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New York 1788


Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Saratoga

After the revolution ended, many New Yorkers opposed establishing a strong national government, preferring to retain the weaker structure created under the Articles of Confederation. The proposed national constitution prohibited states from taxing interstate commerce, a provision that would end New York’s power to collect customs duties on goods entering from New England and New Jersey. When the Constitution of the United States was drawn up in 1787, Alexander Hamilton was the only New York delegate at the constitutional convention to sign the final draft.

In 1788 New York elected a convention to consider ratification of the Constitution. The forces who opposed ratification were led by Governor Clinton and included 46 delegates. Supporters of the Constitution numbered only 19. But they were led by two major statesmen of the time: Hamilton, a prominent lawyer and leading advocate of a strong central government, and John Jay, former chief justice of the state and the nation’s secretary for foreign affairs. Hamilton and Jay conducted a skillful campaign for ratification, publishing their arguments in a series of articles known as The Federalist. While the New York convention was meeting, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, in June 1788, which put it into effect. New York faced isolation if it did not join the Union, and prominent men in New York City hinted at secession from the state if the convention did not ratify. On July 26, 1788, the convention ratified the Constitution, making New York the 11th state. From 1785 to 1790 New York City served as the temporary national capital. At the city’s Federal Hall, George Washington was inaugurated as the nation’s first president on April 30, 1789. "New York" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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