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 1114, 1786 at Mann's Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, in which twelve delegates from five statesNew Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginiagathered 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.[1] 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.[2]

The final report of the convention, adopted unanimously, was sent to the Congress and to the states. It sought 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.[3]

Because of the few representatives in attendance, their authority was limited. It is unclear how much weight the convention's call carried, but the urgency of the need for constitutional reform was highlighted by a number of rebellions that took place all over the country. While most of them were easily suppressed, Shays' Rebellion lasted from August 1786 until February 1787. The rebellion called attention to both popular discontent and government weakness.[4]

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.


The states represented, and their delegates, were:[5]


  1. Ferling, John (2003). A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic. Oxford University Press. p. 276. ISBN 9780195176001. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  2. "Annapolis Convention Resolution, 1786". Ashland, Ohio: Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  3. Morris, Richard Brandon (1987). The forging of the Union, 1781–1789. Harper & Row. p. 254. ISBN 9780060157333. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  4. Milkis, S., Nelson, M., The American Presidency. Washington: CQPess, 2003. Fourth Edition. Print
  5. Wright, Jr., Robert K.; MacGregor Jr., Morris J. "Appendix A: The Annapolis Convention". Soldier-Statesmen of the Constitution. Washington D.C: United States Army Center of Military History. LCCN 87001353. CMH Pub 71-25.

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