When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
September 11, 1786 — Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government (AKA the Annapolis Convention) convened at Mann’s Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland. Twelve delegates from five states—New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia—gathered to discuss and develop a consensus about reversing the protectionist trade barriers that each state had erected. This is often considered the first Constitutional Convention.
In 1785 Maryland and Virginia differed on the matter of rights of navigation on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. A meeting on the question led to a general discussion of interstate commerce. As a result, the Virginia legislature called for a convention of all the states at Annapolis on September 11, 1786. However, with only five states represented, the convention decided that such questions could not be effectively dealt with unless the inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation were addressed. A report, drafted by Alexander Hamilton on September 14, proposed that a convention of all the states be held for that purpose. The recommendation was adopted by Congress, and a convention was scheduled to be held eight months later in Philadelphia, where the present federal Constitution was drafted.
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