Top-Rated eBay seller, Steve Goldman, is offering a complete original U.S. Constitution ratification newspaper, the Independent Chronicle and Universal Advertiser (Boston, Mass.) dated Feb 14, 1788.
This newspaper contains long detailed reports with the news of the ratification of the new US constitution by the States of Georgia and Mass. The back page has a long and very detailed account of the parade held in Boston to celebrate the Mass. ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It also has a list of nine amendments to the Constitution that Massachusetts would like to see approved shortly in order to include personal protections and rights for individuals in the Constitution.
Goldman's detailed listing includes the following brief history: the United States Constitution was written in 1787; however, it did not take full effect until it was ratified in 1788, when it replaced the Articles of Confederation. It remains the basic law of the United States Federal government.
It was within the power of the old Congress to expedite or block the ratification of the new Constitution. The document that the Philadelphia Convention presented was technically only a revision of the Articles of Confederation. But the last article of the new instrument provided that when ratified by conventions in nine states, it should go into effect among the States so acting.
Then followed an arduous process of ratification of the Constitution by specially constituted conventions. The need for only nine states was a controversial decision at the time, since the Articles of Confederation could only be amended by unanimous vote of all the states. However, the new Constitution was ratified by all thirteen states, with Rhode Island signing on last in May 1790.
Three members of the Convention—Madison, Gorham, and King—were also Members of Congress. They proceeded at once to New York, where Congress was in session, to placate the expected opposition. Aware of their vanishing authority, Congress on September 28, after some debate, unanimously decided to submit the Constitution to the States for action. It made no recommendation for or against adoption.
Two parties soon developed, one in opposition (Antifederalists), and one in support (Federalists), of the Constitution, and the Constitution was debated, criticized, and expounded clause by clause. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, under the name of "Publius," wrote a series of commentaries, now known as the Federalist Papers, in support of the new instrument of government; however, the primary aim of the essays was for ratification in the state of New York, at that time a hotbed of anti-federalism. These commentaries on the Constitution, written during the struggle for ratification, have been frequently cited by the Supreme Court as an authoritative contemporary interpretation of the meaning of its provisions. The closeness and bitterness of the struggle over ratification and the conferring of additional powers on the central government can scarcely be exaggerated. In some states, ratification was effected only after a bitter struggle in the state convention itself. In every state, the federalists proved more united, and only they coordinated action between different states, as the Anti-federalists were localistic and did not attempt to reach out to other states.
Delaware, on December 7, 1787, became the first State to ratify the new Constitution, the vote being unanimous. Pennsylvania ratified on December 12, 1787, by a vote of 46 to 23 (66.67%). New Jersey ratified on December 19, 1787, and Georgia on January 2, 1788, the vote in both was unanimous.
The requirement of ratification by nine states, set by Article Seven of the Constitution, was met when New Hampshire voted to ratify, on June 21, 1788.
In New York, fully two thirds of the convention delegates were at first opposed to the Constitution. Hamilton led the Federalist campaign, including the fast-paced appearance of the Federalist Papers in New York newspapers. An attempt to attach conditions to ratification almost succeeded, but on July 26, 1788, New York ratified, with a recommendation that a bill of rights be appended. The vote was close—yeas 30 (52.6%), nays 27—due largely to Hamilton's forensic abilities and his reaching a few key compromises with moderate anti-Federalists led by Melancton Smith. Opposition to ratification was led by Governor George Clinton.
The Continental Congress—which still functioned at irregular intervals—passed a resolution on September 13, 1788, to put the new Constitution into operation.
In Goldman's listing, he also includes a handy chart with the dates that each state ratified the U.S. Constitution.