Maurice Yaméogo viewing the United States Constitution

Archivist of the United States Robert Bahmer shows the United States Constitution to President of Upper Volta Maurice Yaméogo-Wikimedia

Top 10 Outstanding Facts about the Constitution of the United States of America (1787)


The constitution of the United States of America set the foundation of America’s national government, laws, and rights. It guarantees the basic rights of its citizens and gives guidance on the rule of law.

Its signing came on 17, 1787 by the delegates to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. America already had a first governing document. So the 1787 constitution was superior to prior deeds.

The 1787 convention aimed to offer a  plan for a stronger federal government with its branches of executive, legislature, and judiciary. Another ambition was to have a system of checks and balances that made sure no single branch had too much authority. 

Once the charter was signed in 1787, it wasn’t until the year 1788 that the constitutional document received acceptance. The required number of at least nine states in support was achieved in 1788.

This report is vital to American history as it was an achievement for the country.  It abides today making it one of the longest surviving written charters of government in the world. Check out the Top 10 remarkable realities about the constitution of the United States of America.

1. The United States constitution is 4,543 words in length

The United States constitution is the oldest and shortest written constitution of any major government in the world. The constitution was quality focussed hence the 4,543 words. This document detailed as much as was needed but left room for future amendments. Thus the original report is intact in the modern day, but adjustments have been made over the years.

2. The United States constitution’s iconic words were added last

Preamble detail from Library of Congress Dunlap & Claypoole original printing of the United States Constitution, 1787

Preamble detail from Library of Congress Dunlap & Claypoole original printing of the United States Constitution, 1787-Wikimedia

The classic historical opening “we the people of the United States” was a last-minute addition. It was earlier drafted as “we the people of the state.”

3. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were not among the signatories

The two founding fathers were not at the September 17, 1787, constitutional convention.  The gentlemen were not able to sign the constitution as John Adams was ambassador to Great Britain and Thomas Jefferson was ambassador to France. Thomas Jefferson’s absence from the signing of the historical document was interesting because he was part of drafting the state’s declaration of independence.

4. The United States Constitution was signed by 39 delegates

Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution.

Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution, Photo by Junius Brutus Stearns-Wikimedia

The number of people appointed to attend the constitutional convention was 70. Only 55 commissioners were present at the event. Out of the attendees, 39 individuals had the chance to sign the United States constitution.

5. The constitution resides in the national archives building in Washington DC

The constitution of the United States was in the custody of the department of state from the year 1789 up to 1921. It was then transferred to the library of congress for exhibition from 1924 to 1954.

Afterward, it was taken to the national archive where it currently resides. This is due to the extreme care and preservation it requires. The people in charge of it go through training to ensure the document is under proper protection.

6. Four pages of the U.S. Constitution are displayed in national archives


Library of Congress officials transferring page 3 of the United States Constitution from the State Department to the Library of Congress in the Library's Model

Library of Congress officials transferring page 3 of the United States Constitution from the State Department to the Library of Congress in the Library’s Model-Wikimedia

There are four pages of the constitution on display in the national archives. But there is a fifth page not showcased. The fifth page contains a letter of transmittal of the 1787 constitution to the existing congress under the article of confederation.

The letter gives a brief description of the constitution signed by George Washington. He was then president of the constitutional convention. It’s dated 17, 1787, the anniversary on which Americans celebrate the constitutional day.

7. The word “Democracy” was not used in the United States constitution

There is no mention of the word “Democracy” in the U.S. constitution as is the case with many charters of other countries. This is because the founding fathers saw it as a dangerous form of government that privileged the sentiment of the majority over the rights of the minority. Hence the constitution frames the United States as a republic where citizens elect representatives to decide for them rather than voting.

8. There was some misspelling in the constitution

Alexander Hamilton making the first draft of the Constitution for the United States 1787

Alexander Hamilton as he made the first draft of the Constitution for the United States in 1787, Photo by Hamilton Buggy Company-Wikimedia

The original constitution had several spelling and grammar errors according to the national archives. Jacob Shallus was the official clerk assistant of Pennsylvania who wrote the final formal copy of the constitution after the convention adjourned on September 15, 1787.

Shallus made corrections on the various omissions and spelling mistakes and kept a record of his changes. There was a noticeable mistake by Alexander Hamilton. While managing the signature on the document Hamilton wrote “Pensylvania” in place of Pennsylvania.

9. An attorney was responsible for the final edits of the constitution

Governor Morris a conservative statesman and attorney were given the task of polishing the final version of the constitution. His work was commendable leading to the end copy that was brief yet captured significant information as was intended.

10. Benjamin Franklin and five others signed both constitution and declaration of independence

The number of people who signed the constitution was 39 and only six men had the privileged to sign both the constitution and the declaration of independence. These individuals include Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, George Read, James Wilson, Robert Morris, and George Clymer.

Benjamin Franklin was at the age of 81 years in poor health and had to be assisted to the statehouse. Witnesses to the event expressed Benjamin’s joy to the point he shed tears during the signing of the document.

The Constitution of the United States of America has existed for generations. It is the basis of the country’s growth and development. The constitution is the footing of what America is known today and the direction of its future operations.