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Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787-1788

John Bach McMaster

Publication Year: 2012

In Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787-1788, John Bach McMaster, a professor of American history, and Frederick D. Stone, librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, assembled newspaper articles, editorials, and records about the debates in Pennsylvania's ratifying convention. In addition to speeches and essays by both supporters and opponents of the Constitution, noninterpretive editorial comments are also presented to introduce the documents and place them in the appropriate historical context. Also included in the volume are biographical sketches of key figures in Pennsylvania during this significant period of the American Founding, including Benjamin Franklin, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Rush, and James Wilson.Pennsylvania was one of the first states to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Twenty hours after the Continental Congress submitted the Constitution to the states, the Assembly of Pennsylvania called a convention to ratify or reject it. The Constitution immediately became the subject of passionate debate, which continued until Washington was sworn in, in 1789. Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution collects the primary documents that formed this passionate debate.John Bach McMaster (1852-1932) worked as a civil engineer, taught civil engineering at Princeton University, and was Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania.Frederick D. Stone (1841-1897) was librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and an authority on United States colonial history.

Published by: Liberty Fund


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

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pp. v-vi

The object of this book is to show the circumstances under which the Federal Constitution was ratified by Pennsylvania. She was the first of the large states to accept the plan that gave the states having a small population an equal representation in the Senate with the others, and her prompt action ...


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p. vii-vii

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Chapter I. The Struggle Over the Constitution

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pp. 1-26

The constitution of the United States, as is well known, was framed during the summer of 1787, by a convention of delegates from twelve States. The convention sat in the old State House at Philadelphia, and after a stormy session of four months, ended its labors on September 17th, 1787. On ...

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CHAPTER II. The Convention Called

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pp. 27-119

On Friday, September 28th, after the House of Assembly had attended to some minor business, Mr. George Clymer rose and said:* The House cannot, Sir, have forgotten a business of the highest magnitude, which was recommended to ...

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CHAPTER III. Before the Meeting of the Convention

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pp. 120-203

[Between the day when the convention was called and the day when the convention met, a period of seven weeks elapsed. During this time both the friends and detractors of the constitution resorted to every known means of influencing public ...

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CHAPTER IV. The Debate in the Convention

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pp. 204 -431

The election of delegates to represent Philadelphia in the State Convention to consider the constitution took place at the State House on Tuesday, November 6th. All went quietly during the day. But at midnight a crowd gathered, and a ...

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CHAPTER V. While the Convention Was Sitting

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pp. 432-453

[As soon as the work of the Convention began, the press, and particularly the anti-federal press, teemed with letters, squibs, and essays from the people at large. Some were serious, some were intended to be satirical or funny, some were ...

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CHAPTER VI. After the Convention Rose

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pp. 454-564

[While the members of the Convention were eating their dinner and drinking their toasts at Epple's Tavern, some enthusiastic Federalists were busy in one of the ship-yards preparing a novel method of celebrating their victory. By ...

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CHAPTER VII. Centinel, No. I.

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pp. 565-698

MR. OSWALD: As the Independent Gazetteer seems free for the discussion of all public matters, I expect you will give the following a place in your next. To the FREEMEN of PENNSYLVANIA. Friends, Countrymen and Fellow Citizens. Permit one of yourselves to put you in mind of certain ...

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CHAPTER VIII. Sketches of the Pennsylvania Members of the Federal Convention

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pp. 699-761

...retreating through Jersey, Mifflin, at the request of Congress, \Vashington, the latter harbored no ill feelings in return, and public business, and it was at that time on his personal credit out of the chaotic state into which the finances of the country that the privilege of voting should be restricted to freeholders. ...


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pp. 762-789


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pp. 791-803

E-ISBN-13: 9781614878926
E-ISBN-10: 1614878927
Print-ISBN-13: 9780865977945

Page Count: 811
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: None