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Creating a More Perfect Union

Sent to States for Ratification

Once the Constitution was signed and approved by the Congress of Confederation, it headed to the states for ratification. In New York, the Assembly and Senate passed resolutions supporting the Constitution on January 31 and February 1, 1788. It was ratified on July 26, 1788 during The Poughkeepsie Convention despite opposition led by Governor George Clinton who felt that state's rights would be weakened if the national government became stronger and who was concerned that the Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights. Fear of losing some of the southern New York counties through secession and Alexander Hamilton's persuasive talk on the need for a new federal government helped to change the mind of some of the delegates. While the vote was close, 30 in favor, 27 against, New York did ratify the Constitution (view Engrossed Copy of the United States Constitution, 1788) and, in so doing, became the 11th state to join the United States.