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CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Printed by authority of Resolves of the Legislature, 1856.
There have been four “ Constitutional Conventions ” in the history of Massachusetts. The first was that which formed the State Constitution in 1779–80; the second was that which adopted and ratified the Constitution of the United States in 1788; the third was held in 1820–21, and proposed fourteen Articles of Amendment to the State Constitution, of which nine were adopted by the people; the fourth was held in 1853, and proposed a new State Constitution which was not adopted by the people.
The Journal of the first Convention was printed by order of the legislature in 1832, on the recommendation of the Joint Committee on the Library, of which the late Hon. Alexander H. Everett was chairman.
The proceedings of the second Convention were of great importance, and were so regarded throughout the country at the time. It is quite certain that if Massachusetts had refused her assent to the Constitution of the United States, that well-devised scheme of government, the careful work of the patriots and statesmen of the last century, under which the nation has enjoyed so large a degree of prosperity, would have failed. There is ample evidence of this in the letters which are printed at the end of this volume.