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 will 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…
As August fades into September, General Washington is feeling pretty upbeat about how things are going. At least one delegate believes that they will be done “i9n three weeks time.” Others aren’t so ready to finish things without getting their say. Every attempt to resolve the matter of the Presidency is met with an objection and a move to delay.
Soon enough, the Committee on Postponed Parts will have their hands full trying to resolve everything that has been postponed.
In the meanwhile, the Convention seems to, for the first time, consider why a new form of Government is needed, beyond the Randolph outline of so many weeks ago. The principles that underlie the nation are Life, Liberty and Property. There is general realization that a stronger central government is the best guarantee of those. watching what is happening in Rhode Island has convinced them that left to themselves, the States will not provide those protections.
With that in mind, the Delegates take up the Judiciary and the power of the States over commerce, money and contracts. They believe that the federal Governments control of these items, among others, will provide the best guarantee of Life, Liberty and Property.