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1. New states may be admitted by the congress into this New states may union; but no new state shall be formed or erected within to the union, 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 Congress to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the terri- over territory tory 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 particu lar state.


form of gov.
to each

1. The United States shall guaranty to every state in Republican this union a republican form of government, and shall ernment guar protect each of them against invasion; and on application state, &c. of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature can not be convened,) against domestic violence.


1. The congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses Mode of amending shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution. constitution; or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the congress; provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article: and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the senate.


Assumption of

1. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, former debts. before the adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this constitution, as under the confederation.

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2. This constitution, and the laws of the United States This constitu which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties supreme lage made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the bound thereby. United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and

tion, &c., the the state judges

the judges in every state shall be bound thereby; anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Certain officers

to take oath to


3. The senators and representatives before mentioned, support consti- 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.

No religious test.



1. The ratification of the conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution between the states so ratifying the same.

Done in convention, by the unanimous consent of the states present, the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the independence of the United States of America, the twelfth. In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names.


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[The following extract from the journals of congress, shows the adopon of the constitution, and the time when it took effect.]



On the question to agree to the following proposition, it was resolved in the affirmative by the unanimous votes of nine states, viz., of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

tion declared to be ratified.

Whereas the convention assembled in Philadelphia, pur- The constitu suant to the resolution of congress of the 21st February, 1787, did, on the 17th of September in the same year, report to the United States in congress assembled, a constitution for the people of the United States; whereupon congress, on the 28th of the same September, did resolve unanimously, "that the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several legislatures, in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each state by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the convention made and provided in that case:" and whereas the constitution so reported by the convention, and by congress transmitted to the several legislatures, has been ratified in the manner therein declared to be sufficient for the establishment of the same, and such ratifications duly authenticated have been received by congress, and are filed in the office of the secretary; therefore,

into operation March 1780.

Resolved, That the first Wednesday in January next be the day for Federal gov appointing electors in the several states, which before the said day shall ernment to go have ratified the said constitution; that the first Wednesday in Febru- on the 4th of ary next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective states, and vote for a president; and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time, and the present seat of congress the place, for commencing proceedings under the said constitution.

Restrictions on the powers of congress,

Right of the people to keep arms, &c,


[The following amendments were proposed at the first session of the first congress of the United States, which was begun and held in the city of New York, on the 4th of March, 1789, and were adopted by the requisite number of states. 1 vol., Laws U. S., p. 72.]

[The following preamble and resolution preceded the original proposition of the amendments, and as they have been supposed by a high equity judge, (8th Wendell's Reports, p. 100,) to have an important bearing on the construction of those amendments, they are here inserted. They will be found in the journals of the first session of the first congress.


Begun and held at the city of New York on Wednesday the 4th of
March, 1789.

The conventions of a number of states having, at the time of their adopting the constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution,

Resolved, By the senate and house of representatives of the United States of America in congress assembled, two-thirds of both houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the legislatures of the several states, as amendments to the constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said constitution, namely:]


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.


A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


soldiers, &c.

Quartering of 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.

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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, Search war houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches rants, &c. 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."


charged with

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other- Proceedings wise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment against persona of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval crimes. 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 offense 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 compensa

Their rights.



In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the Further rights, 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 favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


In suits at common law, where the value in controversy Right of trial shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall by jury. 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 Excessive bail, imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.



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

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