Massachusetts Ratifying Convention

Constitution Sunday: John Hancock Proposes Ratification with Amendments and Samuel Adams Supports

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention January 31, 1788 John Hancock, at the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, made a motion for the Convention to adopt the Constitution as it was a document that would not only “advance the prosperity of the whole world” but create a form of government that would “extend its good influences to every part of […]

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Constitution Sunday: Reverend Daniel Shute on Religious Tests and Christian Belief

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention. January 31, 1788 Reverend Daniel Shute rose at the convention to speak not for—but against—adding a religious test as a qualification for offices that the Constitution created. He opined that such tests “would be attended with injurious consequences to some individuals, and with no advantage to the whole.”

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Constitution Sunday: Charles Jarvis on the Amendment Procedure: An Irrefutable Argument for Ratification

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention January 30, 1788 Revolutions, civil wars, and coups haunt leaders of all types of governments. The very prospect of these events conjures awful images, and every leader searches for ways to prevent and mitigate them. For some, tamping down dissent with force and papering over the people’s differences through campaigns of nationalism […]

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Constitution Sunday: Abraham Holmes and Christopher Gore on the Possible Abuses of the Federal Judiciary

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention January 30, 1788 One of the most fundamental concerns when framing a Constitution, or any law for that matter, is the danger of abuse. Those who believe that power will be abused will choose to err on the side of depriving a government of power. And those people would go one step […]

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Constitution Sunday: Amos Singletary and Jonathan Smith on “Leviathan” Swallowing Up “Us Little Folks” and on the Danger of Anarchy

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention. January 25, 1788 Amos Singletary rose at the Massachusetts Convention to say that he was troubled; the Convention was considering a Constitution that was no better than the state was under British rule in 1775. It would lead to the federal government laying “taxes, duties, imposts, and excises” on the people just […]

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Constitution Sunday: Major Martin Kingsley on the Excessive Powers of Congress

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention January 21, 1788 A representative democracy requires that elected officials are servants to the people. There must be accountability, and with two-year terms for members of the House of Representatives, four-year terms for Presidents, and six-year terms for Senators, the Constitution has provided voters with the option to rotate their servants every […]

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Constitution Sunday: A Sharp Exchange at the Massachusetts Convention

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention January 17, 1788 For those debating the Constitution’s ratification, no detail of the draft document was forgotten. To detractors, like the Honorable Mr. Turner who rose on January 17, 1788 at the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, there were hidden dangers throughout the document. One that he raised was that Congress “may alter the […]

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