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Click on the blue highlighted links to travel to sites where you will find answers to the questions below. If there is no highlighted link in the question, the answer can be found at the site of the previously highlighted link.


1. Before the Constitution was drafted, a document called The Articles of Confederation was in effect.
      A. On what date were the Articles adopted?

      B. On what date did the Articles become operative?

2. What did the Articles establish between and among the 13 states?

3. Under the Articles, for what 3 things was Congress responsible?

4. List 3 things the Articles did not allow Congress to do.

Read the article on Daniel Shays in order to get a background for the following questions.

5. Shays' Rebellion made leaders of our nation stand up and take notice. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was held to make the Articles of Confederation better and stronger. The members of the Convention instead decided to draft a new constitution.
      A. How many states had to approve this constitution before it went into affect?

      B. How many states ended up ratifying it?

6. Which states were the first 5 to ratify the Constitution? (hint: You will have to scroll down and read carefully to find these!Keyword: Ratification)

7. Which was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution?

8. Which were the last two states to ratify the Constitution?

9. Why were some people against ratifying the Constitution?

10. In order to avoid any violation of certain civil rights, the First Congress of the United States introduced 12 amendments to the constitution. Amendments 3 - 12 were accepted and became known as the ___________   ____________________________________.


The basis of early government having been formed, the document known as the Constitution has been the law of our land for over 200 years. Still today, there is a system which allows for the division of duties within our government. Answer the following questions on the branches of government we know today.

11. So that no one branch of government has too much power, a system of checks and balances is in place. One branch checks another in their duties.

Take a look at a chart of the three branches to familiarize yourself with them.

Now, list the branch that checks the following duties:

(You need to read carefully - the answers are not as plainly given as they could be!)

A. Create and pass legislation ____________________________________

B. Appoint Federal judges ____________________________________

C. Declare laws unconstitutional __________________________________

   Copyright 1998 Jan Purnell
Permission granted to reproduce only for use in the classroom.