On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was finally accepted by the delegates. It did not contain any sort of Bill of Rights, even though that question had been heavily debated. Of the 42 delegates still present at the convention when it was finished, 39 signed the Constitution. Only Governor Edmund Randolph (Virginia), George Mason (Virginia), and Elbridge Gerry (Massachusetts) declined to sign.

But their work was not yet done. Nine states needed to vote for the Constitution for it to be ratified, and each state was given six months to convene and vote on the proposed Constitution. On December 7, 1787, Delaware was the first state to vote in favor of, or ratify it. New Hampshire became the ninth state to accept the Constitution on June 21, 1788, thus ending government under the Articles of Confederation. It was not until May 29, 1790, that the last state, Rhode Island, finally ratified the Constitution.

The states and dates of ratification are as follows, in order of ratification:

  • Delaware: December 7, 1787
  • Pennsylvania: December 12, 1787
  • New Jersey: December 18, 1787
  • Georgia: January 2, 1788
  • Connecticut: January 9, 1788
  • Massachusetts: February 6, 1788
  • Maryland: April 28, 1788
  • South Carolina: May 23, 1788
  • New Hampshire: June 21, 1788 (With this state‚Äôs ratification, the Constitution became legal.)
  • Virginia: June 25, 1788
  • New York: July 26, 1788
  • North Caroline: November 21, 1788
  • Rhode Island: May 29, 1790 (Rhode Island did not hold a Constitutional Convention.)