Celebrating the Constitution
Written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in operation since 1789, the United States Constitution remains a vital and living document. Having been strengthened by amendments, the Constitution serves as both guide and protector of U.S. citizens and their elected officials. To encourage all Americans to learn more about the Constitution, Congress in 2004 established Constitution Day, to be celebrated each year on or near September 17th, the date in 1787 when delegates to the Convention signed the Constitution.
The United States Senate is proud to commemorate this day with several articles on this website featuring some of the Senate-related clauses of the Constitution. A feature on the Great Compromise (also known as the Connecticut Compromise) explores the crucial agreement that settled the issue of representation in the two houses of Congress, giving each state equal representation in the Senate. The Senate’s constitutional role of providing advice and consent to the president on treaties and nominations is also highlighted.
The creation of the U.S. Constitution depended upon the knowledge, experience and dedication of its framers, just as its endurance depends upon the knowledge and experience of each succeeding generation of Americans. For this reason, it is important for us to learn and understand the governing principles of our nation, set forth in the Constitution.
It was up to the first Senate in 1789 to organize, establish its rules, and set precedents that would govern its actions in years to come, evolving into a complex legislative body.