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VI. For the more beneficial Administration of the Republick, the Territory thereof shall be divided into 6, or more, Departments, each having a particular denomination and a subordinate Administration, dependent on the National Government.

VII. The present Congress of Colombia shall frame the Constitution of the Republick, conformably to the bases above set forth, and according to the liberal principles which the wise practice of other Nations has rendered sacred.

VIII. The Debts contracted by the two Countries, separately, are acknowledged in solidum, as a National Debt of Colombia; and the whole property of the Republick shall be held answerable for their payment.

IX. The Congress, in such manner as they may deem fit, shall appropriate to the payment thereof, the most productive branches of the Publick Revenue, and shall also create a special Sinking Fund, for the purpose of redeeming the principal, or paying the interest thereon, when the same shall have been ascertained.

X. Under more prosperous circumstances, a new City shall be built, bearing the name of the Liberator, Bolivar, which shall be the Capital of the Republick of Colombia. The plan and situation thereof shall be determined by Congress, on the principle of the same being proportioned to the wants of its extensive Territory, and the important station to which this Country is by nature called.

XI. Until such time as the Congress shall have decreed the Arms and Flag of Colombia, the present Arms of New Granada and the Flag of Venezuela shall continue to be used.

XII. The completion of the establishment of the Republick of Colombia, and the publication of the Constitution, shall be celebrated by the People and the Armies by Festivals and publick rejoicings, and a solemn Festival shall be observed on the day on which the Constitution shall be promulgated.

XIII. A National Festival shall be permanently kept for 3 days, at the time fixed for celebrating the Anniversary :

1. Of the Emancipation and absolute Independence of the People of Colombia.

2. Of their Union, in one single Republick, and the establishment of the Constitution;

3. Of the great triumphs and immortal Victories by which these benefits have been gained and secured.

XIV. The National Festival shall, every Year, be observed on the 25th, 26th, and 27th days of December, when each day shall be consecrated to the special recollection of one of these 3 glorious events, and during the same period, virtue, talents, and services rendered to the Country, shall be rewarded.

The present Fundamental Law of the Union of the People of Colombia, shall be solemnly promulgated in the Towns and Armies, inscribed in the Publick Registers, and deposited in the Archives of all the Municipalities and Corporations, as well ecclesiastical as secular,for which purpose a communication shall be made to the Supreme Executive Power, through the medium of a Deputation.

Done in the Palace of the General Congress of Colombia, in the Town of Rosario de Cúcuta, this 12th day of July, in the Year of our Lord 1821, and the 11th of Independence.

JOSE IGNACIO MARQUES, President of the Congress.
ANTONIO M. BRICENO, Vice-President.

[Signatures of 51 Members of Congress.]

MIGUEL SANTAMARIA, Deputy Secretary.
FRANCISCO SOTO, Deputy Secretary.

Palace of the Government of Colombia, in the Town of Rosario de Cúcuta, this 18th day of July, 1821-11th Year of Independence.

The above shall be fulfilled and published in this Capital, as the Fundamental Law of the State; and for this purpose let the same be communicated to the Vice-Presidents of the Departments.

CASTILLO, Vice-President of the Republick.
DIEGO B. URBANEJA, Minister of the Interior.

CONSTITUTION of the Republick of Colombia.
Rosario de Cucuta, 30th August, 1821.


In the Name of God, the Author and Legislator of the Universe. WE, the Representatives of the People of Colombia, in General Congress assembled, complying with the wishes of our Constituents, anxious that the Fundamental Rules of their Union should be fixed, and a Form of Government established capable of ensuring to them the benefits of their liberty, security, property, and equality, as far as is possible, on the part of a Nation, at the commencement of its political career, and still struggling for its Independence, do agree to and enact the following




SECTION I.-Of the Colombian Nation.

ART. I. The Colombian Nation is, for ever and irrevocably, free and independent of the Spanish Monarchy, as well as of all other

Foreign Power and Dominion whatever; and it is not, nor ever shall be, the patrimony of any Family, or Person.

II. The Sovereignty essentially resides in the Nation. The Magistrates and Officers of the Government, invested with any kind of authority, are its Agents or Commissioners, and are responsible to it for their publick conduct.

III. It is the duty of the Nation to protect, by wise and equitable Laws, the liberty, security, property, and equality of all Colombians.

SECTION II. Of the Colombians.

IV. Are Colombians:

1. All free Men, born in the Territory of Colombia, and their Children.

2. Those who were established in Colombia at the time of her political transformation, provided they continue faithful to the cause of Independence.

3. Those not born in Colombia, who may obtain Letters of Naturalization.

V. The duties of every Colombian are, to live in submission to the Constitution and to the Laws; to respect and obey the Authorities who are their organs; to contribute to the publick expenses; and to be, at all times, ready to serve and defend his Country, by sacrificing in its behalf his property and life, should it be necessary.



SECTION I. Of the Territory of Colombia.

VI. The Territory of Colombia is the same which was formerly comprehended in the ancient Vice-royalty of New Granada and the Captain-Generalship of Venezuela.

VII. The People within that Territory, who are still under the Spanish yoke, at whatsoever time they may be liberated, shall form part of the Republick, with rights and representation equal to those of its existing Members.

VIII. The Territory of the Republick shall be divided into Departments; the Departments into Provinces; the Provinces into Cantons; and the Cantons into Parishes.

SECTION II. Of the Government of Colombia.

IX. The Government of Colombia is popular representative.

X. The People shall not, of themselves, exercise any other attributes of Sovereignty than that of the Primary Elections, nor shall they deposit the exercise thereof in the hands of any single Person.

The Supreme Power, in its administration, shall be divided into the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.

XI. The power of enacting Laws belongs to the Congress; that of causing them to be executed to the President of the Republick; and that of applying them, in Civil and Criminal Causes, to the Tribunals and the Courts of Justice.



SECTION I. Of the Parochial Assemblies, and the Returns of their Elections.

XII. In each Parish, whatever may be its Population, a Parochial Assembly shall be held on the last Sunday in July in every fourth Year.

XIII. The Parochial Assembly shall be composed of the Parochial Voters, not deprived of suffrage, inhabiting each Parish, and over it shall preside the Judge or Judges of the Parish, assisted by 4 Witnesses of respectability, enjoying the qualifications of a Parochial Voter.

XIV. The Judges, without waiting for any order, are indispensably bound to convene the same, at the periods above stated, on such day as the Constitution may determine.

XV. To be a Parochial Voter, it is requisite;

1. To be a Colombian.

2. To be married, or above 21 Years of age.

3. To be able to read and write: this condition, however, shall not be indispensable till the Year 1840.

4. To be the Owner of landed property to the clear amount of 100 dollars, or, in the absence thereof, to be in the exercise of some business, trade, profession, or useful industry, such Person being a Housekeeper or Shopkeeper, and not dependent upon another, in the character of Journeyman or Servant.

XVI. The qualification of Parochial Voter is lost;

1. By accepting employment from another Government, without permission of the Congress, by holding the same with a salary, or by administering any other trust under that of Colombia.

2. By any Sentence imposing inflictive or degrading punishment, unless the disability be previously removed.

3. By having sold his vote, or bought that of another, for himself or for a third Person, whether it be in the Primary, the Electoral, or in other Assemblies :

XVII. The qualification of Parochial Voter is suspended; 1. In Idiots, Lunaticks, or Madmen.

2. In Bankrupt Debtors, and Vagrants, declared to be such.

3. In Persons under indictment by criminal process, until they have been acquitted, or condemned to a punishment neither inflictive nor degrading.

4. In Debtors to the Publick Revenue, after the term for payment has expired.

XVIII. The business of the Parochial Assemblies is to vote for the Elector, or Electors, corresponding to the Canton.

XIX. The Province entitled to 1 Representative only, shall name 10 Electors, the nomination of whom is to be distributed among the Cantons therein contained, in proportion to the Population of each.

XX. The Province entitled to name 2, or more, Representatives, shall have as many Electors as will correspond to the Cantons composing the same, each Canton being bound to choose 1 Elector for every 4,000 Souls, and I more for a surplus of 3,000. Every Canton, although its Population may not amount to the aforesaid number, shall nevertheless have one Elector.

XXI. To be an Elector it is requisite:

1. To be a Parochial Voter, not disqualified.

2. To be able to read and write.

3. To be above 25 Years of age, and an Inhabitant of one of the Parishes of the Canton in which the Election is about to take place.

4. To be Owner of a landed property amounting to the clear value of 500 dollars, or in the enjoyment of a Situation yielding an annual income of 300 dollars, or in the possession of property producing an annual income of 300 dollars, to profess some science, or to hold a scientifick degree.

XXII. Each Parochial Voter shall vote for the Elector, or Electors, of the Canton, by publickly announcing the names of the Citizens, respectively, Inhabitants of the same Canton, whom he prefers, which shall be punctually entered, in his own presence, on the Registers kept exclusively for this purpose.

XXIII. All doubts or disputes which may arise on the qualifications or forms of the Parochial Votes, as well as all complaints which may occur on the subject of collusion or bribery, shall be decided by the Judges and assisting Witnesses, and their decision shall, for the time being, be carried into effect; the right of Appeal to the Municipality of the Canton being nevertheless reserved.

XXIV. The Elections shall be publick; and where they are in progress, no one shall be allowed to wear arms.

XXV. The Elections shall be open during the term of 8 days, at the expiration of which period, the Assembly shall be held as dissolved; and any further act beyond what is prescribed by the Constitution or the Law, is not only null, but also a crime against the publick peace.

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