Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Ashbrook Center

New Web Site on the Ratification of the Constitution

Today is Constitution Day. It is the 220th Anniversary of the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention and sent to the states to the ratified. Here at the Ashbrook Center, we celebrate the Constitution all year long. But on Constitution Day, we always do a few special things.

Today we are launching a new web site on the ratification of the Constitution. This great site is the result of the work of Professor Gordon Lloyd of Pepperdine University and of Roger Beckett. The site is by far the best Internet resource on the ratification of the Constitution.

This new site tells the story of the out of doors debates over the Constitution in pamphlets and in newspapers by the Federalists and Antifederalists. It is the story of the indoors debates in the thirteen state ratifying conventions and the formal struggle over whether the proposed Constitution should be approved.

The site contains an extensive timeline of the events related to the ratification of the Constitution and a map showing the Federalist/Antifederalist vote across the thirteen states. There are introductions and day-by-day summaries of the state ratifying conventions in Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York. Also available is the full five-volumes of Jonathan Elliot's Debates in the Several State Conventions, on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution. There are biographies of the leading founders in each state involved in ratification, and in case you ever get lost, there is an overview table with links to every major part of the site.

This is not only the most comprehensive site on the ratification, it is also the clearest, with wonderful introductions and explanations provided by Gordon Lloyd.

Like everything we do, it is useful for teachers, students, and citizens alike. I encourage you to visit the site at:

Categories > Ashbrook Center

Discussions - 11 Comments

Congratulations. This is very fine; very useful.

Clearly one look at our bloated Federal Government reveals that the forgotten anti-Federalists were much closer to correct than the Federalists. All the things they warned about have come to pass. None of the restraints on federal power that the Federalist assured us would work, have.

And yet the thirteen states did side with the Federalists.

Excellent site, by the way. It will be fun to read through some of the state conventions you normally never hear about.

"And yet the thirteen states did side with the Federalists."

Alas, you are sadly correct. And we are all suffering for it.

Suffering in some ways, benefiting in others.

"benefiting in others"

How? My wallet would like to know.


Red, how much of what's in your wallet was created by a modern industrial economy--not exactly the sort of society that defenders of the Old Republic had in mind.

Correct, Mr. Screed. We have Alexander Hamilton to thank for our economy, who was a staunch Federalist (wrote the lion's share of the Federalist papers, among other things).

The site is beautiful.

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