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Pennsylvania Became the Second State - This Day in History - December 12, 1787

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2020

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On This Day in History, December 12th, Pennsylvania Ratified the United States Constitution and Became the Second State

The State Seal of Pennsylvania


December 12, 2020 marks the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's birthday when Pennsylvania officially became the second state to enter the Union 233 years ago today.

The United States Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention at Independence Hall. Although the signing represented the conclusion of a punishing summer of debate and compromise amongst the delegates of the Constitutional Convention, it was far from the end of the struggle to implement the Constitution as the new framework of government for the United States of America. The Constitution then had to be ratified by at least nine of the thirteen states in order to actually go into effect and replace the Articles of Confederation as the new law of the land.

On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, just five days after the Constitution was ratified by the State of Delaware. Whereas Philadelphia and Pennsylvania take pride as being home to "America's Birthplace," Delaware takes pride in being known as the "First State."

The Colony of Pennsylvania was not founded until 1682, making it the second youngest of the thirteen original American Colonies, preceding only Georgia. However, with the ratification of the Constitution on December 12, 1787, the second youngest colony secured its place in American history as the second oldest state. The Constitution would not go into effect until more than six months later, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution on June 21, 1788.


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