Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. (For its formation see CONVENTION OF 1787.) The constitution is given below, the sub-titles and other matter in brackets not being a part of the instrument.




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.


[Legislative Department.]


SECTION. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.


SECTION. 2. 1 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.


2 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.


3 Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, 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 chuse 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.


4 When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.


5 The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.


SECTION. 3. 1 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.


2 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, and 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.


3 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.


4 The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided


5 The Senate shall chuse 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.


6 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.


7 Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and Disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honour, 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. 1 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 chusing Senators.


2 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. 1 Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each 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.


2 Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.


3 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.


4 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. 1 The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation 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.


2 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 encreased 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.


SECTION. 7. 1 All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.


2 Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall 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 shall 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.


3 Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary, (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.


SECTION. 8. The Congress shall have Power 1 To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


2 To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;


3 To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;


4 To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;


5 To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;


6 To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;


7 To establish Post Offices and post Roads;


8 To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;


9 To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;


10 To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;


11 To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;


12 To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;


13 To provide and maintain a Navy:

14 To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;


15 To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;


16 To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


17 To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And


18 To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


SECTION. 9. 1 The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or Duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.


2 The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.


3 No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.


4 No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.


5 No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.


6 No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.


7 No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.


8 No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.


SECTION. 10. 1 No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bille of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.


2 No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States, and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.


3 No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of Delay.


[Executive Department.]


SECTION. 1. 1 The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

2 Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.


The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Per on having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.


[The manner in which the electors vote has been changed by the 12th Amendment.]


3 The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.


4 No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States


5 In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation, or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.


6 The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.


7 Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—


"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully "execute the Office of President of the United States, and "will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and de-"fend the Constitution of the United States."


SECTION. 2. 1 The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.


2 He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.


3 The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall empire at the End of their next Session.


SECTION. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the officers of the United States.


SECTION. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


[Judicial Department]


SECTION. 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.


SECTION. 2. 1 The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens or another State;—between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.


[The Judicial Power has been modified by the 11th Amendment.]


2 In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.


3 The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.


SECTION. 3. 1 Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.


2 The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.


[The States and the Federal Government.]


SECTION. 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.


SECTION. 2. 1 The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.


2 A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.


3 No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.


SECTION. 3. 1 New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.


2 The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.


SECTION. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.


[Power and Modes of Amendment.]


The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.


[National Supremacy.]


1 All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.


2 This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.


3 The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


[Establishment of the Constitution]


The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth IN WITNESS whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

Presidt and Deputy from Virginia. [original text has the "o" in Geo. underbarred, and does abbreviate "President" as Presidt—Econlib Ed.]


John Langdon.
Nicholas Gilman.
[John Pickering.
[Benjamin West.]
Nathaniel Gorham.
Rufus King.
[Elbridge Gerry.]
[Caleb Strong.]
[Francis Dana.]
[No Appointments.]
Wm. Saml. Johnson.
Roger Sherman.
[Oliver Ellsworth.]
Alexander Hamilton.
[Robert Yates]
[John Lansing.]
Wil: Livingston.
Wm. Paterson.
David Brearley.
Jona Dayton.
[William C. Houston.]
[Abraham Clark.]
[John Neilson]
B. Franklin.
Robt Morris.
Tho.s Fitz Simons.
James Wilson.
Thomas Mifflin.
Geo: Clymer.
Jared Ingersoll.
Gouv: Morris.
Geo: Read.
John Dickinson.
Jaco: Broom.
Gunning Bedford, jun.
Richard Bassett
James M'Henry.
Daul Carroll.
Dan: of St. Thos. Jenifer.
[John Francis Mercer.]
[Luther Martin.]
John Blair.
James Madison, Jr.
[Edmund Randolph.]
[George Mason]
[George Wythe.]
[James McClurg]
[Patrick Henry.]
Wm. Blount.
Hu. Williamson.
Rich'd Dobbs Spaight.
[Alexander Martin.]
[William R. Davie]
[Richard Caswell.]
[Willie Jones.]
J. Rutledge.
Charles Pinckney.
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.
Pierce Butler.
William Few.
Abr. Baldwin.
[William Pierce.]
[William Houston.]
[George Walton]
[Nathaniel Pendleton]

[Under each state the names of the signers are given first; then, in brackets, those of delegates who attended but did not sign; then, in brackets and italics, those of delegates who never attended.]


—Articles in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by congress, and ratified by the legislatures of the several states, pursuant to the fifth article of the original constitution:



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance.




A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.




No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.




The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.




No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any Criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; not shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.




In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have Compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favour, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.




In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.




Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.




The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.




The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.




The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.




The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;—The President of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;—The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.


—The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.




SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been only convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


SECTION 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this Article by appropriate legislation.




SECTION 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction, the equal protection of the laws.


SECTION 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.


SECTION 3. No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; but Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability.


SECTION 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States, nor any State, shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void.


SECTION 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.



SECTION 1. 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.


SECTION 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


—I. ADMISSION OF THE STATES. The dates given for the first thirteen states are those on which they ratified the constitution and became states of the Union. The remaining dates are those on which the admissions took effect. (But see OHIO.) 1. Delaware, Dec. 7, 1787; 2. Pennsylvania, Dec. 12, 1787; 3. New Jersey, Dec. 18, 1787; 4. Georgia, Jan. 2, 1788; 5. Connecticut, Jan. 9, 1788; 6. Massachusetts, Feb. 7, 1788; 7. Maryland, April 28, 1788; 8. South Carolina, May 23, 1788; 9. New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; 10. Virginia, June 26, 1788; 11. New York, July 26, 1788; 12. North Carolina, Nov. 21, 1789; 13. Rhode Island, May 29, 1790; 14. Vermont, March 4, 1791; 15. Kentucky, June 1, 1792; 16. Tennessee, June 1, 1796; 17. Ohio, Feb. 19, 1803 (see OHIO); 18. Louisiana, April 30, 1812; 19. Indiana, Dec. 11, 1816; 20. Mississippi, Dec. 10, 1817; 21. Illinois, Dec. 3, 1818; 22. Alabama, Dec. 14, 1819; 23. Maine, March 15, 1820; 24. Missouri, Aug. 10, 1821; 25. Arkansas, June 15, 1836; 26. Michigan, Jan. 26, 1837; 27. Florida, March 3, 1845; 28. Texas, Dec. 29, 1845; 29. Iowa, Dec. 28, 1846; 30. Wisconsin, May 29, 1848; 31. California, Sept. 9, 1850; 32. Minnesota, May 11, 1858; 33. Oregon, Feb. 14, 1859; 34. Kansas, Jan. 29, 1861; 35. West Virginia, June 19, 1863; 36. Nevada, Oct. 31, 1864; 37. Nebraska, March 1, 1867; 38. Colorado, Aug. 1, 1876.


—II. RATIFICATION. In accordance with the desire of the convention (see CONVENTION OF 1787), the congress of the confederacy, by resolution of Sept. 28, 1787, referred the constitution to state conventions, to be called by the state legislatures, for their approval or rejection. As the main work of the new instrument was the creation of a stronger federal government, the people divided at once into federalists and anti-federalists. The ratifications were as follows: Delaware, Dec. 7, 1787, unanimously; Pennsylvania, Dec. 12, 46 to 23; New Jersey, Dec. 18, unanimously; Georgia, Jan. 2, 1788, unanimously; Connecticut, Jan. 9, 128 to 40; Massachusetts, Feb. 7, 187 to 168; Maryland, April 28, 63 to 12; South Carolina, May 23, 149 to 73; New Hampshire, June 21, 57 to 46; Virginia, June 26, 89 to 79; New York, July 26, 31 to 27 (on the final vote). North Carolina, Aug. 2, by 184 to 84, refused to ratify without a bill of rights and amendments. In February, 1788, the Rhode Island legislature refused to call a convention, and referred the constitution to the town meetings, where it was rejected in March by 2,708 votes to 232. The ratification of the ninth state, New Hampshire, gave the constitution life, and announced that the confederacy was to be succeeded by a new form of government which, while retaining many league features, should rest upon national popular will as its basis.


—It would hardly be inaccurate to say that the friends of the constitution would have been found between the coast and a line 50 miles west of it. West of the latter line lay the opposition. The states where ratification was easy were mainly commercial states. Of these, New Jersey had originally objected to the articles of confederation because they gave no protection to commerce; South Carolina's commerce was a far larger part of her wealth in 1788 than at any time since; Georgia was further influenced by her position as a frontier state, exposed to the powerful southern Indian tribes, and anxious for protection by a strong federal government; and Maryland and Connecticut, having large and vague claims to territory in the northwest, had solider hopes of justice from a firm federal government than from the confederacy. In the agricultural states ratification was difficult. Massachusetts was not then, as now, packed with manufactories. Her strength lay in agriculture, and her farmer delegates, with only Samuel Adams as a leader, and John Hancock as a doubtful ally, held their ground obstinately from Jan. 9 until Feb. 7 against the arguments of such able federalist advocates as Fisher Ames, Theophilus Parsons, Rufus King, Theodore Sedgwick, Dana, Gorham and Bowdoin. The final action was called the "Massachusetts plan," a ratification supplemented by a warm recommendation of certain amendments. Only one of these (Amendment X.) was afterward adopted. The New Hampshire convention met Feb. 17, a majority of its delegates being instructed against ratification, and adjourned until June, when a majority of 11 was obtained for ratification on the "Massachusetts plan." In Virginia the anti-federalists had able leaders, including George Mason, James Monroe, and the eloquent and popular Patrick Henry; the federalists were led by James Madison, John Marshall, and Edmund Randolph who had drawn up the "Virginia plan" for the convention, had refused to sign the completed constitution, but now decided to support it. The essence of the Virginia opposition may be found in two sentences in the debate: "Why are such extensive powers given to the senate? Because the little states gained their point." It was only very reluctantly that Virginia, then more powerful than New York, gave up her commanding position of sovereignty for membership in the Union. In New York the agricultural delegates preferred a continuance of the privilege which they had enjoyed under the confederacy, of exempting themselves and their constituents from taxation by retaining to the state the power of levying duties at the port of New York. They were headed by governor Clinton, Robert Yates, and John Lansing (the last two having been delegates to the convention), and at first had a strong majority over the federalists, who were led by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and Robert R. Livingston. The ratifications of New Hampshire and Virginia, weakened the opposition of the New York anti-federalists so far that they offered a conditional ratification, reserving to New York the right to secede if the amendments which she offered were not acted upon within six years. This was rejected as worse than no ratification, and the federalists, July 23, by a vote of 31 to 29, succeeded in changing the words "on condition" into the phrase "in full confidence" that New York's list of amendments would be acted upon. In this halting and ungracious form the ratification was finally passed, July 26. In Rhode Island the country or agricultural party were fanatical believers in the virtues of their state paper currency, and refused even to consider a constitution which would destroy their fetish. The city or commercial party were at first powerless, though they assured the convention of their sympathy; but they were enabled to bring the state into the Union in 1790 by virtue of the strong hints conveyed in propositions before congress for the restriction of Rhode Island commerce. North Carolina's action was due to her desire to compel a second general convention, which New York had demanded and Virginia had recommended.


—III. AMENDMENTS. A. Amendments ratified by the States. (1: AMENDMENTS I-X.) Massachusetts had proposed 9 amendments, South Carolina 4, New Hampshire 12, Virginia 20, New York 32, and North Carolina 26, besides 14 offered by the Pennsylvania minority, 28 by the Maryland minority, the Virginia bill of rights in 20 articles and that of New York in 24 articles. Many of these were repetitions, but the mass of distinct propositions was sufficiently alarming. Such of them as were brought before congress in 1789 were summarily voted down, to the particular indignation of Virginia. In place of them all the house agreed upon 17 amendments. The senate compressed these to 12, which were passed by two-thirds of both houses, Sept. 25, 1789. The first two were not ratified (see III: B); the remaining 10, having been rejected or not acted upon by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Georgia, and ratified by the other states, became the first 10 amendments, and were declared in force Dec. 15, 1791. None of them changed the structure of the constitution, and Livermore, of New Hampshire, declared them "of no more value than a pinch of snuff, since they went to secure rights never in danger." It is worthy of note, however, that the 1st seems to have made the sedition law unconstitutional (see ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS), and that the 5th, 7th and 10th have proved very important restraints upon the action of the general government.—(2: AMENDMENT XI.) In the case of Chisholm vs. Georgia (2 Dall., 470) the supreme court decided in general that, under Art. III., § 2, of the constitution, suit might be brought against a state by citizens of another state. The possibility of being thus arraigned as defendants before federal courts was by no means pleasing to the states. The 11th amendment was therefore introduced, passed by two-thirds of both houses March 5, 1794, and declared in force Jan. 8, 1798. Art. III., § 2, must now be construed to mean "between a state as plaintiff and citizens of another state," and this form of words was carefully adopted in the southern revision of the constitution in 1861. (See CONFEDERATE STATES.) The 11th amendment has been further construed in the case of Cohens vs. Virginia (6 Wheat., 264).—(3 AMENDMENT XII.) The election of 1800 (see DISPUTED ELECTIONS, I.; ELECTORS) showed that, under the original provisions of the constitution, party spirit would always give the two leading candidates a tie vote and prevent a choice by the electors. The 12th amendment was therefore introduced, failed to receive the necessary two-thirds vote in one congress, and was finally proposed by congress, Dec. 12, 1803, passing the house only by the speaker's vote. It was declared in force Sept. 25, 1804, the state vote in its favor being 13 to 4, just a three-fourths vote. Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia ratified it, and Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire rejected it.—(4: AMENDMENT XIII.) For the purpose of supplementing the emancipation proclamation (see also ABOLITION, III.) by making universal and permanent its abolition of slavery, the 13th amendment was introduced in 1864. Its phraseology may be traced back, through the Wilmot proviso in 1846 and the attempt to exclude slavery from Missouri in 1819-20 (see COMPROMISES, IV.), to the ordinance of 1787 (Art. VI). It passed the senate, April 8, 1864, by 38 to 6, but failed in the house, June 15, 95 to 66, (not two-thirds). President Lincoln's re-election in November, and the brightening prospects of the war, encouraged the friends of the amendment to another effort during the second session of the same congress in the following winter. The vote of the house was re-considered Jan. 31, 1865, and the amendment was finally passed by a vote of 119 to 56. It was rejected by Delaware and Kentucky, the only states in which slavery was still nominally legal, was not acted upon by Texas, was conditionally ratified by Alabama and Mississippi, and was ratified by all the other states (31 out of 36, a three-fourths vote). It was proclaimed in force Dec. 18, 1865. (5. AMENDMENT XIV ) The 14th amendment was an essential element of the plan of reconstruction by congress. Its first section was intended to overturn the still binding principle of the decision in the Dred Scott case, that negroes, even though emancipated, could never become citizens of the United States (see also CIVIL RIGHTS BILL), its other sections were intended to make it the interest of southern states to allow the right of suffrage to negroes (see SUFFRAGE), to put the leaders of the rebellion under a temporary disability to hold office, to secure the payment of the national debt, and to void the confederate debt, general or state. It passed the senate, June 8, 1866, by a vote of 33 to 11, and the house, June 13, by a vote of 138 to 36. It was rejected by Delaware, Kentucky and Maryland, not acted upon by California, and ratified by the remaining 33 of the 37 states, a three-fourths vote. (See CONSTITUTION I., for the states in the Union in 1867-8.) Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia at first rejected the amendment at their legislative sessions between Nov. 9, 1866, and Feb. 6, 1867, whereupon the reconstruction act of March 2, 1867, declared their state governments provisional only until, among other conditions, the amendment should be ratified. The 10 states above named successively ratified the amendment and were recognized by congress, and the amendment was declared in force July 28, 1868. New Jersey and Ohio rescinded their ratifications when an adverse majority afterward gained control of their legislatures, and secretary Seward's proclamation of July 20, 1868, announced conditionally that, if the ratifications of New Jersey and Ohio were still to be taken as binding, the amendment had been adopted by 30 states and was part of the constitution. On the following day congress supplemented this by a resolution that the amendment had been lawfully adopted, and that the secretary of state should unconditionally proclaim its ratification, which he accordingly did by proclamation of July 28, 1868. The subsequent ratification of three other states, making 33 in all, cleared away any cloud on this point. (See also RECONSTRUCTION.)—(6: AMENDMENT XV.) The evident and complete inefficacy of the second section of the last amendment (see SUFFRAGE) was the reason for the introduction of the 15th amendment. Its object was not only to forbid the states from abridging suffrage by reason of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, but also to secure, if necessary, to federal courts, the cognizance of offenses against the amendment, through the power granted to congress to enforce it. It was proposed by congress, Feb. 26, 1869, passing the senate by a vote of 39 to 13, and the house by a vote of 144 to 44. It was not acted upon by Tennessee, was rejected by California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon, and was ratified by the remaining 30 of the 37 states, a three-fourths vote. Ohio and Georgia at first rejected it, but afterward ratified it. New York rescinded its ratification. The amendment was declared in force March 30, 1870, the proclamation of secretary Fish mentioning the filing of a notice in the state department that New York "claimed" to have rescinded its ratification, but making no decision on the validity of the claim—B. Amendments never finally ratified. (1: 1780.) In addition to the first 10 amendments ratified by the states (see III.: A.) congress proposed two, as follows: "I. After the first enumeration required by the first article of the constitution, there shall be one representative for every 30,000 persons, until the number shall amount to 100; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by congress that there shall not be less than 100 representatives, nor more than one representative for every 40,000 persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to 200; after which, the proportion shall be so regulated by congress, that there shall be not less than 200 representatives, nor more than one representative for every 50,000 persons. II. No law varying the compensation for the services of the senators and representatives shall take effect until an election of representatives shall have intervened."


—Delaware rejected the first of these, Pennsylvania rejected the second, and Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and Georgia rejected, or did not act upon, both of them, and consequently both of them failed to obtain the necessary three-fourths vote.—(2: LOUISIANA.) In 1803 Jefferson's doubts about the constitutionality of his acquisition of Louisiana (see ANNEXATIONS, I.) led him to prepare the following amendment to cover the case: "XIII. Louisiana, as ceded by France to the United States, is made a part of the United States, its white inhabitants shall be citizens and shall stand as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations: save only that, as to the portion thereof lying north of an east and west line drawn through the mouth of Arkansas river, no new state shall be established, nor any grants of land made, other than to Indians in exchange for equivalent portions of land occupied by them, until an amendment of the constitution shall be made for these purposes. Florida, also, whensoever it may be rightfully obtained, shall become a part of the United States; its white inhabitants shall thereupon be citizens, and shall stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations." Congress and the people, however, contentedly accepted Louisiana without an amendment, and Jefferson "acquiesced with satisfaction." (See CONSTRUCTION, III.)—(3: INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.) The surplus of revenues over expenditures led Jefferson to suggest in his message of Dec. 2, 1806, the preparation of amendments empowering congress, after the payment of the debt, to expend any surplus on "public education, roads, rivers, canals, and other objects of public improvement," on the ground that these objects, however deserving, were "not among those enumerated in the constitution." This suggestion was renewed by Jefferson, in his messages of Oct. 27, 1807, and Nov. 8, 1808; by Madison, in his message of Dec. 5, 1815; by Monroe, in his messages of Dec. 3, 1817, Dec. 3, 1822, and Dec 2, 1823, and in his Cumberland road veto of May 4, 1822; by Jackson, in his Maysville road veto of May 27, 1830; and by Polk, in his message of Dec. 15, 1847; but without result. Congress has frequently exercised, and now habitually exercises, the once doubted power without amendments. (See INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.)—(4: TITLES OF NOBILITY.) Congress proposed an amendment as follows, Nov. 27, 1809: "XIII. If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or shall, without the consent of congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatever from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them or either of them." This amendment was rejected by New York and Rhode Island, not acted upon by Connecticut, South Carolina and Vermont, and ratified by the remaining twelve states, but, lacking one state of a three-fourths majority, it failed to become a part of the constitution.—(5. SLAVERY.) The second session of the 36th congress, 1860-61, was prolific in propositions to amend the constitution. The most important of these were the Crittenden compromise (see COMPROMISES, VI.); the amendment proposed by the peace conference (see CONFERENCE, PEACE); the amendment proposed by representative Vallandigham, of Ohio; and the amendment proposed by senator Douglas, of Illinois. The Vallandigham amendment was never acted upon, and is too long for insertion in full. It divided the union into four sections, The North, The West, The Pacific, and The South; and the passage of bills, and the election of president and vice-president, were to depend on the affirmative vote of a majority of the congressmen or electors of each and all of the four sections. It also provided that "No state shall secede, without the consent of the legislatures of all the states of the section to which the state proposing to secede belongs," thus implying a permission to secede bodily to any section which should be unanimous in desiring it. (See SECESSION) The Douglas amendment was as follows: "XIII. No amendment shall be made to the constitution which will authorize or give to congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said state." This was lost in the house, Feb. 28, 1861, by a vote of 123 to 71 (not two-thirds), and then reconsidered and adopted by a vote of 133 to 65; it was adopted by the senate the same day by a vote of 24 to 12. It was approved March 2, but the state of war which almost immediately followed prevented its consideration or ratification by the states. Feb. 8, 1864, a resolution was offered in senate to repeal the joint resolution by which the Douglas amendment had been proposed, but it was never brought to a vote.—(6: FEMALE SUFFRAGE.) At various times propositions have been made to so amend the constitution as to give the right of suffrage to females of suitable age. As an example the following, offered by representative Julian, of Indiana, March 16, 1869, is given: "XVI. The right of suffrage in the United States shall be based on citizenship, and shall be regulated by congress; and all citizens of the United States, whether native or naturalized, shall enjoy this right equally, without any distinction or discrimination whatever founded on sex."—(7. RELIGIOUS AMENDMENT.) Since about 1865 many petitions have been offered that congress would amend the preamble to the constitution by inserting, after the words, "We the people of the United States," and before the words, "form a more perfect Union," the following: "Acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the ruler among the nations, and his will, revealed in the Holy Scriptures, as of supreme authority, in order to constitute a Christian government." (See CONSTITUTION, PREAMBLE.) (For other amendments offered but not ratified, see ELECTORS; JUDICIARY; CONVENTION, HARTFORD; EXECUTIVE.)


—IV. The formation of the constitution (for its history see CONVENTION OF 1787) was due to the easily perceptible fact that one of the people's two great governmental agents, the states, had been given too much power, and the other, the central government, too little. That the basis of the constitution is the general popular will, is now so generally accepted that it may almost be stated as undisputed. The states, under the constitution, remained sovereign (in the narrow American technical sense of having no political superior, in their own sphere, however contracted that sphere may be; see also STATE SOVEREIGNTY), and the federal government became similarly sovereign in its own sphere; but all these nominal sovereignties were only manifestations of the ultimate sovereignty of the people, and flowed in a carefully bounded channel, from the whole people, not from the state governments, or even from the people of the several states. Thus, as a general rule, the constitution of a state can be changed only by the people of that state; nevertheless the majority in a state, if it forms a part of a three-fourths majority of all the states, may, by amending the federal constitution, aid in restricting, altering and amending the constitutions of every other state in the Union as well as its own. Of course, this process might be carried so far as to provoke armed resistance and revolution; but the constitution has intentionally hedged about this subject of amendment with so many barriers as to make change extremely difficult and to secure the rights of an active and determined minority. The whole scheme has proved very simple in practice, but it has always been very difficult to make its double "sovereignty" clear to any one who has not lived under it.


—One school of political thinkers (see STATE SOVEREIGNTY) long considered the states to be, apart from the federal union, functionally complete sovereignties (in the general sense of the word, not as used above), a part of whose powers was in a sort of temporarily suspended animation, to be revived again whenever the people of the state should see fit to resume it. (See SECESSION.) The inexorable logic of events has proved that no such doctrine can ever become an acknowledged part of the American political system. A state may enter the Union of its own free will, or the soil on which it is afterward formed may be acquired, without or against the will of its inhabitants, by conquest or purchase; but, once entered, the fundamental bond of the society which it has entered attaches to it, and it becomes, in the language of the supreme court in 1868, a member of an "indestructible Union of indestructible states." It follows also that, whatever allegiance a state may claim from its citizens, this can never legitimately conflict with that paramount allegiance which the citizen owes to the government of the nation. (See ALLEGIANCE.)


—Apart from the fundamental principle that the supreme law of the land shall come from the constitution, its interpretation is open to the very widest liberty of private judgment. (See CONSTRUCTION.) It can hardly be said that the constitution means exactly the same thing, in every minute point, to any two individuals, or any two generations of individuals, in the United States. Two general divisions of opinion, strict construction and broad construction, are easily perceptible, both of which have always had able and distinguished leaders; but, inside of both, the variations of opinion on points of little or great importance defy calculation, and must be sought in the various authorities cited below. The constitutional history of the United States has thus been an orderly development whose general equilibrium has been due to the pressure of an infinite variety of conflicting opinions, all of which deserve respect and consideration. (See DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; CONTINENTAL CONGRESS; CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES OF; CONVENTION OF 1787; UNITED STATES.)


—See, for the text of the constitution, 1 Stat. at Large (Bioren and Duane's edition), 60; 1 Poore's Federal and State Constitutions, 13; 2 Curtis' History of the Constitution, 607 (Curtis' text has been taken in this article). (I.) Stat. at Large under the several dates, and authorities under OHIO. (II.) Elliot's Debates in Convention and in the States; 2 Curtis' History of the Constitution, 491; 1 Stat. at Large (Bioren and Duane's edition), 660; 9 Washington's Writings, 266-549; 3 Hamilton's United States; 3 Hildreth's United States; 1 Hamilton's Works, 450-469; authorities under NORTH CAROLINA and RHODE ISLAND. (III.) Benton's Debates of Congress under the several dates, and authorities under articles referred to. (IV.) [a], FORMATION OF THE CONSTITUTION: see authorities under CONVENTION OF 1787; [b], NATURE OF THE CONSTITUTION: 2 Curtis' History of the Constitution, 481; Barnes' The Body Politic; Mulford's The Nation; The Federalist; Story's Commentaries, § 306; 2 Woolsey's Political Science, 295; Kent's Commentaries; Lieber's Lectures on the Constitution, and Hermeneutics; 1 Benton's Thirty Years' View, 360; Duer's Constitutional Jurisprudence, 389; Brownson's American Republic; Farrar's Manual; Andrews' Handbook; Flanders' Exposition; Marshall's Writings on the Constitution; Mercer's Exposition of the Weakness of the Government; Paschal's Constitution; Tiffany's Government and Constitutional Law; Sedgwick's Constitutional Law; Cooley's Constitutional Limitations; Towle's History of the Constitution; Wedgwood's Government and Laws; 3 Webster's Works, 449; Skinner's Issues of American Politics; Dillon's Notes on Historical Evidence; Miller's Lectures on the Constitution; Monroe's The People the Sovereigns; 12 Sumner's Works, 190; von Holst's United States; Baldwin's Origin and Nature of the Constitution; and authorities under JUDICIARY; CONGRESS, POWERS OF; [c], STRICT CONSTRUCTION distinctively: 1, 2 Calhoun's Works; Rawle's View of the Constitution; Hamilton's Memoir of Rantoul, 141; John Taylor's Construction Construed, and New Views of the Constitution (but see answer in 6 John Adams' Works); Hunt's Life of Livingston, 345; Tucker's Lectures on Constitutional Law, and his notes on Blackstone's Commentaries; Upshur's Brief Inquiry (in answer to Story); 1 A. H. Stephens' War Between the States; North American Review (November, 1880), 385; and authorities under DEMOCRATIC PARTY; BANK CONTROVERSIES, II.; KENTUCKY AND VIRGINIA RESOLUTIONS; [d], HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION in its operations; authorities under UNITED STATES, RECONSTRUCTION, and the various political parties; and W. E. Foster's Bibliography of the Constitution, in 5 Library Journal, 172, 222.


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