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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania


prnIe lIw  cluses, (A IongeS, InICheCked b  a b0ll
of rights, would eventually destroy the sovereigntN
and integrity of the states and the liberties of their
Federalists argued that the Constitution pro-
vided for a "federal," not a "national" govern-
ment, and that the powers of Congress were lim-
ited and enumerated. Its powers, they declared.
were "to be collected, not from tacit implication.
but from the positive grant expressed in the in-
strument of union," that the powers "therein
enumerated and positively granted, can be no
other than what this positive grant conveys." Fut-
thermore, they asserted that the judiciary would
declare the laws of Congress unconstitutional
whenever Congress exceeded its power.
Most Antifederalists insisted that a bill of rigihts
guaranteeing the rights and privileges of all citi-
zens, and structural amendments limiting and
clearly defining the powers of the central govern-
ment must be adopted before they could support
the Constitution. Such amendments were pro-
posed in the Pennsylvania Convention, but the
majority refused to consider them, much less to
have them entered on the Journals. However, the
proposed amendments were published in the
Pennsylvania Herald and in the "Dissent of the Mi-
nority," and were circulated throughout the
United States.
The debate over the Constitution in Pennsyl-
vania continued unabated after ratification. An-
tifederalists mounted a petition campaign to pei-
suade the legislature to reject the Convention s
ratification, and they continued to argue the need
for a bill of rights, and for substantive amend-
ments to clarify the meaning of the Constitution.
Volume II is accompanied (as succeeding state
volumes will be) by a microfiche supplement. The
supplement to Volume II contains more than
2,700 pages of documentary material, equivaleii
to a printed volume of 1,000 pages. It thereforv
adds to the comprehensiveness of documentationl
concerning ratification by Pennsylvania, and pi
vides the users of the Volumi' n ih ni j
wealth of material gathered.
MERRILL JENSEN (1905-198'): w, r)
history at the University of Wisconsin-Madism
from 1944 until his retirement in 1976. He is th
author of The Founding of a Nation ... 1763-177c
The Articles of Confederation . . . 1774-1781, T
New Nation . . . 1781-1789, The Making of th
American Constitution, and The American Revolutio
Within America. He was also editor of the first vo
ine of The Documeri i.,I'ii
Hlbwo 1iI7'8 17/00,

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