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Resolved, that the following Declaration of Rights and Amendments to the new constitution of government recommended by the late federal convention, ought to be communicated and referred to the other States in the American Union for their consideration, previous to its final ratification ;
or Resolved, that the following Amendments ought to be made to the new constitution of governmnt recommended by the late federal Convention previous to the ratification thereof, and that the said Amendments be by this Convention communicated and referred to the other States in the American Union for their consideration;
Resolved, that the new constitution of government recommended by the late federal convention ought to be ratified when the following Declaration of Rights and Amendments shall be adopted ; and that the said Declaration of Rights and Amendments be by this Convention communicated and referred to the other States in the Union.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights, asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable rights of the people, in some such manner as the following.
1. That all freemen have certain essential inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity ; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
2. That all power is naturally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates therefore are their trustees and agents, and at all times amenable to them.
3. That government, is or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people; and that whenever any government shall be found inadequate, or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, and to establish another, in such manner as shall be judged most con
ducive to the public weal; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
4. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge, or any other public office, to be hereditary.
5. That legislative, executive, and judiciary powers of government should be separate and distinct, and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the public burthens, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into the mass of the people, and the vacancies be supplied by certain and regular elections ; in which all or any part of the former members to be eligible, or ineligible, as the rules of the constitution of government, and the laws shall direct.
6. That the right of the people to participate in the legislature is the best security of liberty, and the foundation of all free government; for this purpose, elections ought to be free and frequent; and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to the community, ought to have the right of suffrage ; and that no aid charge, tax or fee can be set, rated, or levied upon the people, without their own consent, or that of their representatives, so elected, nor can they be bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good.
7. That all power of suspending laws or the execution of laws, by any authority, without the consent of the representatives of the people in the legislature, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence, and be admitted counsel in his favor, and to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty (except in the government of the land and naval forces in time of actual war, invasion, or rebellion) nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself.
9. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, privileges, or franchises, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the law of the land.
10. That every freeman restrained of his liberty, is entitled to a remedy to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed.
13. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
14. That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person,
and his property, all warrants therefore to search suspected places, or to seize any freeman, his papers or property, without information upon oath (or affirmation of a person religiously scrupulous of taking an oath) of legal and sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive ; and all general warrants to search suspected places, or to apprehend any suspected person, without specially naming or describing the place or person, are dangerous, and ought not to be granted.
11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury of facts, where they arise, is one of the greatest securities to the rights of a free people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.
16. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their sentiments; that the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and ought not to be violated.
15. That the people have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for their common good, or to instruct their representatives, and that every freeman has a right to petition, or apply to the legislature for redress of grievances.
12. That every freeman ought to find a certain remedy by recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs he may receive in his person, property, or character; He ought to obtain right and justice freely, without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay; and that all establishments or regulations, contravening these rights are oppressive and unjust.
17. That the people have a right to keep and to bear arms; that
a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State ; that standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.
18. That no soldier in time of peace ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; and in time of war, only by the civil magistrate in such manner as the laws direct.
19. That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent, to employ another to bear arms in his stead.
20. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular religious sect, or society of Christians, ought to be favored or established by law, in preference to others.
AMENDMENTS PROPOSED TO THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT IN ADDITION TO THE DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
1. That each State in the Union shall respectively retain every power, jurisdiction and right which is not by this Constitution expressly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the departments of the federal government.
2. That there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, according to the enumeration or census mentioned in the Constitution, until the whole number of representatives amounts to two hundred ; after which that number shall be continued or increased, as the Congress shall direct, upon the principles fixed in the Constitution, by apportioning the representatives of each State to some greater number of people from time to time as population increases.
3. That Congress, shall not exercise the powers respecting the regulation of elections, vested in them by the fourth section of the first article of the Constitution, but in cases when a State
neglects or refuses to make the regulations therein mentioned, or shall make regulations subversive of the rights of the people to a free and equal representation in Congress, agreeably to the Constitution, or shall be prevented from making elections by invasion, rebellion or insurrection ; and in any of these cases, such powers shall be exercised by the Congress only, until the cause be removed.
4. That the Congress do not lay direct taxes, but when the revenue arising from the duties on imports is insufficient for the public exigencies, nor then until Congress shall have first made a requisition upon the States, to assess, levy and pay their respective proportions of such requisitions, according to the enumeration or census fixed in the Constitution in such way and manner as the legislature of the State shall judge best ; and if any State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion pursuant to such requisition, the Congress may assess and levy such State's proportion together with interest thereon, at the rate of six per centum per annum from the time of payment prescribed in such requisition.
5. That the members of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be ineligible to and incapable of holding any civil office under the authority of the United States, during the time for which they shall respectively be elected.
6. That the journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be published at least once in every year except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations as in their judgment require secrecy.
7. That a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published at least once in every year.
8. That no commercial treaty shall be ratified, without the concurrence of two thirds of the whole number of the members of the Senate, and no treaty ceding, contracting, restraining or suspending the territorial rights or claims of the United States, or any of them, or their or any of their rights or claims to fishing in the American seas, or navigating the American rivers, shall be ratified without the concurrence of three fourths of the whole number of the members of both houses respectively.
9. That no navigation law or law regulating commerce shall be passed without the consent of two thirds of the members present in both houses.
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