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Ratification of the Constitution
Transcript of Ratification of the Constitution
Ratification of the Constitution
The Powers of the Constitution
The Constitution promised to supply the new country with new powers that would allow the states to become more unified with a centralized government, while still keeping some powers from getting much too strong. These sorts of powers included:
The individual freedom of each person.
The individual rights to things such as speech, firearms, and a fair trial.
The individual ability to vote for the country's leaders and decision makers.
The ability to create an armed force.
The power to ensure that no one branch or state can have more control over decision making than the other.
The power for an individual to exercise police powers in order to protect your friends, family, and community in any necessary way.
Written by Antifederalists and published in newspapers. Written to try to keep the constitution from being ratified.
Two of the pen names used, Cato and Brutus, have relations to the figures in Roman history (Cato the Elder and Marcus Junius Brutus).
The Antifederalists opposed ratification of the constitution. They feared the constitution would eventually become a tyranny. They believed the President's new powers, being able to veto and overturn decisions, were disturbing. They also feared that the Congress would pass oppressive taxes that they would enforce by creating a standing national army. They expressed their opposition by publishing essays in the news papers. These essays became known as the Antifederalist Papers
The federalists proposed the constitution after coming to the conclusion that the AoC was too weak to protect the people
The Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation established "a firm league of friendship" among all the states
Series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. They were a response to anti-federalist papers that detailed the powers of the Constitution. Essay No. 10, 51, and 78 are more prominent essays in the series.
1o detailed the "mischief of faction" and the need for a representative government over a pure Democracy.
51 explained how important the checks and balance system is avoiding an oppressive government.
78 elaborates why an independant judiciary is needed and it's role in interpreting laws and their constitutionality.
This meant that each state kept "it's sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right not expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled"
The Articles of Confederation prevented the federal government from collecting taxes, so they were unable to effectively pull themselves out of their huge debt left over from the war.
It prevented the federal government from imposing taxes or controlling trade, making the federal government overall incredibly weak.
12/7/1787 — Delaware ratified with a vote of 30-0
No antifederalists were elected to participate in the ratifying convention
12/12/1787 — Pennsylvania ratified with a vote of 46-23
The 23 who opposed the constitution requested that their objects be put on record, but they were firmly denied.
12/18/1787 — New Jersey ratified with a vote of 38-0
No antifederalists were elected to attend then convention
12/31/1787 — Georgia ratified with a vote of 26-0
No antifederalists were elected to attend the convention
1/9/1788 — Connecticut ratified with a vote of 128-40
Ratification - Fall Campaign
Ratification - Winter
2/6/1788 — Massachusetts ratified with a vote of 187-168
Before conventions started being held, it was likely that they would've had a firm vote against the ratification of the Constitution.
Jackson Turner Main noted that the Federalists used unethical means to sway the opinions of the people
Ratification - Spring
4/26/1788 — Maryland ratified with a vote of 63-11
It is believed that the antifederalists didn't put up much of a fight in Maryland due to undemocratic actions by the federalists such as cutting deals.
5/23/1788 — South Carolina ratified with a vote of 149-73
Federalists whined, flattered, and cajoled the delegates and lead to the convention process to be undemocratic.
Mainly a very much antifederalist state.
Ratification - Summer
6/21/1788 — New Hampshire ratified with a vote of 57-47
Held an earlier meeting that was postponed. The entry vote for that meeting as 30-77
6/25/1788 — Virginia ratified with a vote of 89-79
Recommended that congress be sent "subsequent amendments" for consideration
7/26/1788 — New York ratified with a vote of 30-27
Had an entry vote of 19-46.
The southern part of the state threatened to secede if the constitution was not ratified.
Ratification - Final conventions
11/21/1789 — North Carolina ratified with a vote of 194-77
An earlier convention was held on August 2, 1788 and the ratification was denied with a vote of 75-193
5/29/1790 — Rhode Island ratified with a vote of 34-32
Initially rejected several attempts to hold ratification conventions.