Part 6 out of 8
declared that "to the victors belong the spoils." The man who said this
of course did not realize that he was making one of the most shameful
remarks recorded in history. There was, however, much aptness in his
phrase, inasmuch as it was a confession that the business of American
politics was about to be conducted on principles fit only for the
warfare of barbarians.
[Footnote 34: Sumner's _Jackson_, p. 147.]
In the canvass of 1840 the Whigs promised to reform the civil service,
and the promise brought them many Democratic votes; but after they had
won the election, they followed Jackson's example. The Democrats
followed in the same way in 1845, and from that time down to 1885 it was
customary at each change of party to make a "clean sweep" of the
offices. Soon after the Civil War the evils of the system began to
attract serious attention on the part of thoughtful people. The "spoils
system" has helped to sustain all manner of abominations, from grasping
monopolies and civic jobbery down to political rum-shops. The virus runs
through everything, and the natural tendency of the evil is to grow with
the growth of the country.
[Sidenote: The Civil Service Act of 1883.]
In 1883 Congress passed the Civil Service Act, allowing the president to
select a board of examiners on whose recommendation appointments are
made. Candidates for office are subjected to an easy competitive
examination. The system has worked well in other countries, and under
Presidents Arthur and Cleveland it was applied to a considerable part of
the civil service. It has also been adopted in some states and cities.
The opponents of reform object to the examination that it is not always
intimately connected with the work of the office, but, even if this
were so, the merit of the system lies in its removal of the offices from
the category of things known as "patronage." It relieves the president
of much needless work and wearisome importunity. The president and the
heads of departments appoint (in many cases, through subordinates) about
115,000 officials. It is therefore impossible to know much about their
character or competency. It becomes necessary to act by advice, and the
advice of an examining board is sure to be much better than the advice
of political schemers intent upon getting a salaried office for their
needy friends. The examination system has made a fair beginning and will
doubtless be gradually improved and made more stringent. Something too
has been done toward stopping two old abuses attendant upon political
canvasses,--(1) forcing government clerks, under penalty of losing their
places, to contribute part of their salaries for election purposes; (2)
allowing government clerks to neglect their work in order to take an
active part in the canvass. Before the reform of the civil service can
be completed, however, it will be necessary to repeal Crawford's act of
1820 and make the tenure of postmasters and revenue collectors as secure
as that of the chief justice of the United States.
[Footnote 35: The objection that the examination questions are
irrelevant to the work of the office is often made the occasion of gross
exaggeration. I have given, in Appendix I, an average sample of the
examination papers used in the customs service. It is taken from
Comstock's _Civil Service in the United States_, New York, Holt & Co.,
1885, an excellent manual with very full particulars.]
[Sidenote: The Australian ballot-system.]
Another political reform which promises excellent results is the
adoption by many states of some form of the Australian ballot-system,
for the purpose of checking intimidation and bribery at elections. The
ballots are printed by the state, and contain the names of all the
candidates of all the parties. Against the name of each candidate the
party to which he belongs is designated, and against each name there is
a small vacant space to be filled with a cross. At the polling-place the
ballots are kept in an inclosure behind a railing, and no ballot can be
brought outside under penalty of fine or imprisonment. One ballot is
nailed against the wall outside the railing, so that it may be read at
leisure. The space behind the railing is divided into separate booths
quite screened from each other. Each booth is provided with a pencil and
a convenient shelf on which to write. The voter goes behind the railing,
takes the ballot which is handed him, carries it into one of the booths,
and marks a cross against the names of the candidates for whom he votes.
He then puts his ballot into the box, and his name is checked off on the
register of voters of the precinct. This system is very simple, it
enables a vote to be given in absolute secrecy, and it keeps "heelers"
away from the polls. It is favourable to independence in voting, and
it is unfavourable to bribery, because unless the briber can follow his
man to the polls and see how he votes, he cannot be sure that his bribe
is effective. To make the precautions against bribery complete it will
doubtless be necessary to add to the secret ballot the English system of
accounting for election expenses. All the funds used in an election must
pass through the hands of a small local committee, vouchers must be
received for every penny that is expended, and after the election an
itemized account must be made out and its accuracy attested under oath
before a notary public. This system of accounting has put an end to
bribery in England.
[Footnote 36: This is a brief description of the system lately adopted
in Massachusetts. The penalty here mentioned is a fine not exceeding a
thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both such
fine and such imprisonment.]
[Footnote 37: It is especially favourable to independence in voting, if
the lists of the candidates are placed in a single column, without
reference to party (each name of course, having the proper party
designation, "Rep.," "Dem.," "Prohib.," etc., attached to it). In such
case it must necessarily take the voter some little time to find and
mark each name for which he wishes to vote. If, however, the names of
the candidates are arranged according to their party, all the
Republicans in one list, all the Democrats in another, etc., this
arrangement is much less favourable to independence in voting and much
less efficient as a check upon bribery; because the man who votes a
straight party ticket will make all his marks in a very short time,
while the "scratcher," or independent voter, will consume much more time
in selecting his names. Thus people interested in seeing whether a man
is voting the straight party ticket or not can form an opinion from the
length of time he spends in the booth. It is, therefore, important that
the names of all candidates should be printed in a single column.]
[Footnote 38: An important step in this direction has been taken in the
New York Corrupt Practices Act of April, 1890. See Appendix J.]
Complaints of bribery and corruption have attracted especial attention
in the United States during the past few years, and it is highly
creditable to the good sense of the people that measures of prevention
have been so promptly adopted by so many states. With an independent and
uncorrupted ballot, and the civil service taken "out of politics," all
other reforms will become far more easily accomplished. These ends will
presently be attained. Popular government makes many mistakes, and
sometimes it is slow in finding them out; but when once it has
discovered them it has a way of correcting them. It is the best kind of
government in the world, the most wisely conservative, the most steadily
progressive, and the most likely to endure.
QUESTIONS ON THE TEXT.
1. What was a chief source of opposition to the new federal government?
2. What necessity for caution existed in devising methods to raise money?
3. Hamilton's scheme of excise:--
a. The things on which excise was laid.
b. The unpopularity of the scheme.
c. The "Whiskey Insurrection."
d. Its suppression by Washington.
4. Hamilton's tariff scheme:--
a. The class of things on which duties were placed.
b. Popular acquiescence in the plan.
c. Effect of diverting the stream of custom-house revenue from its old
destination in the several state treasuries to its new destination in
the federal treasury.
d. Direct taxation during the Civil War.
e. Methods pursued since the Civil War.
5. The origin of American political parties:--
a. Jefferson's objection to Hamilton's policy.
b. Hamilton's defence of his policy.
c. Jefferson's view of the Elastic Clause.
d. Hamilton's view of the Elastic Clause.
e. Two names suggestive of an abiding antagonism in American politics.
f. A view of the Elastic Clause that commends itself to all.
g. The party of Hamilton and its successors.
h. The party of Jefferson and its successor.
6. Great practical questions that have divided parties:--
a. The Tariff.
b. Internal Improvements.
c. A National Bank.
d. The present attitude towards these three questions.
e. The shifting of ground in arguing the tariff question.
f. The reason for this change of base.
7. Civil Service reform:--
a. The attitude of parties a few years ago.
b. The present attitude of the same parties.
c. A question not foreseen.
d. The number of officers appointed.
e. The non-political nature of their duties.
f. The principles that should prevail in their selection and
8. The "spoils system":--
a. Early appointive officers in New York and Pennsylvania,
b. The driving of good citizens out of politics.
c. The character of the men called to the front.
d. The effect on civil service and on politics.
9. Rotation in office:--
a. A new idea about government offices.
b. Crawford's law of 1820.
c. Failure to grasp its significance.
d. Jackson's course in 1829.
e. Removals from office down to Jackson's time.
f. Removals during the first year of Jackson's administration.
g. Origin of the phrase, "spoils system."
h. Promises and practice down to 1885.
i. The evils conspicuous since the Civil War.
10. The Civil Service Act of 1883.
a. A board of examiners.
b. Competitive examination of candidates.
c. The spread of the principles of the reform.
d. The merit of the system.
e. Two old abuses stopped.
f. Further measures needed.
11. The Australian ballot system:--
a. The object of this system.
b. The printing of the ballots.
c. What a ballot contains.
d. Ballots at the polling-places.
e. The booths.
f. The manner of voting.
g. The advantages of the system.
h. An additional precaution against bribery.
12. What is the attitude of the people towards bribery and corruption?
13. What reforms must be accomplished before others can make
SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS AND DIRECTIONS.
1. How much money is needed by the United States government for the
expenses of a year? How much is needed for the army, the navy, the
interest on the public debt, pensions, rivers and harbours, ordinary
civil expenses, etc.? (Answer for any recent year.)
2. From what sources does the revenue come? Tell how much revenue each
of the several sources has yielded in any recent year.
3. What is the origin of the word _tariff_?
4. What is meant by _protection_? What is meant by _free
trade_? What is meant by a _tariff for revenue only_? What is
meant by _reciprocity_? Give illustrations.
5. What are some of the reasons assigned for protection?
6. What are some of the reasons assigned for free trade?
7. Which policy prevails among the states themselves?
8. Which policy prevails between the United States and other nations?
9. Mention all the kinds of United States money in circulation. Bring
into the class a national bank bill, a gold certificate, a silver
certificate, any piece that is used as money, and inquire wherein its
value lies, what it can or cannot be used for, what the United States
will or will not give in exchange for it, and whether it is worth its
face in gold or not.
10. Is it right to buy silver at seventy-five cents and then put
it into circulation stamped a dollar, the Government receiving the
profit? Can you get a gold dollar for a silver one?
11. Is a promise to pay a dollar a real dollar? May it be as good as a
dollar? If so, under what conditions?
12. If gold were as common as gravel, what characteristics of it
universally recognized would remain unchanged? What would become of
its purchasing power, if it cost little or no labour to obtain it? Why
is it accepted as a standard of value?
13. During the Civil War gold was said to fluctuate in value, because
it took two dollars of paper money, sometimes more, sometimes less,
to buy one dollar in gold. Where was the real changing? What was the
cause of it?
14. What men are at the head of the national government at the present
time? (Think of the executive department and its primary divisions,
the legislative department, and the judicial.)
15. What salaries are paid these officers? Compare American salaries
with European salaries for corresponding high positions.
16. Should a president serve a second term? What is the advantage of
such service? What is the objection to it? Is a single term of six
17. Ought the president to be elected directly by the people?
18. Name in order the persons entitled to succeed to the presidency in
case of vacancy.
19. Who is your representative in Congress?
20. Who are your senators in Congress?
21. What is the pay of members of Congress? Who determines the
compensation? What is there to prevent lavish or improper pay?
22. There is said to be "log-rolling" in legislation at times. What is
the nature of this practice? Is it right?
23. Is the senator or the representative of higher dignity? Why?
24. Why should members of Congress be exempted from arrest in certain
25. Find authority in the Constitution for various things that
Congress has done, such as the following:--
a. It has established a military academy at West Point.
b. It has given public lands to Pacific railroads.
c. It has authorized uniforms for letter carriers.
d. It has ordered surveys of the coast.
e. It has established the Yellowstone National Park.
f. It has voted millions of dollars for pensions.
g. It refused during the Civil War to pay its promises with silver or
h. It bought Alaska of Russia.
i. It has adopted exclusive measures towards the Chinese.
26. Reverse the preceding exercise. That is, cite clauses of the
Constitution, and tell what particular things Congress has done because
of such authority. For example, what specific things have been done
under the following powers of Congress?--
a. To collect taxes.
b. To regulate commerce with foreign nations.
c. To coin money.
d. To establish post-roads.
e. To provide for the common defence.
f. To provide for the general welfare.
27. Compare the strength of the national government to-day with its
strength in the past.
28. Who are citizens according to the Constitution? Is a woman a
citizen? Is a child a citizen? Are Indians citizens? Are foreigners
residing in this country citizens? Are children born abroad of
American parents citizens? Can one person be a citizen of two nations
at the same time, or of two states, or of two towns? Explain.
29. To what laws is an American vessel on the ocean subject?
30. Show how the interests and needs of the various sections of
the country present wide differences. Compare mining sections with
agricultural, and both with manufacturing; Pacific states with
Atlantic; Northern states with Southern. What need of mutual
31. Name all the political divisions from the smallest to the greatest
in which you live. A Cambridge (Mass.) boy might, for example, say, "I
live in the third precinct of the first ward, in the first Middlesex
representative district, the third Middlesex senatorial district, the
third councillor district, and the fifth congressional district.
My city is Cambridge; my county, Middlesex, etc." Name the various
persons who represent you in these several districts.
32. May state and local officers exercise authority on United States
government territory, as, for example, within the limits of an arsenal
or a custom-house? May national government officers exercise authority
in states and towns?
33. What is a _sovereign_ state? Is New York a sovereign state?
the United States? the Dominion of Canada? Great Britain? Explain.
34. When sovereign nations disagree, how can a settlement be
effected? What is the best way to settle such a disagreement?
Illustrate from history the methods of negotiation, of arbitration,
and of war.
35. When two states of the Federal Union disagree, what solution of
the difficulty is possible?
* * * * *
THE FEDERAL UNION.--For the origin of our federal constitution, see
Bancroft's _History of the United States_, final edition, vol.
vi., N.Y., 1886; Curtis's _History of the Constitution_, 2 vols.,
N.Y., 1861, new edition, vol. i., 1889; and my _Critical Period of
American History_, Boston, 1888, with copious references in the
bibliographical note at the end. Once more we may refer advantageously
to _J.H.U. Studies_, II., v.-vi., H.C. Adams, _Taxation in
the United States_, 1789-1816; VIII, i.-ii., A.W. Small, _The
Beginnings of American Nationality_. See also Jameson's _Essays
in the Constitutional History of the United States in the Formative
Period_, 1775-1789, Boston, 1889, a very valuable book.
On the progress toward union during the colonial period, see especially
Frothingham's _Rise of the Republic of the United States_, Boston, 1872;
also Scott's _Development of Constitutional Liberty in the English
Colonies of America_, N.Y., 1882.
By far the ablest and most thorough book on the government of the
United States that has ever been published is Bryce's _American
Commonwealth_, 2 vols., London and N.Y., 1888. No American
citizen's education is properly completed until he has read the whole
of it carefully. In connection therewith, the work of Tocqueville,
_Democracy in America_, 2 vols., 6th ed., Boston, 1876, is
interesting. The Scotchman describes and discusses the American
commonwealth of to-day, the Frenchman that of sixty years ago. There
is an instructive difference in the methods of the two writers,
Tocqueville being inclined to draw deductions from ingenious
generalizations and to explain as natural results of democracy sundry
American characteristics that require a different explanation. His
great work is admirably reviewed and criticised by Bryce, in the
_J.H.U. Studies_, V., ix., _The Predictions of Hamilton and De
The following manuals may be recommended: Thorpe, _The_
_Government of the People of the United States_, Phila., 1889;
Martin's _Text Book on Civil Government in the United States_,
N.Y. and Chicago, 1875 (written with special reference to
Massachusetts); Northam's _Manual of Civil Government_, Syracuse,
1887 (written with special reference to New York); Ford's _American
Citizen's Manual_, N.Y., 1887; Rupert's _Guide to the Study of
the History and the Constitution of the United States_, Boston,
1888; Andrews's _Manual of the Constitution of the United
States_, Cincinnati, 1874; Miss Dawes, _How we are Governed_,
Boston, 1888; Macy, _Our Government: How it Grew, What it Does, and
How it Does it_, Boston, 1887. The last is especially good, and
mingles narrative with exposition in an unusually interesting way.
Nordhoff's _Politics for Young Americans_, N.Y., 1887, is a book
that ought to be read by all young Americans for its robust and sound
political philosophy. It is suitable for boys and girls from twelve to
fifteen years old. C.F. Dole's _The Citizen and the Neighbour_,
Boston, 1887, is a suggestive and stimulating little book. For a
comparative survey of governmental institutions, ancient and modern,
see Woodrow Wilson's _The State: Elements of Historical and
Practical Politics_, Boston, 1889. An enormous mass of matter is
compressed into this volume, and, although it inevitably suffers
somewhat from extreme condensation, it is so treated as to be both
readable and instructive. The chapter on _The State and Federal
Governments of the United States_ has been published separately,
and makes a convenient little volume of 131 pages. Teachers should
find much help in MacAlister's _Syllabus of a Course of Elementary
Instruction in United States History and Civil Government_, Phila.,
The following books of the "English Citizen Series," published by
Macmillan & Co., may often be profitably consulted: M.D. Chalmers,
_Local Government_; H.D. Traill, _Central Government_; F.W. Maitland,
_Justice and Police_; Spencer Walpole, _The Electorate and the
Legislature_; A.J. Wilson, _The National Budget_; T.H. Farrer, _The
State in its Relations to Trade_; W.S. Jevons, _The State in its
Relations to Labour_. The works on the English Constitution by Stubbs,
Gneist, Taswell-Langmead, Freeman, and Bagehot are indispensable to a
thorough understanding of civil government in the United States: Stubbs,
_Constitutional History of England_, 3 vols., London, 1875-78; Gneist,
_History of the English Constitution_, 2d ed., 2 vols., London, 1889;
Taswell-Langmead, _English Constitutional History_, 3d ed., Boston,
1886; Freeman, _The Growth of the English Constitution_, London, 1872;
Bagehot, _The English Constitution_, revised ed., Boston, 1873. An
admirable book in this connection is Hannis Taylor's (of Alabama)
_Origin and Growth of the English Constitution_, Boston, 1889. In
connection with Bagehot's _English Constitution_ the student may
profitably read Woodrow Wilson's _Congressional Government_, Boston,
1885, and A.L. Lowell's _Essays in Government_, Boston, 1890. See also
Sir H. Maine, _Popular Government_, London, 1886; Sir G.C. Lewis on _The
Use and Abuse of Certain Political Terms_, London, 1832; _Methods of
Observation and Reasoning in Politics_, 2 vols., London, 1852; and
_Dialogue on the Best Form of Government_, London, 1863.
Among the most valuable books ever written on the proper sphere
and duties of civil government are Herbert Spencer's _Social
Statics_, London, 1851; _The Study of Sociology_, 9th ed.,
London, 1880; _The Man_ versus _The State_, London, 1884;
they are all reprinted by D. Appleton & Co., New York. The views
expressed in _Social Statics_ with regard to the tenure of land
are regarded as unsound by many who are otherwise in entire sympathy
with Mr. Spencer's views, and they are ably criticised in Bonham's
_Industrial Liberty_, N.Y., 1888. A book of great merit, which
ought to be reprinted as it is now not easy to obtain, is Toulmin
Smith's _Local Self-Government and Centralization_, London, 1851.
Its point of view is sufficiently indicated by the following admirable
pair of maxims (p. 12):--
LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT _is that system of Government under which the
greatest number of minds, knowing the most, and having the fullest
opportunities of knowing it, about the special matter in hand, and
having the greatest interest in its well-working, have the management
of it, or control over it._
CENTRALIZATION _is that system of government under which the
smallest number of minds, and those knowing the least, and having the
fewest opportunities of knowing it, about the special matter in
hand, and having the smallest interest in its well-working, have the
management of it, or control over it._
An immense amount of wretched misgovernment would be avoided if all
legislators and all voters would engrave these wholesome definitions
upon their minds. In connection with the books just mentioned much
detailed and valuable information may be found in the collections of
essays edited by J.W. Probyn, _Local Government and Taxation_ [in
various countries], London, 1875; _Local Government and Taxation
in the United_ _Kingdom_, London, 1882. See also R.T. Ely's
_Taxation in American States and Cities_, N.Y., 1889.
The most elaborate work on our political history is that of Hermann
von Holst, _Constitutional and Political History of the United
States_, translated from the German by J.J. Lalor, vols. i.-vi.
(1787-1859), Chicago, 1877-89. In spite of a somewhat too pronounced
partisan bias, its value is great. See also Schouler's _History
of the United States under the Constitution_, vols. i.-iv.
(1783-1847), new ed., N.Y., 1890. The most useful handbook, alike
for teachers and for pupils, is Alexander Johnston's _History of
American Politics_, 2d ed., N.Y., 1882. _The United States_,
N.Y., 1889, by the same author, is also excellent. Every school
should possess a copy of Lalor's _Cyclopaedia of Political Science,
Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States_,
3 vols., Chicago, 1882-84. The numerous articles in it relating to
American history are chiefly by Alexander Johnston, whose mastery of
his subject was simply unrivalled. His death in 1889, at the early age
of forty, must be regarded as a national calamity. For a manual of
constitutional law, Cooley's _General Principles of Constitutional
Law in the United States of America_, Boston, 1880, is to be
recommended. The reader may fitly supplement his general study of
civil government by the little book of E.P. Dole, _Talks about
Law: a Popular Statement of What our Law is and How it is to be
Administered_, Boston, 1887.
In connection with the political history, Stanwood's _History of
Presidential Elections_, 2d ed., Boston, 1888, will be found
useful. See also Lawton's _American Caucus System_, N.Y., 1885.
On the general subject of civil service reform, see Eaton's _Civil
Service in Great Britain: a History of Abuses and Reforms, and their
Bearing upon American Politics_, N.Y., 1880. Comstock's _Civil
Service in the United States_, N.Y., 1885, is a catalogue of
offices, with full account of civil service rules, examinations,
specimens of examination papers, etc.; also some of the state rules,
as in New York, Massachusetts, etc.
* * * * *
I would here call attention to some publications by the Directors
of the Old South Studies in History and Politics,--first, _The
Constitution of the United States, with Historical and Bibliographical
Notes and Outlines, for Study_, prepared by E.D. Mead (sold by
D.C. Heath and Co., Boston, for 25 cents); secondly, the _Old
South Leaflets_, furnished to schools and the trade by the same
publishers, at 5 cents a copy or $3.00 a hundred. These leaflets are
for the most part reprints of important original papers, furnished
with valuable historical and bibliographical notes. The eighteen
issued up to this time (July, 1890) are as follows: 1. The
Constitution of the United States; 2. The Articles of Confederation;
3. The Declaration of Independence; 4. Washington's Farewell Address;
5. Magna Charta; 6. Vane's "Healing Question;" 7. Charter of
Massachusetts Bay, 1629; 8. Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639;
9. Franklin's Plan of Union, 1754; 10. Washington's Inaugurals;
11. Lincoln's Inaugurals and Emancipation Proclamation; 12. The
Federalist, Nos. 1 and 2; 13. The Ordinance of 1787; 14. The
Constitution of Ohio; 15. Washington's "Legacy"; 16. Washington's
Letter to Benjamin Harrison, Governor of Virginia, on the Opening of
Communication with the West; 17. Verrazano's Voyage, 1524; 18. Federal
Constitution of the Swiss Confederation.
Howard Preston's _Documents Illustrative of American History_,
N.Y., 1886, contains the following: First Virginia Charter, 1606;
Second Virginia Charter, 1609; Third Virginia Charter, 1612; Mayflower
Compact, 1620; Massachusetts Charter, 1629; Maryland Charter, 1632;
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639; New England Confederation,
1643; Connecticut Charter, 1662; Rhode Island Charter, 1663;
Pennsylvania Charter, 1681; Perm's Plan of Union, 1697; Georgia
Charter, 1732; Franklin's Plan of Union, 1754; Declaration of Rights,
1765; Declaration of Rights, 1774; Non-Importation Agreement, 1774;
Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776; Declaration of Independence, 1776;
Articles of Confederation, 1777; Treaty of Peace, 1783; Northwest
Ordinance, 1787; Constitution of the United States, 1787; Alien and
Sedition Laws, 1798; Virginia Resolutions, 1798; Kentucky Resolutions,
1798; Kentucky Resolutions, 1799; Nullification Ordinance, 1832;
Ordinance of Secession, 1860; South Carolina Declaration of
Independence, 1860; Emancipation Proclamation, 1863.
See also Poore's _Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial
Charters, and other Organic Laws of the United States_, 2 vols.,
The series of essays entitled _The Federalist_, written by
Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, in 1787-88, while the ratification of the
Constitution was in question, will always remain indispensable as an
introduction to the thorough study of the principles upon which our
federal government is based. The most recent edition is by
H.C. Lodge, N.Y., 1888. For the systematic and elaborate study of the
Constitution, see Foster's _References to the Constitution of the
United States_, a little pamphlet of 50 pages published by the
"Society for Political Education," 330 Pearl St., New York, 1890,
price 25 cents. The student who should pursue to the end the line of
research marked out in this pamphlet ought thereby to become quite an
authority on the subject.
For very pleasant and profitable reading, in connection with the
formation and interpretation of the Constitution, and the political
history of our country from 1763 to 1850, we have the "American
Statesmen Series," edited by J.T. Morse, and published by Houghton,
Mifflin & Co., Boston, 1882-90: _Benjamin Franklin_, by J.T.
Morse; _Patrick Henry_, by M.C. Tyler; _Samuel Adams_, by
J.K. Hosmer; _George Washington_, by H.C. Lodge, 2 vols.;
_John Adams and Thomas Jefferson_, by J.T. Morse; _Alexander
Hamilton_, by H.C. Lodge; _Gouverneur Morris_, by T. Roosevelt;
_James Madison_, by S.H. Gay; _James Monroe_ by D.C. Gilman;
_Albert Gallatin_, by J.A. Stevens; _John Randolph_, by H.
Adams; _John Jay_, by G. Pellew; _John Marshall_, by A.B.
Magruder; _John Quincy Adams_, by J.T. Morse; _John C. Calhoun_,
by H. von Holst; _Andrew Jackson_, by W.G. Sumner; _Martin Van
Buren_, by E.M. Shepard; _Henry Clay_, by C. Schurz, 2 vols.;
_Daniel Webster_, by H.C. Lodge; _Thomas H, Benton_, by T. Roosevelt.
In connection with the questions on page 269 relating to tariff,
currency, etc., references to some works on political economy are
needed. The arguments in favour of protectionism are set forth in
Bowen's _American Political Economy_, last ed., N.Y., 1870;
the arguments in favour of free trade are set forth in Perry's
_Political Economy_, 19th ed., N.Y., 1887; and for an able and
impartial historical survey, Taussig's _Tariff History of the United
States_, N.Y., 1888, may be recommended. For a lucid view of
currency, see Jevons's _Money and the Mechanism of Exchange_,
A useful work on the Australian method of voting is Wigmore's _The
Australian Ballot System_, 2d ed., Boston, 1890.
In connection with some of the questions on page 271, the student may
profitably consult Woolsey's _International Law_, 5th ed., N.Y.,
1879. NOTE TO PAGE 226.
By the act of February 3, 1887, the second Monday in January is fixed
for the meeting of the electoral colleges in all the states. The
provisions relating to the first Wednesday in January are repealed.
The interval between the second Monday in January and the second
Wednesday in February remains available for the settlement of disputed
NOTE TO PAGE 250.
In order to relieve the supreme court of the United States, which
had come to be overburdened with business, a new court, with limited
appellate jurisdiction, called the _circuit court of appeals_,
was organized in 1892. It consists primarily of nine _appeal
judges_, one for each of the nine circuits. For any given circuit
the supreme court justice of the circuit, the appeal judge of the
circuit, and the circuit judge constitute the court of appeal.
THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
_Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the States
of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
ARTICLE I.--The style of this Confederacy shall be, "The United States
ART. II.--Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and
independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not
by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in
ART. III.--The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league
of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security
of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding
themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or
attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion,
sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
ART. IV.--The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and
intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union,
the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and
fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges
and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people
of each State shall have free ingress and egress to and from any
other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and
commerce subject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as
the inhabitants thereof respectively; provided that such restrictions
shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported
into any State to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant;
provided also, that no imposition, duties, or restriction
shall be laid by any State on the property of the United States or
either of them. If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason,
felony, or other high misdemeanour in any State shall flee from
justice and be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon
demand of the governor or executive power of the State from which he
fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of
his offense. Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these
States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts
and magistrates of every other State.
ART. V.--For the more convenient management of the general interests
of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such
manner as the Legislature of each State shall direct, to meet in
Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power
reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at
any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the
remainder of the year. No State shall be represented in Congress by
less than two, nor by more than seven members; and no person shall be
capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term
of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of
holding any office under the United States for which he, or another
for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in any meeting of the
States and while they act as members of the Committee of the States.
In determining questions in the United States, in Congress assembled,
each State shall have one vote. Freedom of speech and debate in
Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place
out of Congress; and the members of Congress shall be protected in
their persons from arrests and imprisonment during the time of their
going to and from, and attendance on, Congress, except for treason,
felony, or breach of the peace.
ART. VI.--No State, without the consent of the United States, in
Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy
from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance, or treaty
with any king, prince, or state; nor shall any person holding any
office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them,
accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind
whatever from any king, prince, or foreign state; nor shall the United
States, in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of
No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation, or
alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United
States, in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for
which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.
No State shall lay any imposts or duties which may interfere with
any stipulations in treaties entered into by the United States, in
Congress assembled, with any king, prince, or state, in pursuance of
any treaties already proposed by Congress to the courts of France and
No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State,
except such number only as shall be deemed necessary by the United
States, in Congress assembled, for the defence of such State or its
trade, nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time
of peace, except such number only as, in the judgment of the United
States, in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison
the forts necessary for the defence of such State; but every State
shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia,
sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly
have ready for use in public stores a due number of field-pieces and
tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage.
No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the United
States, in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded
by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution
being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the
danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the United
States, in Congress assembled, can be consulted; nor shall any State
grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of
marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the
United States, in Congress assembled, and then only against the
kingdom or state, and the subjects thereof, against which war has been
so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the
United States, in Congress assembled, unless such State be infested
by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that
occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the
United States, in Congress assembled, shall determine otherwise.
ART. VII.--When land forces are raised by any State for the common
defence, all officers of or under the rank of Colonel shall be
appointed by the Legislature of each State respectively by whom such
forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct,
and all vacancies shall be filled up by the State which first made the
ART. VIII.--All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be
incurred for the common defence, or general welfare, and allowed by
the United States, in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of
a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States in
proportion to the value of all land within each State, granted to,
or surveyed for, any person, as such land and the buildings and
improvements thereon shall be estimated, according to such mode as the
United States, in Congress assembled, shall, from time to time, direct
and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and
levied by the authority and direction of the Legislatures of the
several States, within the time agreed upon by the United States, in
ART. IX.--The United States, in Congress assembled, shall have the
sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war,
except in the cases mentioned in the sixth Article; of sending and
receiving ambassadors; entering into treaties and alliances, provided
that no treaty of commerce shall be made, whereby the legislative
power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such
imposts and duties on foreigners as their own people are subjected to,
or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of
goods or commodities whatever; of establishing rules for deciding, in
all cases, what captures on land and water shall be legal, and in what
manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the
United States shall be divided or appropriated; of granting letters of
marque and reprisal in times of peace; appointing courts for the trial
of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas; and establishing
courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of
captures; provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed a
judge of any of the said courts.
The United States, in Congress assembled, shall also be the last
resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting,
or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning
boundary jurisdiction, or any other cause whatever; which authority
shall always be exercised in the manner following: Whenever the
legislative or executive authority, or lawful agent of any State in
controversy with another, shall present a petition to Congress,
stating the matter in question, and praying for a hearing, notice
thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the legislative or
executive authority of the other State in controversy, and a day
assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents,
who shall then be directed to appoint, by joint consent,
commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing and
determining the matter in question; but if they cannot agree, Congress
shall name three persons out of each of the United States, and from
the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out
one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to
thirteen; and from that number not less than seven nor more than nine
names, as Congress shall direct, shall, in the presence of Congress,
be drawn out by lot; and the persons whose names shall be so drawn,
or any five of them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and
finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the
judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination; and
if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without
showing reasons which Congress shall judge sufficient, or being
present, shall refuse to strike, the Congress shall proceed to
nominate three persons out of each State, and the secretary of
Congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing; and
the judgment and sentence of the court, to be appointed in the manner
before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the
parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to
appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless
proceed to pronounce sentence or judgment, which shall in like manner
be final and decisive; the judgment or sentence and other proceedings
being in either case transmitted to Congress, and lodged among the
acts of Congress for the security of the parties concerned; provided,
that every commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an
oath, to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or
superior court of the State where the cause shall be tried, "well and
truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according to the
best of his judgment, without favour, affection, or hope of reward."
Provided, also, that no State shall be deprived of territory for the
benefit of the United States.
All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under
different grants of two or more States, whose jurisdictions, as they
may respect such lands, and the States which passed such grants are
adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same
time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of
jurisdiction, shall, on the petition of either party to the Congress
of the United States, be finally determined, as near as may be, in the
same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting
territorial jurisdiction between different States.
The United States, in Congress assembled, shall also have the sole and
exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin
struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States;
fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the United
States; regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the
Indians, not members of any of the States; provided that the
legislative right of any State, within its own limits, be not
infringed or violated; establishing and regulating post-offices from
one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting
such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be
requisite to defray the expenses of the said office; appointing all
officers of the land forces in the service of the United States,
excepting regimental officers; appointing all the officers of the
naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service
of the United States; making rules for the government and regulation
of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.
The United States, in Congress assembled, shall have authority
to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be
denominated "A Committee of the States," and to consist of one
delegate from each State, and to appoint such other committees and
civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs
of the United States under their direction; to appoint one of their
number to preside; provided that no person be allowed to serve in the
office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to
ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of
the United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying
the public expenses; to borrow money or emit bills on the credit of
the United States, transmitting every half year to the respective
States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted; to
build and equip a navy; to agree upon the number of land forces, and
to make requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to
the number of white inhabitants in such State, which requisition shall
be binding; and thereupon the Legislature of each State shall
appoint the regimental officers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and
equip them in a soldier-like manner, at the expense of the United
States; and the officers and men so clothed, armed, and equipped shall
march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the
United States, in Congress assembled; but if the United States, in
Congress assembled, shall, on consideration of circumstances, judge
proper that any State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller
number than its quota, and that any other State should raise a greater
number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be
raised, officered, clothed, armed, and equipped in the same manner as
the quota of such State, unless the Legislature of such State shall
judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the same,
in which case they shall raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip as
many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared, and the
officers and men so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the
place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States,
in Congress assembled.
The United States, in Congress assembled, shall never engage in a war,
nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter
into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value
thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defense
and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit hills,
nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate
money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or
purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor
appoint a commander-in-chief of the army or navy, unless nine States
assent to the same, nor shall a question on any other point, except
for adjourning from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of
a majority of the United States, in Congress assembled.
The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any
time within the year, and to any place within the United States, so
that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space
of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings
monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or
military operations as in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas
and nays of the delegates of each State, ion any question, shall be
entered on the journal when it is desired by any delegate; and the
delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or their request, shall
be furnished with a transcript of the said journal except such parts
as are above excepted, to lay before the Legislatures of the several
Art. X.--The Committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be
authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers
of Congress as the United States, in Congress assembled, by the
consent of nine States, shall, from time to time, think expedient
to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the
said Committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of
Confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United
States assembled is requisite.
Art. XI.--Canada, acceding to this Confederation, and joining in the
measures of the United States, shall he admitted into, and entitled
to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be
admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine
Art. XII.--All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, and debts
contracted by or under the authority of Congress, before the
assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present
Confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the
United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United
States and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.
Art. XIII.--Every State shall abide by the determinations of the
United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by
this Confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this
Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the
Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time
hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to
in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the
Legislatures of every State.
And whereas it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline
the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in Congress
to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify, the said Articles of
Confederation and perpetual Union, know ye, that we, the undersigned
delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that
purpose, do, by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our
respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each
and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union,
and all and singular the matters and things therein contained. And
we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective
constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the
United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by the
said Confederation are submitted to them; and that the Articles
thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively
represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual.
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at
Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, and in
the third year of the independence of America.
* * * * *
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
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 oar posterity, do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
ARTICLE I. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.
[Footnote 1: Compare this Preamble with Confed. Art. I. and III.]
[Footnote 2: Compare Art. I. Sections i.-vii. with Confed. Art. V.]
_Section I. Congress in General._
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress
of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of
_Section II. House of Representatives._
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 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 choose 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
5. The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other
officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
_Section III. Senate._
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 choose 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 IV. Both Houses._
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 choosing 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 V. The Houses Separately._
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 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 VI. Privileges and Disabilities of Members._
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 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.
_Section VII. Mode of Passing Laws._
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 VIII. Powers granted to Congress._
[Footnote 3: Compare Sections viii. and ix. with Confed. Art. IX.;
clause 1 of Section viii with Confed. Art. VIII; and clause 12 of
Section viii. with Confed. Art. VII.]
The Congress shall have, power:
1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the
debts and provide for the common defense 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 offenses 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
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, dockyards, and other needful buildings;
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.
[Footnote 4: This is the Elastic Clause in the interpretation of which
arose the original and fundamental division of political parties.
See above, pp. 245, 259.]
_Section IX. Powers denied to the United States._
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
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 hereinbefore 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
_Section X. Powers denied to the States._
[Footnote 5: Compare Section X with Confed. Art. VI]
1. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation;
grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of
credit; make anything 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 Congress, lay any imposts or
duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary
for executing its 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 control 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.
ARTICLE II. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
[Footnote 6: Compare Art. II. with Confed. Art. X.]
_Section I. President and Vice-President_.
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
3. 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 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 choose 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 choose
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. In every case, after the choice of the
President, the person 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 choose from them by
ballot the Vice-President. 
[Footnote 7: This clause of the Constitution has been amended. See
Amendments, Art. XII.]
4. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors and
the day on which they shall give their votes, which day shall be the
same throughout the United States.
5. 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
6. 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.
7. The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a
compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during
the period for which he may have been elected, and he shall not
receive within that period any other emolument from the United States
or any of them.
8. 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 defend the Constitution of the United
_Section II. Powers of the President._
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 offenses against the United States, except in cases of
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
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 expire at the end of their next session.
_Section III. Duties of the President._
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 IV. Impeachment._
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.
ARTICLE III. JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.
[Footnote 8: Compare Art. III. with the first three paragraphs of
Confed. Art. IX.]
_Section I. United States Courts._
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 behaviour, and
shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation
which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
_Section II. Jurisdiction of the United States Courts._
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 he 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 of 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.
[Footnote 9: This clause has been amended. See Amendments, Art. XI.]
2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and
consuls, and those in which a State shall be a 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 III. Treason._
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
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.
ARTICLE IV. THE STATES AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
[Footnote 10: Compare Art. IV. with Confed. Art. IV.]
_Section I. State Records._
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 II. Privileges of Citizens, etc._
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
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.
[Footnote 11: This clause has been cancelled by Amendment XIII., which
_Section III. New States and Territories._
[Footnote 12: Compare section iii. with Confed. Art. XI.]
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 IV. Guarantee to the States._
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.
ARTICLE V. POWER OF AMENDMENT.
[Footnote 13: Compare Art. V. with Confed. Art. XIII.]
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 amendments 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.
ARTICLE VI. PUBLIC DEBT, SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION, OATH OF
OFFICE, RELIGIOUS TEST.
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.
[Footnote 14: Compare clause I with Confed. Art. XII.]
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,
anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary
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.
[Footnote 15: Compare clauses 2 and 3 with Confed. Art. XIII. and
addendum, "And whereas," etc.]
ARTICLE VII. RATIFICATION 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
[Footnote 16: Rhode Island sent no delegates to the Federal
George Washington, President, and Deputy from VIRGINIA.
NEW HAMPSHIRE--John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman.
MASSACHUSETTS--Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King.
CONNECTICUT--William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman.
NEW YORK--Alexander Hamilton.
NEW JERSEY--William Livingston, David Brearly, William
Patterson, Jonathan Dayton.
PENNSYLVANIA--Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert
Morris, George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Jared Ingersoll,
James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris.
DELAWARE--George Read, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dickinson,
Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom.
MARYLAND--James McHenry, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer,
VIRGINIA--John Blair, James Madison, Jr.
NORTH CAROLINA--William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight,
SOUTH CAROLINA--John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney,
Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler.
GEORGIA--William Few, Abraham Baldwin.
Attest: William Jackson, Secretary.
* * * * *
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 grievances.
[Footnote 17: Amendments I. to X. were proposed by Congress, Sept. 25,
1789, and declared in force Dec. 15, 1791.]
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
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; nor 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
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 reexamined 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.
1. 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 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 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.
[Footnote 18: Compare Amendment X. with Confed. Art. II.]
[Footnote 19: Proposed by Congress March 5, 1794, and declared in force
Jan, 8, 1798.]
[Footnote 20: Proposed by Congress Dec. 12, 1803, and declared in force
Sept. 25, 1804.]
2. 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.
3. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of
President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United
1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment
for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall
exist within the United States or any place subject to their
2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
[Footnote 21: Proposed by Congress Feb. 1, 1865, and declared in force
Dec. 18, 1865.]
[Footnote 22: Proposed by Congress June 16, 1866, and declared in force
July 28, 1868.] 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.
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
S. 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.
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.
5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate
legislation, the provisions of this article. ARTICLE XV. 
[Footnote 23: Proposed by Congress Feb. 26, 1869, and declared in force
March 30, 1870.]
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, colour, or previous condition of servitude.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
* * * * *
FRANKLIN'S SPEECH ON THE LAST DAY OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 
[Footnote 24: From Madison's _Journal_, in Eliot's _Debates_,
vol. v. p. 554.]
MONDAY, _September_ 17. _In Convention_--The engrossed
Constitution being read, Doctor Franklin rose with a speech in his
hand, which he had reduced to writing for his own convenience, and
which Mr. Wilson read in the words following:
MR. PRESIDENT: I confess that there are several parts of this
Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I
shall never approve them. For, having lived long, I have experienced
many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller
consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects which I
once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that, the
older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay
more respect to the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as
most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and
that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele, a
Protestant, in a dedication tells the Pope that the only difference
between our churches, in their opinions of the certainty of their
doctrines, is, 'the Church of Rome is infallible, and the Church of
England is never in the wrong.' But though many private persons think
almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect,
few express it so naturally as a certain French lady who, in a dispute
with her sister, said, 'I don't know how it happens, sister, but I meet
with nobody but myself that is always in the right--_il n'y a que moi
qui a toujours raison.' In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this
Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such, because I think a
General Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government
but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and
believe further, that this is likely to be well administered for a
course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done
before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic
government, being incapable of any other. I doubt, too, whether any
other Convention we can obtain may be able to make a better
Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the
advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men
all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their
local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a
perfect production be expected? It, therefore, astonishes me, sir, to
find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does: and I
think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to
hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of
Babel, and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet
hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus I
consent, sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and
because I am not sure that it is not the best. The opinions I have had
of its errors I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a
syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born and here they
shall die. If every one of us, in returning to our constituents, were to
report the objections he has had to it, and endeavour to gain partisans
in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and
thereby lose all the salutary effects and great advantages resulting
naturally in our favour among foreign nations as well as among
ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength and
efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the
people, depends on opinion--on the general opinion of the goodness of
the government as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its governors.
I hope, therefore, that for our own sakes, as a part of the people, and
for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in
recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress and confirmed by
the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future
thoughts and endeavours to the means of having it well administered. On
the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the
Convention who may still have objections to it would, with me, on this
occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest
our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.
He then moved that the Constitution be signed by the members, and
offered the following as a convenient form, viz.: "Done in Convention
by the unanimous consent of _the States_ present the seventeenth
of September, etc. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed
our names." This ambiguous form had been drawn up by Mr. Gouverneur
Morris, in order to gain the dissenting members, and put into the
hands of Doctor Franklin, that it might have the better chance of
success. [Considerable discussion followed, Randolph and Gerry stating
their reasons for refusing to sign the Constitution. Mr. Hamilton
expressed his anxiety that every member should sign. A few characters
of consequence, he said, by opposing or even refusing to sign the
Constitution, might do infinite mischief by kindling the latent sparks
that lurk under an enthusiasm in favour of the Convention which may
soon subside. No man's ideas were more remote from the plan than his
own were known to be; but is it possible to deliberate between anarchy
and convulsion on one side, and the chance of good to be expected from
the plan on the other? This discussion concluded, the Convention voted
that its journal and other papers should be retained by the President,
subject to the order of Congress.] The members then proceeded to sign
the Constitution as finally amended. The Constitution being signed by
all the members except Mr. Randolph, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Gerry, who
declined giving it the sanction of their names, the Convention
dissolved itself by an adjournment sine die.
Whilst the last members were signing, Doctor Franklin, looking towards
the President's chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to
be painted, observed to a few members near him that painters had found
it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun.
I have, said he, often and often, in the course of the session, and
the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that
behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising
or setting; but now, at length, I have the happiness to know that it
is a rising, and not a setting, sun.
[Footnote 25: I have, by permission, reproduced the _Old South
Leaflet_, with its notes, etc., in full.]
OR THE GREAT CHARTER OF KING JOHN, GRANTED JUNE 15, A.D. 1215.
JOHN, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Date of
Normandy, Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his Archbishops, Bishops,
Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Foresters, Sheriffs, Governors,
Officers, and to all Bailiffs, and his faithful subjects, greeting.
Know ye, that we, in the presence of God, and for the salvation of
our soul, and the souls of all our ancestors and heirs, and unto the
honour of God and the advancement of Holy Church, and amendment of
our Realm, by advice of our venerable Fathers, Stephen, Archbishop
of Canterbury, Primate of all England and Cardinal of the Holy Roman
Church: Henry, Archbishop of Dublin; William, of London; Peter, of
Winchester; Jocelin of Bath and Glastonbury; Hugh, of Lincoln; Walter,
of Worcester; William, of Coventry: Benedict, of Rochester--Bishops:
of Master Pandulph, Sub-Deacon and Familiar of our Lord the Pope;
Brother Aymeric, Master of the Knights-Templars in England; and of the
noble Persons, William Marescall, Earl of Pembroke; William, Earl of
Salisbury; William, Earl of Warren; William, Earl of Arundel; Alan de
Galloway, Constable of Scotland; Warin FitzGerald, Peter FitzHerbert,
and Hubert de Burgh, Seneschal of Poitou; Hugh de Neville, Matthew
FitzHerbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip of Albiney, Robert
de Roppell, John Mareschal, John FitzHugh, and others, our liegemen,
have, in the first place, granted to God, and by this our present
Charter confirmed, for us and our heirs for ever:--
1. That the Church of England shall be free, and have her whole rights,
and her liberties inviolable; and we will have them so observed, that it
may appear thence that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned chief
and indispensable to the English Church, and which we granted and
confirmed by our Charter, and obtained the confirmation of the same from
our Lord the Pope Innocent III., before the discord between us and our
barons, was granted of mere free will; which Charter we shall observe,
and we do will it to be faithfully observed by our heirs for ever.
2. We also have granted to all the freemen of our kingdom, for us and
for our heirs for ever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and
holden by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs for ever: If
any of our earls, or barons, or others, who hold of us in chief by