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Limitations on Congress.
one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States under their direction; to appoint one of their number to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expenses; to borrow money or emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmitting every half year to the respective States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted; to build and equip a navy; to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State, which requisition shall be binding; and thereupon the Legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and equip them in a soldier-like manner at the expense of the United States; and the officers and men so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States, in Congress assembled; but if the United States, in Congress assembled, shall, on consideration of circumstances, judge proper that any State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other State should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed, armed, and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such State, unless the Legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number can not be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared, and the officers and men. . . . shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States, in Congress assembled.
The United States, in Congress assembled, shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regu
late the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defense and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander-in-chief of the army or navy, unless nine States assent to the same, nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the United States, in Congress assembled.
The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the United States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations as in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each State, on any question, shall be entered on the journal when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or their request, shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several States.
ART. X. — The committee of the States, or any nine of them, The shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of committee the powers of Congress as the United States, in Congress assembled, to act by the consent of nine States, shall, from time to time, during think ex- recesses. pedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States, in the Congress of the United States assembled, is requisite.
ART. XI. Canada acceding to this Confederation, and joining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
ART. XII. All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, and debts contracted by or under the authority of Congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present Confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United States and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged. ART. XIII. Every State shall abide by the determinations of the United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this Confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.
And whereas it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, Know ye, that we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained. And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by the said Confederation are submitted to them; and that the Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, the ninth day of July, in the year of our Lord 1778, and in the third year of the Independence of America.1
1 Names of the signers omitted.
12. The Continental Congress Recommends the Establishment of State Governments
Amid the disorders of the armed conflict, the political power of the Revolutionists steadily increased until at length the government of each colony fell entirely into their hands. They continued, however, the old institutions with such slight modifications as the new circumstances demanded. In May, 1776, the Continental Congress, then aware that independence was the goal of the struggle, passed the following resolution recommending the establishment of state governments:
In Congress, May 15, 1776.
Crown to be
Whereas, His Britannic Majesty, in conjunction with the lords and commons of Great Britain, has by a late act of parliament excluded the inhabitants of these United Colonies from the pro- under the tection of his crown: And, whereas, no answer whatever to the humble petitions of the colonies for redress of grievances and suppressed. reconciliation with Great Britain has been or is likely to be given; but the whole force of the kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, is to be exerted for the destruction of the good people of these colonies. And whereas, it appears absolutely irreconcilable to reason and good conscience, for the people of these colonies now to take the oaths and affirmations necessary for the support of any government under the crown of Great Britain; and it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority, under the said crown should be totally suppressed, and all the powers of government exerted under the authority of the people of the colonies for the preservation of internal peace, virtue, and good order, as well as for the defense of their lives, liberties, and properties against the hostile invasions and cruel depredation of their enemies. Therefore,
Resolved, That it be recommended to the respective assemblies and conventions of the United Colonies, where no government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs has been hitherto established, to adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the
qualifications on voters.
representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general. By order of Congress,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.
13. The Call for the Maryland State Convention
The first state constitutions were drawn up by quite irregular assemblies of Revolutionists, and were not submitted to the people for ratification. The following call for the Maryland convention, issued by a revolutionary assembly for that province on July 3, 1776, can be taken to illustrate in a general way only the process of providing an official body for constructing the first state govern
Resolved, That a new convention be elected for the express purpose of forming a new government, by the authority of the people only, and enacting and ordering all things for the preservation, safety, and general weal of this colony.
Resolved, That there be four representatives chosen for each of the districts of Frederick county, as described in the proceedings of the session of July last, two representatives for the city of Annapolis, and two representatives for the town of Baltimore of Baltimore county, and four representatives for each county in this province except Frederick county aforesaid; but that the inhabitants of Annapolis and Baltimore towns be not allowed to vote for representatives for the respective counties nor shall the resolution be understood to engage or secure such representation to Annapolis or Baltimore town, but temporarily, the same being, in the opinion of this convention, properly to be modified, or taken away, on a material alteration of the circumstances of those places, from either a depopulation or a considerable decrease of the inhabitants thereof.
That all freemen above twenty-one years of age, being freeholders of not less than fifty acres of land, or having visible property in this colony to the value of £40 sterling at the least and no others, be admitted to vote for representatives to serve in the said