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GUNNING BEDFORD, Junior,
DANIEL JENIFER, of St. Thomas,
JAMES MADISON, Junior.
RICHARD DOBBS SPAIGHT,
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY,
WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary.
MONDAY, September 17, 1787.
PRESENT, The States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mr. Hamilton from New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Resolved, That the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the opinion of this convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification; and that each convention assenting to, and ratifying the same should give notice thereof to the United States in Congress assembled.
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this convention, that as soon as the conventions of nine States shall have ratified this Constitution, the United States in Congresss assembled should fix a day on which electors should be appointed by the States which shall have ratified the same, and a day on which the electors should assemble to vote for the President, and the time and place for commencing proceedings under this Constitution; that after such publication the
electors should be appointed, and the senators and representatives elected ; that the electors should meet on the day fixed for the election of the President, and should transmit their votes certified, signed, sealed, and directed, as the Constitution requires, to the secretary of the United States in Congress assembled; that the senators and representatives should convene at the time and place assigned; that the senators should appoint a president of the Senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening, and counting the votes for President; and that after he shall be chosen, the Congress, together with the President, should without delay proceed to execute this Constitution.
By the unanimous order of the convention.
WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, President.
September 17, 1787.
SIR: We have now the honor to submit to the consideration of the United States in Congress assembled, that Constitution which has appeared to us the most advisable. The friends of our country have long seen and desired, that the power of making war, peace, and treaties, of levying money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities, should be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the Union; but the impropriety of delegating such extensive trusts to one body of men is evident. Hence results the necessity of a different organization. It is obviously impracticable, in the federal government of the States, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstances as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on the present occasion this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.
In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each State in the convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the Constitution, which we now present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.
That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not perhaps to be expected; but each will doubtless consider, that had her interest alone been consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably
have been expected, we hope and believe; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish. With great respect, we have the honor to be, sir, your Excellency's most obedient and humble servants :
By unanimous order of the convention. GEO. WASHINGTON, President. His Excellency the President of Congress.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.
The first ten amendments were proposed in Congress during its first session, and on the 15th of December, 1791, were ratified. The eleventh amendment was proposed during the first session of the third Congress, and was announced by the President of the United States in a message to it, of date January 8th, 1798, as having been ratified. The twelfth amendment originated with Hamilton,* and was proposed during the first session of the eighth Congress, and was adopted in 1804.
ARTICLE THE FIRST.
Congress shall make no law respecting the 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.
ARTICLE THE SECOND.
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.
ARTICLE THE THIRD.
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 the manner prescribed by law.
ARTICLE THE FOURTH.
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.
ARTICLE THE FIFTH.
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 *Hist. Rep., VII., 566.
be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be 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.
ARTICLE THE SIXTH.
In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right of 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 defence.
ARTICLE THE SEVENTH.
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 reëxamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.
ARTICLE THE EIGHTH.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
ARTICLE THE NINTH.
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
ARTICLE THE TENTH.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
ARTICLE THE ELEVENTH.
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.
ARTICLE THE TWELFTH.
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 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 the House of Rep
resentatives, 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 Representative shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two thirds of the whole number of senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.
But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shail be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
The following amendment was ratified by Alabama, December 2, 1865, which filled the requisite complement of ratifying States, and was certified by the Secretary of State to have become valid as a part of the Constitution of the United States, December 18, 1865.
ARTICLE THE THIRTEENTH.
SECT. I. 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 jurisdiction.
SECT. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The following amendment was certified by the Secretary of State to have become valid as a part of the Constitution of the United States, July 28, 1868.
ARTICLE THE FOURTEENTH.
SECT. I. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States 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