Maryland Ratification
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  • Colony Founded: June 20, 1632
  • Ratified Constitution: April 28, 1788
  • Total Population: 311,685 (1790 est.)
    • Free: 208,649
    • Slave: 103,036
  • Major Economic Institutions: Tobacco, Wheat, Slavery
  • State Government: Maryland had a legislature made up of a lower House of Delegates and an upper State Senate. Unlike many other states, Maryland allowed any free male, property-holding Christians the right to vote, regardless of color. The governor was chosen by the legislature. In addition, Maryland's state government recognized the power of county governments as well.
  • Ratification Debate: Maryland was one of the more reserved states with regards to the new Constitution. Specifically, a large portion of the electorate was completely indifferent to the ratification convention, and didn't object to the mass election of Federalist delegates, thus allowing the Federalists to have a dominating majority at the convention. While the opposition leaders (who all arrived late to the convention) tried to get amendments added, the Federalist majority insisted on voting on the whole document, and thus ratified it 63-11. Afterwards, though, opposition leaders and some supporters managed to form a committee to recommend amendments. However, the committee couldn't agree on a specific list of proposals, so no action was taken. Still, many delegates later spoke of the defectiveness of the Constitution and the need for changes.1
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