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A Short History of the United States
by Edward Channing
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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.

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 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 its 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.

THE AMENDMENTS.

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.

II.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

VIII.

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

IX.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

XV.

SECTION 1. The right 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.

[1] Reprinted from the text issued by the State Department.



INDEX

Abolitionists. Acadia. Adams, John; Vice-President; President; his administration. Adams, John Quincy, portrait; and the Monroe Doctrine; President, his administration; and the right of petition. Adams, Samuel. Alabama claims. Alaska, purchase of; map of. Albany Congress. Algerine War. Alien and Sedition Acts. Allen, Ethan. America, discovery of; naming of. American Association. Americus Vespucius, see Vespucius. Andre, Major. Andros, Sir Edmund. Antietam, battle of. Antislavery agitation. Appomattox, surrender at. Arnold, Benedict, at Quebec; in Burgoyne's campaign; treason of. Arthur, C.A., Vice-President; President. Articles of Confederation. Atlanta Campaign.

Bacon's Rebellion. Balboa discovers Pacific Ocean. Baltimore, Lord. Bank of the United States, the First; the Second. Bennington, battle of. Blaine, J.G., candidate for the Presidency. Blair, F.P. Blockade of Confederate seaports. "Border States" in Civil War. Boston, founded; massacre at; destruction of tea at; closing of the port of; siege of; map of siege. Braddock, British general. Bragg, Confederate general. Brandy wine, battle of. Breckinridge, John C., Vice-President; defeated for Presidency. Brown, General Jacob, invades Canada. Brown, John, in Kansas; at Harper's Ferry; executed. Buchanan, James, President; comes out for the Union. Buell, General. Bull Run, battles of. Bunker Hill, battle of. Burgoyne's campaign. Burnside, General A.E.

Cabot, John, discovers North America. Calhoun, John C., portrait; in Congress; Vice-President; his Exposition. California, Drake on the coast of; seized by Americans; discovery of gold in; seeks admission to the Union. Camden, battle of. Canada, conquest of; invasion of 1775; in War of 1812. Carolina, settlement of; rebellion in 1719; separated into two provinces. Cartier (kar'tia'). Cass, Lewis, defeated for the Presidency. Cathay. Champlain, Samuel de. Champlain, Lake. Chancellorsville, battle of. Charles II, his colonial policy. Charleston, S.C., attacked; captured; in Civil War. Chattanooga, battle of. "Chesapeake," outrage on the. Chicago, growth of; great fire at. Columbian Exhibition. Chickamauga, battle of. Cipango. Civil Service under Washington and Adams; under Jefferson; "Spoils System" in the; reform of the. Clark, General G.R., conquers the Northwest. Clay, Henry, portrait; in Congress; and the Missouri Compromise; defeated for the Presidency; and the Compromise of 1850. Cleveland, Grover, portrait; President; reelected President. Clinton, British general. Columbus discovers America. Committees of Correspondence. Compromises of the Constitution; of 1820; of 1850. Concord, battle of. Confederate States. Confederation of New England. Confederation of the United States, Articles of. Connecticut, settlement of; charter of. Constitution, formation of the; facsimile of first lines; first ten amendments; text of, Appendix. "Constitution," the frigate, chased by a British fleet; and the "Guerriere." Constitutional Union Party. Continental Congress, first; second. Coronade, in the Southwest. Cotton gin. Cowpens, battle of. Crawford, William H., defeated for the Presidency. Creek War. Critical Period. Crittenden Compromise. Cromwell, Oliver, and the colonies. Cuba, rebellions in (1867-77); (1894-98).

Dale, Sir Thomas. Davis, Jefferson. Decatur, Stephen, portrait; in Algerine War. Declaration of Independence. Declaratory Act. Democratic Party. Detroit, surrender of. Dewey, Admiral. Dickinson, John. Douglas, Stephen A., Kansas-Nebraska Act; debate with Lincoln; defeated for Presidency; comes out for the Union. Draft Riots. Drake, Sir Francis, his great voyage. Dred Scott Decision. Duquesne, Fort. Dutch Colonies.

Elections, presidential, of 1800; of 1824; of 1840; of 1844; of 1848; of 1852; of 1856; of 1860; of 1868; of 1872; of 1876; of 1880; of 1884; of 1888; of 1892; of 1896. Electoral Commission. Embargo, Jefferson's. Era of Good Feeling. Ericson, Leif (Life er'ik-son). Ericsson, John. Erie Canal.

Farragut, Admiral D.G., portrait; at New Orleans. Federal Ratio. Federalist Party. Fifteenth Amendment. Fillmore, Millard, portrait; chosen Vice-President; becomes President. Florida, discovered; settled; purchased. Fourteenth Amendment. France, explorers and colonists of; colonists conquered by British; recognizes independence of the United States; influence of revolution in, on America; controversy. Franklin, Benjamin, portrait; early life of; examined by House of Commons; Minister to France; in Federal Convention. Fredericksburg, battle of. Free Soil Party. Freeman's Farm, battles of. Fremont, John C.; portrait; in California; defeated for the Presidency. Fugitive Slave Act. Fulton, Robert.

Gadsden Purchase. Gag Resolutions. Gage, British general. Gama, da (dae gae'mae). Garfield, J. A.; elected President; murdered. Garrison, W. L. Gates, General; in Burgoyne's campaign; defeated at Camden. Genet, French Minister. Georgia, settlement of. Gettysburg, battle of. Ghent, Treaty of. Grant, General U.S.; portrait; seizes Cairo; captures Fort Donelson; at Shiloh; captures Vicksburg; at Chattanooga; Lieutenant-General; his Virginia Campaign; elected President; reelected President. Great Britain; Treaty of 1783; Jay's Treaty; Treaty of Ghent; Treaty of 1842; Oregon Treaty; Alabama claims. Greeley, Horace; portrait; on secession; defeated for Presidency. Greene, General, his Southern Campaigns. Grenville, George. Guilford, battle of.

Hamilton, Alexander; Secretary of the Treasury; his financial policy; his constitutional ideas; intrigues against Adams. Harrison, Benjamin, elected President. Harrison, General W.H.; at Tippecanoe; elected President; his death. Hartford Convention. Harvester, the. Hawaii annexed. Hawkins, Sir John. Hayes, R.B., elected President. Henry, Patrick; portrait; Parson's Cause; his Stamp Act Resolutions; in Continental Congress; opposes Constitution. Hood, Confederate general. Hooker, General Joseph. Hudson, Henry.

Impressment. Iroquois.

Jackson, General Andrew; portrait; a Creek War; defends New Orleans; candidate for Presidency; elected President; his administration. Jamestown, founded. Jay, John. Jay's Treaty. Jefferson, Thomas; portrait; writes Declaration of Independence; Secretary of State; his constitutional ideas; Vice-President; writes Kentucky Resolutions; elected President; his administrations. Johnson, Andrew; portrait; President; his reconstruction policy; impeached. Johnston, Confederate general. Judiciary Act of 1801.

Kansas, struggle for. Kansas-Nebraska Act. Kentucky Resolutions. Kieft, Dutch governor. King Philip's War. King's Mountain, battle of.

Lake Erie, battle of. La Salle, his explorations. Lee, R. E., Confederate general. Lee, R. H. Leon, Ponce de. Lewis and Clark. Lexington, battle of. "Liberty," the, seized. Lincoln, Abraham; portrait; early life; Debate with Douglas; elected President; first inaugural; Emancipation Proclamation; murdered; reconstruction policy. Livingston, R. R.; portrait; negotiates Louisiana Purchase. Locomotive invented. Louisiana; settlement of; ceded to Spain; returned to France; purchased by United States. Loyalists. Lundy's Lane, battle of.

Madison, James; portrait; in Federal convention; writes Virginia Resolutions; President; his war message. Magellan, his great voyage. "Maine," destruction of the. Manhattan Island. Manila Bay, battle of. Manila, captured. Maryland Toleration Act. Mason and Dixon's Line. Massachusetts Circular Letter. Mayflower compact. McClellan, General G.B.; portrait; Peninsular Campaign; at Antietam. McCormick, C.H., invents horse reaper. McKinley, William; portrait; President. Meade, General G.G. Menendez (mae-nen'deth). Mexico; War with; the French in. Missouri Compromise. "Monitor" and "Merrimac." Monmouth, battle of. Monroe Doctrine. Monroe, James; portrait; negotiates Louisiana Purchase; President. Morgan, General D.. Morse, S.F.B. Moultrie, General. Murfreesboro', battle of.

Nashville, battle of. National debt; origin of; Jefferson and the. Neutral commerce. Neutrality Proclamation. New Amsterdam. New England colonies, settlement of. New England Confederation. New Jersey. New Netherland. New Orleans; defended by Jackson; captured by Farragut. New Sweden. New York City; in 1800; in 1830; in 1860. Non-Conformists. Non-Importation agreements. Non-Intercourse Act. North Carolina. Nullification.

Oglethorpe, General. Ordinance of 1787. Oregon; claims to; divided. Oriskany, battle of. Otis, James.

Pacific Ocean, discovered. Panic; of 1837; of 1873. Paris; Peace of (1763); (1783). Parson's cause. Parties, political, formation of. Peninsular Campaign. Penn, William. Pennsylvania, settlement of. Pequod War. Perry, Commodore. Petersburg, blockade of. Petition, right of. Philadelphia. Pierce, Franklin; portrait; President; comes out for the Union. Pilgrims. Pitt, William. Plattsburg, battle of. Plymouth, settlement of. Polk, James K.; portrait; President. Polo, Marco. Pope, General John. Porto Rico, occupied. President, how chosen. Princeton, battle of. Proclamation of 1763. Providence, founded. Puritans, the.

Quakers. Quebec Act. Quebec; founded; captured.

Railroads, growth of. Ralegh, Sir Walter. Reaper, the horse. Reconstruction Acts. Religion. Republican Party; of Jefferson; of Lincoln. Revolutionary War, campaigns of. Rhode Island, settlement of. Ribault (re'bo'), French explorer. Rockingham Ministry. Rosecrans, General.

St. Augustine, founded. Sampson, Admiral. Sandys, Sir Edwin. Santiago. Saratoga, Burgoyne's surrender at. Schuyler. General. Scott, General Winfield; his Mexican campaign; defeated for Presidency; views on secession. Secession. Separatists. Seward, W.H.; portrait; on Kansas. Shays's Rebellion. Sheridan, General Philip; portrait; at Chickamauga; in Virginia; his Valley Campaigns. Sherman, General W.T.; portrait; at Chattanooga; captures Atlanta; the march through Georgia; the march through the Carolinas. Shiloh, battle of. Slavery; in Virginia; compromises; Missouri Compromise; petitions in Congress; Compromise of 1850; abolished. Soto, de (dae so'to) in the Southeast. South Carolina; settlement of; nullification in; secession of. Spain; pioneers of; Treaty with (1795); War with. Spotsylvania, battle of. "Squatter Sovereignty." Stamp Act. Stamp Act Congress. Stark, General. Steamboat, the. Stephen, A. H. Steuben, Baron. Stowe, Mrs. H.B. Stuart Tyranny in the colonies. Stuyvesant, Dutch governor. Sumter, fall of Fort.

Tariffs; 1789; of 1816, 1824, 1828; the Compromise; McKinley; Dingley. Taylor, General Zachary; portrait; his Mexican Campaign; President; death. Tea Tax. Tecumseh or Tecumthe. Telegraph, the. Tenure of Office Acts; Crawford's; of 1867. Texas; Republic of; admitted to the Union. Thirteenth Amendment. Thomas, General George H.; portrait; his services. Ticonderoga. Tippecanoe, battle of. Townshend Acts, the. Treaties; 1778 (with France); 1783 (with Great Britain); Jay's Treaty; 1795 (with Spain); 1800 (with France); Louisiana Purchase; of Ghent; Florida Purchase; 1842 (with Great Britain); Oregon Treaty; 1848 (with Mexico); Gadsden Purchase; 1898 (with Spain). Trent Affair. Trenton, battle of. Twelfth Amendment. Tyler, John; portrait; Vice-President; President.

United States, area and population of; in 1800; in 1830; in 1860.

Van Buren, Martin; President; defeated for Presidency. Verrazano (ver-rae-tsae'no). Vespucius, Americus; portrait; his voyages. Vicksburg, Campaign of. Vinland. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. Virginia Resolves of 1769. Virginia, settlement of.

War of 1812. Washington, George; portrait; his early life; first campaign; on the Boston Post Act; in Continental Congress; in Revolutionary War; in Federal Convention; President; his neutrality proclamation; farewell address; death. Washington City. Webster, Daniel; portrait; his reply to Hayne. Webster, Noah, portrait; his Dictionary. Whig Party, the. Whiskey Insurrection. Whitney. Wilderness, battle of the. Williams, Roger. Wilmot Proviso. Wolfe, General. Writs of Assistance. X.Y.Z. Affair. Yorktown, capture of.



DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

In 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 shown, 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 population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration 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 harass our People, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislature.

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 Legislature, 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 & 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 attention to our Brittish 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.

JOHN HANCOCK.

New Hampshire—JOSIAH BARTLETT, WM. WHIPPLE, MATTHEW THORNTON.

Massachusetts Bay—SAML. ADAMS, JOHN ADAMS, ROBT. TREAT PAINE, ELBRIDGE GERRY.

Rhode Island—STEP. HOPKINS, WILLIAM ELLERY.

Connecticut—ROGER SHERMAN, SAM'EL HUNTINGTON, WM. WILLIAMS, OLIVER WOLCOTT.

New York—WM. FLOYD, PHIL. LIVINGSTON, FRANS. LEWIS, LEWIS MORRIS.

New Jersey—RICHD. STOCKTON, JNO. WITHERSPOON, FRAS. HOPKINSON, JOHN HART, ABRA. CLARK.

Pennsylvania—ROBT. MORRIS, BENJAMIN RUSH, BENJA. FRANKLIN, JOHN MORTON, GEO. CLYMER, JAS. SMITH, GEO. TAYLOR, JAMES WILSON, GEO. ROSS.

Delaware-CAESAR RODNEY, GEO. READ, THO. M'KEAN.

Maryland—SAMUEL CHASE, WM. PACA, THOS. STONE, CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton.

Virginia—GEORGE WYTHE, RICHARD HENRY LEE, TH. JEFFERSON, BENJA. HARRISON, THOS. NELSON, jr., FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE, CARTER BRAXTON.

North Carolina—WM. HOOPER, JOSEPH HEWES, JOHN PENN.

South Carolina—EDWARD RUTLEDGE, THOS. HEYWARD, Junr., THOMAS LYNCH, Junr., ARTHUR MIDDLETON.

Georgia—BUTTON GWINNETT, LYMAN HALL, GEO. WALTON.[2]

[2] This arrangement of the names is made for convenience. The States are not mentioned in the original.

THE END

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