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The ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.

Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the States present, the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the independ ence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed

our names.


GEORGE WASHINGTON, President, and deputy from Virginia.


New Hampshire.






question before the United States' Courts, were obliged to depart, from motives of regard to personal safety.

As another interesting case, it may be well to look a moment at the conduct of the State of Georgia toward the Indian tribes and Christian missionaries, once within her borders. It cannot be unknown that a decision of the Supreme Court was had in the case. And when we consider that treaties made under the authority of the United States are a part of the supreme law of the land, we have a right to ask, and to be answered too, how it came to pass that a treaty, backed by a decision of our highest national tribunal, did not secure those who had trusted to it for protection. And if the decisions of the Supreme Court may be trampled on and disregarded by a member of the Confederacy, to what purpose is it that such a tribunal has been erected?

What other case is mentioned? What do you think of that? How would you answer the question asked? Repeat Article 7.

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ART. 7. It seemed so improbable that a universal ratification would ever be attained, without the previous establishment of the Constitution by a part, that no one advocated a waiting for all the States to agree before the new government should go into operation. The plan of Mr. Pinckney alone brought this sanction by a part of the States distinctly to view, though in his plan the number that must agree was left blank.

Why was the ratification of only nine States required?
What did Mr. Pinckney's plan propose?

The declaration that the Constitution was agreed on by the unanimous consent of the States present, and the proposal of subscription in witness of that fact, were so framed in order that it might be signed, if possible, by all the Convention present, whether they were or were not satisfied with the result. Every possible appearance of unanimity was thought to be very desirable. But there were three present who could by no means be brought to put their names to the Constitution. Mr. Randolph, of Virginia, the same who had offered a plan, and been forward in endeavors to promote the formation of a Constitution, refused to sign the one agreed on. He objected to the Senate's being made a court of impeachment for trying the Executive; to the want of limitation to a standing army; to the general clause concerning necessary and proper laws; to the want of some particular restraint on navigation acts; to the authority of Congress to interfere on the application of the Executives of the States; to the want of more definite boundary between the General and State Legislatures; also between the General and State Judiciaries; to the unqualified power of the President to pardon treasons; and to the unlimited power of the Legislature to fix their own compensations. He was sure that nine States would never ratify the Constitution; and felt as if he must be free to act according to his own future convictions of duty. He made a motion having in view another general Convention; but it found no support by any State. Col. Mason, of the same State, also refused to sign. He animadverted on the power and structure of the Government as dangerous; and concluded that it would end either in monarchy, or a tyrannical aristocracy; which, he was in doubt, but one or the other he was sure. He could neither sign the Constitution, nor give it his support or vote in Virginia. Finally, Mr. Gerry, of Massachusetts, refused to sign. He gave as reasons, the duration and re-eligibility of the Senate; the power of the House of Representatives to conceal their journals; the power of Congress over the places of election; the unlimited power of Congress to fix their own_compensation; that Massachusetts had not her due share of Representatives allotted to her; that three-fifths of the blacks were to be represented, as if they were freemen; that under the power of Congress over commerce, monopolies may be established;

What was done to induce all the members present to sign the Constitution? Why was this?

Did all present sign? What were Mr. Randolph's objections?
What were Col. Mason's views?

What were Mr. Gerry's objections?

and that the Vice-President is made the head of the Senate. He could, however, get over all these, if the rights of the citizens were not rendered insecure, first, by the general power of the Legislature to make what laws they may please to call "necessary and proper;" secondly, to raise armies and money without limit; and thirdly, to establish a tribunal without juries, which will be a Star Chamber as to civil cases. With these views he advocated another Convention. Others expressed great dissatisfaction at the result of the labors of the Convention. And perhaps not a man was suited, nor very nearly so, with the Constitution they had been able to form. But they thought it the best they could obtain. They were satisfied that another Convention could agree no better, and that it was useless to submit it to the people. They would never agree on any thing. Under these circumstances, they determined to take it with all its faults. It was better than nothing,-better than the existing Confederation. And the choice seemed to them to be between the Constitution they had formed, and division, anarchy, or despotism. In order to prevent these results, and not disappoint America and the world, they concluded to give it their best support.

The following are the names of all who were members of the Convention and had taken part in its deliberations, but who never signed the Constitution. Those marked with a star refused to sign, as already noticed. The others were not present at the time of signing.

Massachusetts.-Caleb Strong, *Elbridge Gerry.
Connecticut.-Oliver Ellsworth.

New York.-Robert Yates, John Lansing.
New Jersey.-William C. Houston.

Maryland.-John Francis Mercer, Luther Martin.
Virginia.-*Edmund Randolph, *George Mason, George
Wythe, James McClurg.

North Carolina.-Alexander Martin, William Davie.
Georgia.-William Pierce, William Houstoun.

How did he think the rights of citizens were rendered insecure?
Were others dissatisfied? Were any entirely satisfied?

Did they think they could obtain a better Constitution?

What did they think of another Convention?

What did they think of submitting it to the people?
What did they determine under these circumstances?
What did they observe in favor of the Constitution?
What choice seemed to be before them?

To prevent these results, what did they conclude?
Do you think they acted wisely?

What prevented a number of members of Convention from signing

the Constitution?


Article the First.-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


These were proposed and ratified according to the provisions of the fifth Article of the foregoing Constitution.

Article the First-" Respecting an establishment of religion," etc This clause carries out the principles already brought to view, in the prohibition of any religious test as a qualification for office. It has in view the bigotry and intolerance of sects, when power is in their hands; and is intended as a guard against the repetition of such scenes as even our own early history records, and especially such as are seen in the annals of the old world. All experience shows that true religion flourishes best where the State considers all sects on the same footing, and tolerates and protects all . alike. The temptations of political considerations are sure to lower the standard of piety. No human tribunal can judge the heart; of course all are accountable only to God for their religious belief. A man, however, to be safely trusted as a magistrate, should feel his accountability to God for all his actions. Magistrates are required by the Constitution to be under oath or affirmation; but the oath or affirmation of a man who denies the existence of a Supreme Being, or a future state of rewards and punishments, can be worth nothing. It would seem therefore that thus much ought to be required

Repeat the first amendment,

Where else is the principle of the first clause brought to view? What has it in view? Against what is it a guard?

What does all experience show?

What of the temptations of political considerations?

To whom are all accountable for religious belief?

What should a man feel, to be safely trusted as a magistrate?

What of the oath of a man who denies the existence of a Supreme Being, etc.?

Should such belief be required of public servants?

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