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The Age of Federalism$
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Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195093810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093810.001.0001

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Legitimacy

Legitimacy

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter I Legitimacy
Source:
The Age of Federalism
Author(s):

Stanley Elkins

Eric McKitrick

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093810.003.0002

This chapter discusses the ratification of the new Constitution of the United States and the role several people played during the process including the first President of the United States, George Washington. The Continental Congress did its last business on October 10th, 1788, and went out of existence forever. The change was not “revolutionary” in any obvious sense; it had occurred without upheaval. The initial call for a constitutional convention had been represented as being merely “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation,” not of doing away with them. When the Convention did meet, its sessions were conducted in utter secrecy, by delegates from twelve of the thirteen states. The procedure for ratifying the new Constitution was cleverly devised and quite outside legal boundaries, as the law then stood. However, there was a formidable anti-federalist opposition.

Keywords:   Constitution, United States, George Washington, Continental Congress, constitutional convention, anti-federalist opposition, ratification

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