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Monday, September 17, 1787.
The states of New Hampshire, Massachuseits, Connecticut, Mr.
Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
RESOLVED, That the preceding constitution be laid before the United States in congress assembled ; and that it is the opinion of this convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each state by
Nder H. the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legisla
ture, for their assent and ratification; and that each convention assenting to, and ratifying the same, should give notice
thereof to the United States in congress assembled. s Dart
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this convention, that as
soon as the conventions of nine states shall have ratified this sfare constitution, the United States in congress assembled should Mirrus fix a day on which electors should be appointed by the states Vorur which shall have ratified the same, and a day on which the ALEXE electors should assemble to vote for the president, and the 'a:xtime and place for commencing proceedings under this constiERAL tution; that after such publication, the electors should be apSex pointed, and the senators and representatives elected; that the Ela electors should meet on the day fixed for the election of the
president, and should transmit their votes, certified, signed, EDAD C Sealed, and directed, as the constitution requires, to the secrepor tary of the United States in congress assembled; that the sen
ators and representatives should convene at the time and place assigned; that the senators should appoint a president of the senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening, and count
ing the votes for president; and that after he shall be chosen, Ta the congress
, together with’ the president, should, without delay, proceed to execute this constitution. By the unanimous order of the convention.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, President.
September 17, 1787. “ We have now the honour to submit to che consideration of “the United States in congress assembled that constitution “which has appeared to us the most advisable.
"The friends of our country have long seen and desired, " that the power of making war, peace, and treaties; that of " levying money and regulating commerce; and the corre
spondent executive and judicial authorities, should be fully " and effecțually vested in the general government of the un“ion : but the impropriety of delegating such extensive trust
to one body of men is evident. Hence results the necessity “of a different organization.
"It is obviously impracticable in the federal government of " these states, to secure all rights of independent sove
reignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety “of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share " of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sac“rifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as
on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to “ draw with precision the line between those rights which must “ be surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on
" the present occasion this difficulty was increased by a differ
ence among the several states as to their situation, extent, “habits, and particular interests. 66
“ In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in “our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every “true American, the consolidation of our union, in which is “involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our na" tional existence. This important consideration, seriously “and deeply impressed on our minds, led each state in the “convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, “ than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the con“stitution, which we now present, is the result of a spirit of “ amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which " the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensa
“ That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every “state, is not perhaps to be expected; but each will doubtless " consider, that had her interests been alone consulted, the con“ sequences might have been particularly disagreeable or inju“rious to others: that it is liable to as few exceptions as “could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe: " that it may promote the lasting welfare of ihat country so “ dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish. “With great respect, we have the honour to be, sir, your excellency's most obedient and humble servants.”
GEORGE WASHINGTON, President,
by unanimous order of the convention. His excellency the PRESIDENT OF Congress.
[The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, congress, at the session begun and held at the city of New York, on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789, proposed to the legislatures of the several states twelve amendments, ten of which only were adopted. They are the ten first following:]
ARTICLE 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.
ARTICLE 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.
ARTICLE 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.
ARTICLE 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 warrant 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.
ARTICLE 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 a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberiy, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
ARTICLE 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 favour, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.
ARTICLE 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 reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
ARTICLE VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
ARTICLE IX. The enumeration in the constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
ARTICLE 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.