Category Archives: Ratification Debates

February 19, 1788 – Fishkill, NY



vanwyckhomestead-270x180In 1788, Fishkill, New York, was a well known and important city, having once served as the Capitol of New York State. It was also the home of the largest supply depot of the Continental Army. And Fishkill had its own newspaper, The New York Packet, later known as Louden’s New York Packet.

It was this newspaper, on Tuesday, February 19, 1788, that published another in a series of essays which were rapidly taking the country by storm. The essays were anonymous and while there was much speculation as to the authorship, only four or five people (not counting the writers themselves) in the entire nation could say with any certainty that they knew who the author – or authors – was. Even George Washington pretended to not know as he praised the essays and proclaimed, “Who is the author?” In fact, he had been directly told by the authors that they were in fact, the authors. Read the rest of this entry

July 4, 1788

July 4, 1788 – In Providence the local Federalists have set up a giant barbecue to celebrate both the Independence Day holiday and to read aloud the proposed Constitution. There is little hope that Rhode Island a74d4b9e-368e-4dc0-ae00-d3aad907d94ewill quickly ratify the Constitution, in fact, as of today, there hasn’t been any move to even call for a convention to consider the document.

The anti-Federalists in Rhode Island aren’t just opposed to the Constitution. They oppose virtually every idea to strengthen the Union. For the past few years they have intentionally/unintentionally sabotaged the Articles of Confederation by using the power of the veto to stop any forward progress. It is in Rhode Island where the rampant use of State issued paper money has resulted in chaos and financial ruin to States and individuals trying to do business with Rhode Islanders

Now, as the few Federalists in Rhode Island gather to celebrate, William West, leader of the Country Party, decides to take action and make sure that the Providence Federalists understand that Rhode Island has no intention of ratifying the Constitution. He means to shut down their celebration and end once and for all the consideration of the Constitution in the Rhode Island…

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New Hampshire

In the summer of 2016, the idea that an election could be “rigged” didn’t really surprise anybody. At the same time, it also allowed Americans of all political stripes to act like Captain Renault and feign shock at the idea that American democracy could be so callously and easily manipulated.

2344New Hampshire was the first of the Colonies to establish a government independent of the Crown and to establish its own state Constitution.

In the Spring and Summer of 1788, New Hampshire has a unique opportunity. If she ratifies, she will become the Ninth Pillar, thus establishing the Constitution as the new government of The United States. But she also faces the same problem that South Carolina, Massachusetts, and other States have seen. That is, that the seaboard cities with their heavy mercantile class population support ratification, while the interior country folks are less enamored with the Constitution.

New Hampshire’s problem is that her seaboard is tiny and heavily outnumbered by the country folk. So… if you happen to be an ardent Federalist in New Hampshire in the Spring of 1788, what do you do?

What do you do? Hmmm…..

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