The Fight For Ratification

The fight for the ratification of the Constitution was fought in each state separately. While in some states, such as Delaware, which was the first to ratify the Constitution, there was little opposition; in others, opposition ran high and the votes were often close. In three states; Massachusetts, Virginia and New York; the fight was particularly difficult.


Heated debates took place throughout the states concerning the new Constitution. Three advocates of the Constitution; James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay; published the "Federalist Papers" in order to support ratification. These papers discussed the balance of power between the various sections of government.

The following is the order and vote of the state conventions which ratified the Constitution:

1. Delaware..................... Dec. 7, 1787............ Unanimous

2. Pennsylvania.............. Dec. 12, 1787............ 46-23

3. New Jersey................. Dec. 18, 1787.......... Unanimous

4. Georgia....................... Jan. 2, 1788............ Unanimous

5. Connecticut............... Jan. 9, 1788............. 128-40

6. Massachusetts........... Feb. 7, 1788............ 187-168

7. Maryland................... Apr. 28, 1788............. 63-11

8. South Carolina.......... May 23, 1788.......... 149-73

9. New Hampshire......... Jun. 21, 1788............. 57-46

10. Virginia..................... Jun. 26, 1788............. 89-79

11. New York................. Jul. 26, 1788.............. 89-79

12. North Carolina......... Nov. 21, 1789.......... 195-77

13. Rhode Island............ May 29, 1790........... 34-32