« AnteriorContinuar »
He has kept among us, in time of peace, standing are mies, 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 constitut on, 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 pre tended offences :
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring 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 complete 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, tn
pecoi ne the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our fron tiers. the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sex a3, and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions, we have petition ed 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 magnanimily, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connexions 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 connexion 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 reace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to de 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, oui lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
And perpetual union, between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
ARTICLE I. The style of this confederacy shall be, “The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
ARTICLE II. Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.
ARTICLE III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firu league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare ; binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon, them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
ARTICLE IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice, excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens, in the several States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State ; and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectirely ; provided, that such restriction shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant ; provided also, that no imposition, duties, or restriction, shall be laid by any State, on the property of the United States, or either of them.
If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felo ny, or other high misdemeanor, in any State, shall fee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon demand of the governor or executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offence.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings, of the courts and magistrates of every other State.
ARTICLE V. For the more convenient management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and send others in their stead, for the remainder of the year.
No State shall be represented in Congress by less thar. two, nor by more than seven, members ; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years ; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, Teceives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meet
ing of the States, and while they act as members of the committee of tne States.
In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned, in any court or place out of Congress ; and the members of Congress shall be pro tected in their persons from arrests and imprisonment, during the time of their going to, and from, and attendance on, Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of "he peace.
ARTICLE VI. No State, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance, or treaty, with any king, prince, or state ; nor shall any person, holding any office of profit, or trust, under the United States, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state ; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation, or alliance whatever, between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall con tinue.
No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties entered into, by the United States in Congress assembled, with any king, prince, or state, in pursuance of any treaties, already pro posed by Congress to the courts of France and Spain.
No vessels of war shall be kept up, in time of peace, by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary, by the United States in Congress as. sembled, for the defence of such State, or its trade ; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State, ir time of peace, except such number only, as in the judge