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This timeline shows events related to the creation and ongoing evolution of New York State's Constitution. The year is in the center column; events to the left, mostly related to the American Revolution, provide perspective on the period during which the constitution was created, while important events in the creation and ongoing development of New York's constitution are to the right.

Outside Events

Year Events Related to NYS Constitution
The Magna Carta established in England 1215  
Dutch West India Company Charter written 1621  
  1771 William Tryon appointed as the first Governor of New York
December 16, 1773 - Boston Tea Party 1773  
April 18, 1775 - Ride of Paul Revere 1775  
June 17, 1775 - Battle of Bunker Hill  
June 29, 1776 - First Virginia Constitution 1776 June 30, 1776 - Third Congress in New York City adjourns, avoiding an attack by the British.
  July 2, 1776 - The Third Congress meets in White Plains.
July 9, 1776 - The Fourth Congress meets in White Plains and becomes the First Constitutional Convention.
In Convention, New York delegates unanimously ratify the Declaration of Independence
July 16, 1776 - The Convention resolves to prioritize matters of governing the state over creating a constitution. New York is declared a state separate from Great Britain.
August 1, 1776 - A committee of 13 men convenes separately from the convention to create the constitution.
August 27, 1776 - Battle of Long Island
September 15, 1776 - Battle of Harlem Heights Fall and Winter of 1776 - The Convention and the committee meet in secret to avoid attack and capture by the British. They meet in White Plains, Harlem, King's Bridge, Odell's in Phillip's Manor, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, and Kingston.
October 28, 1776 - Americans retreat from White Plains
December 26, 1776- Washington crosses the Delaware
  1777 March 12, 1777 - The constitutional committee makes their first report to the Convention by reading the new constitution.
April 20, 1777 - Birth date of New York State: The first constitution is adopted in Kingston, NY.
October – November 1777 - Battle of Saratoga
June 18, 1778 - The British return to New York 1778  
September 3, 1783 - Treaty of Paris signed 1783  
September 17, 1787 - US Constitution signed 1787  
  1821 August 28, 1821-November 10, 1821 - The Constitutional Convention of 1821 is held in Albany, NY.
  1822 January 15-17, 1822 - A special election is held and the people vote to accept the new Constitution.
  December 31, 1822 - The provisions of the new constitution take effect. Changes are submitted to the people for approval.
  1846 June 1, 1846-October 9, 1846 - The fourth Constitutional Convention was held in Albany, NY.
  November 3, 1846 - The Constitution is overwhelmingly approved by voters. It includes a clause saying, "in the year 1866 and in each twentieth year thereafter, and also at such time as the Legislature may provide the question 'Shall there be a Convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?'"
  1866 The people vote in favor of holding a new Constitutional Convention
  1867 June 4, 1867-February 28, 1868 - The convention is held and a new Constitution proposed.
  1886 The people vote in favor of holding another convention. However, this does not happen for eight years, because the Governor and the Legislature cannot agree on the method of selecting delegates.
  1894 May 8, 1894 - September 29, 1894 - The Constitutional Convention is held in Albany, NY and voters approve it.
  1914 April 7, 1914 - A slim majority of voters approve a new convention.
  April 7, 1914- September 10, 1915 - The Constitutional Convention is held in Albany, NY and proposes 33 changes in five amendments.
  November 1915 - The voters reject the proposed amendments, and in 1916, they reject the proposal to hold a new convention.
  1921 The Legislature passes an act creating the Judiciary Convention of 1921.
  1938 April 5, 1938-August 26, 1938 - Voters approve a measure for a new convention, and The Constitutional Convention of 1938 is held in Albany, NY.
  November 8, 1938 - Voters approve 58 proposals in nine separate parts. These become effective on January 1, 1939.
  1957 November 1957 - Voters reject a proposal for another convention, but during the next ten years, demand grew anyway. New Yorkers wanted to hold  another convention to fix and simplify the constitution
  1967 April 4, 1967 - September 26, 1967 - 186 delegates meet for the last State Constitutional Convention held in New York State to date.
  November 7, 1967 - Voters rejected all proposals
  1977 November 1977 - Voters reject the proposal for another convention.
  1994 Governor Mario Cuomo appoints a Temporary State commission on Constitutional Revision to identify constitutional provisions in need of change.
  1997 Voters reject the proposal for another convention.
  2017 The next time New York residents will get another chance to decide to have another Constitutional Convention or not.
Last Updated: August 25, 2021