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ARTICLE VII PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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ARTICLE VII. The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same. .

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ARTICLE VII

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ARTICLE VII

The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same.


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Gouverneur Morris urged the Constitutional Convention “to hasten their deliberations to conclusion.” Any delay was dangerous, Morris warned; the more “the people have time to hear the variety of objections the Constitution would evoke, the more doubtful its fate would be.”


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“A Rising Sun”

After signing the Constitution, September 17th, 1787, the delegates “adjourned to the City Tavern, dined together and took a cordial leave of each other.”


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For most delegates this farewell dinner marked only a brief respite between the two stages of their Constitutional labors.

Most would lead the struggle of obtaining nation-wide acceptance of the Constitution


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A Formidable BarrierThe Unanimous Ratification Clause of the Articles of Confederation

“a breach of any of the articles of the confederation by any of the parties to it, absolves the other parties from their respective obligations, and gives them the right if they chuse to exert it, of dissolving the Union altogether.”James Madison

A fundamental change in the rule of ratification would be necessary


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Abandoning the Rule of Unanimity

  • Unanimous vote from all 13 States

  • Refer to State Legislatures

  • Should Congress simply enact it

  • State elected ratification Conventions


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A Prescription for Chaos:Should we allow States to make Changes?

  • Pierce Butler responded, “delegates coming together under the discordant impressions of their Constituents” could never reach agreement. “Conventions are serious things and ought not be repeated.”

  • State Ratification Conventions would have to ratify the Constitution as a whole.


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How many states would be needed for Ratification?

  • August 30-31, 1787, the Convention fixed 9 as the number of states needed for ratification.


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Off to Congress

  • September 28, 1787, Congress adopted a resolution. Under its terms Congress took no position on the Constitution; but explicitly asked the state legislatures to comply with the procedures recommended by the Convention.

  • The Articles of Confederation “have received a sentence of death.”


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The Great Debate in the StatesFederalists v. Anti-Federalists

  • Federalists

    • Favored a stronger national government and supported the proposed Constitution

    • Later became the first political party in the U.S.

  • Anti-Federalists

    • Favored strong state governments and a weak national government

    • Opposed the ratification of the U.S. Constitution


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Federalism vs. Antifederalism


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Social Classes Divide

  • Many Anti-Federalists held a sense of social inferiority, which often did not allow them to mount a strong argument.

  • Amos Singletary of Massachusetts described the Federalists as “these lawyers, and men of learning, and moneyed men, that talk so finely, and gloss over matters so smoothly, to make us poor little people swallow down the pill.”


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Ratifying the Constitution

  • Three states acted quickly to ratify the Constitution.

    • Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

    • Massachusetts assented, but wanted amendments to protect individual rights.

      • John Hancock proposed that the convention ratify but accompany its approval with a recommendation for the adoption of a Bill of Rights.

    • New Hampshire: crucial ninth state to ratify on June 21, 1788.

    • NY and VA had not ratified, but would.

    • North Carolina and Rhode Island still held out.

      • Worried about their new currency and its value upon ratification.

      • NC rejected the Constitution on basis of no Anti-Federalist amendments were included.

      • Congress submitted the Bill of Rights to the states for ratification in September 1789


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The Federalist Papers

  • Series of 85 political papers written by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison

    • Supported the ratification of the Constitution

    • Hamilton wrote 51, Madison wrote 26, Jay wrote 5

    • Appeared in newspapers where ratification was in doubt

    • Brutus and Cato among others versus Publius


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The Federalist Papers

  • Anti-Federalists feared a strong central government would render states powerless.

    • Feared that liberties of people would be trampled

    • Wanted to limit taxing power of Congress

    • Curb executive with a council

    • Military consist of state militia rather than a national force

    • Limit Supreme Court power to review decisions made by states

  • Conciliation became the true rule of conduct

    • Federalists supported amendments being adopted by the first Congress.


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June 21, 1788New Hampshire became the 9th State to Ratify the Constitution The rest would eventually follow fearing otherwise being separated from the Union


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Unanimity?

  • Absurd to expect all 13 states to approve a Constitution circumscribing their legislative power and autonomy

  • The refusal of “Rogue Island” to send delegates to Philadelphia provided a sound rationale for violating Article XIII of the Articles fo Confederation


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State Legislatures?

  • Edmund Randolph argued, “whose opposition will be most likely to be excited against the System if not that of the local demagogues who will be degraded by it from importance they now hold?”

  • George Mason argued that legislatures would have too much power if allowed to have equal authority.


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Should Congress Enact it?

  • This would bypass the authority of the people and thus forego any legitimacy given to the Constitution through popular sovereignty.

  • James Wilson argued, “it would be worse than folly to rest the fate of the Constitution on the acquiescence of a Congress.”


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Ratification Conventions?

  • “The people were the fountain of power, and by resorting to them, all difficulties were got over.” James Madison

  • Rufus King “preferred a reference to the authority of the people expressly delegated to Conventions, as the most certain means of obviating all disputes and doubts concerning the legitimacy of the new Constitution, as well as the most likely means of drawing forth the bestmen in the States to decide on it.”


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