Granite State Stories: New Hampshire is 9th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

  • A woodcut from the “New Hampshire Gazette,” June 26, 1788, picturing New Hampshire as “The Ninth and Sufficient Pillar Raised” elsewhere called the “Keystone of the Federal Arch.” N.H. Historical Society

Published: 7/27/2017 12:53:49 PM

On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire played a critical role in the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, being the ninth state to accept the new form of government.

That position was crucial because the Constitution required the support of nine states to go into effect. Hence, New Hampshire’s ratification allowed the Constitution to become the law of the land, set to go into effect on March 4, 1789.

Ironically, six months earlier, New Hampshire’s Constitutional Convention had seemed to be leaning toward not ratifying the document. Supporters of the Constitution managed to get the convention recessed, and during the break they lobbied individual delegates privately.

By the time the convention reconvened, the vote had moved narrowly in favor of ratification. Virginia, New York and North Carolina ratified shortly afterward. Rhode Island was the final holdout from the original 13 colonies and did not ratify until 1790 under intense pressure from the federal government.

N.H. Historical Society

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