University of Wisconsin–Madison

Celebrations of Ratification

Supporters of the Constitution attentively waited as word of the ratification process spread throughout the states. As one state after another ratified, Federalists engaged in a wide variety of public events honoring the Constitution. Seldom missing an opportunity to advance their cause, Federalists and revelers organized processions, banquets, speeches, and demonstrations. It was thought that these public displays would demonstrate a Federalist momentum and universal acceptance of the Constitution. Often these events were accompanied by “hoisting of a mug” not only in honor of the Constitution but individuals, the economy, other nations, kings and queens, and even states that had and were expected to ratify. There was also the occasional toast to the frustrations and calamity that Federalists expected to fall upon Anti-Federalists.