Annapolis Convention (1786)

The Annapolis Convention, formally titled as a Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government was a national political convention held September 11–14, 1786, at Annapolis, Maryland, in which twelve delegates from five statesNew 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. At the time, under the Articles of Confederation, each state was largely independent from the others and the national government had no authority to regulate trade between and among the states. Additionally, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and North Carolina had appointed commissioners who failed to arrive in Annapolis in time to attend the meeting, while Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina and Georgia had taken no action at all.

The final report of the convention was sent to the Congress and to the states. The report asked support for a broader constitutional convention to be held the following May in Philadelphia. It expressed the hope that more states would be represented and that their delegates or deputies would be authorized to examine areas broader than simply commercial trade.

It is unclear how much weight the Convention's call carried, but the urgency of the reform was highlighted by a number of rebellions that took place all over the country. While most of them were easily suppressed, Shay's rebellion lasted from August 1786 till February 1787. The rebellion called attention to both popular discontent, and government's weakness.

The direct result of the Annapolis Convention report and the ensuing events was the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, during which the United States Constitution was drafted.

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