Reply To: Rob Natelson's View Of Compact Theory


Article VII says that ratification will be by the states, not by one American people acting in 13 separate locations.

When the First Congress convened, there were no representatives from North Carolina or Rhode Island because North Carolina and Rhode Island had not yet ratified the Constitution. Had they never ratified, they would never have been represented in Congress.

In the Virginia Ratification Convention, Federalist speakers were at great pains to say that Virginia was one of thirteen parties to a compact. For full details of these assurances, and of the significance that Federalists attributed to them, see JAMES MADISON AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA and/or VIRGINIA’S AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

In sum, John Marshall’s position in McCulloch v. Maryland is completely at odds with the original understanding.