The Contest over the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in the State of Massachusetts

The Contest over the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in the State of Massachusetts

The Contest over the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in the State of Massachusetts

The Contest over the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in the State of Massachusetts

Excerpt

This paper is the result, in the main, of work done in connection with the Seminary of American History and Institutions of Harvard University during the academic years 1893-94 and 1894-95. Much of what value it may possess is due to the kind assistance and guidance of the directors of the seminary. For the opinions expressed herein, however, and for such errors of fact as may have crept into it, the author alone is responsible.

The work was undertaken largely from a belief that only through a more thorough study than had hitherto been made of the internal political history of the States, in the period during and immediately following the Revolution, could a right understanding be obtained of the subsequent party struggles in national politics by which the interpretation of the Constitution was fixed and the scope and general policy of the new government were determined. So far, the author has been able to deal extensively with but two of the thirteen States, namely, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Some of the results arrived at with reference to the former State have been set forth in the Papers of the American Historical Association for 1894; those relating to the latter State are here presented. It is only necessary to add that, as the work has progressed, the conviction with which it was begun has steadily grown stronger.

S. B. H.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA, May, 1896.

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