Ratification Debate Continued

Rufus King
Rufus King, delegate from Massachusetts
Charles Willson Peale, 1818

Independence National Historical Park

Ratification Debate Continued

"Mr. King thought striking out 'Conventions' as the requisite mode [of ratification] was equivalent to giving up the business altogether. Conventions alone, which will avoid all the obstacles from the complicated formulation of the legislatures, will succeed…"

- James Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention

The delegates spent nearly the entire day debating Article XXI and XXII of the Committee of Detail report - how the proposed plan was to be ratified. The three questions were: How many states were necessary to ratify? Who in the states should ratify? What role should the Confederation Congress have?

After vigorous debate, the final plan took shape. The Constitution would be "laid before" the Confederation Congress "for their approbation" with a recommendation that each state call a ratifying Convention. A minimum of nine states would be necessary to put the Constitution into effect - for those ratifying.

Late in the day, the Convention took up the report from the committee on treating the states equally in regulating trade. The clause forbidding preference to the ports of any one state was approved. The delegates debated the clause forbidding vessels bound to or from one state to enter or clear in another. Madison, Gorham (MA), and Langdon (NH) opposed it, pointing out cases where exceptions were desirable; Fitzsimons (PA) and the Marylanders strongly supported it and it passed, NH and SC only no.

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Saturday, September 1, 1787
Preparing for September

HOME The 225th Anniversary of the Constitution Convention

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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