Rights added to the Constitution in the form of Ten Amendments
Constitutional Convention HomepageDay-by-Day Summary of the Convention