Ratification Day (United States)

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Ratification Day
Ratification of Treaty of Paris 1784.gif
Congressional Proclamation of Ratification of Treaty of Paris, January 14, 1784
Date January 14
Next time14 January 2021 (2021-01-14)
Frequencyannual

Ratification Day in the United States is the anniversary of the congressional proclamation of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784, at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress. This act officially ended the American Revolutionary War. [1]

Contents

Proclamation of Congress

The Journals of the Continental Congress reports that the Confederation Congress issued a proclamation on April 11, 1783, "Declaring the cessation of arms" against Great Britain. The preliminary articles of peace were approved by Congress on April 15, 1783, and the Treaty of Paris was ratified on January 14, 1784. [2]

An excerpt from the proclamation of ratification:

By the United States in Congress assembled, a proclamation : Whereas definitive articles of peace and friendship, between the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty, were concluded and signed at Paris, on the 3rd day of September, 1783 ... we have thought proper by these presents, to notify the premises to all the good citizens of these United States ...

Given under the seal of the United States, witness His Excellency Thomas Mifflin, our president, at Annapolis, this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four ... [3]

Congressional debate

Due to the severe winter of 1783–1784, only delegates from seven of the thirteen states were present in Congress. According to the Articles of Confederation, nine states were required to enter into a treaty. One faction believed that seven states could ratify the treaty; arguing that they were merely ratifying and not entering into a treaty. Furthermore, it was unlikely that the required delegates could reach Annapolis before the ratification deadline. [4]

Thomas Jefferson's faction believed that a full nine states were required to ratify the treaty. Any less would be trickery which Britain would eventually find out, giving it an excuse to nullify the treaty. Jefferson stated that it would be a "dishonorable prostitution" of the Great Seal of the United States. [4]

Jefferson's compromise

Jefferson was elected to head a committee of members of both factions and arrived at a compromise. Assuming that only seven states were present, Congress would pass a resolution stating that the seven states present were unanimously in favor of ratification of the treaty, but were in disagreement as to the competency of Congress to ratify with only seven states. That although only seven states were present, their unanimous agreement in favor of ratification would be used to secure peace. The vote would not set a precedent for future decisions; the document would be forwarded to the U.S. ministers in Europe who would be told to wait until a treaty ratified by nine states could arrive, and to request a delay of three months. However, if Britain insisted, then the ministers should use the seven-state ratification, pleading that a full Congress was not in session. [4]

In any event, delegates from Connecticut and South Carolina arrived at the last moment, and nine states ratified the treaty. Three copies were sent by separate couriers to ensure delivery. [4]

Related Research Articles

Articles of Confederation First constitution of the United States

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. It was approved, after much debate, by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, and sent to the states for ratification. The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states. The weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.

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The Continental Congress was initially a convention of delegates from a number of British American colonies at the height of the American Revolution, who acted collectively for the people of the Thirteen Colonies that ultimately became the United States of America. After declaring the colonies independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, it acted as the provisional governing structure for the collective United States, while most government functions remained in the individual states. The term most specifically refers to the First Continental Congress of 1774 and the Second Continental Congress of 1775–1781. More broadly, it also refers to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–1789, thus covering the three congressional bodies of the Thirteen Colonies and the United States that met between 1774 and the inauguration of a new government in 1789 under the United States Constitution.

The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire in North America and the United States of America, on lines "exceedingly generous" to the latter. Details included fishing rights and restoration of property and prisoners of war.

Independence Hall Historic building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Richard Beresford was an American planter and lawyer from Berkeley County, South Carolina. He was a delegate for South Carolina in the Confederation Congress in 1783 and 1784.

Jeremiah Chase American judge

Jeremiah Townley Chase was an American lawyer, jurist, and land speculator from Annapolis, Maryland. He served as a delegate for Maryland in the Continental Congress of 1783 and 1784, and for many years was chief justice of the state’s court of appeals.

Thomas Sim Lee American politician

Thomas Sim Lee was an American planter and statesman of Frederick County, Maryland. Although not a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation or the US Constitution, he was an important participant in the process of their creation. Thomas Sim Lee was the second State Governor of Maryland, serving twice, from 1779 to 1783 and again from 1792 to 1794. Thomas Sim Lee also served as a delegate of Maryland in the Congress of the Confederation in 1783 and was a member of the House of Delegates in 1787. He worked closely with many of the Founding fathers and himself played an important part in the birth of his state and the nation.

Lee Resolution

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Timeline of drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution

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Perpetual Union

The Perpetual Union is a feature of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which established the United States of America as a national entity. Under modern American constitutional law, this concept means that U.S. states are not permitted to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and withdraw from the Union.

The Confederation Period was the era of United States history in the 1780s after the American Revolution and prior to the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1781, the United States ratified the Articles of Confederation and prevailed in the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle between British and American forces in the American Revolutionary War. American independence was confirmed with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris. The fledgling United States faced several challenges, many of which stemmed from the lack of a strong national government and unified political culture. The period ended in 1789 following the ratification of the United States Constitution, which established a new, more powerful, national government.

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Ratification Day is the name of a number of official or unofficial holidays or other anniversaries which commemorate or mark an important legislative act. A ratification day may celebrate the proclamation of independence of a state, the end of a war, or the ratification of an important treaty. In the United States, it often refers to the day a particular state ratified the United States Constitution.

Events from the year 1783 in the United States.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and Sweden, officially A treaty of Amity and Commerce concluded between His Majesty the King of Sweden and the United States of North America, was a treaty signed on April 3, 1783 in Paris, France between the United States and the Kingdom of Sweden. The treaty established a commercial alliance between these two nations and was signed during the American Revolutionary War.

Maryland in the American Revolution

Then Province of Maryland had been a British / English colony since 1632, when Sir George Calvert, first Baron of Baltimore and Lord Baltimore (1579-1632), received a charter and grant from King Charles I of England and first created a haven for English Roman Catholics in the New World, with his son, Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), the second Lord Baltimore equipping and sending over the first colonists to the Chesapeake Bay region in March 1634. The first signs of rebellion against the mother country occurred in 1765, when the tax collector Zachariah Hood was injured while landing at the second provincial capital of Annapolis docks, arguably the first violent resistance to British taxation in the colonies. After a decade of bitter argument and internal discord, Maryland declared itself a sovereign state in 1776. The province was one of the Thirteen Colonies of British America to declare independence from Great Britain and joined the others in signing a collective Declaration of Independence that summer in the Second Continental Congress in nearby Philadelphia. Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed on Maryland's behalf.

Admission to the Union Process of states joining the United States

The Admission to the Union Clause of the United States Constitution, often called the New States Clause, found at Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1, authorizes the Congress to admit new states into the United States beyond the thirteen already in existence at the time the Constitution went into effect.

References

  1. "ratification.day January 14 – Google Search".
  2. "Treaty of Paris: Primary Documents of American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress)".
  3. "Page 1 of By the United States in Congress assembled, a proclamation : Whereas definitive articles of peace and friendship, between the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty, were concluded and signed at Paris, on the 3rd day of September, 1783 ... we have thought proper by these presents, to notify the premises to all the good citizens of these United States ..." The Library of Congress.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Thomas Jefferson – Autobiography".