We the people session ii
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This session reviews the process of replacing the inadequate Articles of Confederation with the Constitution. It describes in detail how the Founders drafted this impressive document. Finally, the......

This session reviews the process of replacing the inadequate Articles of Confederation with the Constitution. It describes in detail how the Founders drafted this impressive document. Finally, the ratification struggle is examined as well as the role which the promise of a Bill of Rights played.

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  • 1. The U.S. Constitution session ii A More Perfect Union
  • 2. major points of this session I. Articles of Confederation II. Critical Period III. Road to Philadelphia IV. 1787-the Long Hot Summer V. Ratification
  • 3. Articles of Confederation
  • 4. the long road to our first constitution, 1776-1781 January, 1776-Tom Paine’s Common Sense argued that we would never gain international assistance unless we stopped being mere rebels and formed a government
  • 5. the long road to our first constitution, 1776-1781 January, 1776-Tom Paine’s Common Sense argued that we would never gain international assistance unless we stopped being mere rebels and formed a government 12 June 1776-a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of 13 to prepare a draft of a constitution for a union of the states
  • 6. the long road to our first constitution, 1776-1781 January, 1776-Tom Paine’s Common Sense argued that we would never gain international assistance unless we stopped being mere rebels and formed a government 12 June 1776-a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of 13 to prepare a draft of a constitution for a union of the states summer, 1777-John Dickinson chaired the committee which drafted the Articles over the next year. Then it was submitted to the States for their unanimous ratification
  • 7. the long road to our first constitution, 1776-1781 January, 1776-Tom Paine’s Common Sense argued that we would never gain international assistance unless we stopped being mere rebels and formed a government 12 June 1776-a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of 13 to prepare a draft of a constitution for a union of the states summer, 1777-John Dickinson chaired the committee which drafted the Articles over the next year. Then it was submitted to the States for their unanimous ratification 15 Nov ’77-1 Mar’81-the tortured process was held up by arguments over the western claims
  • 8. the long road to our first constitution, 1776-1781 January, 1776-Tom Paine’s Common Sense argued that we would never gain international assistance unless we stopped being mere rebels and formed a government 12 June 1776-a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of 13 to prepare a draft of a constitution for a union of the states summer, 1777-John Dickinson chaired the committee which drafted the Articles over the next year. Then it was submitted to the States for their unanimous ratification 15 Nov ’77-1 Mar’81-the tortured process was held up by arguments over the western claims finally, under French pressure to withdraw their vital military assistance, all agreed to cede their western claims to the national government on that promise, MD, the last state, agreed to the Articles
  • 9. Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
  • 10. Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union each of the 13 States retained its sovereignty, except... the 13 articles created a unicameral Congress where delegates appointed by the States where each State had one vote Articles 6 & 9 gave the Congress exclusive power in war-making diplomatic relations, and foreign commerce revenues were to be granted by the Stare governments, but there was no way to compel them to comply the colonial experience of imperialist royal governors and courts led the framers to give all executive and judicial power to the legislative branch-THERE WAS NO EXECUTIVE OR JUDICIARY! finally, Article 13 required unanimous State approval to ratify any amendments
  • 11. even before ratification in 1781, the Second Continental Congress began to act according to the Articles’ terms in the midst of an asymmetrical war one of the Articles demonstrable weaknesses was the inability of Congress to effectively fund and direct military operations 19 October 1781- nevertheless, with Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, the world’s greatest military power gave up its six-year struggle to end the rebellion March 10,1783-the Newburgh Conspiracy caused George Washington to make one of his greatest contributions to our country and become a strong advocate for a more powerful national government
  • 12. "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country." George Washington, Preamble to the Newburgh Address
  • 13. Washington’s manuscript for the address his dramatic reminder of his own personal sacrifices brought the mutineers to their s e n s e s a n d e n d e d t h e prospect of a military coup
  • 14. March 10,1783-the Newburgh Conspiracy caused George Washington to make one of his greatest contributions to our country and become a strong advocate for a more powerful national government June, 1783-a demonstration in Philadelphia by unpaid troops led the Congress to flee to Princeton, NJ Based on preliminary articles made 30 November 1782, and approved by the Congress of the Confederation on 15 April 1783, the Paris treaty was signed on 3 September 1783, and ratified by Congress on 14 January 1784, formally ending the American Revolutionary War with peace, the government under America’s first constitution entered the so- called Critical Period
  • 15. Critical Period
  • 16. Critical Period
  • 17. The term Critical Period, coined by John Quincy Adams, refers to the 1780s, a time right after the American Revolution where the future of the newly formed nation was in the balance...During this time, the newly independent former colonies were beset with a wide array of foreign and domestic problems. Some historians believe it was a bleak, terrible time for Americans, while others believe the term “Critical Period” is exaggerated, and that, while the 1780s were a time of dispute and change, they were also a time of economic growth and political maturation. Wikipedia
  • 18. John Fiske The Critical Period of American History, 1783-89 (1888) this precocious Harvard graduate and professor made John Quincy Adams’ phrase the standard historical interpretation until recent times Project Gutenberg has the text of this seminal work on line at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ files/27430/27430-h/27430-h.htm like people in any period, the post-war Americans faced both challenges and opportunities although the dangers were daunting and hastened the decision to “form a more perfect Union,” there were solid achievements during this critical period (1842-1901)
  • 19. The Perils inability to fund the national government for such essentials as: paying soldiers’ pensions repaying the war debts owed to foreign governments impotence to end tariff wars between the States Congress couldn’t compel the States to honor Loyalist claims so Britain retained her fur posts on American soil Barbary pirates seized American ships in our vital Mediterranean commerce and the eleven State navies were useless to protect our seamen and cargoes finally, the unanimity requirement for amending the Articles seemed to block changes which might address these problems
  • 20. The Achievements after a severe post-war depression, 1784-85; economic recovery and population growth successful initiation of the “peace dividend,” the huge cession of western lands which Britain had conceded, ignoring the rights of American Indians living there the Land Acts of 1784 & 1785 the Northwest Ordinance of 1787
  • 21. “Before Independence the Western problem had belonged to Britain; it had been Britain who must keep peace with the Indians, fight off French and Spaniards and find a method for gradual, orderly, transmontane settlement….But with the Peace of ’83, the Western empire fell to the states; theirs the responsibility and the reward. It soon became apparent that empire building required a more central, coordinated effort than the states were prepared to give. Congress tried its hands at various acts, resolutions, reports and ordinances.” Catherine Drinker Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia, pp.168-69
  • 22. The Land Ordinance of 1785
  • 23. The Land Ordinance of 1785
  • 24. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787
  • 25. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 13 July 1787-as the Miracle in Philadelphia was taking place, the dying Confederation Congress passed its crowning achievement The most significant intended purpose of this legislation was its mandate for the creation of new states from the region, once a population of 60,000 had been achieved within a particular territory Many of the concepts and guarantees of the Ordinance of 1787 were incorporated in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights religious tolerance was proclaimed "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." The right of habeas corpus was written into the charter, as was freedom of religious worship and bans on excessive fines and cruel and unusual punishment Trial by jury and a ban on ex post facto laws were also rights granted
  • 26. Considering the future “irrepressible conflict,” perhaps the most significant freedom guaranteed by the Northwest Ordinance was the ban on slavery. jbp "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory.” The language of the ordinance prohibits slavery, but it did not emancipate the slaves already held by settlers in the territory….Article VI required residents to return fugitive slaves to their owners. This provided slave owners with previously unprecedented federal support. Wikipedia
  • 27. Road to Philadelphia
  • 28. Road to Philadelphia
  • 29. Since the Articles had left the 13 States sovereign in all domestic matters, the lawyer politicians had a rich opportunity for profitable economic disputes. They imposed protective tariffs on interstate commerce. They litigated boundary disputes which went back to the haphazard way that kings had granted original charters and titles. Old rivalries flared and threatened to develop into dangerous divisions. The European Great Powers seemed ready to take advantage. Then a series of meetings led to an historic change of fortune. jbp
  • 30. The different royal grants to Maryland’s Lord Calvert in 1632 and Lord Culpepper, royal governor of Virginia (after Berkeley) in 1677, both specified the Potomac as the boundary. But Maryland’s was “the Southern low-water mark” while Virginia’s was “the Potomac River.” Enter-the lawyers. Washington, a strong nationalist since the Newburgh Conspiracy, called representatives to his home to work out a compromise. They settled the vexatious question of “riparian rights.” [other disputes would linger until Maryland v. West Virginia, 217, U.S. 1 (1910)] This first breakthrough inspired other nationalists to call a broader convention for the next year. jbp Mt Vernon Conference, 1785
  • 31. 12 delegates from five states (NJ, NY, PA, DL, and VA) unanimously called for a constitutional convention. Alexander Hamilton• of New York played a major leadership role. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought his longtime desire to have a more powerful, more financially independent federal government one step closer to reality. The defects that they were to remedy were the protectionist barriers that limited trade and commerce. Annapolis Convention, 11-14 September, 1786
  • 32. 12 delegates from five states (NJ, NY, PA, DL, and VA) unanimously called for a constitutional convention. Alexander Hamilton• of New York played a major leadership role. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought his longtime desire to have a more powerful, more financially independent federal government one step closer to reality. The defects that they were to remedy were the protectionist barriers that limited trade and commerce. The commissioners felt that there were not enough states represented to make any substantive agreement. NH, MA, RI, and NC had appointed commissioners who failed to arrive in Annapolis in time to attend the meeting, while CT, MD, SC and GA had taken no action at all. They produced a report which was sent to the Congress and to the states. The report asked support for a broader meeting to be held the next May in Philadelphia. It expressed the hope that more states would be represented and that their delegates or deputies would be authorized to examine areas broader than simply commercial trade. Wikipedia Annapolis Convention, 11-14 September, 1786
  • 33. It is unclear how much weight the Convention's call carried, but the urgency of the reform was highlighted by a number of rebellions that took place all over the country. While most of them were easily suppressed, Shays‘ rebellion lasted from August 1786 till February 1787. The rebellion called attention to both popular discontent, and government's weakness. Wikipedia Annapolis Convention, 11-14 September, 1786
  • 34. Contemporary depiction of Daniel Shays (left) and Job Shattuck, two of the main protest leaders Wikipedia Shays’ Rebellion, August, 1786-February, 1787
  • 35. Shays’ Rebellion Aug 1786-many factors contributed: the post-war economic depression credit squeeze caused by a lack of hard currency harsh government policies in 1785 to solve the state’s debt problem farmers, many of them war veterans like Daniel Shays, shut down county courts to stop proceedings for tax and debt collection
  • 36. This modern map of Massachusetts is annotated to show points of conflict. These are locations of courthouses that were shut down. Wikipedia
  • 37. Shays’ Rebellion Aug 1786-many factors contributed: farmers, many of them war veterans like Daniel Shays, shut down county courts to stop proceedings for tax and debt collection arrests of their leaders led the farmers to raise a rebellion in the later months of 1786 January, 1787- Governor Bowdoin appealed to the national government. Its impotence led him to appeal next to the private elites to fund a militia army which prevented the rebels from seizing the Springfield arsenal
  • 38. Shays’ Rebellion January, 1787- Governor Bowdoin appealed to the national government. Its impotence led him to appeal next to the private elites to fund a militia army which prevented the rebels from seizing the Springfield arsenal February, 1787--after Springfield, scattered rebels were defeated at Petersham and Sheffield by the privately-financed militia this example of government weakness wasn’t lost on the Philadelphia delegates
  • 39. 1787-- Long Hot Summer
  • 40. 1787-- Long Hot Summer
  • 41. “The names of the members will satisfy you that the States have been serious in this business.” Madison to Jefferson, 6 June 1787 Although Jefferson was in Paris as our Minister to Louis XVI and John Adams in London, Minister to Great Britain, the ideas of both were present. Jefferson was represented by his mentee Madison. Adams had written a book, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, which had been read by many of the delegates. They often quoted it in the debates. jbp
  • 42. “...an assembly of demi-gods”--Jefferson in Paris “...some of the most notable names in America; Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Franklin; John Rutledge and the two Pinckneys from SC; the two Morrises--Robert & Gouverneur; John Dickinson of DL; George Wythe, George Mason and John Blair of VA; Roger Sherman of CT; Rufus King and Elbridge Gerry of MA “It was a young gathering. Charles Pinckney (29) Alexander Hamilton (30) Rufus King (32) Jonathan Dayton of NJ (26) Gouverneur Morris (35) Madison (36). Franklin’s 81 years raised the average, but it never went beyond 43….Yet even the youngest member was politically experienced: nearly three-fourths had sat in the Continental Congress . Many had helped write their state constitutions. Eight had signed the Declaration, seven had been state governors, twenty-one had fought in the Revolutionary War.” Catherine Drinker Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia, pp.3-4
  • 43. Charles Pinckney=Eliza Lucas The Pinckneys (d. 1758) Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Thomas PinckneyCol. Charles Pinckney=Frances Brewton (1732-1782) (1750-1828)(1746-1825) Charles Pinckney (1757-1824) ?=? Pinckney The two signers of the Constitution were South Carolina delegates and first cousins, once removed. CC is also famous for being involved in the XYZ Affair (1797-98) with revolutionary France. His brother Thomas was famous for negotiating the Pinckney Treaty (1795) with Spain, which settled the boundary of Spanish West Florida.
  • 44. The Virginia Plan “Mr. Randolph then opened the main business.” -Madison, Tuesday 29 May
  • 45. The Virginia Plan “Mr. Randolph then opened the main business.” -Madison, Tuesday 29 May State of the resolutions submitted to the consideration of the House by the honorable Mr. Randolph, as altered, amended, and agreed to by a Committee of the whole House 1 Resolved that it is the opinion of this Committee that a national government ought to be established consisting of a Supreme Legislative, Judiciary and Executive
  • 46. The Virginia Plan “Mr. Randolph then opened the main business.” -Madison, Tuesday 29 May
  • 47. The Virginia Plan The most revolutionary [and enduring] part of the Randolph Plan was the addition of national Executive and Judicial Branches. jbp L E J
  • 48. The National Executive- VA’s Resolve #7 Friday 1 June a single Executive or several?
  • 49. The National Executive- VA’s Resolve #7 Friday 1 June a single Executive or several? Charles Pinckney rose at once to urge a “vigorous executive.” -Madison
  • 50. The National Executive- VA’s Resolve #7 Friday 1 June a single Executive or several? Charles Pinckney rose at once to urge a “vigorous executive.” -Madison James Wilson moved that the executive consist of a single person; Pinckney seconded him a sudden silence followed. “A considerable pause.” -Madison
  • 51. The National Executive “...energy, dispatch and responsibility...” James Wilson Against one man: Roger Sherman-the executive magistracy was “nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the legislature into effect...the persons ought to be appointed by and accountable to the legislature only, which was the depository of the supreme will of society.”-Madison
  • 52. The National Executive “...energy, dispatch and responsibility...” James Wilson Against one man: Roger Sherman-the executive magistracy was “nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the legislature into effect...the persons ought to be appointed by and accountable to the legislature only, which was the depository of the supreme will of society.”-Madison Edmund Randolph- “strenuously opposed...the fetus of monarchy”-Madison
  • 53. The National Executive “...energy, dispatch and responsibility...” James Wilson Against one man: Roger Sherman-the executive magistracy was “nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the legislature into effect...the persons ought to be appointed by and accountable to the legislature only, which was the depository of the supreme will of society.”-Madison Edmund Randolph- “strenuously opposed...the fetus of monarchy”-Madison For one man: James Wilson-unity would be the best safeguard against tyranny. Plurality would probably produce a tyranny as bad as the thirty tyrants of Athens or the Decemvirs of Rome.
  • 54. The National Executive “...energy, dispatch and responsibility...” James Wilson Against one man: Roger Sherman-the executive magistracy was “nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the legislature into effect...the persons ought to be appointed by and accountable to the legislature only, which was the depository of the supreme will of society.”-Madison Edmund Randolph- “strenuously opposed...the fetus of monarchy”-Madison For one man: James Wilson-unity would be the best safeguard against tyranny. Plurality would probably produce a tyranny as bad as the thirty tyrants of Athens or the Decemvirs of Rome. Pierce Butler-his military experience as a British officer in the Netherlands had shown him the folly of divided command---Bowen, p. 57
  • 55. The National Executive- VA’s Resolve #8 giving the national executive a veto on legislation Friday 1 June a new and complex issue Pierce Butler- “But why might not a Catiline or a Cromwell arise in this country as well as in others .” -Madison
  • 56. The National Executive- VA’s Resolve #8 giving the national executive a veto on legislation Friday 1 June a new and complex issue Pierce Butler- “But why might not a Catiline or a Cromwell arise in this country as well as in others .” -Madison George Mason- “Do gentlemen mean to pave the way to hereditary monarchy? Do they flatter themselves that the people will ever consent to such an innovation?” -Madison
  • 57. During all this time, Washington, having come down from the chair, had been with the Virginians at their table. Everyone in the State House, perhaps everyone in America, knew that General Washington would in some guise or other be at the head of the new government. Yet here he sat, his strong back erect as ever...while men debated whether a single chief magistrate could be trusted for America….The whole question, Madison wrote later to Jefferson, was “peculiarly embarrassing.” Bowen, p. 61
  • 58. Four weeks had passed since the Convention first met All their debates had been based on the Virginia Resolves of May twenty-ninth….by division …[the Resolves] had grown from fifteen to nineteen. Bowen, pp. 101-02
  • 59. Four weeks had passed since the Convention first met All their debates had been based on the Virginia Resolves of May twenty-ninth….by division …[the Resolves]• had grown from fifteen to nineteen. Bowen, pp. 101-02
  • 60. Four weeks had passed since the Convention first met All their debates had been based on the Virginia Resolves of May twenty-ninth….by division …[the Resolves] had grown from fifteen to nineteen. The Committee of the Whole had finally gone through them, voting down some, agreed to others….On June thirteenth...the Committee was ready with its report…. Yet a summer of hard work lay ahead, of friction, increasing hazard and the wavering of hope. New Jersey had a plan of her own up her sleeve, a states-rights plan, drastic, federal not national, and counter to the Virginia Plan. Bowen, pp. 101-02
  • 61. The New Jersey Plan-introduced 16 June “We are met here as the deputies of thirteen independent, sovereign states...” Wm Paterson, (he had objected to the Virginia Plan as early as Saturday, 9 June)
  • 62. The New Jersey Plan-introduced 16 June “We are met here as the deputies of thirteen independent, sovereign states...” Wm Paterson, (he had objected to the Virginia Plan as early as Saturday, 9 June)
  • 63. Wilson’s comparison VIRGINIA NEW JERSEY Two Legislative Chambers A Single Legislative Body Legislative Powers Derive from the People from the States A Single Executive More than One A Majority of the Legislature Can Act A Small Minority Can Control The Legislature Can Act on All National Concerns Only on Limited Objects Legislature Can Veto All State Laws Giving Power to the Executive to Compel Obedience by Force To Remove the Executive by Impeachment On Application by a Majority of the States For the Establishment of Inferior Courts No Provision
  • 64. The Great Compromise-23 July 1776-Sherman had also been on the five- man committee to draft the Declaration he and fellow CT delegate, Oliver Ellsworth, were part of the committee which crafted the Large State-Small State, or CT, or Sherman, or Great Compromise 16 July-although Sherman was well respected, his plan was at first rejected 23 July-finally the Convention agreed: in the Senate-equal representation in the House-representation proportional to population Roger Sherman 1721 – 1793
  • 65. Following this major breakthrough the Convention appointed a small committee---the Committee of Detail---to prepare a draft of what had been hitherto agreed upon. The five members: Randolph of VA, Wilson of PA, Gorham of MA, Ellsworth of CT and Rutledge of SC. They then adjourned until August 6th, a recess of eleven days. jbp
  • 66. Following this major breakthrough the Convention appointed a small committee---the Committee of Detail---to prepare a draft of what had been hitherto agreed upon. The five members: Randolph of VA•, Wilson of PA, Gorham of MA, Ellsworth of CT and Rutledge of SC. They then adjourned until August 6th, a recess of eleven days. jbp Upper South Middle States Lower New England Lower SouthNorthern N.E. Notice the Geographic Balance!
  • 67. The Committee of Detail Reports-August 6 “Five weeks of intensive debate would ensue before delegates could agree and give the document to a new committee for final polishing”-- Bowen, p.200 “...though it included nothing that had not been discussed, debated, argued …. to see it laid out so plain, set down by article and section, drew a man’s fears, made him once more cautious…. The Maryland delegation...was much alarmed at the article giving Congress power to pass navigation acts, collect taxes and imposts and ‘regulate commerce among the several states….’ “All summer this question was to be agitated; in the end it would be settled by a bargain which, with a kind of brutal expediency, turned on the slavery question. ” Bowen, p. 200
  • 68. The Slavery Compromise “The question before the Convention was not, Shall slavery be abolished? It was rather,Who shall have the power to control it-- the states or the national government? As the Constitution now stood, Congress could control the traffic in slaves exactly as it controlled all other trade and commerce.” Bowen, p. 201
  • 69. The Final Terms the Constitution would permit the importation of slaves for a generation (20 years, till 1808); thereafter prohibit it Roger Sherman and James Wilson created another compromise: for representation in the House and the Electoral College, these “other persons”would be counted as three-fifths “No delegate had come to Philadelphia hoping for anything so drastic as to outlaw slavery from the United States, even those who hated it most. This was not a legislative body, to make laws. It was the business of delegates to create a Constitution for the country as it existed…. “Without disrupting the Convention and destroying the Union they could do no more. The time was not yet come.” Bowen, p. 204
  • 70. However... On July 4, 1854 he went so far as to publicly burn a copy of the Constitution condemning it as "a Covenant with Death, an Agreement with Hell," referring to the compromise that had w r i t t e n s l a v e r y i n t o t h e Constitution. His earlier alliance with the famed abolitionist F r e d e r i c k D o u g l a s s d i s i n t e g r a t e d o v e r t h e i r incompatible views regarding the Constitution: Douglass insisted that the document could be interpreted as anti- slavery, whereas Garrison was convinced that slavery had tainted its essence. Wikipedia William Lloyd Garrison 1805 – 1879
  • 71. Long, Hot August- foreign-born residence requirement for legislative office? no objection to native-born requirement for the Presidency “ten miles square” capital sumptuary laws-”temperance, frugality & virtue”? oaths to support the Constitution? test act? most states included a religious qualification for officeholders many discriminated against Catholics, Jews, Deists and unbelievers some had moved to “universal, equal, religious, protestant liberty” Article VI-”...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust….” ”Paterson hoped that members would not have as much altercation upon details as they had had in ‘getting the principles of the system.’ “-Bowen, p. 213
  • 72. ”The ratifications of the Conventions of (?) States shall be sufficient for organizing this Constitution.” -30 August Thirteen as the Articles required for amendment? Rhode Island (the boycotter) was sure to veto. NY and DL, likely Wilson moved the number seven-a simple majority MD moved to postpone (develop the opposition) bargaining to and fro- 8; 10; 9--then, adjournment Article III, Section 3-the only criminal statute in the Constitution
  • 73. Treason-”...at best a murky legal problem.” -Bowen, p.220-20 August Revolutionary War experience-loyalists (Tories) vs patriots (rebels) the current cases under the Treaty of ’83 1351-old English Statute of Treasons (under Edward III-”Longshanks”) how defined? how proved? how punished? Article III, Section 3-the only criminal statute in the Constitution in what sense a bill of rights provision before the Bill of Rights? other such? Article I, Section 9-Powers Denied the National Government I. 9. 2-”habeas corpus” I. 9. 3-”no Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law...”
  • 74. “Not the least surprising characteristic of the Federal (Constitutional) Convention was that, contrary to the tradition of political assemblies, it let itself be swayed by men of thought and historical perspective.” Bowen, p. 179
  • 75. Resolved, That the Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the Opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof...for their Assent and Ratification ….Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Convention, that as soon as the Conventions of nine States shall have ratified this Constitution…. By the unanimous Order of the Convention Go WASHINGTON--Presidt W. JACKSON Secretary. In Convention Monday September 17th 1787 Present the states of New Hampshire, Massachussetts, Connecticut, Mr. Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
  • 76. Ratification
  • 77. Ratification Delaware, the first to ratify
  • 78. In this case, quite a lot. The opponents to the new Constitution claimed that its advocates had highjacked their name, Federalists. In the debate at Philadelphia those who favored the Confederation referred to it as a “foederal”[18th century spelling] system, one which favored state power over that of the central government. But, from the beginning of the fight, the pro-ratification forces called their opponents Anti-federalists. The name stuck. And so did the debating advantage. The Federalists were unified, they were for something. The Anti-federalists were divided, against the Constitution but proposing a variety of “fixes” for the admitted shortcomings of the Articles. jbp What’s in a Name?
  • 79. Newspapers throughout the states published the long-awaited text of the Constitution. The proceedings in Philadelphia had been secret. So the public had heard only rumors about this important business.The Congress, sitting in New York City, sent the document to the state conventions. Pennsylvania took up the question. The debate was hot and by no means certain. James Wilson and Dr. Benjamin Rush were the Federalist champions. First of the four Large States (the others: MA, VA & NY), her decision would be crucial. Ironically, Delaware, with no opposition took the honors as the first to ratify. jbp
  • 80. The Next Crucial Race, Massachussetts 9 January-355, the largest of any state’s delegation, met in Boston. Among them were 29 who had fought for Shays’ Rebellion! the inland counties, a solid majority, were Anti-federalist, possibly 201. Gerry was a strong voice against ratification. But they were “ill managed, excitable, wordy”-Bowen 30 January-Sam Adams convinced John Hancock to side with the Federalists. In a dramatic speech, he swung the vote with the strategy of approval on condition that several amendments limiting the national government’s power be enacted this was not yet the Bill of Rights, but as several later states followed Massachussetts’ example, this would be the outcome
  • 81. Although New Hampshire’s ratification made the ninth state, everyone was aware that without the two remaining Large States, Virginia and New York, the success of this “more perfect Union”was highly unlikely. Virginia had begun her convention at the beginning of June. New Hampshire was still deliberating. The Anti-federalists were hopeful that their majority of delegates would spell doom for the new Constitution. jbp
  • 82. “Her population was a fifth of the population of the entire Union. Should Virginia ratify, she would be the ninth state, or so she thought: New Hampshire’s final vote was still three weeks away. If Virginia refused, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island would doubtless follow her lead. “This was to be the ablest of all the ratification conventions and the best prepared, a gathering studded with stars, with names and faces known throughout the state and beyond-- well-speaking gentlemen on both sides, well-dressed, wellborn. Bowen, pp. 294-95 Virginia’s crucial role
  • 83. Antifederalists Patrick Henry George Mason Benjamin Harrison James Monroe Richard Henry Lee Federalists George Wythe James Madison John Marshall William Callis Light-Horse Harry Lee
  • 84. Randolph’s “prime shock and surprise”-Bowen 4 June 1788-the first day of full debate, he rose to announce that he had always supported a firm, energetic government although he had refused to sign, the Massachussetts strategy of a promised Bill of Rights had convinced him that Virginia must also vote to ratify Patrick Henry rose to cast aspersions on his motive, suggesting that Washington had gotten to him--with persuasion, or worse when he was nominated Attorney General in the first administration, the matter came back again Edmund Randolph 1753-1813
  • 85. “On June twenty-fourth, Chancellor Wythe moved a resolution for ratification, with a bill of rights and subsequent amendments…. [although Patrick Henry denied it, Washington and Madison believed Randolph’s charge that he advocated secession if the vote went against him-jbp] “Each night for the past three weeks, both sides had made careful, detailed estimates of the votes….The fourteen Kentuckians were a source of jealous contention. With the vote running so close, even two of them might turn the tide.” Bowen, pp. 302-303
  • 86. June 25th-”the Constitution was now put to the vote, including a Declaration of Rights...By eighty-nine to seventy-nine the Constitution won. It had been close, very close indeed.” Bowen, p.304
  • 87. “In final form the Constitution was the product of both sides, pro and anti….’Upon the whole, I doubt whether the opposition to the Constitution will not ultimately be productive of more good than evil; it has called forth, in its defence, abilities...thrown new light upon the science of government...given the rights of man a full and fair discussion’ --Washington….” Bowen, p.305
  • 88. “News of Virginia’s capitulation reached Poughkeepsie on July second, when New York’s convention had been underway for two weeks. It was a crushing blow. During the winter the Clintonians [the Anti-federalists] had tried to keep in communication with a state from which they had hoped much. Governor Clinton was unanimously elected president of the convention….For the Constitutionalists there were John Jay and James Duane. The old names were conspicuous: Roosevelt, Ten Eyck, Van Cortlandt, De Witt. But Alexander Hamilton waged his memorable contest against what seemed truly insuperable odds and numbers. His argument was brilliant, his persistence almost superhuman.” Bowen, p.305
  • 89. The States Ratify State Date For Against Delaware 7 December ’87 30 0 Pennsylvania 12 December 46 23 New Jersey 22 December 38 0 Georgia 2 January ’88 26 0 Connecticut 6 January 128 40 Massachussetts 5 February 187 168 Maryland Apr 63 11 South Carolina May 149 73 New Hampshire 21 June 57 47 Virginia 25 June 89 79 New York 26 July 30 27 North Carolina Nov 1789 194 77 Rhode Island May 1790 34 32
  • 90. By even slimmer margins, the eleventh state ratified. More importantly, the four Large States had all joined the Union. Now the two laggards had little choice to come along as well. jbp
  • 91. The States Ratify State Date For Against Delaware 7 December ’87 30 0 Pennsylvania 12 December 46 23 New Jersey 22 December 38 0 Georgia 2 January ’88 26 0 Connecticut 6 January 128 40 Massachussetts 5 February 187 168 Maryland Apr 63 11 South Carolina May 149 73 New Hampshire 21 June 57 47 Virginia 25 June 89 79 New York 26 July 30 27 North Carolina Nov 1789 194 77 Rhode Island May 1790 34 32
  • 92. Bill of Rights
  • 93. Bill of Rights
  • 94. That summer there would be celebrations in all the ratifying states. New York City’s held the grandest parade. A horse-drawn float of a ship, the U.S. Constitution. The various tradesmen paraded. One banner survives.
  • 95. That summer there would be celebrations in all the ratifying states. New York City’s held the grandest parade. A horse-drawn float of a ship, the U.S. Constitution. The various tradesmen paraded. One banner survives. Elections were held that fall. When the new Congress assembled on 1789, the first bill introduced by James Madison was the Bill of Rights.
  • 96. That summer there would be celebrations in all the ratifying states. New York City’s held the grandest parade. A horse-drawn float of a ship, the U.S. Constitution. The various tradesmen paraded. One banner survives.• Elections were held that fall. When the new Congress assembled on 1789, the first bill introduced by James Madison was the Bill of Rights. The Constitution had come to life. But Franklin’s words on 17 September 1787 still haunt those of us who, like the Founders, have studied Ancient Greece. When asked by a woman as he was leaving Independence Hall what sort of a government they had created, he replied: “A Republic, madam. If you can keep it.” And that is, indeed, another story….