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Island in 1790, after proceedings under the Constitution had commenced.
Name and describe the interstate relations established by the Federal Constitution.
Why should the existing relations between the States and the Nation be preserved ?
What is meant by extradition? Is the Governor obliged to surrender an escaped criminal upon the demand of the authorities of the State from which he escaped ?
Discuss the Fugitive Slave Laws.
Describe the steps taken in the admission of a State. Could Congress admit a State having a king as its executive?
What measures does Congress take in the admission of a State?
Describe the government of the Panama Zone. Of Porto Rico. Of Hawaii. Of the Philippines. Of Guam and Samoa. What is the strategic value of Pearl Harbor ?
Discuss the topic “Public Lands.” What plan did Jefferson suggest in regard to surveys?
Describe the Continental Congress. What may be called the great act of the Congress of the Confederation? When was the Confederation formed? How long did it last? What were its principal defects?
Discuss the effects of the Ordinance of 1785 and the Ordinance of
How long were the Articles of Confederation in force?
Set forth the influences of the Ordinance of 1787 upon political history in reference to slavery, self-government, and education.
What political features have the States in common? Name the powers each may exercise.
What is the nature of the republican form of government to which each State is entitled ?
How may the Constitution of the United States be amended ?
Define constitution, convention, and compromise. What were the compromises of the Constitution of the United States ?
When two States of the Federal Union disagree, what solution of the
When did the United States protect a State against invasion? Against domestic violence ?
Would the union of the United States and Canada promote the wel. fare of the people of these two countries?
What is said concerning the clause granting the power of amendment?
How does history prove that the people in 1787 had great need of the very objects set forth in the preamble of the Federal Constitution?
What is meant by “oath of office"? What is an affirmation? What does the Constitution say about religious tests?
What questions concerning representation arose in the Convention of 1787? What was the Virginia plan? What was the plan proposed by some of the smaller States? What was the compromise plan proposed by Connecticut? Show traces of each of these plans in the Federal Constitution.
What does the Constitution say about Indians?
How may one department of the Federal Government maintain its independence with respect to the other two?
Name some of the checks and balances found between the great departments of the Federal Government.
Explain fully the authorship and influence of “The Federalist."
Name three famous men who have been Chief Justices of the United States, and give a brief sketch of decisions rendered by each.
Why is one department likely to attempt any encroachment upon the rights of another? How can such encroachment be prevented ?
What is the effect of the Supreme Court in declaring a law unconstitutional?
How was the Constitution ratified? What State was the last one to ratify it?
It has been proposed that the members of the Cabinet be allowed to appear in Congress and urge upon that body the passage of measures which are desired by the President. What principle would such a course violate?
It is proposed to elect United States Senators by a direct vote of the people. How must the requisite constitutional change be made?
Desire for a Bill of Rights.—A summary of the rights and privileges claimed by a people is known as a Bill of Rights. A declaration of rights was presented by Parliament to William and Mary in 1689, and enacted after the prince and princess became the rulers of England. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, one of the objections raised against it was the fact that it contained no Bill of Rights or statement of political principles and maxims. The framers of the Constitution had thought such declarations unnecessary. But several of the States, in ratifying the Constitution, expressed the desire that declarations and guarantees for certain rights should be added. Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire all urged that amendments be made. The chief advocates of the Constitution in their several conventions had promised that changes would be possible; so that it was generally understood at the time of the ratification of the main instrument, that such addition as these amendments should be made. Hamilton, in urging upon the States the adoption of the Federal Constitution, argued that any amendments which might be desired by the people of the requisite number of States would be far more easy of attainment after the adoption of the Constitution than before such event. The fact that every amendment to an established Constitution would be but a single proposition to be considered singly would aid in the facility of effecting an amendment. In the midst of his work for the adoption of the great instrument he writes:“A Nation without a National Government is an awful spectacle. The establishment of a Constitution, in time of profound peace, by the voluntary consent of a whole people, is a prodigy, to the completion of which I look forward with trembling anxiety.”
A Wise Provision of the Constitution.—It is provided in the Constitution (W), that amendments may be proposed by Congress and then submitted to the States for ratification. The many amendments suggested at the time of the adoption of the Constitution were reduced by Congress to twelve at its first session. These had secured the requisite two-thirds vote in both houses, and were therefore sent out to the States for ratification. Eight of them echoed the phrases of Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, the Declaration of Independence, and of the Virginia Bill of Rights. Out of the long processes of English constitutional history, the precedents and practices of English courts and justice, the charters and ancient parliamentary protests, these principles set forth by Congress had come. They made secure the rights of individuals against the encroachment of Federal power.
Although Congress proposed twelve amendments, ten only of those then proposed received the necessary ratification by three fourths of the States. Virginia, the last State necessary to make up the requisite number, ratified these amendments December 15, 1791. These ten amendments—adopted almost immediately after the Constitution—are often spoken of as a Bill of Rights. These ten amendments apply to the United States government only, and are not restrictions upon the States; although the State constitutions generally have sim
ilar provisions to protect the rights of the people from the State governments. Some of the other amendments to the Constitution of the United States do, however, apply to the States.
Certain rights are essential to civil liberty, and so evidently just, that it is not conceivable that Congress would ever have passed laws directly violating these rights, even had not an express prohibition been placed upon such laws (Am. I).
Religious Freedom: Free Press and Free Speech.-Freedom in matters of religion, freedom of speech and of the press, all guaranteed in the First Amendment, are very essential to civil liberty. This does not defend slander or libel, nor does the right of the people peaceably to assemble give countenance to public tumult and disorder. The right to petition the government for redress of grievances is also granted by the same amendment. There can be no State Church, as the Episcopal Church in England, the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, the Catholic in Austria, or the Greek Church in Russia.
Right to Bear Arms.—To deny the right of citizens to bear arms is a means employed by despotic rulers to enforce arbitrary government. Without the Second Amendment, some feared, ambitious men might, by the aid of the regular army, overthrow the liberties of the people. State laws forbid the carrying of concealed deadly weapons. Congress cannot pass laws forbidding the people to keep and bear arms. A wellregulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, and the right to self-protection cannot be infringed. A government which trusts its citizens with freedom to keep and bear arms must preserve its character for justice, and it may be partly for this purpose that the right has been formally acknowledged in the Constitution (Am. 2).