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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 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 the 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 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.
WE, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.
SECTION 1. 1. All legislative powers herein granted, shall be Legislative vested in a congress of the United States, which shall pov consist of a senate and house of representatives.
SECTION II. 1. The house of representatives shall be com- House of posed of members chosen every second year, by the tives, and
i qualificapeople of the several states; and the electors in each tions of state shall have the qualifications requisite for elect- elector ors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative who shall not And of repa have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been tives. 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.
3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be appor- Apppor. tioned among the several states which may be in
Ratio of representa
Representa. cluded within this union, according to their respect
ive 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 choose 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.
4. When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
5. The house of representatives shall choose their the house.
speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
SECTION III. The senate 1. The senate of the United States shall be comtor a vote. posed of two senators from each state, chosen by the
Legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator
shall have one vote. Senators 2. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in classed.
consequence of the first election, they shall be dividA third of ed, as equally as may be, into three classes. The cated every 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.
vacancies happen by resignations 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.
3. No person shall be a senator who shall not have tion of sen
attained the age of thirty years, and been nine years
- each sene
the seats van