Two months before the Philadelphia Convention completed its work on the Constitution a movement was under way in New York to prevent its ratification. Conscious as they were of their role as statesmen creating a new system of government, as practical politicians they never forgot that the forthcoming struggles over ratification were to be tremendous political battles. To put the Constitution into operation the friends of ratification had to win nine of the thirteen states; its enemies had to win only five to prevent it. The postwar history of the states indicates that there was more to this than meets the eye. The primary purpose of this analysis of the contests over ratification is to test the validity of Professor Beard's class-struggle interpretation, and the emphasis will be upon a comparison of the economic interests of the men on both sides of the issue.