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The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem necessary, or on the application of twothirds of the legislatures of the several states, shall propose amendments to this constitution, which shali be valid to all intents and purposes, as part thereof, when the same shall have been ratified by three-fourths at least of the legislatures 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 1808 shall in any manner affect the and sections of article
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 onder 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 ány 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 10 any office or publick trust under the United States.
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 draft of a letter to Congress being at the same time reported, was read once throughout ; and afterwards agreed to by paragraphs.
THE LETTER TO CONGRESS.*
We have now the honour to submit to the consideration of the United States in Congress assembled, that constitution which has appeared to us the most advisa. ble.
The friends of our country have long seen and desired, that the power of making war, peace, and treaties; that of levying money, and regulatiog commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities, shall be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the union. But the impropriety of delegating such extensive trust to one body of men, is evident. Thence results the necessity of a different organization. It is obviously impracticable, in the federal government of these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering
• Paper deposited by President Washington, at the Department of State:
into society must give up a share of liberty, to pre-, serve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstances, 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 difference among the several states, as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.
In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view that which appeared to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each state in the convention to be less rigid in points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwise expected. And thus the constitution which we now present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that matual deference and concession, which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.
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 interest alone been consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable and injurious to others. That it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe ; that it inay promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish. ,
Jt was moved and seconded to reconsider the thirteenth section of the sixth article
Which passed in the affirmative.
It was moved and seconded to strike out the words "three-fourths,” and to insert tbe words“ two-thirds," in the thirteenth section of the sixth article
Which passed in the affirmative.
Veas-Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia
6 Nars Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia Divided-New Hampshire
1 It was moved and seconded to appoint a committee to prepare a bill of rights
Which passed unanimously in the negative,
It was moved and seconded to reconsider the thirteenth article, in order to add the following clause at the end of the thirteenth article :
- Provided nothing herein contained shall be con“strued to restrain any state from laying duties upon "exports, for the sole purpose of defraying the char.
ges of inspecting, packing, storing, and indemnifying "the losses in keeping the commodities in the care of
publick officers before exportation.” It was agreed to reconsider.
YEAS-Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia 7
Nays-New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, 3
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1787.
The honourable Mr. Johnson, from the committee of revision, reported the following as a substitute for the twenty-second and twenty-third articles :
“ 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 the people thereof, “under the recommendation of its legislature, for their 4 assent and ratification; and that each convention " assenting to, and ratifying the same, should give no"lice thereof to the United States in Congress assem66 bled.
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this convention, that as soon as the conventions of nine states “shall have ratified this constitution, the United States “in Congress assembled should fix a day, on which "electors should be appointed by the states which " shall have ratified the same; and a day on which " the electors should assemble to vote for the presi“dent; and the time and place for commencing pro"ceedings under this constitution : that after such pub“ lication, the electors should be appointed, and the
senators and representatives elected : that the elec"tors should meet on the day fixed for the election of " the president, and should transmit their votes certifi"ed, signed, sealed, and directed, as the constitution "requires, to the secretary of the United States in “ Congress assembled : that the senators and repre6 sentatives should convene at the time and place as6 signed : that the senators should appoint a president 66 of the senate for the sole purpose of receiving, open"ing, and counting the votes for president : And that “after he shall be chosen, the Congress, together with