IN a French book, entitled The Rise of Modern Democracy in Old and New England, a translation of which into English appeared just as the first edition of the present work came from the press, Dr. Charles Borgeaud, of Geneva, has ably discussed some of the questions affecting the evolution of American political theories. He calls attention to democratic movements in England in the middle of the seventeenth century stimulated by John Lilburne, and others, which have hitherto been comparatively neglected. Lilburne, who had been dismissed from the parliamentary army, and found himself in difficulty with the House of Lords, insisted on the sovereignty of the House of Commons, as representing the people. Later, when imprisoned for sedition by the House of Commons itself, he appealed from them to the nation. He wrote from his prison in 1645: "Now for any man to imagine that the shadow or representative is more worthy than the substance, or that the House of Commons is more valuable and considerable than the body for whom they serve, is all one as if they should affirm that an Agent or Ambassador from a Prince, hath the same or more authority than the Prince himselfe."[1] In the following year an address was made to the Commons on his behalf, the title of which runs thus: "A Remonstrance of Many Thousands Citizens and other Freeborn People of England to their owne House of Commons, occasioned through the Illegall and Barbarous Imprisonment of that Famous and Worthy Sufferer for his Countries Freedoms, Lieutenant Col. John Lilburne, Wherein their just Demands in behalfe of themselves and the whole Kingdome concerning their publick Safty, Peace and Freedome is expressed; calling those their Commissioners in Parliament to an Account, how they (since the beginning of their Session to this present) have discharged their Duties to the Universality of the People, their Sovereign Lord, from whom their Power and Strength is derived, and by whom (ad bene placitum) it is continued."[2] Notwithstanding the existence of a committee of malcontents who endeavoured to secure signatures for political addresses of this sort, no impression seems to have been made on the nation, which was still prevailingly royalist. In Cromwell's army, however, a democratic spirit grew. And in 1647 sixteen regiments drew up a scheme of reform, called "An Agreement of the People," which, among other things, asserted that the powers of the House of Commons were, in the strictest sense, representative, and extended only "to whatsoever is not expressly, or impliedly, reserved by the represented themselves." This "Agreement" was offered for ratification by the people at large, — "the joint concurrence of all the free Commons of England."[3] It was declared by the House of Commons to be destructive of the very foundations of government; and it is of small historic value except as an early public document, containing distinct assertion of what has since been called the sovereignty of the people. (See Borgeaud, Rise of Modern Democracy in Old and New England, pp. 45-77, and the preface by Mr. C. H. Firth. See also the treatment of this subject by Gardiner, History of the Civil War, III.)

Democratic principles may be traceable in some sense to the Protestant Reformation, and possibly to certain tenets of the Brownists and the New England Puritans, as Dr. Borgeaud and others suppose. But Dr. Borgeaud underestimates the force of Teutonic racial tendency, — though he is correct in saying that the claims of Teutonic heredity in the American township system have been, by a certain school of writers, unduly pressed. He accords insufficient attention to the influence of English local governments and the mediæval trade guilds upon Puritan religious polity, and upon the institutions of the colonial communities, including such as never felt direct touch of the Puritans at all. And he almost ignores the political development of the colonies outside New England, — though representative government on American soil began, not among the Puritans of Plymouth, as he seems to imply, but among the members of the Anglican Church in Virginia, the bias of which, according to his theory, was never democratic. After all, American democracy had its direct origin, as M. Boutmy[4] has shown, in geographical and social conditions, — in the remoteness of the new country from Europe, and in the absence during its infancy of privileged hereditary classes. He even remarks of the present: "The striking and peculiar characteristic of the American society is, that it is not so much a democracy as a large commercial company for the discovery, cultivation, and capitalization of enormous territory."[5] A great deal of misconception in modern political literature might have been avoided had there been less eager inclination to look backward to the colonial past from the mental point of view created by the republic of to-day, whereby old facts have too often been coloured by modern hypotheses.[6]

The conditions to which M. Boutmy refers, though not directly resulting from a philosophy, were undoubtedly associated with the growth of democratic ideas. And at the climax of the war of Revolution, the social contract theory of Rousseau powerfully wrought upon the American mind. Indeed, the enunciation of that theory by Thomas Paine in his Common Sense did much to break loyal attachment to the mother country, and to reconcile a majority of colonists to the Declaration of Independence. The first State constitutions, framed within a few months of the publication of Common Sense, show unmistakably the influence of that pamphlet. Untenable as its arguments are now recognized to be, they proved most convenient at the moment. For ancient familiarity with the idea of the crown's sovereignty seemed to necessitate a theoretical substitute, in harmony with the changed circumstances. And such a substitute was found in the assumed sovereignty of the people, — a new kind of sovereignty, which the theories of Paine asserted to have existed always, as based on an imaginary civil contract made in some imaginary prehistoric epoch. The effect of this democratic philosophy is far less apparent in the Constitution of the United States than in the early State constitutions. For by the time that instrument was promulgated, men had had some years in which to recover from the tone of mind produced by the war against the crown, and by Paine's rhetorical affirmations. Members of the Philadelphia convention are known to have been distrustful of democracy. And the national Constitution is the least democratic of the public documents of the period. The Preamble of that Constitution reflects, nevertheless, the then existing political conditions and the freshly current theories, "We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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 of America."

Writers who, like Dr. Borgeaud, take for granted that democracy is an ideal condition of society, are in the habit of assuming that American institutions had their origin in democracy. To trace the sources of democracy has sometimes been supposed to be equivalent to tracing the sources of American government. Yet so thoughtful and just an investigator as Maine has indicated the experimental nature of a great deal relating to democracy that is thus assumed to be settled.[7] It is sufficient for our present purpose to remind the reader that the national and State governments of the United States, however associated with democratic elements and theories, are not in themselves pure democracies. They are inherited in main outline, as we have seen, remotely from Anglo-Teutonic originals, and more directly from the English Constitution. And the latter has always possessed democratic elements, though it has never stood for a pure democracy. Thus, if the American government is, in part, democratic, it is so in consequence of influences, some of which long antedate the Protestant Reformation, and the existence of Roundheads and Puritans. While philosophy has had its effects, the real origins are elsewhere. Indeed, along with the democratic elements are elements that are almost the reverse of democratic. In actual power of the executive, the American Constitution is conceded to be more monarchic than is the present constitution of the English kingdom. Should the democratic opinions now in vogue ever change, as the political opinions of other ages have changed, the Constitution of the United States would be found to need but slight revision in order to fit it to wholly different theories. To realize this is to realize that a clear distinction must be drawn between the Constitution itself and any theory of it whatever. That instrument reflects a complex past; and, as a development from facts rather than from ideas, it is capable of adaptation to the ordinary purposes of government independently of philosophic principles democratic or otherwise. Already, like other constitutions, it has lent itself to modifications, wrought by the progress of national experience; and America is yet young, and its experiences are but begun. M. Boutmy says of some supposed democratic characteristics of modern government: "Democracy has copied and adopted the parliamentary system and perpetuated its existence with more or less success; but it was essentially incapable of either inventing or founding it. Without the existence of the English oligarchy of the eighteenth century in whose shade it grew up and flourished, the best type of free government would never have come into being, and would have remained unknown to the world."[8] Again he remarks: "As all civilized States have at one time or another borrowed from England the main features of their constitutions, it is possible that the political destinies of the world might have been different from what they are. Democracy succeeded indeed in adapting and reproducing, not without difficulty, the parliamentary system, but it was only after a perfect model had been, through other agencies, built up for imitation. An aristocracy alone could create such a system, could mould its customs, and form its traditions."[9] However unwelcome such considerations may be to readers of an ultra-democratic bent, they illustrate the great truth, that the sources of American institutions are not to be looked for in democracy merely, or even chiefly. From an historical or coldly scientific point of view, there should be a fair and fearless disposition to see things as they are, and not as they seem, — or, as according to the hypotheses of political theorists, they ought to seem.

[1] England's Miserte and Remedie, 1645, p. I. British Museum, E 302 (5).

[2] British Museum, 1104, A 7.

[3] An Agreement of the People for a firm and present Peace upon the grounds of Common Right and Freedome, s. e. 1647. British Museum, E 1948 (17).

[4] Studies in Constitutional Law, 123-128.

[5] Ibid. 128.

[6] An illustration of the tendency to attribute democracy to the colonists in a misleading manner is afforded by inferences drawn by Dr. Borgeaud and others from a resolution of the General Assembly of Portsmouth, R.I., 1641, which reads: "It is ordered and agreed upon, that the Government which this Body Politick doth attend unto in this Island, and the Jurisdiction thereof in favour of our Prince, is a Democratic or Popular Government; that is to say. It is in the Power of the Body of Freemen orderly assembled, or the major part of them, to make or continue Just Lawes, by which they will be regulated, and to depute from themselves such Ministers as shall see them faithfully executed between Man and Man." — Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, I, 112. It will be noted that the resolution, while describing a government called "democratic," makes careful reference to the King. In so doing it expresses a simple truth, often ignored by writers who treat of the colonial governments as though they had existed in political isolation from the mother country. Local government with necessary democratic elements had a place, of course, in the colonies, and also in England, — but only as part of a monarchy. If less directly than their fellow subjects of the home land, yet, consciously and definitely, the colonists were under the crown. They never thought of themselves otherwise, save during the brief Commonwealth, and after the Declaration of Independence. When interpreting their deeds and words, this controlling fact cannot be safely ignored.

[7] See Popular Government.

[8] English Constitution, 180.

[9] Ibid. 174.



The aim of this book, being to trace the far beginnings, and the historical development through change and modification of each in turn of the principal elements of the Constitution of the United States, it was impracticable to give disproportionate attention, in the body of the work, to the constitutional movement which transformed individual colonies into States. But this movement bore, as we have seen, a twofold relation to the making of the national Constitution. For it prepared the members of the Philadelphia Convention for their task, and at the same time supplied them with much digested material for the work of construction. As already pointed out, the State constitutions were mainly the result of English and colonial political experience. An examination and comparison of such features of these new constitutions, as point backward to the colonial system, and forward to the Constitution of the United States, will be welcomed by the studious reader. The citations which here follow, are designed to afford illustration, and to give a general survey of the transitional stage of American constitutional law which marks the progress from colonial to national government.

The earliest American State constitution was that of New Hampshire, framed at a session of the "provincial congress," which met at Exeter, N.H., Dec. 21, 1775, and completed its labours Jan. 5 following. After describing the outbreak of the war, and the departure of the colonial governor, the congress enacts: "Therefore, for the preservation of peace and good order, and for the security of the lives and properties of the inhabitants of this colony, we conceive ourselves reduced to the necessity of establishing A Form of Government to continue during the present unhappy and unnatural contest with Great Britain, Protesting and Declaring that we never sought to throw off our dependence upon Great Britain, but felt ourselves happy under her protection, while we could enjoy our constitutional rights and privileges And that we shall rejoice if such a reconciliation between us and our parent State can be effected as shall be approved by the Continental Congress, in whose prudence and wisdom we confide." This constitution is very brief, and its provisions are only such as were deemed necessary to provide for temporary emergency. The legislative power is lodged in a Council presided over by a President, and a House of Representatives presided over by a Speaker. It is provided "that all bills, resolves, or votes for raising, levying, and collecting money originate in the House of Representatives." The appointment of civil and military officers, and the general management of affairs, is intrusted to the "two houses." Subsequently a permanent constitution was adopted.

The second State constitution in order of time was that of South Carolina, set forth March 26, 1776. It provides for a Legislative Council, and a General Assembly, as two houses of legislation; for a President and Commander-in-chief, aided by a Privy Council, and for a Vice President. The Privy Council is to advise the President when required, but he is not bound to consult them, save in certain specified cases The following articles have special bearing on the Constitution of the United States.

VII "That the legislative authority be vested in the President and Commander-in-chief, the General Assembly, and Legislative Council. All money-bills for the support of the government shall originate in the General Assembly, and shall not be altered or amended by the Legislative Council, but may be rejected by them All other bills and ordinances may take rise in the General Assembly or Legislative Council, and may be altered, amended, or rejected by either. Bills having passed the General Assembly and Legislative Council may be assented to or rejected by the President and Commander-in-chief Having received his assent, they shall have all the force and validity of an act of General Assembly of this colony

And the General Assembly and Legislative Council, respectively, shall enjoy all other privileges which have at any time been claimed or exercised by the Commons house of Assembly, but the Legislative Council shall have no power of expelling their own members.

VIII "That the General Assembly and Legislative Council may adjourn themselves respectively, and the President and Commander-in-chief shall have no power to adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve them, but may, if necessary, call them before the time to which they shall stand adjourned..."

XIV. "That in case of the death of the President and Commander-in-chief, or his absence from the colony, the Vice-President of the colony shall succeed to his office...."

XX. Ordinary judges shall be "commissioned by the President and Commander-in-chief, during good behaviour, but shall be removed on address of the General Assembly and Legislative Council."

XXIII. Officers of the army and navy "shall be commissioned by the President and Commander-in-chief."

XXV. "That the President and Commander-in-chief, with the advice and consent of the Privy Council, may appoint during pleasure until otherwise directed by resolution of the General Assembly and Legislative Council, all other necessary officers, except such as are by law directed to be otherwise chosen.

XXVI. "That the President and Commander-in-chief shall have no power to make war or peace, or enter into any final treaty, without the consent of the General Assembly and Legislative Council."

Virginia put forth a Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776, which begins with a number of sections embodying the social contract theory The following bear upon the national Constitution. —

SEC 8 "That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favour, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty, nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

SEC. 9. "That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

SEC. 10. "That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

SEC. 11. "That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.

SEC. 12. "That freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restricted but by despotic governments.

SEC. 13. "That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, rational, and safe defence of a free State...."

SEC. 16. "All men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience...."

A constitution for Virginia was adopted, June 29, 1776, by the same body that set forth the foregoing Declaration of Rights. It provides: "The legislative, executive, and judiciary department shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other.... The legislative shall be formed of two distinct branches, who together shall be a complete Legislature. They shall meet once, or oftener, every year, and shall be called The General Assembly of Virginia. One of these shall be called the House of Delegates.... The other shall be called the Senate.... Each House shall choose its own Speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election, for the supplying intermediate vacancies. All laws shall originate in the House of Delegates and be approved of or rejected by the Senate, or to be amended, with the consent of the House of Delegates; except money bills, which in no instance shall be altered by the Senate, but wholly approved or rejected. A Governor, or chief magistrate, shall be chosen annually by joint ballot of both Houses.... And he shall, with the advice of a Council of State, exercise the executive powers of government.... He shall, with the advice of the Council of State, have the power of granting reprieves or pardons, except where the prosecution shall have been carried on by the House of Delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct.... Either House of the General Assembly may adjourn themselves respectively. The Governor shall not prorogue or adjourn the Assembly during their sitting, nor dissolve them at any time; but he shall, if necessary, either by advice of the Council of State, or on application of a majority of the House of Delegates, call them before the time to which they shall stand prorogued or adjourned." Provision is made for a Lieutenant-Governor. Judges are to be elected by the Legislature, but commissioned by the Governor, and continue in office during good behaviour. The Governor is commander-in-chief of military forces. He and other officials may be impeached by the House of Delegates.

The Constitution of New Jersey, proceeding from a convention which began its sessions May 26, 1776, was published to the people July 3d of the same year. It begins with words which clearly show the influence of Paine's Common Sense and of the social contract theory: "Whereas all the constituted authority ever possessed by the kings of Great Britain over these colonies, and their other dominions, was, by compact, derived from the people, and held by them, for the common interest of the whole society." It is provided "that the government of this province shall be vested in a Governor, Legislative Council, and General Assembly." A "Vice-President" is to act "in the absence of the Governor." The Governor is to be commander-in-chief of the military, and he and his Privy Council are to constitute "a Court of Appeals of last resort, in all clauses of law, as heretofore; and ... possess the power of granting pardon to criminals." Art. XVIII. guarantees freedom of worship. Art. XXII. reads: "That the common law of England, as well as so much of the statute law, as have been heretofore practiced in this colony, shall remain in force, until they shall be altered by a future law of the Legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this charter; and that the inestimable right of trial by jury shall remain confirmed as a part of the law of this colony, without repeal forever." This constitution ends with a paragraph remarkable as having been penned within a few days of the proclaiming of the Declaration of Independence: "Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this Congress, that if a reconciliation between Great Britain and these colonies should take place, and the latter be taken again under the protection and government of the crown of Britain, this charter shall be null and void, — otherwise to remain firm and inviolable."

A constitution for Pennsylvania was established by a convention which met at Philadelphia, July 15, 1776, and completed its work Sept. 28th ensuing. Its preamble is followed by a Declaration of Rights closely similar to that of Virginia just cited. Sec. XVI. reads: "That the people have a right to assemble together, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances by address, petition, or remonstrance." Then comes the frame of government.

SEC. 2. "The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a House of Representatives of the freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

SEC. 3. "The supreme executive power shall be vested in a President and Council."

Provision is made for a Vice-President, for a Supreme Court, and other courts of law, and for usual powers of government. A "Council of Censors" is empowered to act as guardian of the Constitution. A strangely democratic tone runs through this instrument.

The Constitution of Delaware was the work of an assembly which opened its sessions Aug. 27, 1776. It was proclaimed Sept 21st. The executive is termed a President, and is aided by a Privy Council. The Legislature is bicameral. Money bills are to be initiated in the lower House, but may be "altered, amended, or rejected" by the upper House. The Speaker of the upper House is to act as Vice-President, for the time being, in case of the President's "death, inability, or absence from the State." The right of succession passes to the Speaker of the lower House in case of the Vice-President's death, inability, or absence. There is a Supreme Court, with chief justice and justices; and other usual courts. Art. 17 reads: "There shall be an appeal from the Supreme Court of Delaware, in matters of law and equity, to a court of seven persons, to consist of the President for the time being, who shall preside therein, and six others ... who shall continue in office during good behaviour, and be commissioned by the President, under the great seal; which court shall be styled the Court of Appeals, and have all the authority and powers heretofore given by law in the last resort to the King in Council, under the old government." It is decreed: "The common law of England, as well as so much of the statute law as has been heretofore adopted in practice in this State, shall remain in force," except as modified for the new constitution or by State legislation. Usual powers and functions are to be exercised by the different branches of government. An article of special interest arranges for membership by rotation in the upper House, called the Council, as follows:

ART. 4. "The other branch shall be called the Council, and consist of nine members; three to be chosen for each county at the time of the first election of the assembly, who shall be freeholders of the county for which they are chosen, and be upwards of twenty-five years of age. At the end of one year after the general election, the councillor who had the smallest number of votes in each county shall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied by the freemen of each county choosing the same or another person at a new election in manner aforesaid. At the end of two years after the first general election, the councillor who stood second in number of votes in each county shall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied by a new election in manner aforesaid. And at the end of three years from the first general election, the councillor who had the greatest number of votes in each county shall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied by a new election in manner aforesaid. And this rotation of a councillor being displaced at the end of three years in each county, and his office supplied by a new choice, shall be continued afterwards in due order annually forever, whereby, after the first general election, a councillor will remain in trust for three years from the time of his being elected, and a councillor will be displaced, and the same or another chosen in each county at every election."

The Constitution of Maryland was set forth Nov. 11, 1776, and, like that of Pennsylvania and Virginia, consisted of two divisions: a Declaration of Rights and a Form of Government. The Declaration of Rights, after a brief preamble and assertion of the social contract theory, has the following clauses which may be especially noted here: —

III. "That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the common law of England, and the trial by jury, according to the course of that law, and to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed at the time of their first emigration, and which, by experience, have been found applicable to their local and other circumstances, and of such others as have been made in England, or Great Britain, and have been introduced, used and practised by the courts of law or equity; and also to acts of Assembly in force on the first of June, seventeen hundred and seventy-four, except such as may have since expired, or have been or may be altered by acts of Convention or this Declaration of Rights, — subject, nevertheless, to the revision of, and amendment or repeal by, the Legislature of this State: and the inhabitants of Maryland are also entitled to all property, derived to them from or under the charter granted by His Majesty Charles I. to Cæcilius Calvert, Baron of Baltimore."

VI. "That the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other."

VIII. "That freedom of speech and debates, or proceedings in the Legislature, ought not to be impeached in any other court or judicature."

XI. "That every man hath a right to petition the Legislature, for the redress of grievances, in a peaceable and orderly manner.

XII. "That no aid, charge, tax, fee, or fees, ought to be set, rated, or levied, under any pretence, without consent of the Legislature."

XIV. "That sanguinary laws ought to be avoided, as far as is consistent with the safety of the State; and no law, to inflict cruel and unusual pains and penalties, ought to be made in any case, or at any time hereafter.

XV. "That retrospective laws, punishing acts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them declared criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore no ex post facto law ought to be made.

XVI. "That no law, to attaint particular persons of treason or felony, ought to be made in any case, or at any time hereafter.

XVII. "That every freeman, for any injury done him in his person or property, ought to have remedy, by the course of the law of the land, and ought to have justice and right freely without sale, fully without any denial, and speedily without delay, according to the law of the land."

XIX. "That, in all criminal prosecutions, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him; to have a copy of the indictment or charge in due time (if required) to prepare his defence; to be allowed counsel; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have process for his witnesses; to examine the witnesses for and against him on oath; and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty.

XX. "That no man ought to be compelled to give evidence against himself, in a common court of law, or in any other court, but in such cases as have been usually practised in this State, or may hereafter be directed by the Legislature.

XXI. "That no freeman ought to be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.

XXII. "That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted, by the courts of law.

XXIII. "That all warrants, without oath or affirmation, to search suspected places, or to seize any person or property, are grievous and oppressive; and all general warrants — to search suspected places, or to apprehend suspected persons, without naming or describing the place, or the person in special — are illegal, and ought not to be granted."

XXV. "That a well-regulated militia is the proper and natural defence of a free government."

XXVIII. "That no soldier ought to be quartered in any house, in time of peace, without the consent of the owner; and in time of war, in such manner only as the Legislature shall direct."

XXX. "This article provides for the tenure of judges" "during good behaviour," — they being removable only for cause, "by the Governor, upon the address of the General Assembly;" and their salaries are secured to them during their tenure of office."

XXXII. "That no person ought to hold, at the same time, more than one office of profit, nor ought any person, in public trust, to receive any present from any foreign prince or state, or from the United States, or any of them, without the approbation of this State."

XXXIV. This article provides for religious liberty.

XXXVI. This makes religious tests for holding office illegal, save "a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion."

XXXVIII. "That the liberty of the press ought to be inviolably preserved."

XL. "That no title of nobility, or hereditary honours, ought to be granted in this State."

In the Form of Government in this constitution, it is established: —

I. "That the Legislature consist of two distinct branches, the Senate and House of Delegates, which shall be styled the General Assembly of Maryland."

IX. "That the House of Delegates shall judge of the elections and qualifications of Delegates.

X. "That the House of Delegates may originate all money bills, propose bills to the Senate, or receive those offered by that body; and assent, dissent, or propose amendments.... They may examine and pass all accounts of the State, relating either to the collection or expenditure of the revenue, or appoint auditors to state and adjust the same....

XI. "That the Senate may be at full liberty to exercise their judgment in passing laws...."

XIV. This article provides for a body of electors to elect the Senate, — the institution from which the electors of the national President were probably copied.

XV. "That the said electors of the Senate meet at the city of

Annapolis, or such other place as shall be appointed for convening the Legislature, on the third Monday in September, 1781, and on the same day in every fifth year forever thereafter, and they, or any twenty-four of them so met, shall proceed to elect, by ballot, either out of their own body, or the people at large, fifteen Senators...."

XX. "That not less than a majority of the Senate, with their President (to be chosen by them by ballot) shall constitute a House, for the transacting any business other than adjourning.

XXI. "That the Senate shall judge of the elections and qualifications of Senators.

XXII. "That the Senate may originate any other, except money bills, to which their assent or dissent only shall be given; and may receive any other bills from the House of Delegates, and assent, dissent, or propose amendments."

XXIV. "That each House shall appoint its own officers and settle its own rules of proceeding."

XXV. This article provides for a Governor.

XXVI. This article provides for a Governor's Council. "Their advice, if so required by the Governor, or any member of the Council, shall be given in writing, and signed by the members giving the same respectively."

XXVII. This article provides for election of State representatives to Continental Congress, and that "no person who holds any office of profit in the gift of Congress shall be eligible to sit in Congress; but if appointed to any such office, his seat shall be thereby vacated."

XXIX. "That the Senate and Delegates may adjourn themselves respectively; but if the two Houses should not agree on the same time, but adjourn to different days, then shall the Governor appoint and notify one of those days, or some day between, and the Assembly shall then meet and be held accordingly; and he shall, if necessary, by advice of the Council, call them before the time to which they shall in any manner be adjourned, on giving not less than ten days' notice thereof; but the Governor shall not adjourn the Assembly, otherwise than as aforesaid, nor prorogue or dissolve it at any time."

XXXII. This article provides that the first member of the Council shall act as Governor at the latter's "death, resignation, or removal out of the State."

XXXIII. "That the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Council, may embody the militia; and, when embodied, shall alone have the direction thereof; and shall also have the direction of all the regular land and sea forces, under the laws of this State (but he shall not command in person, unless advised thereto by the Council, and then only so long as they shall approve thereof); and may alone exercise all the executive powers of government, where the concurrence of the Council is not required according to the laws of this State; and grant reprieves or pardons for any crime, except in such cases where the law shall otherwise direct, and may, during the recess of the General Assembly, lay embargoes...."

XXXVII. "That no Senator, Delegate of Assembly, or member of the Council, if he shall qualify as such, shall hold or execute any office of profit, or receive the profits of any office exercised by any other person, during the time for which he shall be elected...."

XXXVIII. "That every Governor, Senator, Delegate to Congress or Assembly, and member of the Council, before he acts as such, shall take an oath...."

XL. "That the Chancellor, all Judges, the Attorney-General, the Clerks of the County Courts, the Registers of the Land Office, and the Registers of Wills, shall hold their commissions during good behaviour, removable only for misbehaviour, or conviction in a court of law."

XLVIII. "That the Governor, for the time being, with the advice and consent of the Council, may appoint the Chancellor, and all Judges and Justices, the Attorney-General, naval officers, officers in the regular land and sea service, officers of the militia, Registers of the Land Office, Surveyors, and all other civil officers of the government (Assessors, Constables, and Overseers of roads only excepted), and may also suspend or remove any civil officer who has not a commission, during good behaviour; and may suspend any militia officer for one month; and may also suspend or remove any regular officer in the land or sea service; and the Governor may remove or suspend any militia officer, in pursuance of the judgment of a Court Martial."

LX. "That every bill passed by the General Assembly, when engrossed, shall be presented by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, in the Senate, to the Governor for the time being, who shall sign the same, and thereto affix the Great Seal, in the presence of the members of both Houses...."

In North Carolina, a congress chosen for the special purpose sat during the months of November and December, 1776, and set forth a constitution, composed of a Declaration of Rights and a Form of Government, and bearing a close resemblance to the foregoing constitution. The upper house of the legislature was called the Senate, and the lower the House of Commons. Article XX. reads: "That in every case where any officer, the right of whose appointment is by this constitution vested in the General Assembly, shall, during their recess, die, or his office by other means become vacant, the Governor shall have power, with the advice of the Council of State, to fill up such vacancy, by granting a temporary commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the General Assembly." Georgia's constitution, begun Oct. 1, 1776, was unanimously agreed to Feb. 5, 1777. It is less obviously copied, and it possesses no distinctive bill of rights. The usual elements of government are established, with no new peculiarities of note affecting the Constitution of the United States.

In New York a convention assembled in July, 1776, and adopted a constitution April 20, 1777. An unusually long preamble includes the whole text of the Declaration of Independence, and is followed by a clause reading: "Whereas this convention, having taken this Declaration into their most serious consideration, did on the ninth day of July last past, unanimously resolve that the reasons assigned by the Continental Congress for declaring the united colonies free and independent States are cogent and conclusive; and while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable, we approve the same, and will, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, join with the other colonies in supporting it."

The constitution creates a legislature of two houses, called the Senate and the Assembly. It provides for a council composed of the Governor and certain judges to revise each bill before and after enactment. "And if [in the latter event] upon such revision and consideration, it should appear improper to the said council, or a majority of them, that the said hill should become a law of this State, that they return the same, together with their objections thereto in writing, to the Senate or House of Assembly (in whichsoever the same shall have originated) who shall enter the objections sent down by the council at large upon their minutes, and proceed to reconsider the said bill. But if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the said Senate or House of Assembly shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall be a law. And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, be it further ordained, that if any bill shall not be returned by the council within ten days after it shall have been presented, the same shall be a law, unless the legislature shall, by their adjournment, render a return of the said bill within ten days impracticable; in which case the bill shall be returned on the first day of the meeting of the legislature after the expiration of the said ten days."

An interesting expression of the fact of historical continuity is found in Article IX.: "That the Assembly thus constituted shall choose their own Speaker, be judges of their own members, and enjoy the same privileges, and proceed in doing business in like manner as the assemblies of the colony of New York of right formerly did."

Article XI. reads: "That the members of the Senate be elected for four years; and, immediately after the first election, they be divided by lot into four classes, six in each class, and numbered one, two, three, and four; that the seats of the members of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, the second class the second year, and so on continually; to the end that the fourth part of the Senate, as nearly as possible, may be annually chosen." Other clauses may be mentioned: —

XIV. "That neither the Assembly nor the Senate shall have the power to adjourn themselves, for any longer time than two days, without the mutual consent of both.

XV. "That whenever the Assembly and Senate disagree, a conference shall be held, in the preference of both, and be managed by committees, to be by them respectively chosen by ballot. That the doors, both of the Senate and Assembly, shall at all times be kept open to all persons, except when the welfare of the State shall require their debates to be kept secret. And the journals of all their proceedings shall be kept in the manner heretofore accustomed by the General Assembly of New York; and except such parts as they shall, as aforesaid, respectively determine not to make public be from day to day (if the business of the legislature will permit) published."

XVIII. "That the Governor shall continue in office three years, and shall, by virtue of his office, be general and commander-in-chief of all the militia, and admiral of the navy of this State; that he shall have power to convene the Assembly and Senate on extraordinary occasions; to prorogue them from time to time, provided such prorogations shall not exceed sixty days in the space of any one year; and, at his discretion, to grant reprieves and pardons to persons convicted of crimes, other than treason or murder, in which he may suspend the execution of the sentence, until it shall be reported to the legislature at their subsequent meeting; and they shall either pardon or direct the execution of the criminal, or grant a further reprieve.

XIX. "That it shall be the duty of the Governor to inform the legislature, at every session, of the condition of the State, so far as may respect his department, to commend such matters to their consideration as shall appear to him to concern its good government, welfare, and prosperity; ... to take care that the laws are faithfully executed to the best of his abilities....

XX. "... [The] Lieutenant-Governor shall by virtue of his office, be president of the Senate, and, upon an equal division, have a casting voice in their decisions, but not a vote on any other occasion. And in case of the impeachment of the Governor, or his removal from office, death, resignation, or absence from the State, the Lieutenant-Governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of Governor.

XXI. "That whenever the government shall be administered by the Lieutenant-Governor, or he shall be unable to attend as president of the Senate, the Senators shall have power to elect one of their own members to the office of president of the Senate, which he shall exercise pro hac vice....

XXII. "That the power of impeaching all officers of the State for rude and corrupt conduct in their respective offices, be vested in the representatives of the people in Assembly; but that it shall always be necessary that two-third parts of the members present shall consent to and agree in such impeachment. That previous to the trial of every impeachment, the members of the said court shall respectively be sworn truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence; and that no judgment of the said court shall be valid unless it be assented to by two-third parts of the members present; nor shall it extend farther than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honour, trust, or profit under this State. But the party so convicted shall be, nevertheless, liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to the laws of the land."

XXXV. "And this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the Legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations and provisions as the Legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same...." Laws establishing the Church, and relating to the King's authority, were abrogated.

XLI. "And this convention doth further ordain, determine, and declare, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, that trial by jury, in all cases in which it hath heretofore been used in the colony of New York, shall be established and remain inviolable forever. And that no acts of attainder shall be passed by the Legislature of this State for crimes, other than those committed before the termination of the present war; and that such acts shall not work a corruption of blood. And further, that the Legislature of this State shall, at no time hereafter, institute any new court or courts, but such as shall proceed according to the course of the common law."

A second constitution for South Carolina went into effect in November, 1778, superseding that of 1776, from which it differed but slightly. The names of the legislative chambers are changed to the Senate and House of Representatives. The titles of President and Vice-President are exchanged for Governor and Lieutenant. The Privy Council "is to advise the Governor and Commander-in-chief when required, but he shall not be bound to consult them unless directed by law." Art. XVII. has a clause to the effect "that neither the Senate nor House of Representatives shall have power to adjourn themselves for any longer time than three days, without the mutual consent of both." This constitution ends with a detailed declaration of religious faith.

A constitution was framed for Massachusetts in 1778, but failed to receive the ratification of the people. Accordingly a constitution was again attempted in September, 1779, and was adopted in 1780. This is in some respects the most noteworthy of all the early State constitutions, and is distinguished by its orderly arrangement and its comprehensiveness. It has a markedly philosophical and academical Declaration of Rights, which contains, however, substantially what other States had already set forth. The forms of government also are similar to those we have just been tracing. In some instances the language used shows a near approach to the language of the national Constitution. The Legislature, called the General Court, is divided into a Senate and House of Representatives. The following clauses may suitably be cited as illustrating points not fully covered by what has preceded: —

CHAP. I., SECT, 1, ART. I. "No bill or resolve of the Senate or House of Representatives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the Governor for his revisal; and if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the Senate and House of Representatives, in whichsoever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections sent down by the Governor, at large, on their records, and proceed to reconsider the said bill or resolve; but if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the said Senate or House of Representatives shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the Legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall have the force of law; but in all such cases, the vote of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the persons voting for or against the said bill or resolve shall be entered upon the public records of the Commonwealth. And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill or resolve shall not be returned by the Governor within five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall have the force of law."

CHAP. I., SEC. 3, ART. VII. "All money bills shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills." This, as will be observed, is in very nearly the language of the national Constitution.

CHAP. II., SEC. 1, ART. V. "The Governor, with the advice of the council, shall have full power and authority, during the session of the General Court, to adjourn or prorogue the same at any time the two houses shall desire; and to dissolve the same on the day next preceding the last Wednesday in May, and, in the recess of the said Court, to prorogue the same from time to time, not exceeding ninety days in any one recess, and to call it together sooner than the time to which it may be adjourned or prorogued, if the welfare of the commonwealth shall require the same....

ART. VI. "In cases of disagreement between the two houses, with regard to the necessity, expediency, or time of adjournment or prorogation, the Governor, with advice of the Council, shall have a right to adjourn or prorogue the General Court, not exceeding ninety days, as he shall determine the public good shall require,"

CHAP. VI., ART. VII. "The privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this commonwealth, in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious, and ample manner, and shall not be suspended by the legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time, not exceeding twelve months."

New Hampshire framed a second constitution in 1778, but it was rejected by the people. Another was begun in 1781, and duly inaugurated June 2, 1784. It is closely copied on the Constitution of Massachusetts.



To all to whom these presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our names, send greeting: — Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the I5th day of November in the Year of our Lord 1777, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, in the words following, viz.

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia.


The Stile of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America."


Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the united states, in congress assembled.


The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.


The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restriction shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any state, to any other state of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restrictions shall be laid by any state, on the property of the united states, or either of them.

If any person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from Justice, and be found in any of the united states, he shall upon demand of the governor or executive power, of the state from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offence.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.


For the more convenient management of the general interest of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each state, to recal its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the Year.

No state shall be represented in congress by less than two, nor by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the united states, for which he, or another for his benefit receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.

Each state shall maintain its own delegates in any meeting of the states, and while they act as members of the committee of the states.

In determining questions in the united states, in congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.

Freedom of speech and debate in congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any Court, or place out of congress, and the members of congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.


No state without the Consent of the united states in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince, or foreign state; nor shall the united states in congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.

No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united states in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled, with any king, prince, or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain.

No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states in congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the united states, in congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such state; but every state shall keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and have constantly ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

No state shall engage in any war without the consent of the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such state, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the united states in congress assembled can be consulted: nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the united states in congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the united states in congress assembled shall determine otherwise.


When land-forces are raised by any state for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the legislature of each state respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the appointment.


All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the united states in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states, in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any Person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the united states in congress assembled, shall from time to time, direct and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several states within the time agreed upon by the united states in congress assembled.


The united states in congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in cases mentioned in the 6th article — of sending and receiving ambassadors — entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective states shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever — of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the united states shall be divided or appropriated — of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace — appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.

The united states in congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more states concerning boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any state in controversy with another shall present a petition to congress, stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of congress to the legislative or executive authority of the other state in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute a court of hearing and determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree, congress shall name three persons out of each of the united states, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more than nine names as congress shall direct, shall in the presence of congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without showing reasons, which congress shall judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the congress shall proceed to nominate three persons out of each state, and the secretary of congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgment, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to congress, and lodged among the acts of congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of the state, where the cause shall be tried, "well and truly to hear and determine the manner in question, according to the best of his judgment, without favour, affection or hope of reward:" provided also that no state shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the united states.

All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of two or more states, whose jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the states which passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the congress of the united states, be finally determined as near as may be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different states.

The united states in congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states — fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the United States — regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the states, provided that the legislative right of any state within its own limits be not infringed or violated — establishing or regulating post-offices from one state to another, throughout all the united states, and exacting such postage on the papers passing thro' the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office — appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the united states, excepting regimental officers — appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the united states — making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.

The united states in congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of congress, to be denominated "A Committee of the States," and to consist of one delegate from each state; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the united states under their direction — to appoint one of their number to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of Money to be raised for the service of the united states, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expenses — to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the united states, transmitting every half year to the respective states an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted, — to build and equip a navy — to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each state for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such state; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each state shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a soldier like manner, at the expense of the united states; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states in congress assembled: But if the united states in congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any state should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other state should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such state, unless the legislature of such state shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states in congress assembled.

The united states in congress assembled shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of rnarque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defence and welfare of the united states, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the united states, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine states assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the united states in congress assembled.

The Congress of the united states shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the united states, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the Journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each state on any question shall be entered on the Journal, when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a state, or any of them, at his or their request shall be furnished with a transcript of the said Journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several states.


The committee of the states, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of congress, such of the powers of congress as the united states in congress assembled, by the consent of nine states, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine states in the congress of the united states assembled is requisite.


Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the united states, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine states.


All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and debts contracted by, or under the authority of congress, before the assembling of the united states, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the united states, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said united states, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.


Every state shall abide by the determinations of the united states in congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation is submitted to them. And the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united states, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.

And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained: And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the united states in congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said confederation are submitted to them. And that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively represent, and that the union shall be perpetual. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania the 9th day of July in the Year of our Lord, 1778, and in the 3d year of the Independence of America.

Josiah Bartlett, John Wentworth, jun.
August 8th, 1778,
On the part and behalf of the
state of New Hampshire.
John Hancock, Francis Dana,
Samuel Adams, James Lovell,
Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Holton,
On the part and behalf of the
state of Massachusetts-Bay.
William Ellery, John Collins,
Henry Marchant,
On the part and behalf of the
state of Rhode-Island and
Providence Plantations.
Roger Sherman, Titus Hosmer,
Samuel Huntington, Andrew Adam,
Oliver Wolcott.
On the part and behalf of the
state of Connecticut.
Jas Duane, William Duer,
Fras Lewis, Gouvr Morris,
On the part and behalf of the
state of New-York.
Jno Witherspoon, Nathl Scudder, On the part and behalf of the
state of New-Jersey,
November 26th, 1778.
Robt Morris, William Clingan,
Daniel Roberdeau, Joseph Reed,
Jona Bayard Smith, 22d July, 1778.
On the part and behalf of the
state of Pennsylvania.
Tho. M'Kean, Nicholas Van Dyke,
Feb. 12, 1779,
John Dickinson,
May 5, 1779,
On the part and behalf of the
state of Delaware.
John Hanson, Daniel Carroll,
March 1st, 1781, March 1st, 1781.
On the part and behalf of the
state of Maryland.
Richard Henry Lee, Jno Harvie,
John Banister, Francis Lightfoot Lee,
Thomas Adams,
On the part and behalf of the
state of Virginia
John Penn, Corns Harnett,
July 21st, 1778, Jno Williams,
On the part and behalf of the
state of North Carolina.
Henry Laurens, Richd Hutson,
William Henry Drayton, Thos. Heyward, jun.
Jno Matthews,
On the part and behalf of the
state of South Carolina.
Jno Walton, Edwd Telfair,
24th July, 1778, Edwd Langworthy,
On the part and behalf of the
state of Georgia.



[Omitted here. See local copy.]

Next | Previous | Contents | Text Version