The New Federalist June 30, 1988 Pages 5 & 8

American Almanac
The Federalist Legacy: A Bicentennial Remembrance
of The Ratification of the Constitution
by Sanford Roberts
A giant float featuring a ship named the Hamilton was the centerpiece of a
Federalist-organied parade through !anhattan on "uly #$% &'((% to cele-
brate the ratification of the Constitution by the re)uired nine states* Three
days later% +ew ,or- leaders% meeting in .ough-eepsie% also ratified the
founding document of /*S* national go0ernment*
June 1988 marks the tw hundredth anni!ersar" # the rati#icatin # the
$%&% 'nstitutin% (ast "ear)s *icentennial cele+ratin ailed the dra#ting #
the dcument, +ut the +itterest, and mre ,liticall" ,r#und, +attle +rke
ut !er the -uestin # whether the "ung $nited &tates wuld actuall"
ad,t the 'nstitutin as its +asis #r g!ernment%
The drama # the #inal cn#rntatin, which ccurred in June 1.88, was
ca,tured +" /erge 0ashingtn in his 1a" 28, 1.88 letter t the 1ar-uis de
(a#a"ette3 4The ,lt thickens #ast% A #ew shrt weeks will determine the
,litical #ate # America #r the ,resent generatin and ,r+a+l" ,rduce n
small in#luence n the ha,,iness # ages t cme% &huld e!er"thing ,r5
ceed with harmn" and cnsent accrding t ur actual wishes and e6,ec5
tatins7 8 will cn#ess t "u sincerel", m" dear 1ar-uis7 it will +e s much
+e"nd an" thing we had a right t imagine r e6,ect eighteen mnths ag,
that it will demnstrate as !isi+l" the #inger # Pr!idence as an" ,ssi+le
e!ent in the curse # human a##airs can e!er designate it%4
9er" #ew Americans #ull" a,,reciate that the 'nstitutin was nt uni!ersal5
l" acclaimed when the Philadel,hia 'n!entin made it ,u+lic in &e,tem+er
1.8.% Althugh there were n /allu, ,llsters at the time, the e!idence
suggests that ,,nents # the ,r,sed ,lan were numericall" e-ual, i# nt
su,erir, t its ad!cates% The 'nstitutin +ecame the law # the land
+ecause # the ,litical will, leadershi,, and rgani:atin # a small num+er
# Federalists wh, 200 "ears ag, trium,hed !er the enemies # the
'nstitutin%
The Federalist e6am,le ser!es t remind us that the 'nstitutin is nt
smething t +e taken #r granted, then r nw% Althugh the 'nstitutin
#stered the de!el,ment # a re,u+lican natin5state un,aralleled in human
histr", there are thse wh urge the cn!ening # anther cn!entin t
radicall" re!ise the dcument r t scra, it altgether% There are thers,
,rinci,all" centered in the ;e,artment # Justice tda", wh ,a" hmage t
the 'nstitutin while im,lementing a ,lice state t re,lace it% The +reed5
ing grund #r these assaults n the 'nstitutin, +th !ert and c!ert, is
the #ear, a,ath", and c"nicism # ur #ellw citi:ens%
Americans must understand nce again that the li#e # a re,u+lic is nl"
sustained +" the minds and hearts # its citi:ens% 8n this electin "ear, when
American ,litics has descended int an a+"ss # ,ettiness and stu,idit", we
retell the str" # the #inal +attle #r the $%&% 'nstitutin in h,es that
Americans ha!e nt "et lst the a+ilit" t understand, res,ect, and there#re
emulate, the Prmethean e##rts ur #re#athers made t gi!es us #reedm
under the law%
The Crises Confronting The Founding Fathers
The 'nstitutin re,laced the Articles # 'n#ederatin s"stem, a <err"5+uilt
arrangement which led the natin t the +rink # ecnmic clla,se at hme
and im,tence in its e6ternal relatins% The +edrck # the Articles regime
was Article 88, which declared 4each state retains its s!ereignt", #reedm,
and inde,endence, and e!er" ,wer, <urisdictin, and right, which is nt +"
this 'n#ederatin e6,ressl" delegated t the $nited &tates, in 'ngress
assem+led%4
The 'n#ederatin 'ngress culd nt e6ercise an" ,wer t ta6, +ut relied
u,n a re-uisitin s"stem with which each state !luntaril" cm,lied with
#ederal le!ies=r mre #re-uentl", did nt cm,l"% The 'ngress was als
nt ,ermitted t e6ercise an" ther signi#icant ecnmic authrit", such as
the regulatin # cmmerce r the cining # mne"%
The President in the 'n#ederatin era was a #unctinar" # the 'ngress7 he
wielded n inde,endent e6ecuti!e authrit"% There was n #ederal <udiciar"
t resl!e dis,utes and cntr!ersies under a uni#ied +d" # natinal law%
$nder the Articles # 'n#ederatin, the United &tates was a cntradictin in
terms% Far #rm united, the states were a -uarreling alliance # #ie#dms
su+<ect t internal trade wars and t the intrigues # #reign ,wers%
The ecnmic and strategic crises # the mid51.808 created the ,recndi5
tins #r the Federalist #actin # /erge 0ashingtn, *en<amin Franklin,
Ale6ander >amiltn, James 0ilsn, /u!erneur 1rris, and thers t
,re!ail u,n 'ngress t call a general cn!entin t re!am, the #ailing
s"stem% Fi#t"5#i!e delegates attended the cn!entin which met in Phil5
adel,hia thrughut the summer # 1.8.% The" deli+erated in secret%
?n &e,tem+er 1., 1.8., the" un!eiled their ,lan # g!ernment t the
cuntr" and the wrld% The Philadel,hia 'n!entin)s ,atriarch, *en<amin
Franklin, ga!e his cnsent t the new ,lan in the #llwing wrds3 4it
there#re astnishes me, &ir, t #ind this s"stem a,,raching s near t
,er#ectin as it des7 and 8 think it will astnish ur enemies, wh are
waiting with cn#idence t hear that ur cuncils are cn#unded like thse
# the *uilders # *a+el7 and that ur &tates are n a ,int # se,aratin
nl" t meet herea#ter #r the ,ur,se # cutting ne anther)s thrats% Thus,
8 cnsent, &ir, t this 'nstitutin +ecause 8 e6,ect n +etter and +ecause 8
am nt sure it is nt the +est%4
Federalist Leaders
Ale1ander 2amilton 3eorge 4ashington
Author of The Federalist 5rganied a military
fight for the Constitution
"ames !adison Ben6amin Fran-lin
4ashington7s Chief of Staff Father of the Constitution
Franklin im,lred the delegates n the #inal da" # the Philadel,hia 'n!en5
tin t swallw an" ,ersnal di##erences the" ma" ha!e had with ne ,art #
the dcument r anther, and clse ranks arund the cm,sitin as a whle%
>e understd that the rati#icatin #ight which la" ahead wuld re-uire as
much unanimit" amng the delegates as culd +e mustered%
The clsing ,r!isin # the 'nstitutin mandated that 4the @ati#icatin #
the 'n!entins # nine &tates, shall +e su##icient #r the Asta+lishment #
this 'nstitutin +etween the &tates s rati#"ing the same%4 This nine5state
threshld was nt met until New >am,shire ga!e its assent n June 21,
1.88% A!en the rati#icatin +" New >am,shire was insu##icient t cm,lete5
l" esta+lish the authrit" # the 'nstitutin, since the #irst nine states did
nt include 9irginia and New Brk, tw states whse cn!entins were in
,rgress when the #inal !te ccurred in New >am,shire% A $nin withut
9irginia and New Brk, tw # the #ledgling re,u+lic)s largest and mst
cmmerciall" ,rs,erus states, was incncei!a+le%
The resistance t the $%&% 'nstitutin arse well +e#re the instrument was
,ut in #inal #rm and ##iciall" signed% &e!eral delegates t the 'nstitutin5
al 'n!entin le#t the ,rceedings e6,ressing their disagreements with the
general ,lan +eing hammered ut in Philadel,hia% Three delegates, 9ir5
ginia)s Admund @andl,h and /erge 1asn, alng with Al+ridge /err" #
1assachusetts, remained until the #inal da" when the" re#used t <in their
+rethren in signing the dcument%
The Battle Lines are 8rawn
The disseminatin # the 'nstitutin immediatel" ,lari:ed the cuntr"%
The makers and su,,rters # the new 'nstitutin, wh +ecame knwn as
Federalists during the de+ates and ,am,hlet wars !er ad,ting the 'nsti5
tutin, were denunced as t"rants, aristcrats, and mnarchists +" a ragged
netwrk # ,,nents re#erred t as Anti5Federalists% The latter ,rtra"ed
the 'nstitutinal 'n!entin as a 4dark cncla!e4 # 4+ld cns,iratrs4
wh reall" wanted t ensla!e the cuntr" with an elected mnarch, standing
arm", and 4aristcratical 'ngress # the well5+rn%4
0ithin a mnth # the signing # the 'nstitutin, man" # the leading Anti5
Federalist tracts were ,u+lished and circulated, including ,ieces +" 4*rutus4
and 4'at4 in New Brk, 4'entinel4 in Penns"l!ania, 4(etters #rm a Fed5
eral Farmer,4 and /erge 1asn)s 4?+<ectins%4 The +rad range # attacks
n the 'nstitutin gal!ani:ed the Federalists int a !igrus ,u+lic de#ense
# the instrument which sme # them had cra#ted during the ,receding
summer%
Ale6ander >amiltn rgani:ed the mst am+itius and enduring ,r<ect in
su,,rt # the 'nstitutin, The Federalist, a +rilliant clause5+"5clause
de#ense # the creatin # the Philadel,hia 'n!entin% The Federalist,
authred +" >amiltn, his #ellw New Brker Jhn Ja", and James 1adisn
# 9irginia, was nt an i!r" twer anal"sis, +ut a ,lemical e6,sitin n
re,u+licanism and cnstitutinal g!ernment designed t cunter the h",er5
+le, misre,resentatin, and utright #alsehds circulated +" the ,,si5
tin% As >amiltn cncei!ed it, each ,a,er wuld +e cntem,raneusl"
,u+lished in the ,ress, and then the entire cm,ilatin wuld +e se,aratel"
circulated t ensure the widest ,ssi+le reading # the material% 8n this
regard, the New Brker relied u,n the lgistical su,eririt" # the Federal5
ists) #rces, a ,ractical realit" which re#lected a critical ,hils,hical
di##erence +etween the tw cam,s%
Althugh much has +een written a+ut the di##erences +etween the Federal5
ists and their ,,nents, ne !erwhelmingl" im,rtant di##erence was the
Anti5Federalist cred that the $nited &tates culd nt +e g!erned as a
re,u+lican natin5state% 8n Men of Little Faith, the histrian 'ecilia Cen"n
wrte, 4The #undamental issue !er which the Federalists and Anti5Federal5
ists s,lit was the -uestin # whether re,u+lican g!ernment culd +e
e6tended t em+race a natin, r whether it must +e limited t the cm,ara5
ti!el" small ,litical and gegra,hical units which the se,arate American
states then cnstituted%4 The Anti5Federalists, ad!cates # a small5is5
+eauti#ul ,hils,h", +elie!ed that a re,u+lican g!ernment culd nl"
sur!i!e n a limited e6,anse # territr", such as the /reek cit"5state #
anti-uit"% Accrding t ne Anti5Federalist, tr"ing t rule the whle $nited
&tates +" a single re,u+lican g!ernment was like 4tr"ing t rule >ell +"
,ra"er%4
The Federalists, men # larger !isin, knew, as >amiltn, 0ashingtn, and
Franklin did, that the $nited &tates culd +ecme a highl" integrated and
,rs,erus cmmercial re,u+lic under the rule # a strng and energetic
central g!ernment% 8n the ninth Federalist ,a,er, >amiltn shwed his
cntem,t #r the small5is5+eauti#ul idelg" which he ,redicted wuld lead
ine6ra+l" t 4an in#init" # little <ealus, clashing, tumultuus cmmn5
wealths, the wretched nurseries # unceasing discrd and the misera+le
+<ects # uni!ersal ,it" r cntem,t%4
The Federalists, as a result # their e6,eriences in the 'ntinental Arm", the
Articles # 'n#ederatin 'ngress, and the Philadel,hia 'n!entin #
1.8., had de!el,ed 4cmmittees # crres,ndence,4 which culd +e
m+ili:ed ra,idl" t accm,lish natinal ,litical +<ecti!es% The Anti5
Federalists, wh drew their leaders ,rinci,all" #rm the ranks # state ,liti5
cal machines and ##icehlders, had n cm,ara+le ca,a+ilit"% Thus, at
critical ,ints in the +attles !er rati#icatin, the Anti5Federalists su##ered
#rm a de+ilitating lack # chesin amng their #rces, as well as a nagging
lack # intelligence n +reaking e!ents%
The Federalists a,,rached the cntest !er rati#icatin like a militar"
cam,aign% As ne +igra,her # /erge 0ashingtn wrte, 40ashingtn
cunted the #es # the 'nstitutin and, as in war da"s, did nt under5
estimate the strength # his ,,nents% % % % The /eneral ,re,ared #r the
cntest, with 1adisn in sme sense his 'hie# # &ta##, and he mustered his
wn arguments and resurces%4
The arenas # cn#lict were the cn!entin halls # Pughkee,sie and @ich5
mnd, rather than the +attle#ields # &aratga and Brktwn% The" were less
+ld" than the ,itched +attles # the @e!lutinar" ,erid, +ut ultimatel"
the" were as im,rtant, i# nt mre s, t the sur!i!al # the "ung re,u+lic%
The earl" su,,rt # the natin)s tw mst res,ected and admired men,
Franklin and 0ashingtn, ga!e the Federalists an immediate ,r,agandistic
ad!antage% At the dawn # the rati#icatin cam,aign, ne crres,ndent #r
the Pennsylvania Herald wrte that 4the arguments, i# the" +e arguments,
mst insisted u,n in #a!r # the ,r,sed 'nstitutin are that i# the ,lan
is nt a gd ne, it is im,ssi+le that either /eneral 0ashingtn r ;ctr
Franklin wuld ha!e recmmended it%4 /u!erneur 1rris re,rted t
0ashingtn that his a,,r!al # the 'nstitutin was # 4in#inite ser!ice4 t
the cause # rati#icatin and that 4i# "u had nt attended the cn!entin, and
the same ,a,er had +een handed ut t the wrld, it wuld ha!e met with a
clder rece,tin, with #ewer and weaker ad!cates, and with mre and mre
strenuus ,,nents%4
The Federalists struck #ast and hard in states where the" en<"ed !er5
whelming ,litical su,eririt" and held the line in states where the" were at
a disad!antage% A Federalist <uggernaut targeted their mst s"m,athetic
states and gained eas" !ictries in the #irst #i!e states # the rati#icatin
cam,aign% &erius resistance was encuntered nl" in the state # Penns"l5
!ania% Accrding t Jacksn Turner 1ain, an histrian s"m,athetic t the
Anti5Federalist cause, 4This mmentum was ne!er entirel" lst% The #act that
e!er" ne # the #i!e rati#ied +" large margins was im,rtant in 1assachu5
setts and the utcme there was in#luential elsewhere%4
8n 1assachusetts, where the Anti5Federalists initiall" a,,eared ,re,nder5
ant, the Federalists c5,ted the ,,sitin)s mst +urning issue3 the lack #
a +ill # rights% &ince the ince,tin # the rati#icatin cam,aign, the Anti5
Federalists #rm ne end # the cuntr" t the ther had demaggicall"
attacked the 'nstitutin #r the a+sence # a +ill # rights% This tactic was
+lunted when the 1assachusetts Federalists made the #llwing ##er t the
,,sitin3 @ati#" the 'nstitutin nw and we shall <in with "u in ,r5
,sing amendments t +e ad,ted +" the new g!ernment% ?n Fe+ruar" D,
1.88, this ,r,sal drew enugh su,,rt #rm the ,,sitin that 1assachu5
setts +ecame the si6th state t rati#" +" a narrw ma<rit" # 18. t 1D8%
Neigh+ring New >am,shire +egan its cn!entin ne week later% Again,
the Federalists #aced a numericall" su,erir enem", +ut this time ten da"s #
de+ate #ailed t ,ersuade their +stinate #es% @ather than su##er their #irst
de#eat, the Federalists #rced the cn!entin t ad<urn t +e reassem+led in
June%
*" the s,ring # 1.88, the Anti5Federalists had gathered their #rces #r an
all5ut dri!e t +lck rati#icatin% The" set u, a head-uarters in Al+an",
New Brk called the Federal @e,u+lican 'mmittee, administered +"
/eneral Jhn (am+% The Antis ran the success#ul e##rts t elect delegates
in 9irginia and New Brk, attaining a su+stantial ma<rit" in the latter state%
;es,ite this calescing # ,,sitin #rces, the Federalists +rught the
rati#icatin ttal t eight, with trium,hs in 1ar"land and &uth 'arlina%
"une &'((: The Showdown
Althugh the Federalists std within ne !te # ##iciall" creating the new
cnstitutinal $nin, the remaining states re,resented the mst entrenched
+astins # Anti5Federalism% ?n 1a" 18, 1.88, /eneral (am+ wrte t
Nathaniel Pea+d", a clla+ratr in New >am,shire% (am+ was sure that
accrd +etween the Anti5Federalists in New Brk, New >am,shire, and
9irginia wuld st, the ,assage # the 'nstitutin% (am+ ,r,sed that
this culd mst e##ecti!el" +e dne +" nt ,,sing the 'nstitutin ut5
right, +ut using 4ur +est endea!rs t ,rcure amendments t the &"stem
,re!ius t its ad,tin%4
8n essence, (am+ ,r,sed t <ud the tactic em,l"ed in 1assachusetts +"
the Federalists% @ather than rati#"ing the 'nstitutin and therea#ter ##ering
amendments E(am+ called this 4surrender4F, the /eneral em,hasi:ed that
rati#icatin shuld +e cnditined u,n the ,assage # amendments% >w5
e!er, as (am+ and thers well knew, the legal e##ect # cnditinal rati#i5
catin was the same as n rati#icatin at all%
1re!er, the Anti5Federalists in 9irginia and New Brk were cmmitted t
an unhl" alliance which the" +elie!ed culd surmunt the nine5state
rati#icatin% The" reasned that i# the tw states ,ut u, a re<ectinist #rnt,
the" culd #rce the ma<rit" t +end t their wishes% Fr a num+er #
reasns, this re<ectinist #rnt was a serius threat t the !ia+ilit" # the
<uridical $nin, e!en i# nine states had a,,r!ed%
The gegra,hic si:e and lcatin # 9irginia and New Brk made their
inclusin in the $nin a necessit"% 0ithut them, the $nited &tates wuld
lse a signi#icant amunt # territr" as well as +eing su+di!ided int three
discnnected units% 9irginia and New Brk als cnstituted tw # the mst
,,ulus states in the natin% New Brk 'it", the re,u+lic)s tem,rar"
ca,ital, largest cmmercial ,rt, and secnd5largest cit", wuld als +e lst%
0ith the electin # an Anti5Federal ma<rit" in New Brk and an e!enl"
di!ided delegatin attending the 9irginia cn!entin, >amiltn m!ed t
ut#lank the Anti5Federalists and attack at their weakest ,int% 8n New
>am,shire, the Federalists, utnum+ered in Fe+ruar", had gained su+stantial
strength +" June% This de!el,ment was assisted +" the success#ul rati#ica5
tin cam,aign in 1ar"land and &uth 'arlina, and +" signi#icant in,ut
#rm ,rminent Federalists, including /erge 0ashingtn)s ,ersnal
secretar"%
?n June D, 1.88, >amiltn wrte t Jhn &ulli!an in New >am,shire,
e6hrting him t ,ush the state)s cn!entin t a s,eed" cnclusin s that
the news culd then +e crss5#ired int the New Brk 'n!entin scheduled
t meet in Pughkee,sie n June 1.3 4Bu will n du+t ha!e understd
that the Anti5Federal ,art" ,re!ailed in this &tate +" a large ma<rit"% 8t is
there#re # the utmst im,rtance that all e6ternal circumstances shuld +e
made use # t in#luence their cnduct% This will suggest t "u the great
advantage # a s,eed" decisin in "ur &tate, i# "u can +e sure # the
-uestin and a ,rm,t cmmunicatin # the e!ent t us% 0ith this !iew,
,ermit me t re-uest that the instant "u ha!e taken a decisi!e !te in #a!r
# the 'nstitutin, "u send an e6,ress% (et him take the shortest route t
that ,lace, change hrses n the rad, and use all ,ssi+le diligence% 8 shall
with ,leasure de#ra" all e6,enses, and gi!e a li+eral reward t the ,ersn%
As 8 sus,ect an e##rt will +e made t ,reci,itate us, all ,ssi+le sa#e
dis,atch n "ur ,art, as well t +tain a decisin as t cmmunicate the
intelligence # it, will +e desira+le%4
.atric- 2enry 3eorge !ason 9dmund Randolph
Conni0ing to create Refused to sign Courted by
a southern confederacy: the Constitution both sides
The ,lan t arrange an e6,ress rider with the a##irmati!e news #rm the
cn!entin in 'ncrd, New >am,shire was im,lemented in less than a
week)s time% ?n June 12, @u#us Cing, the ,rinci,al Federalist ,erati!e in
New Angland, wrte +ack t >amiltn with cn#irmatin # the arrange5
ments% Cing rea##irmed that his surces had ,redicted the utcme # the
New >am,shire cn!entin 4will +e as we wish%4 Cing #urther nted that
the 4accessin # New >am,shire will ,resent the &u+<ect t "ur 'n!en5
tin in a new and indeed an e6trardinar" light% 8 think "ur ?,,nents
,wer#ul as the" ma" +e, will +e greatl" ,er,le6ed%4
The New >am,shire and New Brk cn!entins ,ened n the same da"3
June 1., 1.88% 0hile the Federalists ,rceeded with dis,atch in New
>am,shire t su+due the ,,sitin, the New Brk Federalists led +"
>amiltn, Ja", and @+ert (i!ingstn tk the ,,site a,,rach% The
Pughkee,sie cn!entin ,ened with a se!eral5hur ratin +" (i!ingstn
attacking the insu##icienc" # the Articles # 'n#ederatin and e6tlling the
!irtues # the ,r,sed 'nstitutin% Then (i!ingstn and >amiltn ,laced
a reslutin +e#re the assem+led delegates which ,recluded an" !te n the
'nstitutin r ,r,sed amendments 4until a#ter the said 'nstitutin and
Amendments shall ha!e +een cnsidered 'lause +" 'lause%4
The 4clause5+"5clause4 reslutin ,assed +" a unanimus !te% The Anti5
Federalists) agreed t the reslutin, #ull" cn#ident in their ma<rit" ,sitin
and h,ing t eliminate an" charges that the" were t ,reci,itus in their
actins% @+ert Bates, a leader # the Anti5Federalist delegatin, sent a
crres,ndence t /erge 1asn e6,laining that 4#ull" rel"ing n the
&teadiness # ur Friends, we see n ;anger in this 1de and we came int
it t ,re!ent the ?,,sitin #rm charging us with Preci,itatin%4
?ther Antis were nt s sure that a dela" was harmless% A+raham (ansing,
the +rther # Anti5Federalist leader Jhn (ansing, warned that 4the Federal
/entlemen will n du+t a!ail themsel!es # and ,rcrastinate the +usiness
as lng as the" ,ssi+l" can% % % % The decisin # the ther &tates ma" als
ha!e a Tendenc" t in#luence the cnduct # sme # the 1em+ers=A
Friend returned #rm Pughkee,sie last e!ening, in#rmed us that he was
a,,rehensi!e that the Federalists wuld ,erate u,n the >,es and Fears #
sme% 8 h,e m" #ears ma" +e ill5#unded=+ut 8 am a,,rehensi!e we will
e!entuall" +e in<ured +" the dela"=ntwithstanding the decided ma<rit"%4
(ansing)s #ears were well5#unded% The Federalist cntingent e6,lited the
dela" t their ad!antage, as the" engaged in a cncerted e##rt t ,ersuade
the Antis t a+andn their ,,sitin% Accrding t 'harles Tillinghast,
/eneral (am+)s sn5in5law, >amiltn, Ja", and (i!ingstn in ,articular were
4cntinuall" singling ut the mem+ers in ?,,sitin Ewhen ut # 'n!en5
tinF and cn!ersing with them n the su+<ect%4 8n mid5June, the Federalist
strateg" in New Brk was three#ld3 #t5drag inside the cn!entin, chi,
awa" at the ,,sitin utside the cn!entin, and wait #r news #rm the
ther states%
0hile the Federalists ,ushed in New >am,shire and stalled in New Brk,
thse in 9irginia were lcked in a #urius +attle with the ,,sitin% The
9irginia cn!entin had ,ened in @ichmnd tw weeks +e#re the dele5
gates assem+led in Pughkee,sie and 'ncrd% The Antis were led +"
1asn and Patrick >enr", the li+ert"5r5death #rmer g!ernr # the
'mmnwealth whse #ulminatins against the 'nstitutin ccu," ne5
#i#th # the entire cn!entin recrd%
There was !irtuall" nthing in the 'nstitutin which esca,ed >enr")s
censure% >is ,ening attack #cused n the #irst three wrds # the dcu5
ment% Althugh the delegates t the 'nstitutinal 'n!entin were 4!ener5
a+le men,4 said >enr", 4gi!e me lea!e t demand what right had the" t sa",
)0e the ,e,le)G 1" ,litical curisit", e6clusi!e # m" an6ius slicitude
#r the ,u+lic wel#are, leads me t ask, wh authri:ed them t s,eak the
language # )0e the ,e,le), instead # )0e the states)G % % % The ,e,le ga!e
them n ,wer t use their name% % % % Bu must, there#re, #rgi!e the
slicitatin # ne unwrth" mem+er, t knw what danger culd ha!e
arisen under the ,resent cn#ederatin, and what are the causes # this
,r,sal t change ur g!ernment%4
;uring the curse # the cn!entin, >enr" assailed the ta6ing, s,ending,
and cmmercial ,wers gi!en t 'ngress, the esta+lishment # a #ederal
<udiciar", the e6istence # a standing arm", the a+sence # the +ill # rights,
the allcatin # a ten5s-uare mile area #r the #ederal ca,ital, and mre%
0hen it came t a discussin # the ,r,sed ,wers # the President under
Article 88 # the 'nstitutin, >enr" came un+uttned% The wrds tum+led
ut with such s,eed and #ur" that the re,rter # the ,rceedings, una+le t
kee, ,ace, cm,ressed the s,eech int a nte3 4>ere 1r% >enr" strngl"
and ,atheticall" e6,atiated n the ,r+a+ilit" # the ,resident)s ensla!ing
America, and the hrrid cnse-uences that must result%4
8n the earl" ,rtin # the 9irginia cn!entin, the rantings # the #rmer
g!ernr were !ershadwed +" an annuncement #r the ,resent chie#
e6ecuti!e% Admund @andl,h, initiall" aligned with the Federalists at the
'nstitutinal 'n!entin, was ne # the three delegates wh re#used t
sign the #inal dra#t% As such, the Anti5Federalists cunted him as ne # their
wn% ;es,ite his weak and !acillating character, @andl,h was nt an insig5
ni#icant ,wer in the ?ld ;minin, and his su,,rt was deemed im,rtant
+" +th sides%
Fr se!eral mnths ,rir t the @ichmnd cn!entin, 0ashingtn and
1adisn tried t educate @andl,h n the merits # the 'nstitutin and the
#ll" # ,,sitin% 8n ne letter, 0ashingtn ,sed the -uestin t @an5
dl,h in the starkest terms% 4There are sme things in the new #rm,4 wrte
the /eneral, that 48 am ,ersuaded ne!er will +tain +" crdial a,,r+atin7
+ut 8 then did cncei!e, and d nw mst #irml" +elie!e, that, in the aggre5
gate, it is the +est 'nstitutin that can +e +tained at this A,cha, and that
this, r a disslutin # the $nin awaits ur chice, and are the nl" alter5
nati!es +e#re us%4 1adisn ad!ised @andl,h that underneath >enr")s
rhetric +eat the heart # a man cnni!ing t create a se,arate &uthern
cn#ederac"%
8n his #irst s,eech t the @ichmnd cn!entin, @andl,h tld the Anti5
Federalists that nt rati#"ing the 'nstitutin r making rati#icatin
cnditinal u,n the acce,tance # amendments was cntrar" t the +est
interests # the cuntr"% The 'nstitutin must +e ,assed withut dela"%
@e#lecting the im,act # 0ashingtn)s letter, he dramaticall" tld the
cn!entin, 4And 8 will assent t the l,,ing ## # this lim+ Emeaning his
armF +e#re 8 assent t the disslutin # the unin%4
>enr" cuntered @andl,h)s a+ut5#ace with a trrent # in!ecti!es and
e,ithets% 0hen @andl,h res,nded in kind, the !er+al insults escalated t
the ,int # ,h"sical cn#rntatin% ?n June 9, >enr")s secnd called u,n
@andl,h)s t make ,re,aratins #r a duel, +ut the situatin was -uickl"
de#used% The nl" dueling was dne #rm the s,eakers) rstrum inside the
cn!entin which cntinued its clause5+"5clause de+ate !er the 'nstitu5
tin%
The Resistance Crumbles
*" June 1., the cn!entins in all three states were de+ating the 'nstitu5
tin simultaneusl"% 8n New >am,shire, the Federalists -uickl" de#eated a
mtin t make rati#icatin cnditinal u,n the ,assage # amendments%
The 4s,eed" decisin4 urged +" >amiltn came a+ut in #ur da"s% ?n June
21, 1.88, New >am,shire, +" a !te # 5. t H., +ecame the ninth state t
rati#"% ?n this date, the 'nstitutin ##iciall" +ecame the law # the land%
8mmediatel", >amiltn)s e6,ress rider, 'lnel >enle", tk ## #r Pugh5
kee,sie% Three da"s later, a#ter deli!ering the eagerl" awaited news t >am5
iltn at the New Brk 'n!entin, the rider tk ## tward @ichmnd t
in#rm the delegates in sessin there% *" the time the news arri!ed, the issue
was mt%
The Federalists in 9irginia, under the #lr leadershi, # 1adisn, /erge
Nichlas, (ight >rse >arr" (ee, and #uture 'hie# Justice Jhn 1arshall,
,r!ed t +e e6ceedingl" ,ersuasi!e in their cm,rehensi!e de#ense # the
'nstitutin% ?n June 23, the @ichmnd 'n!entin #inished its clause5+"5
clause cnsideratin # the dcument% ?n the #llwing da", +th sides
summed u,%
1adisn warned the @ichmnd delegates that the re<ectin r cnditinal
rati#icatin # the 'nstitutin wuld lead t anarch" and chas% The ,r5
cess # creating a new /!ernment wuld disintegrate int endless s-ua+5
+les and disagreements% 8#, hwe!er, 9irginia assented t the 'nstitutin
withut im,sing ,rir cnditins, it wuld +e 4ne # the mst #rtunate
e!ents that e!er ha,,ened #r human nature%4
>enr" addressed himsel# t 1adisn)s ,erratin% 4>e tells "u,4 >enr"
re,lied, 4# im,rtant +lessings which he imagines will result t us and
mankind in general #rm the ad,tin # this s"stem% 8 see the aw#ul
immensit" # the dangers with which it is ,regnant% 8 see it% 8 #eel it% 8 see
+eings # a higher rder an6ius cncerning ur decisin%4 &uddenl", the
+eings # a higher rder unleashed a #ercius strm u,n @ichmnd7 the
intense thunder and lightning a+rted the >enr" summatin% That da", a
sa"ing was +rn3 4nl" /d can silence Patrick >enr"%4
Perha,s nl" /d culd ,ermanentl" silence the +m+astic >enr", +ut n
June 25, 1.88, the Federalists stilled his tngue +" calling the -uestin% *"
a !te # 88 t 80, the delegates !ted against re#erring ,re!ius amend5
ments t ther states +e#re ,assage # the 'nstitutin% Then, the cn!en5
tin !ted 895.9 #r rati#icatin%
&metime in late June, >amiltn)s rider gall,ing suth with news #rm
New >am,shire encuntered anther curier tra!eling in the ,,site direc5
tin with the results #rm @ichmnd% 'lnel >enle" instantl" wheeled his
hrse arund and headed +ack tward Pughkee,sie% The intelligence #rm
@ichmnd was deli!ered t the New Brk 'n!entin n Jul" 3%
8n mid5Jul", >amiltn and (i!ingstn tld the cn!entin that ,r5Federalist
New Brk 'it" was ,re,ared t secede #rm the state, i# Pughkee,sie
declined t a##irm the 'nstitutin% The Anti5Federalists knew that the
secessin # New Brk 'it" made the state)s hldut status untena+le% 0hile
the" cntem,lated the threats made +" the Federalist cam,, anther e!ent
ccurred which ,reci,itated the rati#icatin ,rcess in New Brk%
?ne # the mst e##ecti!e tactics which the Federalists em,l"ed thrughut
was the rgani:atin # large and s,ectacular ,rcessins, ,art #esti!e ,arade
and ,art ,litical rall", in cele+ratin # the rati#icatin in se!eral states% The
Anti5Federalists generall" derided the im,rtance # these ut,urings #
,,ular su,,rt% The New Brk Federalists decided t s,nsr such a ,r5
cessin while the Pughkee,sie 'n!entin was still ,ending%
?n Jul" 23, se!eral thusand New Brk 'it" residents tk t the streets%
The center,iece # the New Brk 'it" e!ent was an enrmus, hrsedrawn
shi,5#5state a,tl" named 4>amiltn,4 a tri+ute t the authr # The Federal-
ist and the #actin leader in Pughkee,sie% The shi, was a 4#rigate # thirt"5
tw guns, twent"5se!en #eet keel, and ten #eet +eam, with galleries, and
e!er" thing cm,lete and in ,r,rtin, +th in hull and rigging7 manned
with u,wards # thirt" seamen and marines in di##erent uni#rms7 cm5
manded +" 'mmdre Nichlsn and drawn +" ten hrses%4
The ,artisan nature # the cele+ratin was unmistaka+le% The New York
Journal # Jul" 2H re,rted the di!ided reactins% 4The ,r antis generall"
minded their +usiness at hme3 thers, wh were s,ectatrs at an aw#ul
distance, lked as sur as the ;e!il% As #r the #eds, the" re<iced in
di##erent degrees=there was the ha, ha, haI and the he, he, heI4
8n the wake # the New Brk 'it" ,rcessin, the Pughkee,sie resistance
clla,sed% ?n Jul" 2D, 1.88 New Brk +ecame the ele!enth state t ad,t
the 'nstitutin% The $nin was, at last, secured%

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