The Declaration of Independence of 1776 sets out grievances against King Henry III, Declares the United States a free and independent nation, and absolves its allegiance to Britain. The Treaty of Paris, written in 1783, established the United States as a new nation, recognized globally with official borders and powers to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce and do any other thing a nation is lawfully allowed to do.The United States Constitution, written in 1787, sets out the rules that will be used by the new United States Government to govern its citizens. The constitution was written in compliance with the human rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence and starts with the famous words “We the people” signifying to the new government that they are being given consent to govern, by the people they will govern over.
The US Constitution is divided into 6 articles with 23 sections. Articles 5 and 6 both only have one section so do not have section numbers. The 7th Article is the ratification and list of signatures from the first 12 States, Rhode Island did not sign until May of 1790 after considering the prospect of becoming a foreign nation.
The 6 legislative sections of the unamended US Constitution read as follows in the most recent dialect of modern English:
Section 1 states that all legislative powers will be appointed to Congress and that Congress will consist of the House of the Senate and the House of the People’s Representatives.
Section 2 states that members of the House of the People’s Representatives will be elected every 2 years in a national election and electors for each state will meet the qualifications for electors of the state with the most state legislators.
Section 2 states that qualifications to be a Representative are being 25 years old, a US Citizen for at least 7 years and a resident of the state they are representing.
Section 2 states that Representatives and taxes will be proportional to the number of Citizens residing in that state and that Armed Forces members who were residents of the state prior to service will be counted as residents. It states that a Census will take place 3 years after the first US Congressional meeting and that a Census will be conducted within every 10 year period after that as the US Code shall direct. It states that there will be 1 Representative for every 30,000 people and that each state will have at least 1 representative. The initial number of representatives are granted based on estimate and valid until the first Census is conducted. New Hampshire received 3 representatives, Massachusetts received 8 representatives, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations received 1 representative, Connecticut received 5 representatives, New York received 6 representatives, New Jersey received 4 representatives, Pennsylvania received 8 representatives, Delaware received 1 representative, Maryland received 6 representatives, Virginia received 10 representatives, North Carolina received 5 representatives, South Carolina received 5 representatives, and Georgia received 3 representatives.
Section 2 states that when there is a vacant position at the House of of the People’s Representatives, that the Governor of that state shall call a general election to fill the vacancy.
Section 2 states that the House of the People’s Representatives shall choose the Speaker of the House and other Officers for the House and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
Section 3 states that the United States Senate will consist of 2 senators per state, that they will have 6 year terms and each have 1 vote. The senators are to be chosen by the state legislators for the states they are senators of.
Section 3 states the senators elected as a result of the first election shall be assembled and divided into 3 equal groups. The members of the first Senate in group 1 will vacate their office after 2 years, members of the first Senate in group 2 will vacate their office after 4 years and members of the first Senate in group 3 will serve the entire six year term. This allows 1/3 of the Senate to be elected every 2 years. If there is a vacancy that occurs due to resignation or other reasons while the state legislators are in recess then the Governor of the state may make temporarily appoint a Senator until the next State Legislator meeting. State legislators will then elect a Senator.
Section 3 states that qualifications to be a Senator are being 35 years old, a US Citizens for 9 years and a resident of the state where they are a Senator.
Section 3 states the Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate but can only vote to break a tie.
Section 3 states the Senate will choose their own Officers and a Temporary President to act as President of the Senate when the Vice President of the United States is not available. This includes when the Vice President is not available because the Vice President is carrying out the duties of President of the United States.
Section 3 states that only the Senate will be able to conduct the proceedings in an impeachment. When the Senate is meeting to conduct an impeachment hearing they must make an Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried for impeachment, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside over the hearings. No person shall be impeached without the agreement of two thirds of the Senate members present.
Section 3 states the maximum penalties for impeachment shall be removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy an office of honor, trust or profit within the United States. A person who is impeached shall still be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgement and punishment under the laws of the United States.
Section 4 states that each states legislature shall decide the time, place and manner for holding elections for their senators and representatives and that Congress can make laws to alter the time and manner for holding these elections but not the place for electing Senators.
Section 4 states that Congress shall assemble once a year at a minimum and that if they only meet once it shall be on the first Monday in December unless they appoint a different day through the US Code.
Section 5 states that both the House of the Senate and the House of the People’s Representatives shall be the Judge of Elections, Judge of Returns and Judge of Qualifications for its own members. A majority of attendance from each house will be enough to hold Congress. If a majority is not present then meetings may adjourn from day to day and each house is authorized to compel attendance of its own absent members using methods and penalties that are agreed to by their house.
Section 5 states each house is able to determine its own Rules of Proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and when expel a member when 2/3 of the house agree to the expulsion.
Section 5 states that each house is mandated to keep a journal of its proceedings and to publish it from time to time but may but may redact parts that in their judgement require secrecy. The yes or no votes of either house on any matter discussed shall be entered into the house journal as long as 1/5 of those present desire to do so.
Section 5 states that during a Congressional Session, no house may adjourn for more than 3 days without the consent of the other and may not leave the area in which Congress is being held.
Section 6 states members of the House of the Senate and members of the House of the People’s Representatives shall receive compensation for their services which is to be determined by law. Members of either house are prevented from being arrested for any criminal cases while they are attending meetings at their respective house or while they are going to or returning from their house unless the case is for treason, a felony or for breach of peace. They shall not be questioned outside their house for any speech or debate held inside their house.
Section 6 states members of the House of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives are prohibited from being appointed to a civil office under the authority of the United States if that was office was created during their elected term or had its salary increased during their elected term. No person holding any office under the United States are allowed to be a member of either house while they are in office.
Section 7 states all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of the People’s Representatives but allows the House of the Senate to propose amendments or agree with amendments.
Section 7 states every bill passed by the House of the People’s Representatives and the House of the Senate shall be presented to the President of the United States and if the President approves of the bill, the President will sign the bill and it will become law. If the President of the United States does the not approve of the bill, the bill will be returned to the house where the bill originated with the Presidents objections and the originating house will enter the President’s objections on their journal and reconsider the bill with the President’s objections. If the bill with the Presidents objections is approved by 2/3 of the house it originated in, it will be sent to the other house along with the President’s objections for consideration. If the other house approves the bill with the President’s objections, it shall become a law. In all cases where a bill is returned for reconsideration, the votes of both houses shall be determined by yes or no and the name of each person voting along with their yes or no shall be entered into each houses journal. Any bill that is not returned by the President within 10 days (excluding Sundays) after it is presented to the President shall become law just as if the President had signed it. The exception for bills not signed by the President are that Congress adjourns the session for that bill and prevents the bill from being returned to the floor in order to become a law within the 10 day period.
Section 7 states that every order, resolution or vote that requires the majority agreement of 2/3 from both the House of the Senate and the House of the People’s Representatives shall be presented to the President of the United States unless it is a majority agreement for adjournment. Any order, resolution or vote that requires majority agreement shall be approved by the President. If the President disapproves of any of these orders, resolutions or votes they will be repassed in the House of the Senate and House of People’s Representatives according to the same rules and limitations that apply when the President disapproves of a bill that has passed both the House of the Senate and the House of the People’s Representatives.
Section 8 states Congress shall have the power to impose and collect taxes for the United States, to pay debts for the United States, to provide for the defense of the United States and to provide for the General Welfare of the United States. All taxes are required to be consistent throughout the United States.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to regulate commerce between states and to regulate commerce between the United States and Indian Tribes.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to establish a consistent rule of naturalization and consistent laws on the subject of bankruptcies within the United States.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to coin money, regulate the value of coined money, regulate the value of foreign coin within the United States and to fix the standard of weights and measures.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to define the penalties for counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to establish post offices and post roads.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to promote the progress of Science and useful Arts by securing exclusive rights to authors and inventors for their writings and discoveries for a limited time.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to establish tribunals that will be inferior to the Supreme Court within the United States.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to define and punish piracy and felonies committed on international waters and to define and punish offenses against the Law of Nations.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to declare war, to issue letters of marque, to issue letters of reprisal and to make rules concerning captures on land and water.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to raise and support Armies but may only appropriate funds for an army for a period of two years.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to provide for and maintain a Navy.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to make rules for the Government in use of the land and naval forces and to create regulations for the land and naval forces.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to provide for and call forth the militia in order to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to provide for methods to organize, arm and discipline the militia and to govern the parts of them that are eligible to be employed in the Service of the United States. The powers reserved to the states in this regard are appointment of officers and authority to train militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to try all cases in a district, not exceeding 10 miles square, that becomes the seat of government through cession of that area by a state and acceptance by Congress. Congress can also exercise that same power and authority in all places purchased by Congress with consent of the State Legislature for those places that are purchased for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, doc yards and other necessary buildings.
Section 8 states Congress has the power to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other powers vested by the Constitution of the United States in the Government of the United States or in any Department or Officer of the United States.
Section 9 states that migration and importation of persons into any of the states shall not be prohibited by Congress before the year 1808 but that Congress may tax each state for importing persons at a rate of $10 per person.
Section 9 states the privilege to file a Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless there is a rebellion, an invasion or when public safety may require it.
Section 9 states punishing people or groups citizens without trial through bills of attainder or making something a crime retroactively through ex post facto law is forbidden.
Section 9 states capitation (fee for services provided by the government that are proportional to number of customers) or other direct taxes can not be imposed unless they are in proportion to the Census.
Section 9 states that no tax or duty shall be imposed on articles exported from any of the states.
Section 9 states that regulations of commerce or revenue can not give preference to the ports of one state over the ports of another state and that ships registered to arrive or depart from one state will not be required to enter, clear or pay duties in another state.
Section 9 states that money will not be withdrawn from the US Treasury without making appropriations through lawful means first. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all appropriations from the US Treasury shall be published from time to time.
Section 9 states that the United States Government will not grant any title of nobility and that a person holding any office of profit or office of trust under the United States Government’s jurisdiction will not accept any present, emolument, office or title of any kind from a King, Prince or foreign state without the consent of Congress.
Section 10 states that a State is forbidden from entering into treaties, alliances, or confederations; granting letters of marque or letters of reprisal; coining money; emitting bills of credit; making anything but gold and silver coin a tender for payment of debts; declaring an individual or group of people guilty without trial by passing a bill of attainder; making something a crime retroactively through ex post facto laws; making a law that impairs the obligations of contracts; and from granting any titles of nobility.
Section 10 states that a State is forbidden from imposing duties on imports or exports beyond the fees that are necessary to fulfill its inspection laws without the consent of Congress and that any imposed duties for imports and exports in excess of fees required for a State to fulfill its inspection laws will be sent to the United States Treasury and that import and export laws made by a State shall be subject to revision and control by Congress.
Section 10 states that a State is forbidden from imposing duties on tonnage, keeping troops or ships of war during time of peace; from entering into any agreements or compacts with another state or with a foreign power; and from engaging in war unless it is invaded or in such imminent danger that it cannot delay its decision to engage in war unless it has the consent of Congress.
Section 1 states that the Executive Power of the United States will be vested in the President of the United States of America. The President will hold their Office for a 4 year term and will be elected together with the Vice President for the same term as outlined below
Section 1 states that each State will appoint electors per the guidelines in their State Legislature. The number of electors will be equal to the total number of Senators and Representatives allotted to each state through Congress. Senators, Representatives and Persons holding an Office of Trust or Persons holding an Office of Profit under the jurisdiction of the United States are ineligible from being appointed an elector.
Section 1 states that electors will meet in their respective State and vote by ballot for two Persons. At least one of their votes will be for a resident of the same State in which they are an elector. The electors will make a list of the people voted for and the number of votes each person received. The list shall be signed, sealed and certified and transmitted sealed and certified addressed to Seat of the United States Government in care of President of the Senate. The President of the Senate will open the certified lists in front of the Senate and House of Representatives and the votes shall be counted in Congress. The person having the greatest number of votes will be the President if they have a majority vote based on the total number of electors. If more than one person has a majority vote and they all have an equal number of votes then the House of the People’s Representatives will immediately choose a President through ballot from the list of candidates with a majority vote. If nobody has a majority vote then the House of the People’s Representatives will immediately chose by ballot a candidate from a list of the 5 candidates with the most votes. If a President is chosen by the House of the People’s Representatives, the votes shall be taken by the States with each State having 1 vote. A quorum for choosing a President will consist of representation from two thirds of the States and a majority of representatives from each State need to be present in order to make a choice. After the choice for the President has been made, the person with the most number of votes given to them by the electors, shall be the Vice President unless two or more of the remaining candidates on the list have an equal amount of votes; in that case the House of the Senate shall chose a Vice President through a ballot.
Section 1 states Congress may determine the time for choosing electors and also determine the day on which electors must give their votes. The day electors give their votes will be the same throughout the entire United States.
Section 1 states that only natural born citizens or citizens of the United States are eligible to the Office of President and that they must be at least 35 years old and a resident in the United States for 14 years once the US Constitution is adopted.
Section 1 states that if the President is removed from Office, dies, resigns or is unable to discharge the Powers and Duties of the Presidents Office, those Powers and Duties shall be assigned to the Vice President. In the case of both the President and Vice President being removed from office, dying, resigning or having an inability to Discharge their Powers and Duties, Congress may by law provide an Officer to act as President and such officer shall act accordingly until the President and Vice President’s disability be removed or until a new President is elected.
Section 1 states that the President will receive compensation for their services and that the compensation can not be increased or decreased during their elected term and that they shall not receive any other payment from the United States.
Section 1 states the President must make the following Oath or Affirmation before executing the office of President of the United States “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 or the United States.”
Section 2 states the President of the United States will be the Commander and Chief of the Army of the United States, the Navy of the United States and the each States Militia when called into the actual Service of the United States. The President may require the Principal Officer in each of the executive Departments to give opinions in writing on any subject related to the duties of their respective offices. The President shall have the power to grant reprieves and to grant pardons for offenses against the United States but will not be able to grant a pardon or reprieve for an impeachment.
Section 2 states the President of the United States shall have the power to make treaties with the advice and consent of the House of the Senate as long as two thirds of the Senators present agree. With the advice and consent of the House of the Senate; the President shall nominate and appoint ambassadors, public ministers and consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court and all other Officers of the United States whose appointments are not provided for in the Constitution of the United States and whose office is established by Law. Congress may legislate the appointment of these subordinate officers as they think proper whether its through the President alone, through the Courts of Law or through the Executives of a Department for an officer.
Section 2 states the President will have power to fill vacancies that happen during a recess of the House of Senate by granting commissions to fulfill those tasks until the end of the next session for the House of Senate.
Section 3 states the President will give Congress information on the State of the Union from time to time and give recommendations that are necessary and feasible in a reasonable amount of time. The President may convene one of the houses or both houses in extraordinary circumstances. When the President convenes one or both houses because of a disagreement the time of adjournment will be as long as the President thinks proper. The President shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; take care that the laws are faithfully executed and shall commission all Officers of the United States.
Section 4 states the President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for conviction of treason, conviction of bribery conviction of high crimes or conviction of high misdemeanors.
Section 1 states the judicial powers of the United States will be vested in the Supreme Court of the United States which will consist of one court and in subordinate courts that Congress may ordain and establish. The judges of the both the Supreme Court of the United States and judges of subordinate courts will hold their office when they have good behavior and shall receive compensation for their services. Their compensation shall not be diminished as long as they continuously hold their office.
Section 2 states the judicial power of the United States shall extend to all cases arising under the constitution, the Laws of the United States and to treaties made under the authority of the US Constitution or Laws of the United States. This judicial power includes cases affecting ambassadors, public ministers and consuls; cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; controversies that the United States is a part of; controversies between two or more states; controversies between a State and citizens of another State; controversies between citizens of different states; cases between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants from different states; or cases between a State or a State’s citizens and a Foreign Nation or a Foreign Nation’s citizens or subjects.
Section 2 states all cases involving ambassadors, public ministers and consuls, and cases where a State is a party, the Supreme Court will have original jurisdiction. In all other cases, the Supreme Court will have appellate Jurisdiction to the laws and facts of the case with but will not include any exceptions or regulations Congress may make.
Section 2 states that trial of all crimes except for impeachment shall be by Jury and trials shall be held in the state where the crimes were committed. When not committed within a State, the trial shall be at a place or places that Congress may direct by law.
Section 3 states treason against the United States will be defined as levying war against the United States, adhering to the enemies of the United States or giving the enemies of the United States aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless two witnesses give testimony of an overt act involving treason or upon a confession in open court.
Section 1 states that full faith and credit shall be given by each State to public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. Congress may legislate ways to prove acts, records and proceedings of another state are factual and determine the effects of acts, records and proceedings that occurred in a different State .
Section 2 states that residents of each State shall be entitled to all the Privileges and Immunities granted to Citizens of the United States.
Section 2 states a person charged with treason, a felony or another crime in one State that flees from the court proceedings and is found in another state, will be extradited to the state from which they fled upon the demand of the Governor of the State from which they fled.
Section 2 states that people lawfully held to service or labor in one State who escape to another state shall be discharged from service or labor in the state they fled to and bear the consequences for that discharge and shall be delivered on claim to the party where the original service or labor was due.
Section 3 states that new states may be admitted into the United States through Congress. New States are not allowed to be formed inside the jurisdiction of an existing State. New States also are not allowed to be formed in between two or more states or between the parts of an existing state without the consent of the concerned State Legislatures and Congress.
Section 3 states Congress will have the power to dispose of rules and regulations or make new rules and regulations regarding territory or other property that belongs to the United States. Nothing in the US Constitution is allowed to prejudice any claims of the United States or of any particular State.
Section 4 states the United States will guarantee every state a Republican form of Government and will protect every State against invasion. On request of a State Legislature or from the a Governor, the United States will protect a State from internal violence.
Section 1 states Congress will propose amendments to the US Constitution when 2/3 of both the House of the Senate and House of the People’s Representatives deem it necessary or when 2/3 of every State Legislature requests a convention to propose amendments. In either case, the amendments will become valid and for all intents and purposes be part of the US Constitution when ratified by 3/4 of every State Legislature or by 3/4 of all members of the Convention. Congress may propose to use either mode of ratification. No amendment may alter Article 1, Section 9, paragraphs 1 and 4 prior to the year 1808. No State can be deprived of its equal voting rights in the Senate without its consent.
Section 1 states all contractual debts and contractual engagements entered into by the Confederation shall be valid against the United States under the United States Constitution.
Section 1 states the US Constitution, Laws of the United States made in accordance to the US Constitution and all treaties made under the Authority of the United States will be the Supreme Law of the Land. Judges in every state will be bound by the Supreme Law of the Land. Anything in the US Constitution or Laws of the States that are contrary to the US Constitution will not prevail.
Section 1 states Senators from the House of the Senate, Representatives from the House of the People’s Representatives, members of every State Legislature, every executive officer and every judicial officer of the United States or an individual State shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support the US Constitution. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for holding an office or position of public trust that is under the Authority of the United States.
Section 1 states that ratification of the US Constitution by 9 states as discussed at the United States Constitutional Convention shall be sufficient for the Establishment of the US Constitution between the States ratifying the US Constitution.
Section 1 states the word “the” inserted between the 7th and 8th lines of page 1, the word “Thirty” written partly with eraser on the 15th line of page 1, the words “is tried” inserted between the 32nd and 33rd lines of page 1 and the word “the” inserted between the 43rd and 44th lines of page 2 are included in the ratification of the US Constitution.
Section 1 states the document was attested by Secretary of the United States Constitutional Convention, William Jackson
Section 1 states the ratification was done at the United States Constitutional Convention by Unanimous Consent of the States that were Present on September 17, 1787 and that for the Independence of the United States, twelve witnesses have subscribed their names to the United States Constitution.
Section 1 has the signature of President of the United States Constitutional Convention and Deputy for the State of Virginia, George Washington.
Section 1 has the name of the 12 witnesses and signatories as well as the signature of the representatives signing on their behalf at the United States Constitutional Convention.
Gunning Bedford Jun
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
James Madison Jr.
|North Carolina||William Blount
Richard Dobbs Spaight Sr.
|South Carolina||John Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
|New Hampshire||John Langdon
|Connecticut||William Samuel Johnson
|New York||Alexander Hamilton|
|New Jersey||William Livingston