Resolutions of the Annapolis Convention (1786)


In 1786, delegates from the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia attended the Annapolis Convention, a forerunner to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention:

“That there are important defects in the system of the federal government is acknowledged by the acts of all those States, which have concurred in the present meeting… [The defects] are of a nature so serious, in the view of your commissioners, as to render the situation of the United States delicate and critical, calling for an exertion of the united virtue and wisdom of all the membersof the confederacy.

Under this impression, your commissioners, with the most respectful deference, beg leave to suggest their unanimous conviction that it may essentially tend to advance the interests of the union, if the states, by whom they have been respectively delegated, would themselves concur, and use their endeavours to procure the concurrence of the other states, in the appointment of commissioners, to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the federal government, adequate to the needs of the Union.”