Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the federal court system and the position of attorney general. The Supreme Court had already been established by the Constitution but the creation of a lower federal court system had been left to Congress.
The basic document by which the United States is governed, the US Constitution was ratified when the ninth state, New Hampshire, voted in favor of the document on June 21, 1788. Drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the Constitution divided governmental powers between the national and state governments in a system known as federalism. It also divided the national government into three independent branches.
The Bill of Rights was ratified. The first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights protects individual liberties from the power of the central government; guarantees freedom of speech, press, religion, petition, and assembly; and specifes the rights of the accused in criminal and civil cases.
During the creation of the new United States government in 1787, Federalists supported the adoption of the new Constitution. Federalists included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison—the writers of the Federalist Papers. In 1791, Hamilton and other Federalists established the Federalist Party, which supported strong central government and a loose interpretation of the Constitution.
The Second Continental Congress was the body of colonial delegates that first met in May 1775, by arrangement of the First Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who had not taken part in the First Continental Congress, were among its members. During the American Revolution, the Second Continental Congress served as the provisional government of the colonies, issued the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and adopted the Articles of Confederation in 1777.