[House Document 108-96]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



From the House Documents Online via GPO Access
[wais.access.gpo.gov]


. 
                        POCKET CONSTITUTION

                     108th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION / 
                   [Star Print]  HOUSE DOCUMENT 108-96 


                   The Declaration of Independence 
                   was the promise; the 
                   Constitution was the fulfillment. 





                   "The sacred rights of mankind 
                   are not to be rummaged for, 
                   among old parchments, or musty 
                   records. They are written, as 
                   with a sun beam in the whole 
                   volume of human nature, by the 
                   hand of the divinity itself; and 
                   can never be erased or obscured 
                   by mortal power.'' 

                               Alexander Hamilton, 1775 

----------------------------------------------------------------------- 
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing  
                                Office 
Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (202) 512-1800; DC area  
                           (202) 512-1800 
Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001 




                             The CONSTITUTION 
                           of the United States 
                             with Index and 
                      The Declaration of Independence 


                           First Edition, 1986 
                          Second Edition, 1987 
                    Third Edition (with index), 1987 
                          Fourth Edition, 1988 
                          Fifth Edition, 1988 
                          Sixth Edition, 1988 
             Seventh (Special Limited Inaugural) Edition, 1989 
                  Eighth (Special Military) Edition, 1989 
               Ninth (Limited Eastern European) Edition, 1990 
                  Tenth (Special Boy Scout) Edition, 1990 
                Eleventh (Special Girl Scout) Edition, 1990 
         Twelfth Edition (with Declaration of Independence), 1990 
                         Thirteenth Edition, 1991 
         Fourteenth (HMS Rose/Bill of Rights Tour) Edition, 1991 
                          Fifteenth Edition, 1991 
                 Sixteenth (Seville Expo '92) Edition, 1992 
          Seventeenth (Seville Expo '92, Spanish) Edition, 1992 
                 Eighteenth (with Twenty-Seventh Amendment) 
                              Edition, 1992 
                         Nineteenth (Reprint) 1997 
                         Twentieth (Reprint) 2000 
                       Twenty-First (Reprint) 2003 



                        CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED 
                                   STATES 
               We the People of the United States, in Order 
           to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure 
           domestic Tranquility, provide for the common 
           defence, 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. 


                                  Article. I. 

               Section. 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. 
               Section. 2. 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. 
               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 in which he shall be chosen. 
               [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 

         *Changed by section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

           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 chuse 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. 
               When vacancies happen in the Representation 
           from any State, the Executive Authority thereof 
           shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies. 
           The House of Representatives shall chuse their 
           Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole 
           Power of Impeachment. 


               Section. 3. 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. 
               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 


*Changed by the Seventeenth Amendment. 

           Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill 
           such Vacancies.]* 
               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. 
           The Vice President of the United States shall be 
           President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, 
           unless they be equally divided. 
               The Senate shall chuse 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. 
           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. 
               Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not 
           extend further than 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. 

               Section. 4. 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 chusing Senators. 
               The Congress shall assemble at least once in 
           every Year, and such Meeting shall be [on the first 


*Changed by the Seventeenth Amendment. 

           Monday in December,]* unless they shall by Law 
           appoint a different Day. 
               Section. 5. 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. 
               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. 
               Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, 
           and from time 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. 
               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. 6. 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. 
               No Senator or Representative shall, during the 
           Time for which he was elected, be appointed to 

*Changed by section 2 of the Twentieth Amendment. 


           any civil Office under the Authority of the United 
           States, which shall have been created, or the 
           Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased 
           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. 7. 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. 
               Every Bill which shall have passed the House 
           of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it 
           becomes 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. 
               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. 8. The Congress shall have Power To 
           lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, 
           to pay the Debts and provide for the common 
           Defence and general Welfare of the United States; 
           but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform 
           throughout the United States; 
               To borrow Money on the credit of the United 
           States; 
               To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, 
           and among the several States, and with the Indian 
           Tribes; 
               To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, 
           and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies 
           throughout the United States; 
               To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and 
           of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights 
           and Measures; 
               To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting 
           the Securities and current Coin of the United 
           States; 
               To establish Post Offices and post Roads; 
           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; 
               To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme 
           Court; 
               To define and punish Piracies and Felonies 
           committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against 
           the Law of Nations; 
               To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and 
           Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on 
           Land and Water; 

               To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation 
           of Money to that Use shall be for a longer 
           Term than two Years; 
               To provide and maintain a Navy; 
               To make Rules for the Government and Regulation 
           of the land and naval Forces; 
               To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute 
           the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections 
           and repel Invasions; 
               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; 
               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, dock-Yards and other 
           needful Buildings;-And 
               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. 
               Section. 9. 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. 

               The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus  
           shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of  
           Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require  
           it.  
               No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall  
           be passed.  
               No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid,  
           unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration  
           herein before directed to be taken.*  
               No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported  
           from any State.  
               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.  
               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. 
               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 State. 
               Section. 10. No State shall enter into any 
           Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of 
           Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of 
           Credit; make any Thing 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. 
               No State shall, without the Consent of the 
           Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports 
           or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary 
           for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net 
           Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State 

           *See Sixteenth Amendment. 
           
           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 Controul of the 
           Congress. 
               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. 

               Section. 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 
           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 an Elector. 
               [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 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 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 chuse 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 chuse the 
           President. But in chusing the President, the Votes 
           shall be taken by States, the Representation from 
           each State having one Vote; Aquorum 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 chuse from them by Ballot the Vice 
           President.]* 
               The Congress may determine the Time of 
           chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they 
           shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same 
           throughout the United States. 
               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 United States. 
               [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 

           *Changed by the Twelfth Amendment. 

           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.]* 
               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 shall have been elected, and he shall not 
           receive within that Period any other Emolument 
           from the United States, or any of them. 
               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 
           States." 
               Section. 2. 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 Impeachment. 
               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 

           *Changed by the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. 

           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 of Departments. 
               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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 

               Section. 1. 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. 2. 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 be 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.]* 
               In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public 
           Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a 
           State shall be 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. 
               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. 3. 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 open Court. 
               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. 

           *Changed by the Eleventh Amendment. 

                               Article. IV. 

               Section. 1. 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. 2. The Citizens of each State shall be 
           entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens 
           in the several States. 
               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 Crime. 
               [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.]* 
               Section. 3. 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. 
               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 

           *Changed by the Thirteenth Amendment. 

           Claims of the United States, or of any particular 
           State. 
               Section. 4. 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. 

               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 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 it's equal Suffrage in the 
           Senate. 

                                 Article. VI. 

               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. 
               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, any Thing in 
           the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary 
           notwithstanding. 
               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. 


                                 Article. VII. 

               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, 

                            G. Washington-Presid. 
                          and deputy from Virginia 

           New Hampshire              John Langdon 
                                      Nicholas Gilman 

           Massachusett s             Nathaniel Gorham 
                                      Rufus King 

           Connecticut                Wm. Saml. Johnson 
                                      Roger Sherman 

           New York                   Alexander Hamilton 

           New Jersey                 Wil: Livingston 
                                      David Brearley 
                                      Wm. Paterson 
                                      Jona: Dayton 

           Pennsylvania               B Franklin 
                                      Thomas Mifflin 
                                      Robt Morris 
                                      Geo. Clymer 
                                      Thos. FitzSimons 
                                      Jared Ingersoll 
                                      James Wilson 
                                      Gouv Morris 

           Delaware                   Geo: Read 
                                      Gunning Bedford jun 
                                      John Dickinson 
                                      Richard Bassett 
                                      Jaco: Broom 

           Maryland                   James McHenry 
                                      Dan of St Thos. Jenifer 
                                      Danl Carroll 

           Virginia                   John Blair- 
                                      James Madison Jr. 

           North Carolina             Wm. Blount 
                                      Richd. Dobbs Spaight 
                                      Hu Williamson 

           South Carolina             J. Rutledge 
                                      Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 
                                      Charles Pinckney 
                                      Pierce Butler 

           Georgia                    William Few 
                                      Abr Baldwin 

                  Attest William Jackson Secretary 



                             In Convention Monday 
                             September 17th 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 preceeding 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 Congress 
           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 
                                 G. WASHINGTON-Presid. 
           W. JACKSON Secretary. 


                      *Congress OF THE United States 

                   begun and held at the City of New-York, 
                      on Wednesday the fourth of March, 
                 one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine 

               THE Conventions of a number of the 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 
           ensure 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; viz.t. 
               ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of 
           the Constitution of the United States of America, 
           proposed by Congress, and ratified by the 
           Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the 
           fifth Article of the original Constitution. . . . 

                   FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG 
                   Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
                   JOHN ADAMS, Vice-President of the United States, 
                                      and President of the Senate. 
           ATTEST, 
           JOHN BECKLEY, Clerk of the House of Representatives. 
           SAM. A. OTIS, Secretary of the Senate. 

           * On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the 
           state legislatures twelve proposed amendments, two of 
           which, having to do with Congressional representation 
           and Congressional pay, were not adopted. The 
           remaining ten amendments became the Bill of Rights. 

                               AMENDMENTS 
                          TO THE CONSTITUTION 
                                 OF THE 
                        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 


                             Amendment I.* 

           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. 

                             Amendment II. 

               Awell 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. 

                             Amendment III. 

               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 first ten Amendments (Bill of Rights) were ratified 
           effective December 15, 1791. 

                              Amendment IV. 

               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. 

                              Amendment V. 

               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. 

                              Amendment VI. 

                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 favor, and to have the 
           assistance of counsel for his defence. 

                               Amendment VII. 

               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 re-examined in any 
           Court of the United States, than according to the 
           rules of the common law. 

                               Amendment VIII. 

               Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive 
           fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments 
           inflicted. 

                               Amendment IX. 

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

                               Amendment X. 

               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. 

                               Amendment XI.* 

               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 Eleventh Amendment was ratified February 7, 1795. 

           the United States by Citizens of another State, or 
           by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State. 

                               Amendment XII.* 

               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--]* 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 shall 
           be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United 
           States. 

                            Amendment XIII.** 

               Section 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 jurisdiction. 
               Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce 
           this article by appropriate legislation. 

                            Amendment XIV.*** 

               Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in 
           the United States and 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 

           * Superseded by section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment. 
           ** The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified December 6, 
           1865. 
           *** The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified July 9, 1868. 

           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. 
               Section 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 State. 
               Section 3. 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. 
               Section 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. 
               Section 5. The Congress shall have power to 
           enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions 
           of this article. 

                             Amendment XV.* 

               Section 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, color, or previous condition of servitude. 
               Section 2. The Congress shall have power to 
           enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

                             Amendment XVI.** 

               The Congress shall have power to lay and collect 
           taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, 
           without apportionment among the several 
           States, and without regard to any census or 
           enumeration. 

                             Amendment XVII.*** 

               The Senate of the United States shall be composed 
           of two Senators from each State, elected by 
           the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator 
           shall have one vote. The electors in each State 
           shall have the qualifications requisite for electors 

           * The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified February 3, 1870. 
           ** The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified February 3, 1913. 
           *** The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified April 8, 1913. 

           of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. 
               When vacancies happen in the representation 
           of any State in the Senate, the executive authority 
           of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such 
           vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State 
           may empower the executive thereof to make temporary 
           appointments until the people fill the 
           vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. 
               This amendment shall not be so construed as 
           to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen 
           before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. 

                            Amendment XVIII.* 

               [Section 1. After one year from the ratification 
           of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation 
           of intoxicating liquors within, the importation 
           thereof into, or the exportation thereof from 
           the United States and all territory subject to the 
           jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby 
           prohibited. 
               Section 2. The Congress and the several States 
           shall have concurrent power to enforce this article 
           by appropriate legislation. 
               Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless 
           it shall have been ratified as an amendment 
           to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several 
           States, as provided in the Constitution, within 
           seven years from the date of the submission hereof 
           to the States by the Congress.] 

           *The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified January 16, 
           1919. It was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment, 
           December 5, 1933. 

                            Amendment XIX.* 

               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 sex. 
               Congress shall have power to enforce this 
           article by appropriate legislation. 

                            Amendment XX.** 

               Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice 
           President shall end at noon on the 20th day of 
           January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives 
           at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years 
           in which such terms would have ended if this article 
           had not been ratified; and the terms of their 
           successors shall then begin. 
               Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least 
           once in every year, and such meeting shall begin 
           at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall 
           by law appoint a different day. 
               Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning 
           of the term of the President, the President 
           elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall 
           become President. If a President shall not have 
           been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning 
           of his term, or if the President elect shall have 
           failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall 
           act as President until a President shall have qualified; 
           and the Congress may by law provide for the 
           case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice 
           President elect shall have qualified, declaring who 
           shall then act as President, or the manner in which 
           one who is to act shall be selected, and such per- 

           *The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified August 18, 
           1920. 
           **The Twentieth Amendment was ratified January 23, 
           1933. 

           son shall act accordingly until a President or Vice 
           President shall have qualified. 
               Section 4. The Congress may by law provide 
           for the case of the death of any of the persons from 
           whom the House of Representatives may choose 
           a President whenever the right of choice shall have 
           devolved upon them, and for the case of the death 
           of any of the persons from whom the Senate may 
           choose a Vice President whenever the right of 
           choice shall have devolved upon them. 
               Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on 
           the 15th day of October following the ratification 
           of this article. 
               Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless 
           it shall have been ratified as an amendment 
           to the Constitution by the legislatures of threefourths 
           of the several States within seven years 
           from the date of its submission. 

                             Amendment XXI.* 

               Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment 
           to the Constitution of the United States is 
           hereby repealed. 
               Section 2. The transportation or importation 
           into any State, Territory, or possession of the 
           United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating 
           liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is 
           hereby prohibited. 
               Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless 
           it shall have been ratified as an amendment 
           to the Constitution by conventions in the several 
           States, as provided in the Constitution, within 
           seven years from the date of the submission hereof 
           to the States by the Congress. 

           *The Twenty-First Amendment was ratified December 
           5, 1933. 


                            Amendment XXII.* 

               Section 1. No person shall be elected to the 
           office of the President more than twice, and no person 
           who has held the office of President, or acted 
           as President, for more than two years of a term to 
           which some other person was elected President 
           shall be elected to the office of the President more 
           than once. But this Article shall not apply to any 
           person holding the office of President when this 
           Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall 
           not prevent any person who may be holding the 
           office of President, or acting as President, during 
           the term within which this Article becomes operative 
           from holding the office of President or acting 
           as President during the remainder of such 
           term. 
               Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless 
           it shall have been ratified as an amendment 
           to the Constitution by the legislatures of threefourths 
           of the several States within seven years 
           from the date of its submission to the States by the 
           Congress. 

                            Amendment XXIII.** 

               Section 1. The District constituting the seat of 
           Government of the United States shall appoint in 
           such manner as the Congress may direct: 
           A number of electors of President and Vice 
           President equal to the whole number of Senators 
           and Representatives in Congress to which the District 
           would be entitled if it were a State, but in no 
           event more than the least populous State; they 
           shall be in addition to those appointed by the 

           *The Twenty-Second Amendment was ratified February 
           27, 1951. 
           ** The Twenty-Third Amendment was ratified March 29, 
           1961. 

           States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes 
           of the election of President and Vice President, 
           to be electors appointed by a State; and they 
           shall meet in the District and perform such duties 
           as provided by the twelfth article of amendment. 
               Section 2. The Congress shall have power to 
           enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

                           Amendment XXIV.* 

               Section 1. The right of citizens of the United 
           States to vote in any primary or other election for 
           President or Vice President, for electors for President 
           or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative 
           in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged 
           by the United States or any State by reason of 
           failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. 
               Section 2. The Congress shall have power to 
           enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

                            Amendment XXV.** 

               Section 1. In case of the removal of the President 
           from office or of his death or resignation, the 
           Vice President shall become President. 
               Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the 
           office of the Vice President, the President shall 
           nominate a Vice President who shall take office 
           upon confirmation by a majority vote of both 
           Houses of Congress. 
               Section 3. Whenever the President transmits 
           to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the 
           Speaker of the House of Representatives his writ- 

           *The Twenty-Fourth Amendment was ratified January 
           23, 1964. 
           **The Twenty-Fifth Amendment was ratified February 
           10, 1967. 

           ten declaration that he is unable to discharge the 
           powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits 
           to them a written declaration to the contrary, 
           such powers and duties shall be discharged by the 
           Vice President as Acting President. 
               Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and 
           a majority of either the principal officers of the executive 
           departments or of such other body as Congress 
           may by law provide, transmit to the President 
           pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker 
           of the House of Representatives their written declaration 
           that the President is unable to discharge the 
           powers and duties of his office, the Vice President 
           shall immediately assume the powers and duties 
           of the office as Acting President. 
               Thereafter, when the President transmits to the 
           President pro tempore of the Senate and the 
           Speaker of the House of Representatives his written 
           declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume 
           the powers and duties of his office unless 
           the Vice President and a majority of either the principal 
           officers of the executive department or of such 
           other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit 
           within four days to the President pro tempore 
           of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of 
           Representatives their written declaration that the 
           President is unable to discharge the powers and 
           duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide 
           the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours 
           for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, 
           within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter 
           written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, 
           within twenty-one days after Congress is required 
           to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote 
           of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge 
           the powers and duties of his office, the Vice 
           President shall continue to discharge the same as 
           Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume 
           the powers and duties of his office. 

                            Amendment XXVI.* 

               Section 1. The right of citizens of the United 
           States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to 
           vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United 
           States or by any State on account of age. 
               Section 2. The Congress shall have power to 
           enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

                            Amendment XXVII.** 

               No law, varying the compensation for the services 
           of the Senators and Representatives, shall 
           take effect, until an election of Representatives 
           shall have intervened. 





           *The Twenty-Sixth Amendment was ratified July 1, 1971. 
           **Congress submitted the text of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment 
           to the States as part of the proposed Bill of Rights on 
           September 25, 1789. The Amendment was not ratified 
           together with the first ten Amendments, which became 
           effective on December 15, 1791. The Twenty-Seventh 
           Amendment was ratified on May 7, 1992, by the vote of 
           Michigan. . 

                                  Appendix 

                             THE DECLARATION OF 
                                INDEPENDENCE 

           Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776 
           The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States 
                                of America 
               WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes 
           necessary for one People to dissolve the Political 
           Bands which have connected them with 
           another, and to assume among the Powers of the 
           Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the 
           Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, 
           a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires 
           that they should declare the causes which 
           impel them to the Separation. 
               WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that 
           all Men are created equal, that they are endowed 
           by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, 
           that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit 
           of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, 
           Governments are instituted among Men, deriving 
           their just Powers from the Consent of the 
           Governed, that whenever any Form of Government 
           becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the 
           Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to 
           institute new Government, laying its Foundation 
           on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in 
           such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to 
           effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, 
           will dictate that Governments long established 
           should not be changed for light and 
           transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience 
           hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to 
           suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right 
           themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they 
           are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses 
           and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same 
           Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under 

           absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their 
           Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide 
           new Guards for their future Security. Such 
           has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; 
           and such is now the Necessity which constrains 
           them to alter their former Systems of Government. 
           The History of the present King of Great-Britain 
           is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, 
           all having in direct Object the Establishment of an 
           absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, 
           let Facts be submitted to a candid World. 
               HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most 
           wholesome and necessary for the public Good. 
               HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws 
           of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended 
           in their Operation till his Assent should 
           be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly 
           neglected to attend to them. 
               HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation 
           of large Districts of People, unless 
           those People would relinquish the Right of 
           Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable 
           to them, and formidable to Tyrants only. 
               HE has called together Legislative Bodies at 
           Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from 
           the Depository of their public Records, for the sole 
           Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with 
           his Measures. 
               HE has dissolved Representative Houses 
           repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his 
           Invasions on the Rights of the People. 
               HE has refused for a long Time, after such 
           Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby 
           the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, 
           have returned to the People at large for their 
           exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed 
           to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, 
           and Convulsions within. 
               HE has endeavoured to prevent the Popula- 

           the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing 
           to pass others to encourage their Migrations 
           hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations 
           of Lands. 
               HE has obstructed the Administration of 
           Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing 
           Judiciary Powers. 
               HE has made Judges dependent on his Will 
           alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the 
           Amount and Payment of their Salaries. 
               HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, 
           and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our 
           People, and eat out their Substance. 
               HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace 
           Standing Armies, without the consent of our 
           Legislatures. 
               HE has affected to render the Military independent 
           of and superior to the Civil Power. 
               HE has combined with others to subject us to a 
           Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged 
           by our Laws; giving his Assent to 
           their Acts of pretended Legislation: 
               FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops 
           among us: 
               FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from 
           Punishment for any Murders which they should 
           commit on the Inhabitants of these States: 
               FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the 
           World: 
               FOR imposing Taxes on us without our 
           Consent: 
               FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the 
           Benefits of Trial by Jury: 
               FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for 
           pretended Offences: 
               FOR abolishing the free System of English 
           Laws in a neighbouring 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 Governments: 
               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 declaring 
           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. 
               HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies 
           of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of 
           Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun 
           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 Insurrections 
           amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the 
           Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian 
           Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished 
           Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes 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 Connections and 
           Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the 
           Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, 
           therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which 
           denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we 
           hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in 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 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 Connection 
           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. 


                          DATES TO REMEMBER 
           May 25, 1787: The Constitutional Convention opens 
           with a quorum of seven states in Philadelphia to discuss 
           revising the Articles of Confederation. Eventually 
           all states but Rhode Island are represented. 

           Sept. 17, 1787: All 12 state delegations approve the 
           Constitution, 39 delegates sign it of the 42 present, 
           and the Convention formally adjourns. 

           June 21, 1788: The Constitution becomes effective for 
           the ratifying states when New Hampshire is the 
           ninth state to ratify it. 

           March 4, 1789: The first Congress under the Constitution 
           convenes in New York City. 

           April 30, 1789: George Washington is inaugurated as 
           the first President of the United States. 

           June 8, 1789: James Madison introduces proposed Bill 
           of Rights in the House of Representatives. 

           Sept. 24, 1789: Congress establishes a Supreme 
           Court, 13 district courts, three ad hoc circuit courts, 
           and the position of Attorney General. 

           Sept. 25, 1789: Congress approves 12 amendments 
           and sends them to the states for ratification. 

           Feb. 2, 1790: Supreme Court convenes for the first 
           time after an unsuccessful attempt February 1. 

           Dec. 15, 1791: Virginia ratifies the Bill of Rights, and 
           10 of the 12 proposed amendments become part of 
           the U.S. Constitution. 

                         INDEX TO CONSTITUTION AND 
                                AMENDMENTS 
                                     Article, Section        Page 

      Admiralty & maritime cases              III,2           13 
      Advice and consent                      II,2            11 
      Age, as qualification for public 
      office 
      president                               II,1            10 
      representatives                         I,2              1 
      senators                                I,3              3 
      voting                                  A26             34 
      Ambassadors 
      Case controversies                      III,2           13 
      President's power                       II,2-3       11-12 
      Amendment procedure                     V               15 
      Appellate jurisdiction                  III,2           13 
      Appointment power                       II,2         11-12 
      Appointments, temporary                 A17             28 
      Apportionment of 
      representatives                         I,2;A14,2   1-2,26 
      Appropriations(s)                       I,8,9          7,8 
      Arms, right to bear                     A2              21 
      Army                                    II,2            11 
      Assembly, right of                      A1              21 
      Authors                                 I,8              6 
      Bail, excessive                         A8              23 
      Bankruptcy, Congress' power             I,8              6 
      Bill of Rights (Amends. 1-10)           A1-A10       21-23 
      Bills                                   I,7            5-6 
      Bills of attainder                      I,9-10           8 
      Borrowing, Congress' power              I,8              6 
      Cabinet officers' reports               II,2            11 
      Census                                  I,2            1-2 
      Chief Justice, role in 
      impeachment trials                      I,3              3 
      Commander in Chief                      II,2            11 
      Commerce, Congress' power               I,8              6 
      Commission of officers                  II,3            12 
      Compact                                 I,10             9 
      Congress 
      annual meetings                         I,4;A20,2   3-4,29 
      declaring war                           I,8              6 
      legislative proceedings                 I,5              4 
      members' compensation and 
      privileges                              I,6;A27     4-5,34 
      organization                            I,1              1 
      powers                                  I,8;A12   6-7,24-25 
      special sessions                        II,3            12 
      Congressional Record (Journal)          I,5              4 
      Constitution, purpose                   Preamble         1 

                                     Article, Section        Page 

      Contracts, interference by states       I,10             8 
      Controversies, court cases              III,2           13 
      Conventions                             V;VII;A21  15,16,30 
      Copyrights & patents, 
      Congress' power                         I,8              6 
      Counsel, right to                       A6              22 
      Counterfeiting, Congress' 
      power to punish                         I,8              6 
      Courts (see Judiciary) 
      Criminal proceedings, rights of 
      accused                                 A5;A6           22 
      Currency, Congress' power               I,8              6 
      Defense, Congress' power                I,8              6 
      District of Columbia                    I,8;A23       7,31 
      Double jeopardy                         A5              22 
      Due process of law                      A5;A14,1   22,25-16 
      Electoral College                      II,1;A12;A23  9-11,24-25 
                                                             31-32 
      Equal protection of laws               A14,1          25-26 
      Equity                                 III,2;A11      13,23 
      Ex post facto laws                     I,9-10             8 
      Extradition of fugitives by states     IV,2              14 
      Fines, excessive                       A8                23 
      Foreign affairs, President's 
      power                                  II,2           11-12 
      Foreign commerce, Congress' 
      power                                  I,8                6 
      "Full faith and credit" clause         IV,1              14 
      General welfare, Congress' 
      power                                  I,8                6 
      Grand jury indictments                 A5                22 
      Grievances, redress of                 A1                21 
      Habeas corpus                          I,9                8 
      House of Representatives 
      election to & eligibility for          I,2                1 
      members' terms of office               I,2;I,6          1,4 
      Speaker of                           I,2;A24;A25,3-4  2,32-33 
      special powers 
      impeachment                            I,2                 2 
      Presidential elections               II,1;A12       9-10,24-25 
      revenue bills                          I,7                 5 
      states' representation in              I,2               1-2 
      vacancles                              I,2                 2 
      Immunities (see Privileges and 
      immunities) 
      Impeachment 
      officials subject to                   II,4               12 
      penalties                              I,3                 3 
      power of, lodged in House              I,2                 2 
      reasons                                II,4               12 
      trials, Senate                         I,3                 3 

                                     Article, Section        Page 

      Indians, commerce with, 
      Congress' power                        I,8                 6 
      Inhabitant (see Resident)              I,2;I,3           1,3 
      International law, Congress' 
      power                                  I,8                 6 
      Inventors                              I,8                 6 
      Judiciary 
      inferior courts                        I,8;III,1        6,12 
      judicial review                        III,2              13 
      jurisdiction                           III,2              13 
      nomination & confirmation of 
      judges                                 II,2            11-12 
      Supreme Court                          III,1              12 
      terms of office & 
      compensation                           III,1              12 
      Jury trials                            III,2;A6;A7    13,22,23 
      "Lame duck" amendment                  A20                29 
      Liquor                                 A18;A21          28,30 
      Marque and reprisal, letters of        I,8,10             6,8 
      Men (see Persons) 
      Militia (Military)                     A2;A5             21,22 
      congressional powers                   I,8                   7 
      presidential powers                    II,2              11-12 
      Money                                  I,8                   6 
      National debt                          VI                15-16 
      Native Americans (see Indians) 
      Naturalization                         I,8                   6 
      Navy                                   I,8;II,2           7,11 
      "Necessary and proper" clause          I,8                   7 
      Nominate                               II,2;A25          11,32 
      Oath of office, federal and state      II,1;VI           11,16 
      Original Jurisdiction                  III,2                13 
      Pardons and reprieves, 
      President's power                      II,2                 11 
      People, powers reserved to             A10                  23 
      Persons                                A14               25-26 
      Petition the government, 
      right to                               A1                   21 
      "Pocket veto"                          I,7                   5 
      Poll tax, prohibition                  A24,1                32 
      Post offices & roads, Congress' 
      power                                  I,8                   6 
      Presidency, succession to              II,1;A20;A25   10-11,29-30 
      President                                                 32-33 
      disability                             A25,3              32-33 
      election                              II,1;A12;A22     9-10,24-25, 
                                            A23               31,31-32 
      eligibility for office                II,1                   10 
      legislation, role in                  I,7                     5 

                                     Article, Section         Page 
      President-Continued 
      oath of office                        II,1                   11 
      powers & duties                       II,2-3              11-12 
      term of office & compensation         II,1                 9-11 
      Press, freedom of                     A1                     21 
      Privileges and immunities (of 
      citizens)                             IV,2;A14,1       14,25-26 
      Prohibition                           A18;A21             28,30 
      Property, taking for public use       A5                     22 
      Punishments, cruel and 
      unusual                               A8                     23 
      Race                                  A15                    27 
      Ratification of Constitution          V;VII               15,16 
      Religion, freedom of                  A1                     21 
      Religious oaths                       VI                     16 
      Resident (see Inhabitant)             II,1                   10 
      Search and seizure                    A4                     22 
      Seas, Congress' power                 I,8                     6 
      Secrecy                               I,5                     4 
      Self-incrimination                    A5                     22 
      Senate 
      election to & eligibility for         I,3                     3 
      equal representation of states        V                      15 
      officers                              I,3                     3 
      President of                          I,3;A12           3,24-25 
      President of, pro tempore             I,3;A25,3-4       3,32-33 
      special powers 
      impeachment trials                    I,3                     3 
      Presidential appointments             II,2                11-12 
      treaties                              II,2                11-12 
      terms of office                       I,3;I,6               2,4 
      vacancies                             A17                 27-28 
      Slavery, prohibition                  A13;A14,4        25,26-27 
      Soldiers, quartering of               A3                     21 
      Speech, freedom of                    A1                     21 
      Spending, Congress' power             I,8                     6 
      State of Union message                II,3                   12 
      States 
      and federal elections                 I,4                     3 
      formation & admission to 
      Union                                 IV,3                   14 
      powers requiring consent of 
      Congress                              I,10                  8-9 
      powers reserved to                    A10                    23 
      protection against invasion, 
      violence                              IV,4                   15 
      republican form of 
      government guaranteed                 IV,4                   15 
      suits against                         III,2;A11        13,23-24 

                                     Articles, Section        Page 
      Sundays                               I,7                    5 
      Supreme law of the land 
      (Constitution)                        VI                 15-16 
      Taxing power, in general              I,7-8                5-6 
      direct taxes prohibited               I,9                    8 
      income taxes permitted                A16                   27 
      Territories                           IV,3               14-15 
      Titles of nobility                    I,9                    8 
      Treason                               III,3                 13 
      Treaty(ies)                           I,10;II,2;       8,11,13 
                                            III,2;VI           15-16 
      Trial                                 I,3;III,2;    3,13,22,23 
                                            A6;A7 
      Veto, President's power               I,7                    5 
      Vice-Presidency, succession to        A20;A25       29-30,32-33 
      Vice-President 
      conditions for assuming 
      Presidency                            II,1;A20;A25     10,29-30 
                                                                32-33 
      declaring President disabled, 
      role in                               A25,4                  33 
      Senate, role in                       I,3;A12           3,24-25 
      term of office                        II,1                    9 
      Voting rights                         A14;A24          25-27,32 
      blacks, former slaves                 A15,1                  27 
      eighteen-years-old                    A26                    34 
      women                                 A19                    29 
      War powers (see Congress, 
      declaring, war powers; 
      President, powers & duties; 
      States, protection against 
      invasion) 
      Warrants                              A4                     22 
      Weights and measures 
      standards of                          I,8                     6 
      Women (see Persons) 

                        ". . . a constitution, intended to 
                        endure for ages to come, and 
                        consequently, to be adapted to the 
                        various crises of human affairs.'' 

                                           John Marshall 



                         At the conclusion of the 
                         Constitutional Convention, 
                         Benjamin Franklin was asked, 
                         "What have you wrought?" 
                         He answered, 
                             ". . . a Republic, if you can keep it."