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and magnanimity; and we have 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 consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our 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 America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the 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 connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which 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 honor.

The foregoing Declaration was, by order of Congress, engrossed, and signed by the following members:

JOHN HANCOCK.

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Resolved, That copies of the Declaration be sent to the several assemblies, conventions, and committees, or councils of safety, and to the several commanding officers of the continental troops; that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, at the head of the army.

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.1

We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, 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.

ARTICLE I.

SECTION 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress 2 of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. SECTION 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.

1 Before the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, the Thirteen Colonies were subject to the king of Great Britain. From July 4, 1776, thc United States of America were governed by a Continental or General Congress, until March 1, 1781, when the states adopted a constitution, called the “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the States." The Confederation had no president, no supreme court; and consisted of a single house of Congress, made up of delegates elected by the legislatures of the states. Under this constitution Congress continued to govern– in so far as a body with no practical authority can be said to govern - until March 4, 1789; but on May 14, 1787, a convention of delegates from all the states, except Rhode Island, met in Philadelphia" to form a more perfect union" (see the opening words of the Constitution above). The whole number of delegates that attended was fifty-five, but only thirty-nine signed the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation had been made by the States only; but as the opening words of the new compact declare, “We, the People," made the Constitution.

George Washington presided over the convention, and Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, James Madison, Rufus King, Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, John Dickinson, Charles C. Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, J. Rutledge, and Gouverneur Morris, were among its distinguished members.

Madison, Hamilton, Washington, and Franklin took the leading part in the great work of drafting the new Constitution, and after its adoption by the convention, Madison and Hamil. ton used their influence, with great effect, to urge its ratification by the states, especially by New York (see their papers in the Federalist).

After a stormy session of nearly four months, during which the convention several times threatened to break up in hopeless dispute, the Constitution was at last adopted. (For the compromises on which it rested, see § 246.)

As originally drawn the preamble to the Constitution ran : “We, the people of” the thirteen states, each of which was specifically named. Later, when the Convention required the assent of but nine states to put the new government in force, the preamble was altered to its present form, namely : “We, the People of the United States." See Foster's Commentaries on the Constitution, I. 94.

The Constitution was then submitted to the thirteen states. In 1788 eleven had ratified it (Rhode Island and North Carolina declining then, though they gave their assent before the close of 1790), and on March 4, 1789, the new Constitution went into operation, although, owing to delays, Washington was not inaugurated as the first President until April 30 of that year. Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island ratified the Constitution with the express reservation that the people might reassume the powers they had granted in case those powers were perverted. See Elliot's Debates, 1. 327, 334.

2 Congress assembles on the first Monday in December; the session closes, by custom, at midnight on the 3d of the following March. Each Congress exists two years.

No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years 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 direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, 1 which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after 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 shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three; Massachusetts, eight; 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, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker 3 and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

SECTION 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 seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year; of the second class, at the expiration of the fourth year; of the third class, at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen 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 thirty 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 shall be chosen.

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

1 At present (census of 1890) one representative is sent to Congress for every 173,901 persons.

?" Persons" meaning slaves. This has been amended (by Amendments XIII. and XIV.), and is no longer in force.

* The Speaker presides. Other officers are the clerk, sergeant-at-arms, door-keeper, etc.

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president pro tempore, 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 in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.

SECTION 4. The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing 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.

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

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

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

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

SECTION 6. The senators and representatives shall receive a compensation 2 for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall 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 the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased, during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either house during his continuance in office.

1 The chief of these are the secretary, sergeant-at-arms, door-keeper, etc.

$ 5000 a year, with twenty cents for every mile necessarily travelled in coming to and returning from the Capital.

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