Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Original 11 States of America....

Failed to Carry Rhode Island and North Carolina in 1788?

So here's a quiz:

During President Washington's first term, the United States consisted of how many states?

1) 12

2) 11

3) 13

4) 14

5) 15

6) All of the above.

The answer is: 6, all of the above. How can this be, you ask? Here goes. Article VII of the Constitution proposed by the Philadelphia Convention provided that ratification by nine states would bring the Constitution into effect. New Hampshire ratified the document on June 21st, 1788, the 9th state to do so. Virginia followed suit a few days later, and New York ratified the document in July. The nation's first presidential election took place between December, 1788 and January 1789, and George Washington was innaugurated in April, 1789.

Article VII also provided that the Constitution only applied to those states that had actually ratified it. Hence, ratification by New Hampshire, though it brought the Constitution to life, did not annex states that had, to that point anyway, not ratified it. North Carolina did not ratify until November 21, 1789. Rhode Island held out until May 29, 1790. Thus, George Washington initially presided over a nation of 11 states, then 12, then, halfway through his term, the original 13 colonies. (Note also that Washington only carried 10 of these 11, because New York did not cast its votes.)

Thus, from June 21, 1788 until May 29, 1790, Rhode Island, for instance, was a sovereign nation, as was North Carolina, from June 21, 1788 until November 21, 1789.

But that's not all.

Vermont ratified the Constitution on March 4, 1791 and was admitted to the Union as the 14th state, having function as an independent republic, minting its own coins.

Kentucky then ratified the Constitution on June 1, 1792, becoming the 15th state.

Thus, by the end of his term, Washington, who began as President of a United 11 States, was President of a union of 15.