Amerikan Devrimi

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Amerikan Devrimi



 

       

Pilgrimler Yeni Dünyaya Avrupa’nın arkaik kültürlerinden arınmış olarak geldiler. 1607’de Mayflower’dan karaya ayak bastıklarında yanlarında yalnızca yolcuların tümü tarafından imzalanan bir “hak eşitliği sözleşmesi” vardı. Yeni Dünyalarını eski dünyanın kraliyetinden, aristokrasisinden, feodalizminden ya da herhangi bir ulusal tikelciliğinden artıklar ile kirletmediler. Püritanlar inançlarını bile yanlarında tüm kurumlarından ve dışsal süslerinden arındırılmış olarak getirdiler. Püritanizmin kamu moral yaşamı üzerindeki etkisi hiçbir etkisinin olmaması idi. Moral son söz kişinin kendi duyuncuna aitti — ‘kutsal’ insanlara, ya da ‘kutsal’ sözlere değil. Kutsallık sözcüğün gerçek anlamında insanın en iç ussal yaşamında, özgür duyuncunda yatıyordu. Yurttaşlık eşitliğini bozacak herhangi bir dinsel üstünlük konumunun yokluğunda, hiçbir insan başkalarından güçlü değildi ve politik güç topluluğun politik istencinden doğuyordu. Tüm arkaik inançlarına ve boşinançlarına karşın, duyunç özgürlüğü ve istenç özgürlüğü ile belirlenen Püritanizm daha başından politik bir bilinç biçimi idi.

 

Püritanlar özgürlük, hak eşitliği ve yasa egemenliği kavramlarının bilincini bir bakıma ikinci bir doğa gibi taşıyorlardı. Yeni Dünyaya kendilerine yeni ve arınmış bir politik yaşam kurmak için demokratik devrimleri ile, en azından onun ideası ile geldiler. Plymouth Kolonisi daha sonra kurulacak 13 koloninin eşitlikçi etik-politik karakteri için model oldu. Avrupa’daki tüm devrimler yalnızca monarşları devirir ve yerlerine yenilerini geçirirken ve feodal kültürün başka herşeyini az çok olduğu gibi bırakırken, Amerikan Devrimi aşağı yukarı tam bir kültürel-politik arılık içinde başladı. Eylem ve etkinlik haklarından hiç biri eksik olmayan ‘yurttaşlık’ daha kolonial evrede Amerikan etik yaşamının tanımlayıcısı oldu ve bir demokrasi-öncesi dönemin, despotik bir eski rejimin yokluğunda demokrasi genel olarak politika ile eşitlendi.

 

Yeni Dünyadaki devrim Eski Dünyadaki kraliyeti yalnızca Yeni Dünyada devirdi. Yeni Ülkedeki devrim Eski Ülkelerinden kaçan Püritanların eylemi oldu. Püritanların Yeni Dünyaya kaçmaları Eski Dünyada kraliyetin gücünü göreli olarak arttırırken, iç savaşın Kraliyetin ve Anglikan Kilisesinin utkusu ile sonlanmasını sağladı. Eski-İngiltere hiçbir zaman Yeni-İngiltere’nin eşitlikçi, demokratik tinini kazanamadı. Ve Eski Dünyanın imparatorluklardan kurtulma ve demokrasileri kurma eylemleri ile karşıtlık içinde, demokratik devrimini bastıran İngiltere kraliyetten bir imparatorluk yapma çabasını girişti.

 

Amerikan Devrimi modern dünyanın ilk devrimi idi ve Fransız Devriminin devrimci karakter taşıyan önderlerini esinlendirdi ve yüreklendirdi. Fransız “İnsan ve Yurttaş Hakları Bildirgesi” Amerikan devriminin önderlerinden biri olan Thomas Jefferson’un katkısı ile yazıldı.

 

The Mayflower Compact / Mayflower Bağıtı

The Mayflower Compact / Mayflower Bağıtı

 

       
   

16 Eylül 1620'de "Mayflower" ile İngiltere, Plymouth'tan Yeni Dünyaya yelken açan 102 Pilgrimin ilk planı Virginia'ya yerleşmekti. Ama 1620 Kasımında 66 gün süren uzun bir yolculuktan sonra fırtınalar nedeniyle gemi kışın tam ortasında daha kuzeyde olan Massachusetts'e ulaştı. Yolculuğun Nisan ayında başlamasının planlanmış olmasına karşın zamanında yola çıkılamadı ve daha ılıman olan güney topraklarına varmak yerine daha kuzeyde olan Yeni İngiltere'nin sert kışına yakalandılar. İlk yıl kolonistlerin yaklaşık olarak yarısı çeşitli hastalıklar nedeniyle öldü. Kıtanın yerlilerinden o bölgede tarım ve avcılığın nasıl yapılacağını öğrendiler.

Pilgrimler Virginia yasalarına bağlı olmadıkları için kendi yetkelerini sağlama bağlama ve olası bir karışıklıktan kaçınma amacıyla "Mayflower Compact/Mayflower Bağıtı" olarak bilinen bir anlaşma hazırladılar ve imzaladılar. Gemideki kadınlar, çocuklar ve hizmetçiler dışında 41 yetişkin erkek Plymouth Kolonisinde bir hükümet kurulmasına temel olacak anlaşmayı imzaladı. 1691'e dek yürürlükte kalan Mayflower Bağıtı Amerikan tarihinde ilk demokratik yönetim belgesidir.

Özgün belgenin yitmesine karşın, 17'nci yüzyılda üç eşlemi saklanmıştır. Bunlardan biri Plymouth Kolonisinin ikinci valisi olan William Bradford'un "Plymouth Plantasyonu" üzerine tarihçesinde bulunur.

 

MAYFLOWER COMPACT
( Modern version)

       

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

 

 

PLYMOUTH (GOOGLE MAP)

 

Mayflower Compact



 



 

Demokratik öncülleri verildiğinde, Amerikan Tini Avrupa’nın aristokratik ve feodal öğeler ile kirlenmiş ön-modern kültürlerinden bir karışım olamazdı. Yeni Dünyada yeni ulus eski kültürün bir dönüşümü sonucunda ortaya çıkmadı. Hak eşitliği, duyunç özgürlüğü ve yasa egemenliği temelinde, ulus duygusu dirençsizce dinsel ayrımların, etnik ayrımların ve sınıf ayrımlarının üzerine yükseldi ve her zaman ölümcül düşmanlıklara dönüşmeye hazır bekleyen kültürel türlülüğü türdeşleştiren genel istence dönüştü. Monarşik kültür ve karakter artıkları kısa bir süre içinde yitip gitti. Yeni kültür hiçbir zaman demokrasi-öncesi çağ gibi bir sıkıntıyı yaşamadı, hızla serpildi, ve aşağı yukarı yüz yıl içinde büyük bir gücü, İngiltere İmparatorluğunu başından attı.

 

Püritan ideali verildiğinde, Amerikan Tini Eski Dünyanın kültürel çerçöpü için sözde bir pota da olamazdı. Birleşik Devletler’in Püritanlar ile başlayan tarihi bir yandan kendini tikel bir mezhep kültürüne indirgemeye çabalayan bu kitlenin kendisinin evrensel duyunç özgürlüğünü öğrenme, öte yandan muazzam bir uluslararası göçten salt bir kültürel türlülük değil ama bir evrensel kültür yaratma süreci olarak gelişmeye başladı.

 

 

 

 

Amerika Birleşik Devletleri Püritanlar tarafından kuruldu. 16'ncı yüzyılın Püritanları çok bilgili insanlar değildiler. Politik bilinçleri gelişmiş değildi ve bir ülkenin nasıl kurulacağı ve nasıl yönetileceği konusunda ne deneyimleri ne de bilgileri vardı. İngiltere'den ayrılmalarını ve Yeni Dünyaya göç etmelerini dinsel anlamı olan bir olay olarak görüyor, çektikleri sıkıntıları ve acıları İncil mitlerinin terimlerinde yorumluyorlardı. Katolik kültürden kalma boşinançlarını bütünüyle terk etmiş değildiler ve dinin doğası konusunda kavramsal bir pekinlikten bütünüyle yoksundular. Ve gene de inançlarının kendisinin arılığı için kaygıları tüm tikelliklerini önemsizleştirdi ve tinsel gelişimlerini bütünüyle özgürleştirdi. Politik eylemlerini Püritanlar olarak yerine getirdiler. Bir Püritan politik olarak ancak özgür ve eşit yurttaş olabilirdi.

 

Calvinist Püritanların onları başka her kültürden ayıran özgünlükleri kültürün kendisine karşı inançsızlıkları idi. Varolan herşeyin, tüm kurumların, normların, kuralların, yasaların vb. moral yargıçları olduklarına inanıyorlardı ve onlar tarafından güdülmeleri, yanıltılmaları, ayartılmaları söz konusu değildi. Duyunç özgürlükleri tamdı ve herşeyi, giderek "Kutsal Yazılar" olarak inandıkları metinleri bile kuşkudan bağışık görmüyor, duyunç tarafından aklanmaları gerektiğini düşünüyorlardı.

 

Dinin bir inanç, bir duygu konusu olması onun en iç özgürlükten doğması demektir ve Püritanların bu saltık olarak içsel özgürlüğü din kavramının kendisinin en özsel yanıdır. Püritanlar Tanrıları ile eksiksiz barış içinde idiler. Tanrı insan için bir korku kaynağı, bir kölelik ve kulluk nedeni değildi ve onunla onun tözsel özünü paylaşmak dinsel bilinç için en iç özgürlük demektir. Ancak özgür duyunç moral iyiyi bulabilir.

 

Duyunç kavramı gereği doğrudur ve yanlış olanı doğrulayamaz. Duyunç keyfi olamaz. Duyuncun gereksindiği tek şey kendini kendi içinden belirlemek demek olan özgürlüktür ve belirli yanlışlıklarını ve yanılgılarını düzeltmesi için gereksindiği tek şey yine kendisidir. Duyunç özgürlük içinde ancak büyüyebilir ve gelişebilir.

 

Ahlak ve etik ancak özgürlük içinde olanaklıdır ve bu nedenle duyunç özgürlüğünü tanımayan despotik kültürlerde bireysel ahlak yoktur ve etik bütünüyle etik-dışı bir barbarlık kültürüdür. Pozitivizm insan usunun ahlak ve etik kavramlarının bilgisi açısından despotik kültürün durumuna andırımlı birşeyi yapar ve etik üzerine özgürlük kavramı olmaksızın bir görüş üretmeye çabalar.

 

Modern Moral Philosophy / G. E. M. Anscombe

Modern Moral Philosophy / G. E. M. Anscombe

Analitik ahlak felsefesi "ruhbilim"den başlanması gerektiğini düşünür, çünkü moral belirlenimler deneyim nesneleri değildirler.

 

Katolikliğe dönen ve yaşam boyu koyu bir Katolik olarak kalan Anscombe “Modern Moral Philosophy”de (1958) şunları yazar:

  1. "It is not profitable for us at present to do moral philosophy; that should be laid aside at any rate until we have an adequate philosophy of psychology, in which we are conspicuously lacking."
  2. "Concepts of obligation, and duty — moral obligation and moral duty, that is to say — and of what is morally right and wrong, and of the moral sense of "ought," ought to be jettisoned if this is psychologically possible; because they are survivals, or derivatives from survivals, from an earlier conception of ethics which no longer generally survives, and are only harmful without it."
  3. "The differences between the well-known English writers on moral philosophy from Sidgwick to the present day are of little importance."

 

Ahlak felsefesine dinsel-olmayan yaklaşımların temelsiz olduğunu düşünür ve "doğru," "haklı" ve "gerekli" vb. gibi moral kavramların legalistik olduğunu ve dışsal bir yetke gerektirdiğini ileri sürer. Geçmişte Tanrı bu konumu dolduruyordu. Tanrı kavramının bu işlevinden vazgeçen ahlak felsefelerin temeli yoktur. Bu temel bir tür ahlaksal "ruhbilim" tarafından sağlanmalıdır.

Gerçekte bu temel Locke ve Hume'un "ahlak felsefelerinde" sağlanıyor görünür, çünkü Locke ve onu izleyen Hume haz ve acının moral olarak iyi ve moral olarak kötü ile bağlantılarını insan eyleminin temel güdüleri olarak kabul ederler.

  1. "I should judge that Hume and our present‑day ethicists had done a considerable service by showing that no content could be found in the notion "morally ought"; if it were not that the latter philosophers try to find an alternative (very fishy) content and to retain the psychological force of the term. It would be most reasonable to drop it. It has no reasonable sense outside a law conception of ethics ..."
  2. . It would be a great improvement if, instead of "morally wrong," one always named a genus such as "untruthful," "unchaste," "unjust." We should no longer ask whether doing something was "wrong," passing directly from some description of an action to this notion; we should ask whether, e.g., it was unjust; and the answer would sometimes be clear at once.

 

"Ahlaksal gerek" için bir içerik bulunamaz, çünkü açıktır ki geneldir. Bir kategorik imperativ de geneldir ve "gerek"ten başka birşey anlatmaz. Ona içerik bulduğumuz ve onu belirlediğimiz zaman bu pekala "doğru" olduğu gibi yanlış" da olabilir, çünkü belirli içerik saltık değil, görelidir.

Sorun bir içerik bulmak değil, "gerek" kavramının kendisi için bir çıkarsama ya da aklama yapmaktır. "Gerek" "zorunluk" değildir, çünkü moral "gerek" yerine getirilmeyebilir ve ahlakın bir problem olmasının, bir özgürlük sorunu olmasının anlamı budur. Özgürlük "gerek" ile çatışmak ve onu çiğnemek değil, onu yerine getirmek, bir "dir" yapmaktır. Duyunç her zaman "gerek" kipindedir, içseldir, bir "dir" ya da "varlık" değildir. Belirli olduğu ve eylemde nesnelleştiği zaman bakış açılarının göreliliği altına düşer ve doğru olduğu gibi yanlış da olabilir. Belirli olanın kendinde doğru olması söz konusu değildir, çünkü görelidir.

Bu görelilik etiğin, erdemin, genel olarak ahlakın değişiminin ve gelişiminin olanağıdır. "Gerek" duyunçtan doğar ve genel olarak moral gelişime açıklığı anlatır.

Anscombe'un önerisi "ahlaksal olarak yanlış/morally wrong" yerine "haksız/unjuust" terimini geçirmektir. Ve bu yaklaşım Anscombe'in dinsel temelli bir etik yerine bir "erdem etiğini" savunduğu biçiminde yorumlanır. Anscombe'a göre yararlık etiği kişiyi salt ‘yararlı’ olmaları zemininde moral olarak ‘yanlış’ olan eylemleri aklamaya götürür.

"Erdem etiği" terimi etiğin kendisinin erdem olduğu olgusunun kavranmamasından doğar. "Erdemler" bir dizi karakter özelliğini anlatan listelerde toplanır ve bunlar yazardan yazara, çağdan çağa değişir. Ama bu türlülüğe karşın, tümü de etik normlar ile bağıntılı içindedir. Erdem bütününde aile, toplum ve devlet yaşamında etik normlar ile uyum içinde davranmaktan ve yaşamaktan başka birşey değildir. Erdem gibi etik de henüz "var" olmayan ama bir "gerek" olandır. Ya da "gerek" "var" olduğu gibi henüz "var" olmayanı, akışta olanı, değişimde olanı anlatır. Ve ancak bu çelişkili karakter etik ideale erişmenin olanağını verir.

 



 

Püritanlar bütün bir tarih boyunca içsel olarak ve dışsal olarak din kavramına en yakın bağlılığı gösteren insanlar oldular. Ve gene de kurdukları devlet bir teokrasi değil, bir demokrasi idi. Katolik Orta ve Güney Amerika kaosa, anarşiye, yasasızlığa batarken, Kuzey Amerika özgürce moral ve etik büyümenin yoluna girdi. Tarihsel dinler insana moral doğrularını hazır olarak verirler. Gerçek din kavramı insanın moral doğrularını kendi içinde, kendi duyuncunda bulması gerektiğini gösterir. İnsanın moral büyümesinin ve kendi etik normlarını sorgulayarak gelişmesinin olanağı duyunç özgürlüğüdür.

 

Amerikan Devrimi Atlantik Okyanusu kıyılarında 1765 ve 1783 arasında 2,5 milyon kadar insan kapsayan On Üç Kolonide Büyük Britanya’ya karşı yer alan bir başkaldırı idi. Bu devrim bir bakıma bir İngiliz Devrimi idi, çünkü devrimciler kendilerini her zaman İngiliz olarak gördüler ve kraliyete karşı savaştılar. Ama aynı zamanda devrim bir Amerikan Devrimi idi, çünkü kolonistler İngiliz tinine yabancı, aslında onunla tam bir karşıtlık içinde duran özgürlükçü ve eşitlikçi bir tin geliştirmişlerdi.

 

 

 

      

Kolonistler başından demokratik devrim ile başlarken, Avrupa henüz büyük ölçüde eski rejimlerin denetimi altında idi. İngiltere’de Püritanlar kısa süren bir “İngiltere Cumhuriyeti” kurduktan sonra Anglikan Kiliseye boyun eğmeye geri döndüler ve Kraliyeti yeniden kurdular. Ve Fransız Devrimi demokrasiyi kurmada bütünüyle başarısız olur ve açıkça kaotik bir şiddet kültürüne bozulurken, kendini yönetemeyen bir halk için yeniden İmparatorluğa dönmekten başka bir çözüm yoktu.

 

Askeri olarak bütünüyle güçsüz olan Amerikan kolonileri yeryüzünün en büyük ve en güçlü imparatorluğu olma yolundaki İngiltere’yi yenerek bağımsızlıklarını kazandılar ve “Amerika Birleşik Devletleri” adını aldılar. Hiç kuşkusuz İngilizleri Amerikan Bağımsızlık Savaşında Fransa, İspanya ve Hollanda yardımı ile yendiler.

 

      

Bağımsızlık Savaşı amacına ulaştı. Ama Devrim değil. Modern demokratik devrim bir süreçtir ve yalnızca devirmekten daha çoğunu başarması gerekir. Gerçekte, Yeni Dünyanın yeni ülkesinde devrilecek bir devlet, modernleştirilecek bir anayasa, reformdan geçirilecek bir kurumsal kilise, bir yana atılacak tutucu gelenekler vb. gibi problemler yoktu. Püritanlar inançlarını arıtarak kendilerini aşağı yukarı kültürün bütün bir dışsallığından temizlemişlerdi. Yalnızca kafalarında daha sonra yapacakları devrimin ruhunu ilgilendiren ve devrilmesi gereken henüz yeterince anlamadıkları bir-iki dogma taşıyorlardı. Eşitlik ve özgürlük kavramlarının hiç kuşkusuz bilincinde idiler, ve savaş bu kavramlar uğruna kazanılmıştı. Ama bu kavramlarının evrenselliğinin bilincinde değildiler. Bu problem Birleşik Devletlerin kurucu babalarının bile çözmeyi başaramadıkları ağır bir duyunç problemi idi. Ve başka pekçok şeyden önce, kendi içinde daha başından bağımsızlık savaşından daha az acılı olmayacak bir İç Savaşın tohumlarını taşıyordu.


“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.”
Thomas Jefferson

 

Amerikan Devrimine kimi zaman Amerikan Bağımsızlık Savaşı denir. ‘Savaşın’ bir Kraliyete ve İngiliz parlamentosuna karşı İngiliz uyruklu Amerikalılar tarafından kazanılmış olması ona bir devrim karakterini de verir.

 

Ama bir ‘devrim’ olarak ne özgürlüğü, ne eşitliği, ne de kardeşliği amaçlıyordu. 1776 Bağımsızlık Bildirgesinde bildirilen sözler, “tüm insanlar eşit yaratılır, Yaratıcıları tarafından belli vazgeçilmez haklar ile donatılıdır” sözleri yalandı. Ve bu sözler ne kadar yüksek iseler, yalan o kadar büyüktü. Bedeli ilkin yaklaşık yüz yıl sonra Birliğin yıkılması ve amansız bir iç savaşta 600.000 insanın yaşamını yitirmesi ile ödendi.

 

Ve Amerikan eşitsizlik ruhunun bu yeni ülkenin tarihinin henüz başlarında yol açtığı daha başka trajediler bu yıkımın dışındadır. Bu nedenle Amerika’da Amerikalıların kendilerinin bu etik-dışı ve insanlık-dışı duruma karşı yer almış ve almakta olan etik savaşımları üstesinden gelmekte oldukları kötülüğün büyüklüğü ile orantılı bir önem ve anlam taşır.

 

 

Mayflower Pilgrimleri İngiltere'den Massachusetts, Plymouth'a getiren gemidir. Yeni İngiltere'nin ilk sürekli kolonisi burada Püritanlar tarafından kuruldu.

 

“Amerikan Kolonilerinin İlk Kongresi” 1765’te Amerikan Kolonilerinden temsilciler kapsamayan İngiliz Parlamentosunun Kolonileri vergilendirme yetkesini reddetti. 1772’re Gaspee Affair (bir İngiliz gemisinin yakılması) ve 1773’te Boston Tea Party (vergilendirilmiş çayların denize atılması) ve daha başka bir dizi protesto eylemi yer aldı. Çarpışmalar 1775’te genel bir savaşa dönüştü. 13 Koloninin kuvvetleri General George Washington’ın önderliğinde bir Kıta Ordusu olarak örgütlendi. İspanyollar, Fransızlar ve Hollandalılar tarafından da desteklenen Amerikan Devrimci Savaşı (1775-1783) İngilizlerin ve Kraliyetçilerin yenilmesi ile sonlandı. Koloniler 2 Temmuz 1776’da İkinci Kongrede “Amerika Birleşik Devletleri” adı altında özgür ve bağımsız yeni bir devlet olduklarını bildirdiler. 1789’da yeni bir Anayasa kabul edildi ve Washington’ın başkanlığı altında güçlü bir hükümet kuruldu. Daha sonra Pasifik Okyanusu’na kadar uzanan topraklar ele geçirildi. 1790’da nüfus yalnızca 4 milyon idi (1810’da 7, 2 milyon, 1860’ta 32, 1900’da 76, 1940’ta 132 ve 2015’te 321 milyon).

 

 

Kölelik Kuzeyde 1805’te kaldırılırken Güneyde sürdü. 1860’ta Abraham Lincoln köleliğin kaldırılması platformu üzerinde Başkan seçildi. Güneyin pamuk ekonomisi üzerine dayalı yedi köleci devleti “Konfederasyon” adı altında birlikten ayrıldı. 1861’de Fort Sumter saldırısı ile Amerikan İç Savaşını (1861-1865) başlatan yan Konfederasyon oldu. Çoğunlukla Güneyin topraklarında yer alan iç savaş Birliğin yeniden kurulması ve köleliğin kaldırılması ile sonlandı.

 

“Tüm İnsanlar”
Amerikan Bağımsızlık Bildirgesinde “tüm insanlar eşit yaratılılır; Yaratıcıları tarafından vazgeçilemez belli Haklar ile donatılıdır” denir (“all men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”). Bu problem Amerikan tarihinin bugün de henüz çözülmeyi bekleyen en önemli problemi oldu. “Tüm insanlar” Afrika’dan getirilen insanları kapsamaz. Afrika kökenli insanlar hiç kuşkusuz hem doğdukları kıtadaki kültürleri hem de Amerika’da içinde tutuldukları kültürleri nedeniyle çevrelerindeki Avrupa kökenli geniş topluma yabancı idiler ve iki kültür arasında aşılmaz görünen bir uçurum vardı. Problem yalnızca Afrika kökenlileri değil, ama Asya kökenlileri ve İtalyanlar ve İrlandalılar başta olmak üzere özellikle geç gelen Doğu Avrupalı Slav göçmenleri de ilgilendiriyordu.

 

 

Puritans and Puritanism in Europe and America / A Comprehensive Encyclopedia
Editors Francis J. Bremer / Tom Webster
Chronology

 


Revolutionary War Timeline

Revolutionary War Timeline

 



 

The Declaration of Independence (1776) – Full Text

The Declaration of Independence (1776) – Full Text

The Declaration of Independence (1776) – Full Text

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 shewn, 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 for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations 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 harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies 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 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 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 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 attentions 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.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Massachusetts: John Hancock
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple
Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire: Matthew Thornton

 




The US Constitution of 1787

The US Constitution of 1787

Created September 17, 1787
Ratified June 21, 1788
Implemented March 4, 1789

 

Constitution of the United States

 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

ARTICLE I

Section 1

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2

Clause 1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Clause 2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

Clause 4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3

Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Clause 2: Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

Clause 3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Clause 5: The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

Clause 6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Clause 7: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4

Clause 1: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5

Clause 1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Clause 2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Clause 3: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Clause 4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6

Clause 1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, beprivileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Clause 2: No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7

Clause 1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Clause 2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Clause 3: Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Clause 9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Clause 17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, byCession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

Clause 18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9

Clause 1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Clause 2: The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

Clause 5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Clause 6: No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

Clause 7: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Clause 8: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10

Clause 1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

Clause 2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

Clause 3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

TOP OF THE TEXT

ARTICLE II

Section 1

Clause 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Clause 2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Clause 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List 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 shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing 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. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

Clause 4: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Clause 5: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Clause 6: In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

Clause 7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Clause 8: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section 2

Clause 1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Clause 2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Clause 3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

TOP OF THE TEXT

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

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

TOP OF THE TEXT

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

Clause 1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

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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.

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ARTICLE VI

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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.

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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. done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

(signatures follow).

 

Amendment 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.

Ratified in 1791

 

Amendment Summary: 27 Updates to the U.S. Constitution

The Constitution of the United States provides two methods for making amendments. Only one has ever been used. The United States Congress can pass a bill setting out a proposed amendment by a vote of two thirds in each body. Or a constitutional convention can be convened by a vote of two thirds of the state legislatures, which will propose one or more amendments. This has never happened and its unclear exactly how such a constitutional convention would operate.

In either case, the amendments to the U.S. Constitution only become effective after being ratified by 3/4 of the states. Some amendments are quickly ratified. The 27th Amendment, on the other hand, was proposed in 1792 and did not achieve final ratification until 1992. Unlike all proposed amendments since Prohibition, this amendment had no deadline.

Some prominent amendments never are ratified. The Equal Rights Amendment was proposed in 1972 and was ratified by 34 of the necessary 38 states. However, advocates could not get the last four states necessary and the Congressionally-imposed deadline for ratification passed.

The first 10 amendments were soon passed and are known collectively as the Bill of Rights. Another cluster of amendments was passed following the Civil War and sought to enshrine the rights of the newly freed slaves.

The United States Constitution now has 25 functioning amendments. There have been 27 ratified in total, but one of these, the 18th, was Prohibition and another, the 21st, was the repeal of Prohibition.

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Amendment

Ratified

Description

1st

1791

Rights to Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition

2nd

1791

Right to Bear Arms

3rd

1791

Quartering of Soldiers

4th

1791

Search and Seizure

5th

1791

Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination, Due Process

6th

1791

Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions: Rights to Jury Trial, to Confront Opposing Witnesses and to Counsel

7th

1791

Jury Trial

8th

1791

Protections against Excessive Bail, Cruel and Unusual Punishment

9th

1791

Non-Enumerated Rights

10th

1791

Rights Reserved to States

11th

1795

Suits Against a State

12th

1804

Election of President and Vice-President

13th

1865

Abolition of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude

14th

1868

Protects rights against state infringements, defines citizenship, prohibits states from interfering with privileges and immunities, requires due process and equal protection, punishes states for denying vote, and disqualifies Confederate officials and debts

15th

1870

Voting Rights

16th

1913

Federal Income Tax

17th

1913

Popular Election of Senators

18th

1919

Prohibition

19th

1920

Women's Right to Vote

20th

1933

Commencement of Presidential Term and Succession

21st

1933

Repeal of 18th Amendment (Prohibition)

22nd

1951

Two-Term Limitation on President

23rd

1961

District of Columbia Presidential Vote

24th

1964

Abolition of Poll Tax Requirement in Federal Elections

25th

1967

Presidential Vacancy, Disability and Inability

26th

1971

Right to Vote at Age 18

27th

1992

Congressional Compensation


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