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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
(1978)

V. The aftermath of ratification,   pp. 285-307


Page 285

285
V
THE AFTERMATH OF RATIFICATION
Georgians showed more concern about the impact of the Constitu-
tion on the state after they ratified it than they had before. They
were not interested in such matters as freedom of the press and trial
by jury in civil cases which aroused so much concern in other states,
and Georgia (along with Connecticut and Massachusetts) did not
ratify the Bill of Rights until the twentieth century. (For the only
Georgia references to such matters, see "A Georgian," 15 November
1787, II above; Gazette of the State of Georgia, 20 March 1788, and
"A Planter," 3 April, both in V below; and letters from Joseph Clay,
4 April-20 August 1788, Mfm:Ga. 39.)
Georgians were more interested in the probable impact of the new
government on private debts and on continued expansion, matters
that soon led to trouble. However, the first actions of the Assembly
after ratification pointed in the direction of harmony between the
state and the United States. On 30 January 1788 the Assembly pro-
vided that as soon as nine states had ratified the Constitution, a state
convention would meet to draft a constitution to replace the consti-
tution of 1777 (V below), a document which had been ignored as
much as it had been followed.
The convention met in November 1788 and drafted a constitution,
but a second convention, which met in January 1789, drafted amend-
ments instead of ratifying or rejecting the constitution. Therefore
the Assembly called a third convention, which met in May 1789.
Governor George Walton urged the May convention to act rapidly
because Georgia officials would soon have to take an oath to support
the Constitution of the United States. He said that since there was
"the most evident clashing" between the state and federal constitu-
tions, Georgia officials would be in an awkward position "unless
our government should be assimilated to the federal one" (Mfm:Ga.
48). The constitution adopted by the May convention was outwardly
like that of the United States.
But the two governments were not "assimilated," and soon there
was "the most evident clashing" between them. The clashes had


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