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of one bect to another prohibited.

Lince of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.

And the people of this Commonwealth have also a right to, and do, and to enjoin atinvest their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.

Prorided, notwithstanding, that the several towns, parishes, pre- Exclusive right cincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, shall at all times, of electing relig. bare the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and of con- secured. tracting with them for their support and maintenance.

And all moneys, paid by the subject, to the support of public worship, Option as to and of the public teachers aforesaid, shall, if he require it, be uniformly whom parochial applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own re- paid, unless,&c. ligious sect or denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid toward the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised. And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peace- tiongeequally

. ably, and as good subjects of the Commonwealth, shall be equally protected. under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect Subordination or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.]

IV. The people of this Commonwealth have the sole and Right of selfexclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign secureum and independent State ; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not, or may not hereafter, be by them expressly delegated to the United States of America, in Congress assembled.

V. All power residing originally in the people, and Accountability being derived from them, the several magistrates and offi- of all oflicers,sc. cers of government, vested with authority, whether legis lative, executive or judicial, are their substitutes and agents and are at all times accountable to them.

VI. No man, nor corporation or association of men, have services renany other title to obtain advantages, or particular and ex- public heigthe clusive privileges, distinct from those of the community, peculiar privi. than what arises from the consideration of services ren- eges, heredi. dered to the public; and this title being in nature neither absurd and unhereditary, nor transmissible to children or descendants, or relations by blood, the idea of a man born a magistrate, lawgiver or judge, is absurd and unnatural.

VII. Government is instituted for the common good ; Objects of gok: for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the of people to people; and not for the profit, honor or private interest of change it. any one man, family or class of men : Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.


Right of people to secure rota. tion in office.

qualitieations prescribed, cqually eligible to ofices.

tion and duty of contribution correlative.

ed on consent.

VIII. In order to prevent those who are vested with authority from becoming oppressors, the people have a right at such periods and in such manner as they shall establish by their frame of government, to cause their public officers to return to private life; and to fill up vacant places by

certain and regular elections and appointments. All, having the

IX. All elections ought to be free; and all the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, having such qualifications as they shall establish by their frame of government, have an equal right to elect officers, and to be elected, for public

employments. Right of protec. X. Each individual of the society has a right to be

protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this

protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, Taxation found. when necessary : but no part of the property of any indi

vidual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this Commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have

given their consent. And whenever the public exigencies taken for publ

. require that the property of any individual should be

appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor.

XI. Every subject of the Commonwealth ought to find law, to be free, a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all

injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial; promptly, and without

delay, conformably to the laws. Prosecutions XII. No subject shall be held to answer for any crimes

or offence until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him; or be compelled to accuse, or furnish evidence against himself: and every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to him ; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defence by himself, or his counsel, at his election. And no subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled or deprived of his property, immunities or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled or deprived of his life, liberty or estate, but by the judgment of bis peers, or the law of the land.

Private prop

erty not to be

lic uscs with. out, &c.

Remedies by recourse to ihe

complete and prompt.


proved in the

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And the legislature shall not make any law that shall Right to trial by subject any person to a capital or infamous punishment, cases, except, excepting for the government of the army and navy, with- &c. out trial by jury.

XIII. În criminal prosecutions, the verification of facts, Crimes to be in the vicinity where they happen, is one of the greatest vicinity. securities of the life, liberty and property of the citizen.

XIV. Every subject has a right to be secure from all Right of search unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his ulated. houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation, and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest or seizure : and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by the laws.

XV. In all controversies concerning property, and in Right to trial by all suits between two or more persons, except in cases cept, &c. in which it has heretofore been otherways used and practised, the parties have a right to a trial by jury; and this method of procedure shall be held sacred, unless, in causes arising on the high seas, and such as relate to mariners' wages, the legislature shall hereafter find it necessary to alter it.

XVI. The liberty of the press is essential to the secur- Liberty of the ity of freedom in a State: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this Commonwealth.

XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear Right to keep arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, standing armies armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be dangerous. maintained without the consent of the legislature; and Military power

subordinate to the military power shall always be held in an exact sub- civil. ordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

XVIII. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental Moral qualificaprinciples of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, inoderation, temperance, industry and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The people ought, consequently, to have a particular attention to all those principles, in the choice of their officers and representatives : and they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magistrates, an cxact and constant o!)




tions for office.

Moral obliga. tions of law

to instruct rep.


Power to sus.

Freedom of de. bate, &c., and

Frequent sea. sions, and ob. jects thereof.

servance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the Com

monwealth. Right of people XIX. The people have a right, in an orderly and resentatives and peaceable manner, to assemble to consult upon the com

mon good; give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by the way of addresses, petitions or remonstrances, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.

XX. The power of suspending the laws, or the executheir exccution tion of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the

legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for.

XXI. The freedom of deliberation, speech and debate, reason thereof. in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the

rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever.

XXII. The legislature ought frequently to assemble for the redress of grievances, for correcting, strengthening and confirming the laws, and for making new laws, as the common good may require.

XXIII. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost or duties ought to be established, fixed, laid or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people, or their representatives in the legislature.

XXIV. Laws made to punish for actions done before laws prohibited.

the existence of such laws, and which have not been declared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free

government. Legislature not XXV. No subject ought, in any case, or in any time,

to be declared guilty of treason or felony by the legislature.

XXVI. No magistrate or court of law shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments.

XXVII. In time of peace, no soldier ought to be House, unless, quartered in any house without the consent of the owner ;

and in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.

XXVIII. No person can in any case be subjected to tial, unicos, &c. law-martial, or to any penalties or pains, by virtue of that

Taxation found. ed on consent.

Er post facto

to convict of treason, &c.

Excessive bail
or fincs, and
cruel punish-
ments, pro-
Yo soldier to be


Citizens exenpt from law-mar.


law, except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature.

XXIX. It is essential to the preservation of the rights Judges of su, of every individual, his life, liberty, property and charac- poemjudicial ter, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as free, impartial and independent as the lot of humanity will admit. It is, there- Tenure of their fore, not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, and of every citizen, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices as long as they behave themselves well, and that they should have honorable salaries ascertained and established by Salaries. standing laws.

XXX. In the government of this Commonwealth, the Separation of legislative department shall never exercise the executive dicial and legis


lative departand judicial powers, or either of them : the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them : to the end it may be a government of laws, and not of men.



The Frame of Government. The people, inhabiting the territory formerly called the title of body Province of Massachusetts Bay, do hereby solemnly and Politie. mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign and independent body politic or State, by the name of THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.




The General Court. Art. I. The department of legislation shall be formed Legislative de by two branches, a Senate and House of Representatives ; each of which shall have a negative on the other


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