In this episode of Constitutionally Speaking, Jay and Luke finish their discussion of the ratification debates with a look at Virginia and New York. Two of the most important states in the union, the Old Dominion and the Empire State were hardly enthusiastic supporters of the Constitution. In Virginia, major political figures like Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, and Patrick Henry opposed it, while the delegates at the convention were closely divided. In New York, Governor George Clinton and his political allies staunchly opposed it, and the ratification convention was dominated by Anti-Federalists. Ultimately, James Madison outmatched Henry in the Virginia convention in June 1788, narrowly securing ratification, which put enough pressure on New York to accede to the new government in July.
George Mason, “Objections to the Constitution”
Virginia Ratifying Convention, “Proposed Amendments to the Constitution“
James Madison to Alexander Hamilton, July 20, 1788