“R” is for Ratification of the U.S. Constitution
“R” is for Ratification of the U.S. Constitution. South Carolina’s ratification of the United State Constitution in May 1788 was never in doubt. Since the state’s economic interests were well-served by the new document, the most serious debate in South Carolina over ratification revolved around the contested meaning of the American Revolution. The debate reflected the political conflicts that had divided the state since independence. In simplest terms, Federalists (who favored ratification) saw the Constitution as a way to complete the Revolution; Anti-Federalists (who opposed ratification) saw it as a threat to their emerging political power. However predictable the Federalist victory, Anti-Federalists undoubtedly represented a majority of the state’s white population—but not a majority of convention delegates. The final vote in a special convention for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution was 149 in favor; 73 opposed.