Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, and New Hampshire were the first 9 states to sign the Constitution. Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island were the only states to not sign it. Virginia, New York, and North Carolina all ratified the Constitution before it was put into effect. Rhode Island was the last state to ratify it and it did so only after the new government had been in operation for a few months. These 4 states did not ratify the Constitution because they wanted to but because they had to. They could not safely exist outside the fold.