The Ratification Debate
After a long, hot summer deliberating on the Constitution, the delegates to the Convention returned to their home states in late September of 1787 knowing that their work was unfinished.
The Constitution was written and signed, but its ratification by the people was far from certain. As specified in Article VII of the Constitution, two-thirds, (or nine of the then-thirteen states) would have to ratify the Constitution before it could go into effect in those states. And in many of those states, the document was met with increasing skepticism: Had the Convention exceeded its mandate to revise the Articles? Why had the Convention been conducted in secret? The delegates would have to reasonably convince their fellow Americans that the Constitution represented the best way forward for the new nation.