A CHRONOLOGY OF US HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
Links marked with an asterisk (*) are to other websites and will open in a new window.
of the *First Ladies
& *Presidents of the United States
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry (March 23, 1775)
- The Declaration of Arms (July 6, 1775)
- Yankee Doodle
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights (June 12, 1776)
- The Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)
- The Works of Benjamin Franklin
- The Articles of Confederation (Nov. 15, 1777)
- The Treaty of Paris (1783)
- The Federalist Papers
- The Memorial and Remonstrance (June 20, 1785)
- The Annapolis Convention (Sept. 14, 1786)
- Letter of Transmittal of the U.S. Constitution (Sept. 17, 1787)
- The Constitution of the United States. (1787)
- The Northwest Ordinance (July 13, 1787)
- Collection of *Rare &Historical Newspapers
- First Inaugural Address of President George Washington (April 30, 1789)
- The First State of the Union Address (Jan. 8, 1790)
- Second Inaugural Address of President George Washington (Mar. 4, 1793)
- The Proclamation of Neutrality (April 22, 1793)
- The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793
- The Treaty of Greenville (1795)
- Farewell Address of President George Washington (Sept. 17, 1796)
- The *Papers of George Washington
- Inaugural Address of President John Adams (1797)
- The Sedition Act (July 14, 1798)
Magna Carta is one of the earliest ancestors of the United States
Constitution. This is a translation from the Latin. The
1225 charter omitted passages marked with an asterisk (*). This
translation conveys the sense rather than the precise wording.
The original charter ran continuously; it is numbered and broken into
paragraphs here for easier understanding. The term "Magna Carta"
means "Great Charter."
by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy
and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots,
earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and
to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.
BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and
heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the
better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers
Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal
of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop of
London, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath and
Glastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter Bishop of Worcester,
William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, Master
Pandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, Brother Aymeric
master of the knighthood of the Temple in England, William Marshal earl
of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William
earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz
Gerald, Peter Fitz Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh
de Neville, Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip
Daubeny, Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and other
(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by
this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity,
that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights
undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be
observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the
outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted
and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections — a
right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it —
and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we
shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our
heirs in perpetuity.
TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also
granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out
below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our
If any earl, baron, or other person that holds lands directly of the
Crown, for military service, shall die, and at his death his heir shall
be of full age and owe a 'relief', the heir shall have his inheritance
on payment of the ancient scale of 'relief'. That is to say, the heir
or heirs of an earl shall pay £100 for a whole county, the heir or
heirs of a baron for a whole barony 100 marks, the heir or heirs of a
knight 100 shillings at most for the entire knight's 'fee', and any man
that owes less shall pay less, in accordance with the ancient usage of
(3) But if the heir of such a
person is under age and a ward, when he comes of age he shall have his
inheritance without 'relief' or fine.
The guardian of the land of an heir who is under age shall take from it
only reasonable revenues, customary dues, and feudal services. He shall
do this without destruction or damage to men or property. If we have
given the guardianship of the land to a sheriff, or to any person
answerable to us for the revenues, and he commits destruction or
damage, we will exact compensation from him, and the land shall be
entrusted to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be
answerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom we have
assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone the guardianship of
such land, and he causes destruction or damage, he shall lose the
guardianship of it, and it shall be handed over to two worthy and
prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be similarly answerable to us.
For so long as a guardian has guardianship of such land, he shall
maintain the houses, parks, fish preserves, ponds, mills, and
everything else pertaining to it, from the revenues of the land itself.
When the heir comes of age, he shall restore the whole land to him,
stocked with plough teams and such implements of husbandry as the
season demands and the revenues from the land can reasonably bear.
Heirs may be given in marriage, but not to someone of lower social
standing. Before a marriage takes place, it shall be' made known to the
(7) At her husband's
death, a widow may have her marriage portion and inheritance at once
and without trouble. She shall pay nothing for her dower, marriage
portion, or any inheritance that she and her husband held jointly on
the day of his death. She may remain in her husband's house for forty
days after his death, and within this period her dower shall be
assigned to her.
(8) No widow shall be
compelled to marry, so long as she wishes to remain without a husband.
But she must give security that she will not marry without royal
consent, if she holds her lands of the Crown, or without the consent of
whatever other lord she may hold them of.
Neither we nor our officials will seize any land or rent in payment of
a debt, so long as the debtor has movable goods sufficient to discharge
the debt. A debtor's sureties shall not be distrained upon so long as
the debtor himself can discharge his debt. If, for lack of means, the
debtor is unable to discharge his debt, his sureties shall be
answerable for it. If they so desire, they may have the debtor's lands
and rents until they have received satisfaction for the debt that they
paid for him, unless the debtor can show that he has settled his
obligations to them.
* (10) If anyone who
has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been
repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he
remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a
debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the
principal sum specified in the bond.
(11) If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and
pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are
under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate
to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the
residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to
persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.
(12) No 'scutage' or 'aid' may be levied in our kingdom without its
general consent, unless it is for the ransom of our person, to make our
eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry our eldest daughter. For these
purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied. 'Aids' from the city of
London are to be treated similarly.
The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free
customs, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that all
other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their
liberties and free customs.
* (14) To
obtain the general consent of the realm for the assessment of an 'aid'
— except in the three cases specified above — or a 'scutage', we will
cause the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be
summoned individually by letter. To those who hold lands directly of us
we will cause a general summons to be issued, through the sheriffs and
other officials, to come together on a fixed day (of which at least
forty days notice shall be given) and at a fixed place. In all letters
of summons, the cause of the summons will be stated. When a summons has
been issued, the business appointed for the day shall go forward in
accordance with the resolution of those present, even if not all those
who were summoned have appeared.
* (15) In
future we will allow no one to levy an 'aid' from his free men, except
to ransom his person, to make his eldest son a knight, and (once) to
marry his eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid'
may be levied.
(16) No man shall be forced to perform more service for a knight's 'fee', or other free holding of land, than is due from it.
(17) Ordinary lawsuits shall not follow the royal court around, but shall be held in a fixed place.
Inquests of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and darrein presentment
shall be taken only in their proper county court. We ourselves, or in
our absence abroad our chief justice, will send two justices to each
county four times a year, and these justices, with four knights of the
county elected by the county itself, shall hold the assizes in the
county court, on the day and in the place where the court meets.
If any assizes cannot be taken on the day of the county court, as many
knights and freeholders shall afterwards remain behind, of those who
have attended the court, as will suffice for the administration of
justice, having regard to the volume of business to be done.
For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to
the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly,
but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same
way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a husbandman the
implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal
court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on
oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood.
(21) Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.
A fine imposed upon the lay property of a clerk in holy orders shall be
assessed upon the same principles, without reference to the value of
his ecclesiastical benefice.
(23) No town or person shall be forced to build bridges over rivers except those with an ancient obligation to do so.
(24) No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other royal officials are to hold lawsuits that should be held by the royal justices.
(25) Every county, hundred, wapentake, and tithing shall remain at its
ancient rent, without increase, except the royal demesne manors.
If at the death of a man who holds a lay 'fee' of the Crown, a sheriff
or royal official produces royal letters patent of summons for a debt
due to the Crown, it shall be lawful for them to seize and list movable
goods found in the lay 'fee' of the dead man to the value of the debt,
as assessed by worthy men. Nothing shall be removed until the whole
debt is paid, when the residue shall be given over to the executors to
carry out the dead man s will. If no debt is due to the Crown, all the
movable goods shall be regarded as the property of the dead man, except
the reasonable shares of his wife and children.
(27) If a free man dies intestate, his movable goods are to be
distributed by his next-of-kin and friends, under the supervision of
the Church. The rights of his debtors are to be preserved.
No constable or other royal official shall take corn or other movable
goods from any man without immediate payment, unless the seller
voluntarily offers postponement of this.
No constable may compel a knight to pay money for castle-guard if the
knight is willing to undertake the guard in person, or with reasonable
excuse to supply some other fit man to do it. A knight taken or sent on
military service shall be excused from castle-guard for the period of
(30) No sheriff, royal
official, or other person shall take horses or carts for transport from
any free man, without his consent.
Neither we nor any royal official will take wood for our castle, or for
any other purpose, without the consent of the owner.
We will not keep the lands of people convicted of felony in our hand
for longer than a year and a day, after which they shall be returned to
the lords of the 'fees' concerned.
(33) All fish-weirs shall be removed from the Thames, the Medway, and throughout the whole of England, except on the sea coast.
The writ called precipe shall not in future be issued to anyone in
respect of any holding of land, if a free man could thereby be deprived
of the right of trial in his own lord's court.
There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London
quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width
of dyed cloth, russett, and haberject, namely two ells within the
selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly.
In future nothing shall be paid or accepted for the issue of a writ of
inquisition of life or limbs. It shall be given gratis, and not refused.
If a man holds land of the Crown by 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage',
and also holds land of someone else for knight's service, we will not
have guardianship of his heir, nor of the land that belongs to the
other person's 'fee', by virtue of the 'fee-farm', 'socage', or
'burgage', unless the 'fee-farm' owes knight's service. We will not
have the guardianship of a man's heir, or of land that he holds of
someone else, by reason of any small property that he may hold of the
Crown for a service of knives, arrows, or the like.
In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own
unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the
truth of it.
(39) No free man shall be
seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or
outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor
will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except
by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.
(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.
All merchants may enter or leave England unharmed and without fear, and
may stay or travel within it, by land or water, for purposes of trade,
free from all illegal exactions, in accordance with ancient and lawful
customs. This, however, does not apply in time of war to merchants from
a country that is at war with us. Any such merchants found in our
country at the outbreak of war shall be detained without injury to
their persons or property, until we or our chief justice have
discovered how our own merchants are being treated in the country at
war with us. If our own merchants are safe they shall be safe too.
(42) In future it shall be lawful for any man to leave and return to
our kingdom unharmed and without fear, by land or water, preserving his
allegiance to us, except in time of war, for some short period, for the
common benefit of the realm. People that have been imprisoned or
outlawed in accordance with the law of the land, people from a country
that is at war with us, and merchants — who shall be dealt with as
stated above — are excepted from this provision.
If a man holds lands of any 'escheat' such as the 'honour' of
Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other 'escheats' in
our hand that are baronies, at his death his heir shall give us only
the 'relief' and service that he would have made to the baron, had the
barony been in the baron's hand. We will hold the 'escheat' in the same
manner as the baron held it.
who live outside the forest need not in future appear before the royal
justices of the forest in answer to general summonses, unless they are
actually involved in proceedings or are sureties for someone who has
been seized for a forest offence.
We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials,
only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well.
All barons who have founded abbeys, and have charters of English kings
or ancient tenure as evidence of this, may have guardianship of them
when there is no abbot, as is their due.
All forests that have been created in our reign shall at once be
disafforested. River-banks that have been enclosed in our reign shall
be treated similarly.
* (48) All evil
customs relating to forests and warrens, foresters, warreners, sheriffs
and their servants, or river-banks and their wardens, are at once to be
investigated in every county by twelve sworn knights of the county, and
within forty days of their enquiry the evil customs are to be abolished
completely and irrevocably. But we, or our chief justice if we are not
in England, are first to be informed.
(49) We will at once return all hostages and charters delivered up to
us by Englishmen as security for peace or for loyal service.
(50) We will remove completely from their offices the kinsmen of Gerard
de Athée, and in future they shall hold no offices in England. The
people in question are Engelard de Cigogné', Peter, Guy, and Andrew de
Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogné, Geoffrey de Martigny and his brothers,
Philip Marc and his brothers, with Geoffrey his nephew, and all their
* (51) As soon as peace is
restored, we will remove from the kingdom all the foreign knights,
bowmen, their attendants, and the mercenaries that have come to it, to
its harm, with horses and arms.
* (52) To
any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles,
liberties, or rights, without the lawful judgement of his equals, we
will at once restore these. In cases of dispute the matter shall be
resolved by the judgement of the twenty-five barons referred to below
in the clause for securing the peace (§ 61). In cases, however, where a
man was deprived or dispossessed of something without the lawful
judgement of his equals by our father King Henry or our brother King
Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our
warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to
Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made
at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. On our return
from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once render justice
* (53) We shall have similar
respite in rendering justice in connexion with forests that are to be
disafforested, or to remain forests, when these were first a-orested by
our father Henry or our brother Richard; with the guardianship of lands
in another person's 'fee', when we have hitherto had this by virtue of
a 'fee' held of us for knight's service by a third party; and with
abbeys founded in another person's 'fee', in which the lord of the
'fee' claims to own a right. On our return from the Crusade, or if we
abandon it, we will at once do full justice to complaints about these
(54) No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband.
(55) All fines that have been given to us unjustly and against the law
of the land, and all fines that we have exacted unjustly, shall be
entirely remitted or the matter decided by a majority judgement of the
twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the
peace (§ 61) together with Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he can
be present, and such others as he wishes to bring with him. If the
archbishop cannot be present, proceedings shall continue without him,
provided that if any of the twenty-five barons has been involved in a
similar suit himself, his judgement shall be set aside, and someone
else chosen and sworn in his place, as a substitute for the single
occasion, by the rest of the twenty-five.
If we have deprived or dispossessed any Welshmen of lands, liberties,
or anything else in England or in Wales, without the lawful judgement
of their equals, these are at once to be returned to them. A dispute on
this point shall be determined in the Marches by the judgement of
equals. English law shall apply to holdings of land in England, Welsh
law to those in Wales, and the law of the Marches to those in the
Marches. The Welsh shall treat us and ours in the same way.
(57) In cases where a Welshman was deprived or dispossessed of
anything, without the lawful judgement of his equals, by our father
King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or
is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the
period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun,
or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a
Crusader. But on our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we
will at once do full justice according to the laws of Wales and the
* (58) We will at once
return the son of Llywelyn, all Welsh hostages, and the charters
delivered to us as security for the peace.
(59) With regard to the return of the sisters and hostages of
Alexander, king of Scotland, his liberties and his rights, we will
treat him in the same way as our other barons of England, unless it
appears from the charters that we hold from his father William,
formerly king of Scotland, that he should be treated otherwise. This
matter shall be resolved by the judgement of his equals in our court.
All these customs and liberties that we have granted shall be observed
in our kingdom in so far as concerns our own relations with our
subjects. Let all men of our kingdom, whether clergy or laymen, observe
them similarly in their relations with their own men.
(61) SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better
ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen
between us and our barons, and since we desire that they shall be
enjoyed in their entirety, with lasting strength, for ever, we give and
grant to the barons the following security:
barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be
observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and
confirmed to them by this charter.
our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any
respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace
or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said
twenty-five barons, they shall come to us — or in our absence from the
kingdom to the chief justice — to declare it and claim immediate
redress. If we, or in our absence abroad the chiefjustice, make no
redress within forty days, reckoning from the day on which the offence
was declared to us or to him, the four barons shall refer the matter to
the rest of the twenty-five barons, who may distrain upon and assail us
in every way possible, with the support of the whole community of the
land, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, or anything else
saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children,
until they have secured such redress as they have determined upon.
Having secured the redress, they may then resume their normal obedience
Any man who so desires may take an
oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement
of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of
his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any
man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking
it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to
take it to swear it at our command.
of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country, or is prevented
in any other way from discharging his duties, the rest of them shall
choose another baron in his place, at their discretion, who shall be
duly sworn in as they were.
In the event
of disagreement among the twenty-five barons on any matter referred to
them for decision, the verdict of the majority present shall have the
same validity as a unanimous verdict of the whole twenty-five, whether
these were all present or some of those summoned were unwilling or
unable to appear.
The twenty-five barons
shall swear to obey all the above articles faithfully, and shall cause
them to be obeyed by others to the best of their power.
will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or
those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions
or liberties might be revoked or diminished. Should such a thing be
procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of
it, either ourselves or through a third party.
(62) We have remitted and pardoned fully to all men any ill-will, hurt,
or grudges that have arisen between us and our subjects, whether clergy
or laymen, since the beginning of the dispute. We have in addition
remitted fully, and for our own part have also pardoned, to all clergy
and laymen any offences committed as a result of the said dispute
between Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215) and the
restoration of peace.
In addition we have
caused letters patent to be made for the barons, bearing witness to
this security and to the concessions set out above, over the seals of
Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, Henry archbishop of Dublin, the other
bishops named above, and Master Pandulf.
(63) IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the English Church
shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all
these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their
fulness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in
all things and all places for ever.
we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good
faith and without deceit. Witness the abovementioned people and many
Given by our hand in the meadow that is called
Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in
the seventeenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215: the new regnal year began
on 28 May).
The Mayflower Compact
the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal
subjects of our dread Sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God,
of Great Britaine, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc.
having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the
Christian faith, and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant
the first colony in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these
presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of
another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civill body
politick, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of
the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enacte, constitute, and
frame such just and equall laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and
offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and
convenient for the generall good of the Colonie unto which we promise
all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder
subscribed our names at Cape-Codd the 11. of November, in the year of
the raigne of our sovereigne lord, King James, of England, France and
Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie-fourth. Anno Dom.
Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges
28 October 1701
PENN, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania and
Territories thereunto belonging, To all to whom these Presents shall
come, sends Greeting. WHEREAS King CHARLES the Second, by His Letters
Patents, under the Great Seal of England, bearing Date the Fourth Day
of March, in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty-one, was
graciously pleased to give and grant unto me, and my Heirs and Assigns
for ever, this Province of Pennsylvania, with divers great Powers and
Jurisdictions for the well Government thereof.
AND WHEREAS the
King's dearest Brother, JAMES Duke of YORK and ALBANY, etc. by his
Deeds of Feoffment, under his Hand and Seal duly perfected, bearing
Date the Twenty-Fourth Day of August, One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty
and Two, did grant unto me, my Heirs and Assigns, all that Tract of
Land, now called the Territories of Pennsylvania, together with Powers
and Jurisdictions for the good Government thereof.
for the Encouragement of all the Freemen and Planters, that might be
concerned in the said Province and Territories, and for the good
Government thereof, I the said WILLIAM PENN, in the Year One Thousand
Six Hundred Eighty and Three, for me, my Heirs and Assigns, did grant
and confirm unto all the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers therein,
divers Liberties, Franchises and Properties, as by the said Grant,
entitled, The FRAME of the Government of the Province of Pennsylvania,
and Territories thereunto belonging, in America, may appear; which
Charter or Frame being found in some Parts of it, not so suitable to
the present circumstances of the Inhabitants, was in the Third Month,
in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred, delivered up to me, by Six
Parts of Seven of the Freemen of this Province and Territories, in
General Assembly met, Provision being made in the said Charter, for
that End and Purpose.
AND WHEREAS I was then pleased to promise,
That I would restore the said Charter to them again, with necessary
Alterations, or in lieu thereof, give them another, better adapted to
answer the present Circumstances and Conditions of the said
Inhabitants; which they have now, by their Representatives in General
Assembly met at Philadelphia, requested me to grant.
THEREFORE, That for the further Well-being and good Government of the
said Province, and Territories; and in Pursuance of the Rights and
Powers before-mentioned, I the said William Penn do declare, grant and
confirm, unto all the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers, and other
Inhabitants of this Province and Territories, these following
Liberties, Franchises and Privileges, so far as in me lies, to be held,
enjoyed and kept, by the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers, and other
Inhabitants of and in the said Province and Territories thereunto
annexed, for ever.
BECAUSE no People can be truly
happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if
abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious
Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of
Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as
Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth
enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of
People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person or Persons,
inhabiting in this Province or Territories, who shall confess and
acknowledge One almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the
World; and profess him or themselves obliged to live quietly under the
Civil Government, shall be in any Case molested or prejudiced, in his
or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious
Persuasion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain any
religious Worship, Place or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind, or
to do or suffer any other Act or Thing, contrary to their religious
AND that all Persons who also profess to believe in
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, shall be capable
(notwithstanding their other Persuasions and Practices in Point of
Conscience and Religion) to serve this Government in any Capacity, both
legislatively and executively, he or they solemnly promising, when
lawfully required, Allegiance to the King as Sovereign, and Fidelity to
the Proprietary and Governor, and taking the Attests as now established
by the Law made at New-Castle, in the Year One Thousand and Seven
Hundred, entitled, an Act directing the Attests of several Officers and
Ministers, as now amended and confirmed this present Assembly.
the well governing of this Province and Territories, there shall be an
Assembly yearly chosen, by the Freemen thereof, to consist of Four
Persons out of each County, of most Note for Virtue, Wisdom and
Ability, (or of a greater number at any Time. as the Governor and
Assembly shall agree) upon the First Day of October for ever; and shall
sit on the Fourteenth Day of the same Month, at Philadelphia, unless
the Governor and Council for the Time being, shall see Cause to appoint
another Place within the said Province or Territories: Which Assembly
shall have Power to choose a Speaker and other their Officers; and
shall be Judges of the Qualifications and Elections of their own
Members; sit upon their own Adjournment; appoint Committees; prepare
Bills in order to pass into Laws; impeach Criminals, and redress
Grievances; and shall have all other Powers and Privileges of an
Assembly, according to the Rights of the free-born Subjects of England,
and as is usual in any of the King's Plantations in America.
if any County or Counties, shall refuse or neglect to choose their
respective Representatives as aforesaid, or if chosen, do not meet to
serve in Assembly, those who are so chosen and met, shall have the full
Power of an Assembly, in as ample Manner as if all the Representatives
had been chosen and met, provided they are not less than Two Thirds of
the whole Number that ought to meet.
AND that the Qualifications
of Electors and Elected, and all other Matters and Things relating to
Elections of Representatives to serve in Assemblies, though not herein
particularly expressed, shall be and remain as by a Law of this
Government, made at New-Castle in the Year One thousand Seven Hundred,
entitled, An Act to ascertain the Number of Members of Assembly, and to
regulate the Elections.
the Freemen in each respective County, at the Time and Place of Meeting
for Electing their Representatives to serve in Assembly, may as often
as there shall be Occasion, choose a double Number of Persons to
present to the Governor for Sheriffs and Coroners to serve for Three
Years, if so long they behave themselves well; out of which respective
Elections and Presentments, the Governor shall nominate and commission
one for each of the said Offices, the Third Day after such Presentment,
or else the First named in such Presentment, for each Office as
aforesaid, shall stand and serve in that Office for the Time before
respectively limited; and in Case of Death or Default, such Vacancies
shall be supplied by the Governor, to serve to the End of the said Term.
ALWAYS, That if the said Freemen shall at any Time neglect or decline
to choose a Person or Persons for either or both the aforesaid Offices,
then and in such Case, the Persons that are or shall be in the
respective Offices of Sheriffs or Coroners, at the Time of Election,
shall remain therein, until they shall be removed by another Election
AND that the Justices of the respective Counties
shall or may nominate and present to the Governor Three Persons, to
serve for Clerk of the Peace for the said County, when there is a
Vacancy, one of which the Governor shall commission within Ten Days
after such Presentment, or else the First nominated shall serve in the
said Office during good Behavior.
the Laws of this Government shall be in this Stile, viz. By the
Governor, with the Consent and Approbation of the Freemen in General
Assembly met; and shall be, after Confirmation by the Governor,
forthwith recorded in the Rolls Office, and kept at Philadelphia,
unless the Governor and Assembly shall agree to appoint another Place.
THAT all Criminals shall have the same Privileges of Witnesses and Council as their Prosecutors.
no Person or Persons shall or may, at any Time hereafter, be obliged to
answer any Complaint, Matter or Thing whatsoever, relating to Property,
before the Governor and Council, or in any other Place, but in ordinary
Course of Justice, unless Appeals thereunto shall be hereafter by Law
no Person within this Government, shall be licensed by the Governor to
keep an Ordinary Tavern or House of Public Entertainment, but such who
are first recommended to him, under the Hands of the Justices of the
respective Counties, signed in open Court; which Justices are and shall
be hereby empowered, to suppress and forbid any Person, keeping such
Public-House as aforesaid, upon their Misbehavior, on such Penalties as
the Law doth or shall direct; and to recommend others from time to
time, as they shall see Occasion.
any person, through Temptation or Melancholy, shall destroy himself;
his Estate, real and personal, shall notwithstanding descend to his
Wife and Children, or Relations, as if he had died a natural Death; and
if any Person shall be destroyed or killed by Casualty or Accident,
there shall be no Forfeiture to the Governor by reason thereof.
no Act, Law or Ordinance whatsoever, shall at any Time hereafter, be
made or done, to alter, change or diminish the Form or Effect of this
Charter, or of any Part or Clause therein, contrary to the true Intent
and Meaning thereof, without the Consent of the Governor for the Time
being, and Six Parts of Seven of the Assembly met.
the Happiness of Mankind depends so much upon the Enjoying of Liberty
of their Consciences as aforesaid, I do hereby solemnly declare,
promise and grant, for me, my Heirs and Assigns, That the First Article
of this Charter relating to Liberty of Conscience, and every Part and
Clause therein, according to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, shall
be kept and remain, without any Alteration, inviolably for ever.
LASTLY, I the said William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the
Province of Pennsylvania, and Territories thereunto belonging, for
myself, my Heirs and Assigns, have solemnly declared, granted and
confirmed, and do hereby solemnly declare, grant and confirm, That
neither I, my Heirs or Assigns, shall procure or do any Thing or Things
whereby the Liberties in this Charter contained and expressed, nor any
Part thereof, shall be infringed or broken: And if any thing shall be
procured or done, by any Person or Persons, contrary to these Presents,
it shall be held of no Force or Effect.
IN WITNESS whereof, I
the said William Penn, at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, have unto this
present Charter of Liberties, set my Hand and broad Seal, this
Twenty-Eighth Day of October, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand
Seven Hundred and One, being the Thirteenth Year of the Reign of King
WILLIAM the Third, over England, Scotland, France and Ireland, etc. and
the Twenty-First Year of my Government.
AND NOTWITHSTANDING the
Closure and Test of this present Charter as aforesaid, I think fit to
add this following Proviso thereunto, as Part of the same, That is to
say, That notwithstanding any Clause or Clauses in the above-mentioned
Charter, obliging the Province and Territories to join together in
Legislation, I am content, and do hereby declare, that if the
Representatives of the Province and Territories shall not hereafter
agree to join together in Legislation, and that the same shall be
signified unto me, or my Deputy, in open Assembly, or otherwise from
under the Hands and Seals of the Representatives, for the Time being,
of the Province and Territories, or the major Part of either of them,
at any Time within Three Years from the Date hereof, that in such Case,
the Inhabitants of each of the Three Counties of this Province, shall
not have less than Eight Persons to represent them in Assembly, for the
Province; and the Inhabitants of the Town of Philadelphia (when the
said Town is incorporated) Two Persons to represent them in Assembly;
and the Inhabitants of each County in the Territories, shall have as
many Persons to represent them in a distinct Assembly for the
Territories, as shall be by them requested as aforesaid.
which Separation of the Province and Territories, in Respect of
Legislation, I do hereby promise, grant and declare, That the
Inhabitants of both Province and Territories, shall separately enjoy
all other Liberties, Privileges and Benefits, granted jointly to them
in this Charter, any Law, Usage or Custom of this Government heretofore
made and practiced, or any Law made and passed by this General
Assembly, to the Contrary hereof, notwithstanding.
CHARTER OF PRIVILEGES being distinctly read in Assembly; and the whole
and every Part thereof, being approved of and agreed to, by us, we do
thankfully receive the same from our Proprietary and Governor, at
Philadelphia, this Twenty-Eighth Day of October, One Thousand Seven
Hundred and One. Signed on Behalf, and by Order of the Assembly,
Proprietary and Governor's Council.
The Declaration of Independence
In Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
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.
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
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.
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.
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 an payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass 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.
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:
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 benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
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.
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
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
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.
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.
have We been wanting in attentions to our British 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.
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer,
James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names, send greeting.
the Delegates of the United States of America, in Congress assembled,
did, on the 15th day of November, in the Year of Our Lord One thousand
Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, 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,
Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina,
South-Carolina, and Georgia in the words following, viz. "Articles of
Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New-hampshire,
Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut,
New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia,
North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia".
The Stile of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America."
state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every
Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation
expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship
with each other, for their common defence, the security of their
Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to
assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon
them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or
any other pretence whatever.
better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among
the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants
of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from justice
excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free
citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have
free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy
therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same
duties impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof
respectively, provided that such restriction shall not extend so far as
to prevent 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, he shall, upon demand of the Governor or executive power, of
the state from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the state
having jurisdiction of his offence. 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.
the more convenient management of the general interests 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 recal 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.
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 years in any 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 a 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.
of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned
in any Court, or place out 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.
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 nobility.
No two or more states shall
enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them,
without the consent of the united states in congress assembled,
specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered
into, and how long it shall continue.
No state shall lay any
imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in
treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled, with
any king, prince or state, in pursuance of any treaties already
proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain.
vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state, except
such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states in
congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor
shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace,
except such number only, as in the judgment of the united states, in
congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts
necessary for the defence of such state; but every state shall always
keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed
and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in
public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper
quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage. No state shall engage
in any war without the consent of the united states in congress
assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by enemies, or shall
have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some
nation of Indians to invade such state, and the danger is so imminent
as not to admit of a delay till the united states in congress assembled
can be consulted: nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or
vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a
declaration of war by the united states in congress assembled, and then
only against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against
which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be
established by the united states in congress assembled, unless such
state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be
fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall
continue, or until the united states in congress assembled, shall
land-forces are raised by any state for the common defence, all
officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the
legislature of each state respectively, by whom such forces shall be
raised, or in such manner as such state shall direct, and all vacancies
shall be filled up by the State which first made the appointment.
charges of war, and all other expences that shall be incurred for the
common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the united states in
congress assembled, shall be def rayed out of a common treasury, which
shall be supplied by the several states in proportion to the value of
all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any Person, as
such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated
according to such mode as the united states in congress assembled,
shall from time to time direct and appoint.
The taxes for paying
that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction
of the legislatures of the several states within the time agreed upon
by the united states in congress assembled.
united states in congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive
right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases
mentioned in the sixth article — of sending and receiving ambassadors —
entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of
commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective
states shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on
foreigners as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting
the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities,
whatsoever — of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what
captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes
taken by land or naval forces in the service of the united states shall
be divided or appropriated — of granting letters of marque and reprisal
in times of peace — appointing courts for the trial of piracies and
felonies committed on the high seas and establishing courts for
receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures,
provided that no member of congress shall be appointed a judge of any
of the said courts.
The united states in congress assembled
shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences
now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more states
concerning boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which
authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever
the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any state in
controversy with another shall present a petition to congress stating
the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall
be given by order of congress to the legislative or executive authority
of the other state in controversy, and a day assigned for the
appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be
directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to
constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in question:
but if they cannot agree, congress shall name three persons out of each
of the united states, and from the list of such persons each party
shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the
number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than
seven, nor more than nine names as congress shall direct, shall in the
presence of congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names
shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners or
judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a
major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the
determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day
appointed, without showing reasons, which congress shall judge
sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the congress shall
proceed to nominate three persons out of each state, and the secretary
of congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing;
and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the
manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of
the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or
to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless
proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgment, which shall in like manner
be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence and other proceedings
being in either case transmitted to congress, and lodged among the acts
of congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that
every commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to
be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court
of the state, where the cause shall be tried, "well and truly to hear
and determine the matter in question, according to the best of his
judgment, without favour, affection or hope of reward:" provided also,
that no state shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the
All controversies concerning the private right of
soil claimed under different grants of two or more states, whose
jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the states which
passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them
being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such
settlement of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to
the congress of the united states, be finally determined as near as may
be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes
respecting territorial jurisdiction between different states.
united states in congress assembled shall also have the sole and
exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin
struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states —
fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the united
states — regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the
Indians, not members of any of the states, provided that the
legislative right of any state within its own limits be not infringed
or violated — establishing or regulating post offices from one state to
another, throughout all the united states, and exacting such postage on
the papers passing thro' the same as may be requisite to defray the
expences of the said office — appointing all officers of the land
forces, in the service of the united states, excepting regimental
officers — appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and
commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the united states
— making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and
naval forces, and directing their operations.
The united states
in congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee, to
sit in the recess of congress, to be denominated "A Committee of the
States," and to consist of one delegate from each state; and to appoint
such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for
managing the general affairs of the united states under their direction
— to appoint one of their number to preside, provided that no person be
allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any
term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be
raised for the service of the united states, and to appropriate and
apply the same for defraying the public expences to borrow money, or
emit bills on the credit of the united states, transmitting every half
year to the respective states an account of the sums of money so
borrowed or emitted, — to build and equip a navy — to agree upon the
number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each state for its
quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such state;
which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of
each state shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and
cloth, arm and equip them in a soldier like manner, at the expence of
the united states; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed and
quipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed
on by the united states in congress assembled: But if the united states
in congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge
proper that any state should not raise men, or should raise a smaller
number than its quota, and that any other state should raise a greater
number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be
raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as
the quota of such state, unless the legislature of such sta te shall
judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the same,
in which case they shall raise officer, cloath, arm and equip as many
of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared. And the
officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped, shall march to the
place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states in
The united states in congress assembled
shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal
in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin
money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and
expences necessary for the defence and welfare of the united states, or
any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the
united states, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of
vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea
forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or
navy, unless nine states assent to the same: nor shall a question on
any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined,
unless by the votes of a majority of the united states in congress
The congress of the united states shall have power to
adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the united
states, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than
the space of six Months, and shall publish the Journal of their
proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties,
alliances or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy;
and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each state on any question
shall be entered on the Journal, when it is desired by any delegate;
and the delegates of a state, or any of them, at his or their request
shall be furnished with a transcript of the said Journal, except such
parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the
committee of the states, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to
execute, in the recess of congress, such of the powers of congress as
the united states in congress assembled, by the consent of nine states,
shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided
that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of
which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine states in
the congress of the united states assembled is requisite.
acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the
united states, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the
advantages of this union: but no other colony shall be admitted into
the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine states.
bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and debts contracted by, or
under the authority of congress, before the assembling of the united
states, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and
considered as a charge against the united states, for payment and
satisfaction whereof the said united states, and the public faith are
hereby solemnly pledged.
state shall abide by the determinations of the united states in
congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are
submitted to them. And the Articles of this confederation shall be
inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual;
nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them;
unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united states,
and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.
Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the
hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in congress, to
approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of
confederation and perpetual union. Know Ye that we the undersigned
delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that
pur pose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our
respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and
every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and
all and singular the matters and things therein contained: And we do
further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective
constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the united
states in congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said
confederation are submitted to them. And that the articles thereof
shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively represent,
and that the union shall be perpetual.
In Witness whereof we
have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the
state of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord one
Thousand seven Hundred and Seventy-eight, and in the third year of the
independence of America.
On the part of & behalf of the State of New Hampshire:
John Wentworth. Junr; August 8th, 1778
On the part and behalf of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations:
On the part and behalf of the State of New York:
On the part and behalf of the State of Pennsylvania:
Jon. Bayard Smith
Joseph Reed; 22d July, 1778
On the part and behalf of the State of Maryland:
John Hanson; March 1, 1781
Daniel Carroll, do.
On the part and behalf of the State of North Carolina:
John Penn; July 21st, 1778
On the part and behalf of the State of Georgia:
Jno Walton; 24th July, 1778
On the part of & behalf of the State of Massachusetts Bay:
On the part and behalf of the State of Connecticut:
On the Part and in Behalf of the State of New Jersey, November 26th, 1778:
On the part and behalf of the State of Delaware:
Thos McKean; Febr 22d, 1779
John Dickinson; May 5th, 1779
Nicholas Van Dyke
On the part and behalf of the State of Virginia:
Richard Henry Lee
Francis Lightfoot Lee
On the part and behalf of the State of South Carolina:
William Henry Drayton
Thos Heyward, junr.
The Virginia Declaration of Rights
June 12, 1776
That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have
certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of
society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their
posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of
acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness
That all power is vested in, and
consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their
trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit,
protection, and security of the people, nation or community; of all the
various modes and forms of government that is best, which is capable of
producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most
effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that,
whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these
purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable,
and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner
as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.
That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate
emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of
public services; which, not being descendible, neither ought the
offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge be hereditary.
That the legislative and executive powers of the state should be
separate and distinct from the judicative; and, that the members of the
two first may be restrained from oppression by feeling and
participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed
periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from
which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by
frequent, certain, and regular elections in which all, or any part of
the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws
That elections of members to
serve as representatives of the people in assembly ought to be free;
and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common
interest with, and attachment to, the community have the right of
suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public
uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so
elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner,
assented, for the public good.
That all power
of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority without
consent of the representatives of the people is injurious to their
rights and ought not to be exercised.
all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the
cause and nature of his accusation to be confronted with the accusers
and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial
by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent
he cannot be found guilty, nor can he be compelled to give evidence
against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the
law of the land or the judgement of his peers.
That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines
imposed; nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be
commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact
committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose
offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are
grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.
That in controversies respecting property and in suits between man and
man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to
be held sacred.
That the freedom of the press
is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained
but by despotic governments.
That a well
regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms,
is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that
standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous
to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict
subordination to, and be governed by, the civil power.
That the people have a right to uniform government; and therefore, that
no government separate from, or independent of, the government of
Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.
That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved
to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation,
temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to
That religion, or the
duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can
be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and
therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of
religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the
mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity
towards each other.
The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783
In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.
having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most
serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the grace of God,
king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, duke
of Brunswick and Lunebourg, arch- treasurer and prince elector of the
Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America, to forget
all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily
interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually
wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory
intercourse, between the two countries upon the ground of
reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure
to both perpetual peace and harmony; and having for this desirable end
already laid the foundation of peace and reconciliation by the
Provisional Articles signed at Paris on the 30th of November 1782, by
the commissioners empowered on each part, which articles were agreed to
be inserted in and constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be
concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United
States, but which treaty was not to be concluded until terms of peace
should be agreed upon between Great Britain and France and his
Britannic Majesty should be ready to conclude such treaty accordingly;
and the treaty between Great Britain and France having since been
concluded, his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, in
order to carry into full effect the Provisional Articles above
mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted and
appointed, that is to say his Britannic Majesty on his part, David
Hartley, Esqr., member of the Parliament of Great Britain, and the said
United States on their part, John Adams, Esqr., late a commissioner of
the United States of America at the court of Versailles, late delegate
in Congress from the state of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the
said state, and minister plenipotentiary of the said United States to
their high mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands;
Benjamin Franklin, Esqr., late delegate in Congress from the state of
Pennsylvania, president of the convention of the said state, and
minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the court
of Versailles; John Jay, Esqr., late president of Congress and chief
justice of the state of New York, and minister plenipotentiary from the
said United States at the court of Madrid; to be plenipotentiaries for
the concluding and signing the present definitive treaty; who after
having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers have
agreed upon and confirmed the following articles.
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New
Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and
independent states, that he treats with them as such, and for himself,
his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government,
propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.
And that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the
boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby
agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their
boundaries, viz.; from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that
nagle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St.
Croix River to the highlands; along the said highlands which divide
those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from
those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwesternmost head
of Connecticut River; thence down along the middle of that river to the
forty-fifth degree of north latitude; from thence by a line due west on
said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy; thence
along the middle of said river into Lake Ontario; through the middle of
said lake until it strikes the communication by water between that lake
and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into Lake
Erie, through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water
communication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the middle
of said water communication into Lake Huron, thence through the middle
of said lake to the water communication between that lake and Lake
Superior; thence through Lake Superior northward of the Isles Royal and
Phelipeaux to the Long Lake; thence through the middle of said Long
Lake and the water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods,
to the said Lake of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most
northwesternmost point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to
the river Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of
the said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost
part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude, South, by a line to
be drawn due east from the determination of the line last mentioned in
the latitude of thirty-one degrees of the equator, to the middle of the
river Apalachicola or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to
its junction with the Flint River, thence straight to the head of Saint
Mary's River; and thence down along the middle of Saint Mary's River to
the Atlantic Ocean; east, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the
river Saint Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source,
and from its source directly north to the aforesaid highlands which
divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which
fall into the river Saint Lawrence; comprehending all islands within
twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and
lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the
aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part and East
Florida on the other shall, respectively, touch the Bay of Fundy and
the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such islands as now are or heretofore
have been within the limits of the said province of Nova Scotia.
It is agreed that the people of the United States shall continue to
enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand Bank
and on all the other banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulf of Saint
Lawrence and at all other places in the sea, where the inhabitants of
both countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also that the
inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty to take fish of
every kind on such part of the coast of Newfoundland as British
fishermen shall use, (but not to dry or cure the same on that island)
and also on the coasts, bays and creeks of all other of his Brittanic
Majesty's dominions in America; and that the American fishermen shall
have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays,
harbors, and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands, and Labrador, so
long as the same shall remain unsettled, but so soon as the same or
either of them shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said
fishermen to dry or cure fish at such settlement without a previous
agreement for that purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors, or
possessors of the ground.
It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful
impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all
bona fide debts heretofore contracted.
It is agreed that Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the
legislatures of the respective states to provide for the restitution of
all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated
belonging to real British subjects; and also of the estates, rights,
and properties of persons resident in districts in the possession on
his Majesty's arms and who have not borne arms against the said United
States. And that persons of any other decription shall have free
liberty to go to any part or parts of any of the thirteen United States
and therein to remain twelve months unmolested in their endeavors to
obtain the restitution of such of their estates, rights, and properties
as may have been confiscated; and that Congress shall also earnestly
recommend to the several states a reconsideration and revision of all
acts or laws regarding the premises, so as to render the said laws or
acts perfectly consistent not only with justice and equity but with
that spirit of conciliation which on the return of the blessings of
peace should universally prevail. And that Congress shall also
earnestly recommend to the several states that the estates, rights, and
properties, of such last mentioned persons shall be restored to them,
they refunding to any persons who may be now in possession the bona
fide price (where any has been given) which such persons may have paid
on purchasing any of the said lands, rights, or properties since the
confiscation. And it is agreed that all persons who have any interest
in confiscated lands, either by debts, marriage settlements, or
otherwise, shall meet with no lawful impediment in the prosecution of
their just rights.
there shall be no future confiscations made nor any prosecutions
commenced against any person or persons for, or by reason of, the part
which he or they may have taken in the present war, and that no person
shall on that account suffer any future loss or damage, either in his
person, liberty, or property; and that those who may be in confinement
on such charges at the time of the ratification of the treaty in
America shall be immediately set at liberty, and the prosecutions so
commenced be discontinued.
There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his Brittanic Majesty
and the said states, and between the subjects of the one and the
citizens of the other, wherefore all hostilities both by sea and land
shall from henceforth cease. All prisoners on both sides shall be set
at liberty, and his Brittanic Majesty shall with all convenient speed,
and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any Negroes or
other property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies,
garrisons, and fleets from the said United States, and from every post,
place, and harbor within the same; leaving in all fortifications, the
American artilery that may be therein; and shall also order and cause
all archives, records, deeds, and papers belonging to any of the said
states, or their citizens, which in the course of the war may have
fallen into the hands of his officers, to be forthwith restored and
delivered to the proper states and persons to whom they belong.
The navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the ocean,
shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain and
the citizens of the United States.
In case it should so happen that any place or territory belonging to
Great Britain or to the United States should have been conquered by the
arms of either from the other before the arrival of the said
Provisional Articles in America, it is agreed that the same shall be
restored without difficulty and without requiring any compensation.
The solemn ratifications of the present treaty expedited in good and
due form shall be exchanged between the contracting parties in the
space of six months or sooner, if possible, to be computed from the day
of the signatures of the present treaty. In witness whereof we the
undersigned, their ministers plenipotentiary, have in their name and in
virtue of our full powers, signed with our hands the present definitive
treaty and caused the seals of our arms to be affixed thereto.
Done at Paris, this third day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.
JOHN ADAMS (SEAL)
B. FRANKLIN (SEAL)
JOHN JAY (SEAL)
EXCERPT FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH NOAM CHOMSKY ABOUT THE FIFTH FREEDOM
The Fifth Freedom
Noam Chomsky interviewed by Stephen Marshall
Guerrilla News Network, November, 2001
In The Culture of Terrorism, you discuss something called the ‘fifth
freedom’. Can you please just define that for us and maybe describe how
it has any relevance right now?
Well, there’s a famous concept called The Four Freedoms. In, I
think it must have been 1944 approximately… President Roosevelt,
towards the end of the war, announced that the allies were fighting for
the ‘four freedoms.’ That’s freedom from want, freedom from
fear, I forget the exact other words, but all good things. So those
were the four freedoms we were fighting for.
We actually have a declassified record, a released internal record of
the background… what they were afraid of at the time. Remember,
that at the time the world was mostly colonies and the colonies, in
fact, often welcomed, especially, the Japanese. They welcomed
the Japanese because the Japanese were throwing out the colonial
oppressors – they were throwing out the British, and the French, and
the Dutch, and the Americans and so on.
And it was understood, internally, that it was necessary to make some
appeal to the huge part of the world which was the colonial world – we
now call the south or the Third World – which would make them believe
that we were really fighting for good things. Not just to
out of that came the Four Freedoms. And by the ‘fifth’ freedom,
I meant the one that they didn’t mention. But the crucial one.
Namely the freedom to rob and exploit, that’s a freedom that we
and our powerful countries, the imperial countries, insist on.
And that was the real freedom that was being fought for.
Considered the “leading dove” of his day
“..we have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its
population... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object
of envy and resentment. Our task in the coming period is to
devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this
position of disparity without positive detriment to our national
security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all
sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be
concentrated everywhere on our immediate national
objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can
afford today the luxury of altruism and
world-benefaction... We should cease to talk about vague
and - for the Far East - unreal objectives such as human rights,
raising the living standards, and democratization. The day
is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power
concepts. The less hampered we are by idealistic slogans
George Kennan, head of the State Department planning staff,
Policy Planning Study (PPS) 23, Feb. 1948
Turning the Tide, US Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace,
South End Press, 1985. p. 48)
He’s saying we should invade
countries and kill people and the sooner the better cuz they’re gonna
figure out we have a LOT of natural resources over here and they’re
gonna do to us what we’ve been doin to everyone else.
Yeah, “they” hate us for our
freedoms. The freedom to steal their stuff and kill em.
Our intent was a constitutional Republic
How much evidence do people need
to see. How many alerts in how many different variations
for how long a period of time before the charlatans are run outta town
on a rail after the Dr. Tar and Professor Feather ceremony?
What you're about to see is a memo dispatched in 1966:
Here's a couple memos from 1967:
This is a memo from 1969:
Apparently no one got the one from 1969 so this is a memo from 1970:
Here's another from 1971:
Here's a memo dispatched in 1981:
Here's a memo from 1986:
Here's another from 1987
apparently due to the forgoing memos having not been received:
RAINBOWContaminated fish and micro chips
Huge supertankers on arabian trips
Oily propaganda from the leaders' lips
All about the future
There's people over here, people over there
Everybody's looking for a little more air
Crossing all the borders just to take their share
Planning for the future
And we're so abused, and we're so confused
It's easy to believe that someone's gonna light the fuse
Can't happen here, can't happen here
All that you fear they're telling you, can't happen here
Supersonic planes for a holiday boom
Rio de janeiro in an afternoon
People out of work but there's people on the moon
Looking for the future
Concrete racktracks nationwide
Juggernauts carving up the countryside
Cars by the million on a one way ride
Using up the future
And we're so abused, and we're so confused
It's easy to believe that someone's gonna light the fuse
Can't happen here, can't happen here
All that you fear they're telling you, can't happen here
Satellites spying for the cia
The KGB and the men in grey
Wonder if I'm gonna see another day
Somewhere in the future
We got everything we need for a peaceful time
Take what you want but you can't take mine
Everybody's living on the siegfried line
Worried 'bout the future
And we're so abused, and we're so confused
It's so easy to believe that someone's gonna light it
Easy to believe someone's gonna light the fuse
Can't happen here, can't happen here
All that you fear they're telling you, can't happen here can it?
Then there's the memo from from 1987 apparently due
to the urgency of the first falling on deaf eyes and ears:
This memo was dispacthed in 1989:
This memo was dispatched in 2004:
This memo was dispatched in 2005:
I forgot one from 1967:
People have been notified about all the shit for a very long time.