The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 10
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10 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
been previously in a union which was thereby superseded and
abolished. It seems that there can be no question that had
more States willed it, they might have remained out of the new
Union, but that they did not so elect is a matter of history.
While they were acting in the high capacity of ratifying the Con-
stitution, however, they were united under the Confederacy; and,
had the States refused ratification, it is to be presumed that, at
least for the time being, the Confederacy would have continued
its existence. That Confederacy, however, was destroyed when
the ninth State ratified the Constitution, and a new Union in
which there were eleven members, instead of thirteen as formerly,
was set up. We are constrained, therefore, to the conclusion that,
as a matter of fact, the constituting act was done by several of the
States united under the Confederacy, but acting separately and
without any official connection with any other State. The ratify-
ing conventions, furthermore, were elected by political communi-
ties in which the suffrage qualifications were radically different."
Since the Constitution did not establish a general or particular
suffrage qualification for the convention electors, this was a mat-
ter left to the States and by them controlled. So far as there was
a legal election for such conventions, it was held under State
laws; and it was -the politically organized peoples of the various
States who chose the delegates to the conventions. It seems clear,
also, that the acts of the conventions were voluntary to the extent
that they might have rejected the Constitution with as much right
as they ratified it. Whatever the motives controlling them, what-
ever the political or economic forces actuating the votes, the fact
is plain that the Constitution was ratified by the representatives
of the political communities in the various States. Thus the peo-
ple of the territories, such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, took
no corporate part in the establishment of constitutional govern-
ment, although their inhabitants to some extent were citizens of
the States and occupied the lands which were then the common
property of the States. Had the people at large been those re-
State in its sovereignty. See letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Works, IX,
66; and also Works, VI, 352. In the latter reference, he remarked, "The
State governments are not the parties to the compact, but the States in
their sovereign capacity."
"Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, 64-72; 239-
252; McKinley, Suffrage in the American Colonies.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/18/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.