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DELIVERED TO THE
AMERICAN UNION ACADEMY
LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART,
AT ITS SPECIAL MEETING CALLED FOR THE PURPOSE, MARCH 7, 1870,
HON. GEORGE W. PASCHAL,
AUTHOR OF “PASCHAL'S ANNOTATED CONSTITUTION," ETC.
PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE ACADEMY.
WASHINGTON, D. C.:
DELIVERED TO THE AMERICAN UNION ACADEMY OF LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART, AT ITS SPECIAL MEETING
CALLED FOR THE PURPOSE, MARCH 7, 1870.
HON. GEORGE W. PASCHAL,
AUTHOR OF " PASCHAL'S ANNOTATED CONSTITUTION," ETC.
Printed by Order of the Academy.
GENTLEMEN OF THE ACADEMY, I propose delivering a lecture upon the Constitution of the United States, as it is. I am aware of the difficulty of the theme. Its very familiarity, real and imaginary, admonishes me that no one expects any thing novel. But however trite the subject, few lawyers or statesmen would be prudent to risk a critical examination upon the great charter. And the small number who can repeat it from memory, are well aware that its every word and phrase have been the subjects of angry debate, and schools do not yet agree upon any uniform interpretation. And while tbe im. pression is general, that recent amendments have made great changes, very few have stopped to think of the real revolution in our government.
The last ten years have covered a period of eventful history in our own country and in the world. Among all the monuments wbich mark that heroic era, there are none which have been so mighty in their effects and will so long endure, as the amendments to the Constitution of the United States. It has always boen a favorite maxim with me, tbat in the study of the law, there can be no comprehensive understanding, without a careful analysis of the old law,-the mischief and the remedy. The law of the present concerns us most; but until we dig deep, explore the foundations and understand that of the past, we can have no clear conception of that which is actually in force.
Viewing my task from this stand-point, I will advert to the organic amendments as they bear upon the instrument as it was, before they were engrafted upon it, and so enlarged the powers of the nation, abridged those of the States, and increased and secured the liberties of the people. The amendments known as the thirteenth, and the first and second sections of the fourteenth, and also the fifteenth should be read as pari materia of the same law. Although of different dates they are logically and necessarily connected, and, taken together, they very radically change the original theory of the government.
I will read them in this logical connection.
" Amendments to the Constitution. “ ART. XIII., SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
“ Art. XIV., Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any · person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
“SECTION 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting