New Jersey Ratification
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  • Colony Founded: September 1664
  • Ratified Constitution: December 18, 1787
  • Total Population: 181,377 (1790 est.)
    • Free: 169,954
    • Slave: 11,423
  • Major Economic Institutions: Agriculture, Iron Ore Manufacturing, Timber
  • State Government: New Jersey had a bicameral legislature, the upper house called the Legislative Council and the lower house called the General Assembly. While the two houses had different legislative rights and procedures, both branches met together to elect a governor, who had total executive power. Citizens only needed to be male property holders in order to vote in elections.
  • Ratification Debate: Normally, New Jersey's politics were deeply divided between its eastern and western halves. However, when the ratification convention met in late 1787, the delegates unanimously approved the constitution 38-0. As the lack of any published debates suggested, they had no legitimate issues of any kind with the new Constitution. Rather, the fact that the new Constitution would free New Jersey from import taxes set by Pennsylvania and New York united the delegates in approving the Constitution.1
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