The Constitution of the United States was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. It would take a year and a half for enough states to ratify the new document to allow a new government to set to work under its guidance. It would ultimately take almost 3 years for the constitution to be approved by all 13 of the original states.
It seems fitting to me that I'm thinking about all of this as I watch the HBO mini-series John Adams about the life of our second president and his long-reaching influence on our developing nation. If you've not seen it, I recommend it. The performances are excellent, and there is much emphasis on the principals of the constitution and the ideals of our founding fathers.