Delaware Federalizes Herself

When the central government realized that the Articles of Confederation did not have enough “teeth” or power, the founders realized that a stronger central government was needed. The states were scared and cautious of such a government.. Each state, technically, seceded from the Articles and were again, the 13 original states or colonies, each self-governing and each sovereign. One must understand that they all were cautious of a central government, and each demanded their right to be free, independent, and sovereign. None were willing to give up their rights…their independence. I will attempt to produce a series of articles on each state and how they federalized themselves. I hope it is informative and understandable.

The little state of Delaware was the first to ratify the Constitution by a unanimous vote. Her quick ratification was a good indicator that the system of the new proposed central government was a federation of equal political bodies. She was determined to be self-preserved. Her chief leaders gave explanations of this. John Dickenson, her president, called the new system of government a “confederation of the states,” and that it was the duty of the central congress, as proposed in the new constitution, “to reconcile…the interests of (the) several states.”

The Massachusetts Centinel printed this statement on December 26, 1787, “DELEWARE – The deputies of the state convention of Delaware, met at Dover, on Monday, the 3d inst, and, a house being formed, they elected James Latimer, Esq. president. On Thursday, they ratified the federal constitution by a unanimous vote, and on Friday every member signed the ratification as follows, The deputies of the people of Delaware state, in convention, met, having taken into our serious consideration the federal constitution proposed and agreed upon, by the deputies, of the united states, at a general convention held at the city of Philadelphia, on the 17th day of September AD, 1787, have approved of, assented to, and ratified and confirmed, and by these presents, do, in virtue of the powers and authority to us given for that purpose, for, and in behalf of ourselves and constituents, fully, freely, and entirely approve of, assent to, ratify and confirm the said constitution. Done in convention at Dover, December 7, 1787.”

This was an act of a sovereign, free and independent will of a state…the will of the people, a convention of representatives of the people of said state, who determined to, as an independent sovereign political body, and independent republic…an act to voluntarily join a central government, for the sole purpose of mutual protection. But know this, that nowhere in this voluntary accedence to the constitution, did Deleware give up her sovereignty.

With this act, Deleware federalized herself.

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I am born and bred in the South. Don't ask me to deny might as well ask me to cut off my right arm.

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