Unveiling the Pillars of the Union: America’s 10 Oldest States
In the grand tapestry of American history, certain threads run deeper, harking back to the earliest days of the nation’s founding. These threads are the 10 oldest states, each with its own unique story that contributed to the fabric of the United States.
Delaware Leads the Charge
On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, earning the moniker “The First State.” This historic move set the stage for other states to follow suit.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Follow Suit
Pennsylvania, known as the “Keystone State” for its central role in the founding of the United States, ratified the Constitution on December 12, 1787. Just five days later, New Jersey, often referred to as the “Garden State,” became the third state to join the Union.
Georgia and Connecticut: The Southern and New England Pioneers
Georgia, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies, was established in 1732 and ratified the Constitution on January 2, 1788. Meanwhile, Connecticut, with its rich colonial history, became the fifth state on January 9, 1788.
Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, and New Hampshire
Massachusetts, a hub of the American Revolution, joined on February 6, 1788. Maryland, the “Old Line State,” followed on April 28, 1788. South Carolina, pivotal in the early economy of the colonies, ratified the Constitution on May 23, 1788. New Hampshire, the “Granite State,” sealed its statehood on June 21, 1788, and by doing so, officially ensured the Constitution’s enactment.
Virginia Completes the Decade
Virginia, steeped in colonial history as the home of many founding fathers, became the tenth state on June 25, 1788. Its ratification added significant weight to the new federal government.
Q: What does it mean for a state to ratify the Constitution?
A: Ratification is the act of formally approving the Constitution, thereby making it the law of the land within that state.
Q: Why are these states considered the oldest?
A: These states are considered the oldest because they were the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution and join the Union.
– Ratify: To sign or give formal consent to a treaty, contract, or agreement, making it officially valid.
– Union: Another term for the United States, particularly during the period of the Civil War.
– Thirteen Colonies: The original British colonies on the east coast of North America that formed the United States.