PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) — On September 17, 1787, after four months of proposals, counter-proposals, writing, re-writing, and editing, the Constitutional Convention signed their new Constitution for the United States-a date now known as Constitution Day.

On September 20, the Constitution was submitted to the then-existing government, the Confederation Congress. On September 28, the Congress passed the new document to the states for consideration.
A lot happened during those eight days. In a sense, it was a preview for the sometimes acrimonious debates leading up to ratification votes, from state legislatures to newspapers to taverns to dinner tables.

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Article VII of the Proposed Constitution stated:
“The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” But a lot of delegates to the Confederation Congress had…concerns…about the document.

Some felt members of the Convention, which had initially met to consider changes to the Articles of Confederation, had vastly exceeded their authority by scrapping the Articles and starting from scratch.

Federalists, supporters of the new Constitution, wanted it to be sent to the states with statements in favor of the document and no changes.

Anti-Federalists wanted to make extensive changes before sending it to the states. They proposed several amendments. Some would become the nucleus of the Bill of Rights; others called for changes in the setup of the new government, such as the establishment of a privy council to advise the President.

Ultimately the Confederation Congress decided to send the Constitution to the states exactly as they received it, without either endorsing or condemning it. The state conventions began meeting in January 0f 1787; Delaware was first to ratify, followed by Pennsylvania. Some of the votes were unanimous for the new government; others were squeakers. Massachusets passed it 187-168, Virginia passed it 89-79, New York was 30-27, and the last state to vote, Rhode Island, voted 34 for, and 32 against.

By then, though, the new form of national government was a done deal. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire voted 57-47, and they became the ninth, deciding vote in favor. The new Constitution was ratified.