• Dr. Patrick T. Conley on the Law and Order Constitution
    Articles,  Blog

    Dr. Patrick T. Conley on the Law and Order Constitution

    That constitution was described in 1901 by Arthur May Mowry as quote, “liberal and well adapted to the needs of the state.” That 1843 constitution – and we use 1843 because it went into effect in May 1843 – it was the Law & Order Constitution that was drafted by the Law & Order Convention in the concluding months of 1842 after Dorr had been vanquished and had gone into exile. That constitution was productive of an incredible amount of internal strife in Rhode Island. But nonetheless Mowry’s view expressed in his book The Dorr War in 1901 prevailed for three quarters of a century and when I wrote Democracy…

  • Ratification History: North Carolina and Rhode Island Say No to the Constitution
    Articles,  Blog

    Ratification History: North Carolina and Rhode Island Say No to the Constitution

    Did you know North Carolina and Rhode Island were both independent countries for a short while even after the Constitution was ratified? Article 7 established the requirements for putting the new Constitution into effect. “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” Notice an important point here, ratification by those nine states didn’t automatically force the four non-ratifying states into the union. They would continue to exist independently until they ratified. And if a state never did ratify, it would never become part of the Union. There was no mechanism to force reluctant states…