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bellion against the United States, or claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave, but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

SEC. V. The Congress shall have power to enforce by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

passed by the Fortieth Congress.

ARTICLE XV. Sec. I. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

SEC. II. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, 1776,

AS ESTABLISIIED BY TIIE GENERAL CONVENTION ELECTED FOR TIIAT PURPOSE, AND HELD AT PHILADELPHIA, JULY 15, 1776, AND CONTINUED BY ADJOURN

MENT, TO SEPTEMBER 28, 1776.

WHEREAS, All government ought to be instituted and supported for the security and protection of the community as such, and to enable the individuals who compose it, to enjoy their natural rights, and the other blessings which the author of existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends of government are not obtained, the people have a right, by common consent, to change it, and take sueh measures as to them may appear necessary, to promote their safety and happiness:

And whereas, The inhabitants of this Commonwealth have, in consideration of protection only, heretofore acknowledged allegiance to the king of Great Britain, and the said king has not only withdrawn that protection, but commenced and still continues to carry on with unabated vengeance, a inost cruel and unjust war against them, employing therein not only the troops of Great Britain, but foreign mercenaries, savages and slaves, for the avowed purpose of reducing them to total and abject submission to the despotic domination of the British Parliament, (with many other acts of tyranny more fully set forth in the declaration of Congress,) whereby all allegiance and fealty to the said king and his successors are dissolved and at an end, and all power and authority derived from him ceased in these colonies :

And whereas, It is absolutely necessary for the welfare and safety of the inhabitants of said colonies, that they be henceforth free and independent States, and that just, permanent and proper forms of government exist in every part of them, derived from, and founded on the authority of the people only, agreeable to the directions of the honorable American Congress:

WE, the representatives of the freeman of Pennsylvania, in general convention met, for the express purpose of framing such a government, confessing the goodness of the Great Governor of the universe (who alone knows to what degree of earthly happiness mankind may attain by perfecting the arts of government) in permitting the people of this State, by common consent, and without violence, deliberately to form for themselves, such just rules as they shall think best for governing their future society; and being fully convinced that it is our indispensable duty to establish such original principles of government, as will best promote the general happiness of the people of the State and their posterity, and provide for future improvements, without partiality for, or prejudice against, any particular class, sect or denomination of men whatsoever, do, by virtue of the authority vested in us by our constituents, ordain, declare and establish the following Declaration of Rights and frame of Government, to be the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and to remain in force therein forever unaltered, except in such articles as shall hereafter, on experience, be found to require improvement, and which shall, by the same authority of the people, fairly delegated, as this frame of government directs, be amended or improved for the more effectual obtaining and securing the great end and design of all government, hereinbefore mentioned:

CHAPTER I. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Common.

wealth or State of Pennsylvania. I. That all men are all born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

IT. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding, and that no man ought, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship or maintain any ministry, contrary to, or against his own free will and consent; nor can any man who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments, or peculiar mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatever that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.

III. That the people of this State have the sole, exclusive and inherent right of governing and regulating the internal police of the same.

IV. That all power being originally inherent in, and consequently derived from the people; therefore all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants, and at all times accountable to them.

V. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community, and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, family, or set of men who are a part only of that community; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish government in such manner as shall be by that community judged most conducive to the public weal.

VI. That those who are employed in the legislative and executive business of the State may be restrained from oppression, the people have a right, at such periods as they may think proper, to reduce their public officers to a private station, and supply the vacancies by certain and regular elections.

VII. That all elections ought to be free,'and that all free men, having a sufficient evident common interest with an attachment to the community, have a a right to elect officers or to be elected into office.

VIII. That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property, and therefore is bound to contribute his proportion towards the expense of that protection, and yield his personal service when necessary, or

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