On June 21, 1788, the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land after New Hampshire became the ninth State to ratify it.
The Constitution had been signed on Sept. 17 of the previous year; and by the end of December, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut had all ratified it. But Article VII dictated that the document had to be ratified by nine States to become law. Other States were holding out because they believed it failed to adequately address freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, States’ rights and other political freedoms.
In February 1788, the other States agreed to ratify the Constitution with assurances that amendments would be proposed that addressed the States’ concerns. Massachusetts, Maryland and South Carolina all quickly ratified it once the agreement was reached, bringing the total to eight.
More than a year later, on Sept. 25, 1789, Congress settled on 12 proposed amendments — the Bill of Rights — and those Amendments were sent to the States. Ten of the Amendments were ratified in 1791.
Imagine that. In the 18th century, government could still be counted on to do what it promised.