Pennsylvania Federal Constitution


Pennsylvania played a very important part in the Constitutional Convention. The city of Philadelphia housed the convention in 1787. Pennsylvania also boasted one of the largest numbers of delegates at the convention with eight. Among those representing Pennsylvania were; George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Benjamin Franklin, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris, and James Wilson.

Pennsylvania delegates Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris, James Wilson and Ben Franklin formed a nationalist coalition with George Washington and James Madison at the convention. Those four men from Pennsylvania were able to lead their political negotiations and oratorical skills to the nationalists cause. Ben Franklin had the political experience that so many people valued. Gouverneur Morris, who was responsible for the elegant language of the Constitution, spoke at the Philadelphia convention more often than any other delegate. Gouverneur Morris’s sense of nationalism was straightened by his familiarity with working with Robert Morris. He believed that if the country were going to survive, it would need a solid fiscal policy and strong central government. James Wilson was second only to Madison in crafting the Constitution. He led the battle for Pennsylvania to ratify the Constitution.

Pennsylvania set up the first ratifying convention in Philadelphia in late November of 1787. The popular consensus was Pennsylvania would ratify. However, they were the second state to ratify after Delaware. Pennsylvania’s convention was over on November 21 of 1787, but the vote was not cast until December 12. The Pennsylvania delegates voted in favor of the Constitution 46-23. The Federalist controlled the Pennsylvania legislature, and was determined to get the Constitution passed. People with urban and commercial interests in the state supported it, while the people with western, rural interest did not.


Berkin, Carol. A Brilliant Solution. New York: First Mariner Books, 2003. Print.

Gouverneur Morris

Robert Morris

James Wilson

Ben Franklin




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