Ratification History: North Carolina and Rhode Island Say No to the Constitution

Ratification History: North Carolina and Rhode Island Say No to the Constitution

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Did you know North Carolina and Rhode Island were both independent countries for a short while even after the Constitution was ratified? Article 7 established the requirements for putting the new Constitution into effect. “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” Notice an important point here, ratification by those nine states didn’t automatically force the four non-ratifying states into the union. They would continue to exist independently until they ratified. And if a state never did ratify, it would never become part of the Union. There was no mechanism to force reluctant states into the Union. New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution on June 21, 1788, officially enacting it and forming the union. Five days later, Virginia ratified, followed by New York on July 26. On Aug. 2nd, the North Carolina ratifying convention voted 185-84 to adjourn without ratifying. The 11 states that had ratified agreed the new government established under the Constitution would go into effect on March 4, 1789. But North Carolina and Rhode Island held out. In fact, Rhode Island held out for more than a year after the establishment of the new government. During that time, these two states were not part of the Union and were not subject to the federal government. Neither state sent representatives to the First Congress when it convened in March of 1789. North Carolina finally ratified the Constitution and joined the Union on Nov. 21, 1789. Rhode Island didn’t ratify until May 29th of the next year, and even then by the slimmest margin, a vote of 34-32. So, initially, the Union was made up of 11 states, with North Carolina and Rhode Island existing as independent, self-governing republics.

7 thoughts on “Ratification History: North Carolina and Rhode Island Say No to the Constitution

  • Justin Bayola Post author


  • Domo Post author

    I learned something new. Interesting info.

  • politicalprisoner2 Post author

    The Implications of this are Monumental. All a State needs to do to leave the Union is to Un-ratify the US Constitution. Then they can immediately leave behind all federal debt obligations incurred by the District of Columbia?. It might be prudent to do that Prior to the big currency meltdowns so the states are not still dragged down with that bad money from the Feds. Congress has confirmed they Willfully Abdicate Their Duty in these matters and insist the nations financial welfare Must go over the Cliff BEFORE the Congress will take any action. You can hear expert info on that at 28 minutes into this video https://youtu.be/NF6bTlfFCwo States like West Virginia are making gold and silver a little more like money again and that could be a good step towards reimplementing the Original Intent of the US Constitution within each State despite the tyrannical District of Columbia's Strict Repugnance rules regarding the essential elements of the Constitution. I'm pretty sure that Congress' only true function and purpose now is to Prove that the US Constitution is dead.

  • Old Man Frank Post author

    Yes ; I knew this but, I am a Founding Fathers area buff. Sadly, most Americans have no idea about this.

  • David Cisco Post author

    Voluntarily Join… (1861)but can't leave.

  • Silver Pharaoh Post author

    Neither North Carolina or Rhode Island, or any other State in the union, have given up their status as Independent sovereign nations. The 13 States were recognized as Independent and sovereign, not the congress. This is still the case!

  • The Norman Heathen Post author

    I loved this, thank you for sharing! As a North Carolinian, I enjoyed hearing this very much! Also, those Rhode Islanders sure are something else, independent and anti-establishnent from the beginning haha!

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