Article VII: Ratification

Article VII of the Constitution provides how the Constitution will be ratified and go into effect.

  • The ratification of nine States (out of the thirteen) is sufficient to ratify and establish the Constitution between the States.

The last part of the Article is not actually part of the Article itself, but are notes to corrections that need to be made between the original copy and future copies.

  • Signatures of the delegates approving the Constitution, on September 17, 1787. The Constitution was not ratified until New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify by a vote of 57-47. Rhode Island was the thirteenth and final State to ratify, on May 29, 1790.

The links below are active, so that more information on the Signers can be found. They lead to the government archives page.

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from VirginiaDelaware
Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: BroomMaryland
James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll

Virginia
John Blair
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

Georgia
William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Connecticut
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

Pennsylvania
B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris


For biographies of the non-signing delegates to the Constitutional Convention,
see the Founding Fathers page.

Thirteen delegates left, for various reasons, without signing the Constitution:

William Richardson Davie

Oliver Ellsworth

William Houston (New Jersey)

William Houstoun (Georgia)

John Lansing, Jr.

Alexander Martin

Luther Martin

James McClurg

John Francis Mercer

William Pierce

Caleb Strong

George Wythe

Robert Yates

There were three delegates who refused to sign the Constitution: George Mason (Father of the Bill of Rights), Edmund Randolph (presenter of the Virginia Plan and the first US Attorney General), and Elbridge Gerry.

Mason refused to sign because there was no Bill of Rights or Bill of States Rights. He later succeeded in getting the Bill of Rights included.

Randolph refused to sign because he believed the Constitution had insufficient checks and balances. He later reversed course and voted for ratification because the number of states ratifying was growing, and he did not want to see Virginia left out of the new government.

Gerry refused to sign because of the increased strength of the Federal government and because there was no enumeration of individual rights. He later became a Representative, and served as Vice President under Madison.

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