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We have appealed to their native justice 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 of 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 Declaration of
States of America, in general congress assembled, apindependence. pealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, for the rec
titude 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 The colonies absolved from they are absolved from all allegiance to the British their allegi.
crown, and that all political connexion 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 to do all other
acts and things, which independent states may of right Mutual pledge do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm of fidelity. reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mu
tually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.
The foregoing declaration was, by order of congress, engrossed, and signed by the following members:
Benjamin Harrison, George Taylor,
Thomas Nelson, jr. James Wilson,
Francis Lightfoot Lee, George Ross.
NORTH-CAROLINA. Cæsar Rodney,
William Hooper, George Read,
Joseph Hewes, Thomas M'Kean. John Penn. MARYLAND.
SOUTH-CAROLINA. Samuel Chase,
Edward Rutledge, William Paca,
Thomas Heyward, jr. Thomas Stone,
Thomas Lynch, jr. Charles Carroll, of Car-Arthur Middleton.
VIRGINIA. [rolton. GEORGIA. George Wythe,
Button Gwinnett, Richard Henry Lee, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson,
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure 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.
1. All legislative powers herein granted, shall be Legislative vested in a congress of the United States, which shall powers vested consist of a senate and house of representatives.
House of repre. 1. The house of representatives shall be composed sentatives ; its of members chosen every second year, by the people members; by
; of the several states; and the electors in each state
qualifications of shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the electors. most numerous branch of the state legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative, who shall not Qualifications have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been of representa
tives. 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.
Representa- 3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportives and taxes tioned among the several states which may be included ed according to within this union, according to their respective numbers, numbers. which shall be determined by adding to the whole num
ber of free persons, including those bound to service for Actual enumer
a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three ation every ten
fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall years.
be made within three years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subse
quent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by Limitation of law direct. The number of representatives shall not exthe ratio of rep. ceed 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; Rhodetionment of representatives. Island and Providence Plantations one ; Con'cut. five ;
New-York six ; New-Jersey four ; Pennsylvania eight;
Carolina five; South-Carolina five; and Georgia three. Writs of elec.
4. When vacancies happen in the representation tion for filling from any state, the executive authority thereof shall
issue writs of election to fill such vacancies. The house of 5. The house of representatives shall choose their representativos speaker and other offices; and shall have the sole powto choose their
er of impeachment. speaker, &c. 'Two senators
SECTION 3. chosen by the logislature of 1. The senate of the United States shall be composeach state, for 6 ed of two senators from each state, chosen by the le
gislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall
have one vote. The senate di
2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in convided into three classes.
sequence of the first election, they shall be divided, as
equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the One third of the senators of the first class, shall be vacated at the expirasenatorial seats tion of the second year, of the second class, at the expivacated, and filled, every two
ration of the fourth year, and of the third class, at the years.
expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be
chosen every second year ; and if vacancies happen by Executives of resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the legis
lature of any state, the executive thereof may make recess of legis. temporary appointments until the next meeting of the latures, &c. legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.
3. No person shall be a senator, who shall not have Qualifications attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years of senators.
a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.
years; each a
states to fill va. cancies in the
4. The vice-president of the United States shall be Vice-President president of the senate, but shall have no vote, unless to be President
of the Senate. they be equally divided.
5. The senate shall choose their other officers, and The senate to also a president pro tempore, in the absence of the vice-choose their president, or when he shall exercise the office of presi- tempore, &c.
president prodent of the United States.
6. The senate shall have the sole power to try all im- The sole power peachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall to try impeachbe on oath or affirmation. When the president of the senate, &c. 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.
7. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not ex- Extent of judgtend further than to removal from office, and disqualifi- ment in cases cation to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or of impeachprofit, under the United States ; but the party convict-pent, ed shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, Party liable al.
so to judgment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law. &c. according
to law. SECTION 4. 1. The times, places, and manner of holding elec-Times, &c. of tions for senators and representatives, shall be prescrib- holding elecin each state, by the legislature thereof; but the con
tors and repregress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such reg-sentatives, regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators. ulated. 2. The congress shall assemble at least once in every semble annual
. year; and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in ly on the first December, unless they shall by law appoint a differ- Monday in Deent day.
tions for sena
1. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, re
Each house to
judge of the turns, and qualifications, of its own members; and a election of its majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do busi- own members. ness; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to
Quorum. day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each house may provide.
2. Each house may determine the rules of its proceed- determino its ings, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, own rules, &c. with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
3. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceed- Journals to be ings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting house, and pubsuch parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy ; lished, &c. 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.
Adjournment 4. Neither house, during the session of congress, shall, of both houses. 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. Senators and representatives 1. The senators and representatives shall receive a to be paid, &c. compensation for their services, to be ascertained by Priviledged
law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. from arrest,&c.
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 or returning from the same; and for any Concerning the speech or debate in either house, they shall not be quesholding of offi- tioned in any other place. ces by senators and representa
2. No senator or representative shall, during the time tives. for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil of
fice 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. Revenue bills to originate in the house of
SECTION 7, representatives, &c.
1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the
house of representatives; but the senate may propose or Powers of the
concur with amendments as on other bills. President and of congress in
2. Every bill, which shall have passed the house of the enacting of representatives and the senate, shall, before it become laws, and the
a law, be presented to the president of the United forms of pro.
States; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall ceeding on bills in that respect. return it, with his objections, to that house in which it
shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration, two thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all such cases, the votes of both houses, shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill, snall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned, by the president, within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the congress, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not be a law.