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For imposing taxes upon us, without our consent ;
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies ;
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering, fundamentally, the forms of our government;
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by decl: ring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns and destroyed the lives of our people.
lle is, at this time, transporting large armics of foreign mercenaries, to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already began with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrection amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, scxes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connexions ard correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounccs our separation, and hold them, as wo hold the rest of mankind---enemies ir war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States ; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Objects of the Constitution.
II. Executive Power.
V. How the Constitution may be amended.
States, and oath required of Public Officers.
to assemble and Petition.
V. Rights of Persons charged with Crimes, and of Private Property.
viduals against one of the States.
PREAMBLE. WE, the People of the United States, in order to form a more Preamble. perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do
ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.
Legislative powers vested in Congress.
SECTION I. 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
House of ropre. sentatives how composed.
Qualificntions of a representative,
Apportionment of representatives
SECTION II. 1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members, chosen every second year, by the People of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State ia which he shall be chosen.
3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among and direct taxes. the several States which may be included within this Union, ac
cording 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 vacancies.
5. The house of representatives shall choose their speaker and
other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment. Impeachment.
Vacancies to be filled
ITouse of rgpresentatives to choose their own officers.
1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two
senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for senote how comsix years; and each senator shall have one vote.
2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence How classified. 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 resig- of temporary nation, 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 Qualifications of 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 Vice prasident to of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.
5. The Senate shall choose their other officers, and, also, a tem. and other President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or chosen. when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.
6. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeach- Powertentry inments. 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 Effect of judgthan to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 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.
officers may be
ment such cases.
of members of
SECTION IV. 1. The times, places and manner of holding elections for sen- Times places and ators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State, by Congresso 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, st s roast. and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.