America had been settled in large part by Europeans who had left their homelands to escape religious or political oppression, as well as the rigid economic patterns of the Old World that locked individuals into a particular station in life regardless of their skill or energy.
Long before independence was declared, the colonies were functioning governmental units, controlled by the people.
And after the Revolution had begun between January 1, 1776, and April 20, 1777 10 of the 13 states had adopted their own constitutions.
Politically and economically, the new nation was close to chaos.
In the words of George Washington, who would become the first president of the United States in 1789, the 13 states were united only "by a rope of sand." It was under these inauspicious circumstances that the Constitution of the United States was drawn up.