Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention,
"Tis done! . . . We have become a nation."
Benjamin Rush, following the ratification of
the U.S. Constitution, July 9, 1788
Between 1776 and 1783 the United States declared and
won independence from Great Britain, defeating one of the greatest
military powers in the world. But by the beginning of 1787, the
American experiment in self-government was at risk of failure, threatened
by a variety of escalating problems both at home and abroad.