Introduction to Ratifying the Constitution

What you’ll learn to do: examine the issues surrounding the ratification of the Constitution

A photo of a historical marker in Concord, New Hampshire. It's a green sign with a heading that reads, "RATIFICATION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION." The body text indicates that the proposed Federal Constitution was approved at the location of the sign.

The members of the Constitutional convention had finally come to agreement on what needed to be in the new Constitution. In September 1787 they knew it was time to present the new document to the states. The road to ratification would not be easy. There was great conflict and many divided opinions over whether the Constitution should be ratified, or indeed, whether it was necessary at all. Two major sides emerged. The Federalists, who wanted a centralized government, and the Anti-Federalists, who argued that the Constitution gave to much power to the central government. In June of 1788 the Constitution was ratified with the understanding that a bill of rights would need to be added to make the document more complete. The United States could begin moving forward as a new nation.