In this episode of Constitutionally Speaking, Jay and Luke begin their discussion of ratification. The early contests saw big victories for the Federalists, in Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. With the exception of Pennsylvania, these were all small states with pressing needs for a stronger national government. Because the proposed Senate would protect their sovereignty, they ratified the Constitution quickly and eagerly. Pennsylvania, however, was a different story. Opposition to the Constitution in the west was strong, but slow to mobilize thanks to the “cram job” engineered by Philadelphia Federalists to ratify the Constitution before it had a full vetting. The Anti-Federalists responded by denouncing the ratifying convention after the fact, presaging the fierce battle to come in Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia.
- Gouverneur Morris to George Washington, October 30, 1787.
- “The Address and reasons of dissent of the minority of the convention, of the state of Pennsylvania, to their constituents,” December 12, 1787.