common pride born out of the “sharing” of warfare and ofn”lesser” perils that produced among men of every opinion anrepository of natural fellow-feeling. The seemingly miraculousnconfirmation of what Americans had said about themselves,ntogether, through the Continental Congress, in thenDeclaration of Independence, made possible in 1783 theirnacceptance of a formal connection in the Articles ofnConfederation. A common enemy and comradeship innarms are not a poor basis for political cooperation. However,nthe Confederation proved to be only a temporary expedient,na stop-gap measure for use in effecting a transition to somenmore durable, self-sufficient bond.nBy 1786, independence had brought economic problems,nboth within the country and in the difficulty of itsncitizens in doing business overseas. Furthermore, there werenIndian insurgencies along a now open frontier, problemsnwith foreign debt, problems with opportunistic internalntariffs interrupting interstate commerce, a large domesticndebt and a pattern of domestic insurrections coming to anhead with Captain Daniel Shays’ “Rebellion” in Massachusettsnduring the fall and winter of 1786-1787. Though not anveritable “sea of troubles,” most Americans blamed most ofnthese conditions on the incapacities of the government putnin place by the Articles of Confederation and were, beforenthe Philadelphia Convention gathered in May of 1787,nready for a new compact that would serve at least thosenpurposes described as the proper objectives of the Framersnby Roger Sherman of Connecticut: defense against foreignndanger; control of internal disputes and disorders; treaties;nforeign commerce; and a revenue to be derived from it.nMild Federalists such as Pierce Butler, William SamuelnJohnson, John Rutledge, Edmund Pendleton, William R.nDavie, Oliver Ellsworth, Hugh Williamson, Richard DobbsnSpaight, and Abraham Baldwin embodied the same conflictingnbut balanced impulses toward cohesion and dispersalnthat we find in the thought of Sherman. As did such mildnAntifederalists as James Monroe, William Paca, MelanctonnSmith, Elbridge Gerry, and Eliphalet Dyer. Therefore, itnwas certain that something would be done, but not toonmuch — that no remote, arbitrary, and sometimes unfriendlynsovereign would be created to replace the remote,narbitrary, and sometimes unfriendly power whose authoritynwe had just escaped.nThere were, to be sure, versions of federalism much morenambitious than what we see in Roger Sherman’s little list,ndreams of Union theoretically and ideologically instrumentalnin their intention to form a purposive state, somethingngrand and imperial. These plans belonged to AlexandernHamilton, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, RobertnMorris — and James Madison. By reminding their countrymennof a politics they had just escaped, they threatenednratification. And there were a few Antifederalists whonwished to continue under the Articles as they stood, or withnvery minor modification to guarantee a revenue: the men ofnRhode Island, John Francis Mercer of Maryland, GeneralnSamuel Thompson of Massachusetts, President RawlinsnLowndes of South Carolina, Mayor John Lansing ofnAlbany, New York, and (perhaps) Patrick Henry himselfnSuch men were straightforward impediments to “a morenperfect Union.” But the most serious obstacles in the path ofnthe Constitution were of another kind, coming from othernquarters, and were more circumstantial and strategic thannsubstantive in their character. We have all heard that, innpolitics, timing is of the essence, when and not whichnmeasures. The ratification of the United States Constitutionnwithin the context 1 have just described is an illustration ofnthat principle.nBy and large, the first states to vote in favor of thenConstitution made in Independence Hall created verynlittle momentum tending in its direction. No current flowednfrom these decisions. Nothing doctrinal or intellectuallynsubstantial was described by the approvals given by Dela-.nware (December 7, 1787); New Jersey (December 19,n1787); Georgia (January 2, 1788); and Connecticut (Januaryn9, 1788). Or even by a later affirmation in Marylandn(April 28, 1788). Because of immediate dangers, economic,nsocial, or military, faced by these communities, they wereninclined to go along with any plan of government that wouldnprotect their commerce from the drain of interstate dutiesnand/or the depredations of savage raiders. Connecticutnwanted to avoid the disorders that were spreading justnbeyond its borders — in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, andnNew Hampshire. It also wanted security for lands promisednto it in the Western Reserve of Ohio and relief from the costnof doing business through the port of New York. Pennsylvanianhad (December 12, 1787), thanks to its great men ofnbusiness and banking, an image of all the fine things anstronger government might do or encourage. Philadelphiandefined Pennsylvania federalism — and kept the westernncounties of the state in check. Everyone expected ratificationnfrom these sources.nVoting for the Constitution in commonwealths that mightnhave done otherwise was another matter. Such decisions innMassachusetts and South Carolina, states jealous of theirnown established identities, with each of them deeply suspiciousnof what the other represented, impacted directly onnthe potential recalcitrance of other Northern and Southernncommunities. On terms that they dictated in reading thenConstitution in a certain way, these ratifications made fornthe instruction of stubborn Antifederalists who persisted innseeing a Leviathan hidden just underneath the innocuousnsurface of its text. They were a step toward the accomplishmentnof the ends of a national connection as these statesnconceived them: a version that left forever secure thencorporate liberty of Zion and the erstwhile Palmetto Republic,nthat left them free to continue in character—evennthough they were to do so within a political combination, bynway of that combination. Down in Chadeston, the heroicnRawlins Lowndes drew all of this matter, a full teaching onnthe Constitution, from his numerous Federalist adversaries.nThey defined the instrument of government that they werenadvocating over against a version less sanguine, and lessntolerable — the basis of Lowndes’ extraordinary prophecies.nIn Massachusetts the Jeremiahs were more numerous. Andnalso their respondents. But the warnings of tyranny thatnAntifederalists offered and the affirmations used to answernthem followed the same pattern we can trace out from thenCarolina legislative debates.nIn New York, Virginia, and North Carolina, the power ofnthe Federalist example in other conventions is reflectedndirectly in local ratification debates. Professor John Kamin-nnnFEBRUARY 1991/19n