Many Americans are ignorant of the U.S. Constitution. I think this is because most high school U.S. History course don’t really study it properly. Basically, the Constitution is taught as being a refined and finished product from the Founding Fathers in 1789 with the bill of rights in 1791. For many bigots, misogynists and originalists, the history of the U.S. Constitution ends in 1804.
In fact, many Google searches for “US Constituition timeline” turn up with this static 1804 version of the U.S. Constitution. Unless, you are looking for it specifically, it is difficult to find the real timeline. It is difficult to see how our Constitution has fundamentally changed over the centuries. I don’t think this is an accident. I think many ‘educators’ and ‘authorities’ would like to promulgate this static fiction. The reality is that the Constitution is dynamic and growing.
Here is a simple milestone / timeline table. The first column is the year the Amendment was ratified, the second column is the number of the Amendment.
Loosely speaking, before 1804, the states had much more power than they do today. Not surprisingly, after the Civil War, in 1865, the Federal Government got much more power. This power is loosely focussed on the unalienable rights of the people. These rights are more important than state legislatures or specific state laws. And these rights can and are enforced by the Federal Government.
Again, loosely speaking bigots would love to deny or ignore any amendments after 1804. That would be the 13th amendment and upwards.
What got me started on this quest, was the simple question “When did women get the right to vote?” I did all sorts of searches about the U.S. Constitution, and got all sorts of pages which talked about the Founding Fathers, and Philadelphia, and 1787 and the Constitutional Convention, yada, yada, yada. I really had to dig to find out that women got the right to vote in 1920.