William Ridenour writes:
At the bottom there is a question to consider, based upon the following hypothetical situation.
The Constitutional convention is closing, but before sending out the representatives to their various states to debate and ratify the newly proposed Constitution, George Washington rises and says:
“Gentlemen, we’ve done the work of yeomen and created a new Constitution that will be organized to form a new central or general government.
“Remember, you have all been sworn to secrecy regarding the actual content of the debates and ultimate sense of the meaning of this document. Nevertheless, we must be candid with the citizenry.
“I now send you out to your various sovereign states to debate the issues and consider ratification of a new VOLUNTARY union, a union that will replace the Articles of Confederation and form a stronger central government.
“Please, gentlemen, I implore you to make sure you tell all the delegates of the various ratification committees that once a state signs on to the new Constitutional Compact, if and when at any future date, any state decides to leave this VOLUNTARY compact FOR ANY REASON–no matter how egregious, the General government will be compelled to mount a massive army, the size, scope and force of which have never before been seen on the earth, invade that state (or those states), slaughter tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of its citizens, destroy not only its military properties and emplacements, but also ravage the private homes, loot and destroy the properties of individuals, over throw the sovereign state government, subjugate the people, reduce their once free Republic to the condition of a conquered province, establish military occupation, disenfranchise the children of the sons of the Revolution of 1776 in that state, suspend elections and overrun that land with foreigners who will be placed by Federal fiat, into positions of rulership and power, to do as they please.
“And, after the subjugation of that state, and after it is forced back in the union, it shall be forever mocked and hated, and those who died in defense of that state’s independence and sovereignty shall be vilified and the children of that state shall be taught to hang their heads and be forever ashamed that their forebears had the temerity to want to be free of this glorious VOLUNTARY compact, which we now have the opportunity to join.
“MAKE SURE, MAKE SURE you tell the delegates what will happen if their states ever decide to be independent of the Union. Also, spread this message far and wide among the citizenry so they may appeal to the delegates, letting their will be known!
“Go forth now with my blessing, and may the spirit of the Revolution of 1776 be with you all!”
Q: How many states would have signed on to the Constitution had the delegates brought that message along with the newly proposed Constitution?
Your answer will count 100% for your final grade in American history.