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He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the .e*vl


He has combined with others te subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws ; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: . For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of thtsestates; For cutting ossour trade with all paits of the world: Forimpoling taxes onus without ourconsent: For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury: Fqr transporting us beyond seas to he tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the fame absolute rule into these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolilhing our mostvaluable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms ©four governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power t<) legislate for us in all cases whatsoever^

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of hi3 protection, and waging War'against us.'

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is, at this time, transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely parallelled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arm* against their country, to becomethe executioners of their friends and brethren, or to? fall.tbemsclvrs by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule ©f warfareis an undistinguished destruction, of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our. repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions toeur British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we haye conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which deaouncesour separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the UNITED STATES Of GENERAL CONGRESS assembled, appealing, to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE And INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the.British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain, is, and ought to he, totally dissolved; and that as FREE And INDEPENDENT STATES.they have fuls power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establilh commerce, and to do all other acts and things whieh INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes*

and our sacred honour. The foregoing declaration was by order of Congress engrossed and signed by the

members from the several different State*.





WE the Peaple of the United States, in order to sown a more perfect; Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common de- Preamble, fence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States df America.


StEl. t. A LL legislative powers herein granted shall be Su

iV vested in a Congress of the United State's, p"we'T%her* ■which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, vested.

SeQ. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the j-iouse of Rtf. several states, 'and the electors in each state shall have the qu&l- preservatives ifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch how chosen, ef the state legislature.

No person shall be a representative who shall not have at- . tained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years j~VfcJ„,<1U a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direst taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union, Rule of aporaccording to their respective numbers, which shall be! deter-tioninS minedby adding to the whole number of free persens, inclu- ^afrect '^"s ding those bound to service for a term of three years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons-. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years aftcr the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and "within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one representative ; and until such enumeration Number of feall be made, the state of New-Hampshire shall be entitled to {^PTM1*"1*" chuse three, Maffachufettseight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York' six, New-Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight,.Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North-Carolina five, South-Carolina five, and Georgia three.'

When vacancies happen in the representation from any state,


how filled

Senate how chosen, &c.

Rotation of senators.

the Executive authority thereof shall issue writ* of election

to fill such vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other officers ; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

S'B. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The feats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, os the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third clals at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be cholen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirtv years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he fliall be chosen.

The Vice-President of the United States snail be President of the senatc,but shall have no vote.unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other officers, and also a President pro temptre, in the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Judgment incases of impeachments shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy anv office of honor, trust or profit under the United States; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and not to extend, fubject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, accor"v" ding to law.

ScEl. 4. The times, places and manner of holding elections for lenators and representatives, fliall be prelcribed in each state by the legislature thereof: but the Congress may at any Ele'tions how time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Sell. 5. Each houle shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorised to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under luch penalties as each house may provide.

Each house may determine the; rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.

*Their quail
A cations.

President of senate.

Their Powers

Judgment on impeachment


Congress when to assemble.

Privileges of each House.

Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from ■time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in A Journal tu their judgment require secrecy ; and the veasand nays of the be kept, members of either house on any question shall, at the dclire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Neither house, during the session of Congress, shall without the cons ent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, . j- * nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

Sect. 6. The senators and representatives shall receive a vvaees how compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and ascertained paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their Freedom respective houses^nd in going to and returning from the from arrests, fame ; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall &c not be questioned in any other place.

No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under Senators and the authority of the United States, which shall have been ere- awn^rii i ated, or the emoluments whereof shall have been encreascddu- j,je to civil'ofring such time; and no person holding any office under the rices. United States, shall be a member of either house during his continuance in office.

ScB. j. All Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the Monev bills, house of representatives ; but the senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the house of representatives and the senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented Bills to be to the president of the United States; if he approve he shall presented to sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that ,he President, house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which cafe it shall not be a law.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the fame shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or, being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two-thirds of the Senate and House pf Representatives, according to the rules and limitations pre* scribed in the case of a biU»

Powers of

Importation of slaves haw ngulatfd.

Sell. 8. The Congress shall have power

To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general ■welfare of the United States ; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States:

To borrow money on the credit of the United States:

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, aud among the several states, and with the Indian tribes:

To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States:

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign «oin, and fix the standard of weights and measures:

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States:

To establish post-offices and post roads:

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries:

To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court:

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations:

To declare war, giant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer terra than two years:

To provide and maintain a navy:

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces:

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws «f the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the diieipline prescribed \fy Congress:

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, •ver such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states and theacceptance of Congress, become the feat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent «f the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and othe? needful buildings: And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of tho United States, or in any department or office thereof.

Se£l. 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Cqngress prior to the year on* thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for •ach person.

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