09.02.

1748: Luther Martin – The Man who Refused to Sign the U.S. Constitution

1748: Luther Martin – The Man who Refused to Sign the U.S. Constitution
Photo Credit To http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/LutherMartinBig.jpg

An American politician of an unusual name – Luther Martin – thought that the U.S. does not need a strong central government, but that the individual states should have considerable autonomy.

On this day in 1748 Luther Martin, one of America’s “Founding Fathers”, was born. This is the name for all the people who participated in the key moments of the founding of the USA. Luther Martin was one of the early advocates of American independence from Britain (Martin is his surname, and Luther first name, the opposite of the famous religious reformer). After the American colonies actually managed to overthrow the British rule, the question of the organization of the government in the new state was raised.

Luther Martin was convinced that the United States do not need a strong central government, but rather that individual states should have considerable autonomy. However, despite his insistence, the major players in American politics preferred a stronger central government.

In 1787 Luther Martin was elected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia that was meant to compose the United States Constitution. Until then, the U.S. had no constitution, but the states were governed under the Articles of Confederation, by which the central federal government was quite weak. When Luther Martin realized that other delegates of the Constitutional Convention are trying to create a completely new form of government, he considered it a betrayal of the Articles of Confederation and thus a kind of a coup d’état. Therefore, he walked out of the convention and refused to sign the United States Constitution, believing that it undermines the rights of individual federal states.

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