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We, terre, the representatives of the United States of Aneria, in GENERAL CONGRESS assembled, appealing to the Supreme Juice of the worl for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name ani bs tbe au:bority of the good people of these Colonies, solenn's put.ssh and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and inde endent 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, ani ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full power to lery 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 signers to this Declaration were
JOHN HANCOCK. PRESIDENT.
RIIODE ISLAND. STEPHEN IIOPKINS, WILLIAM ELLERY.
CONNECTICUT. ROGER SHERMAN,
We have already spoken of the adoption of the Articles of Confederation. They are, at length, as follows:
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND PERPETUAL UNION
BETWEEN THE STATES.
To all to whom these presents shall come, we, the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our names, send greeting : Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, did, on the fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord 1777, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America, agree to certain Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in the words following, viz. :
des SLS EET ion, and inde poz. A L Brath is not by Stickere Balanced States in Con
Air di Tre sui SIN Rester into a firm
VEIK 32 Sc acz00 defense, the
Lerts wi 23 general welfare, being Vn dari wer- force offered to er acavas u TETI: C. de secount of religion, sererer truk verecse zenet
Akr. 11. Tie Spreuke mutual friendship aual jacentut saxcg je gezje ce ice crent States in this Then, the treabans of these Sales - paupers, vagabuus and fugitives fuasie, scepcedi - sazai be entitled to all privileges and immunities of the stars in the sereral States; and the people of each Saze sår?? kare fize in gress and regress to and from any other State, and shall ecur therein all the privileges of trade and commere, subject to the same duties. impositions, and restrietions as the inhabitants thereof respectively ; provided that such restrietion shall not extend so far as to prerent the removal of property, imported into any State, to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties, or restriction shall be laid by any State on the property of the United States, or either of them.
If any person guilty of or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor, in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, be shall, upon demand of the governor or executive
of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offense.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State.
ART. V. For the more convenient management of the general interest of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year.
No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two nor by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three
term of six years ; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in any meeting of the States, and while they act as members of the committee of the States.
In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court, or place ouc of Congress; and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on, Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
ART. VI. No State, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance, or treaty with, any king, prince, or state ; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state ; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of no bility.
the time suggested in the report," for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several State legislatures such alterations and provisions therein, as sball, when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States, render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of gov. ernment and the preservation of the Union.”
§ 14. Public opinion was on the rapid march. Many events had transpired, even after the appointment of commissioners to meet at Annapolis, and before that Convention assembled, which matured the popular judgment in favor of the proposition for a general Con vention for the purposes set forth in the report.
$ 15. Still other events took place immediately after the Hamilton report was published, which still further demonstrated the necessity of such a Convention as was proposed therein. All were now satisfied that the Union was in extreme danger. No calm, dispassionate observer could ignore it.
$ 16. “ Among the ripening incidents," says a prominent statesman of that day, was the insurrection of Shays in Massachusetts against her government, which was with difficulty suppressed, notwithstanding the influence on the insurgents of an apprehended interposition of the Federal troops."
§ 17. The insurrection above alluded to was led by one Daniel Shays, who was followed by about two thousand insurgents, having for their object the open defiance and resistance of the laws under which the taxes were to be collected and private obligations and contracts to be enforced. It spread over several of the counties of that State; and so formidable was it, that United-States troops were called for to suppress it. But, by vigorous measures on the part of the State, it was overcome. Several of the leaders were condemned to death ; but, on account of the popular sentiment in their favor, it was deemed unwise to execute them.
§ 18. The public debt, most of which had been contracted in the sacred cause of liberty in the struggle for independence, remained unpaid. Congress had made repeated calls on the States for payment: but these calls were either partially or wholly unbeeded; one State expressly and openly refusing to take any step tending to its