The Constitution of these United States

Constitutional Quiz

Test your Constitutional knowledge!

1. The Congress of the United States consists of…
the House of Representatives
The Congress shall consist of the House and Senate (Art 1 §1)
the Senate
The Congress shall consist of the House and Senate (Art 1 §1)
the House and Senate
2. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in..
the Senate
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives (Art 1 §7)
legislative committees
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives (Art 1 §7)
the House
the IRS
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives (Art 1 §7)
3. Which of the following powers is NOT granted to Congress?
to coin money
The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to regulate schools. The Tenth Amendment says that all powers not listed are vested in the States and the People. How Congress came up with this power is beyond the scope of the plain wording and the intent of the Constitution.
to declare war
The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to regulate schools. The Tenth Amendment says that all powers not listed are vested in the States and the People. How Congress came up with this power is beyond the scope of the plain wording and the intent of the Constitution.
to fix the standards of weights and measures
The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to regulate schools. The Tenth Amendment says that all powers not listed are vested in the States and the People. How Congress came up with this power is beyond the scope of the plain wording and the intent of the Constitution.
to regulate schools
all of the above
The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to regulate schools. The Tenth Amendment says that all powers not listed are vested in the States and the People. How Congress came up with this power is beyond the scope of the plain wording and the intent of the Constitution.
4. The Bill of Rights consists of how many amendments to the Constitution?
three
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
twenty
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
five
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
ten
5. In regards to our rights, the Constitution:
gives them to us
Although Congress does try to play God over our behavior, the intent of the Constitution is to define, affirm, and protect our rights (see Preamble).
defines, affirms, and protects them
changes them with each election
Although Congress does try to play God over our behavior, the intent of the Constitution is to define, affirm, and protect our rights (see Preamble).
plays God over our behavior
Although Congress does try to play God over our behavior, the intent of the Constitution is to define, affirm, and protect our rights (see Preamble).
6. Where is the phrase “separation of church and state” found?
the Declaration of Independence
It is surprising how many Christians and conservatives get this one wrong. It must be from too many years of brainwashing by the ACLU. “Separation of church and state” is a phrase used in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1st, 1802. The Baptists were afraid Congress would establish a state denomination. Jefferson wrote to assure them the Constitution forbid the establishment of any denomination as the state church. On the other hand, we know Jefferson never intended to impede public religious activity, or expression because he not only signed bills appropriating financial support for chaplains in Congress and the armed services; he signed the articles of war in 1806 which urged soldiers to attend church services; he offered a National Prayer For Peace in 1805; and he wrote in a letter to Samuel Miller, in 1808, he viewed “the government of the US as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.” (America’s God and Country, Federer, William J. 1994, FAME Publishing, pgs 324-28).
the Articles of Confederation
It is surprising how many Christians and conservatives get this one wrong. It must be from too many years of brainwashing by the ACLU. “Separation of church and state” is a phrase used in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1st, 1802. The Baptists were afraid Congress would establish a state denomination. Jefferson wrote to assure them the Constitution forbid the establishment of any denomination as the state church. On the other hand, we know Jefferson never intended to impede public religious activity, or expression because he not only signed bills appropriating financial support for chaplains in Congress and the armed services; he signed the articles of war in 1806 which urged soldiers to attend church services; he offered a National Prayer For Peace in 1805; and he wrote in a letter to Samuel Miller, in 1808, he viewed “the government of the US as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.” (America’s God and Country, Federer, William J. 1994, FAME Publishing, pgs 324-28).
a personal letter
the Constitution
It is surprising how many Christians and conservatives get this one wrong. It must be from too many years of brainwashing by the ACLU. “Separation of church and state” is a phrase used in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1st, 1802. The Baptists were afraid Congress would establish a state denomination. Jefferson wrote to assure them the Constitution forbid the establishment of any denomination as the state church. On the other hand, we know Jefferson never intended to impede public religious activity, or expression because he not only signed bills appropriating financial support for chaplains in Congress and the armed services; he signed the articles of war in 1806 which urged soldiers to attend church services; he offered a National Prayer For Peace in 1805; and he wrote in a letter to Samuel Miller, in 1808, he viewed “the government of the US as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.” (America’s God and Country, Federer, William J. 1994, FAME Publishing, pgs 324-28).
7. According to the Constitution, and except for Washington D.C., how much land can the federal government own, or control?
wilderness and forestland
The Constitution allows the federal government to own or control only that section of land know as Washington D.C. and land “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful Buildings.” (Art 1 §8 (17))
national parks and monuments
The Constitution allows the federal government to own or control only that section of land know as Washington D.C. and land “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful Buildings.” (Art 1 §8 (17))
forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other needful buildings
range and wildlife habitat
The Constitution allows the federal government to own or control only that section of land know as Washington D.C. and land “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful Buildings.” (Art 1 §8 (17))
All of the above
The Constitution allows the federal government to own or control only that section of land know as Washington D.C. and land “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful Buildings.” (Art 1 §8 (17))
8. Which amendment and date authorized the Federal Reserve System?
Amendment 16 in 1913
There is no such amendment authorizing the Federal Reserve System.
Amendment 20 in 1953
There is no such amendment authorizing the Federal Reserve System.
Amendment 16 in 1923
There is no such amendment authorizing the Federal Reserve System.
there is no such amendment
9. How many states were represented at the Constitutional Convention?
13
There were 13 original States; however, Rhode Island did not have any representatives at the Constitutional Convention. They were jealous of their rights and believed the larger States would overpower or swallow up the smaller States in the creation of a new union. They were the last State to ratify the Constitution; the last to get on board, only after they realized the nation was going ahead without them.
12
None, they were colonies.
There were 13 original States; however, Rhode Island did not have any representatives at the Constitutional Convention. They were jealous of their rights and believed the larger States would overpower or swallow up the smaller States in the creation of a new union. They were the last State to ratify the Constitution; the last to get on board, only after they realized the nation was going ahead without them.
50
There were 13 original States; however, Rhode Island did not have any representatives at the Constitutional Convention. They were jealous of their rights and believed the larger States would overpower or swallow up the smaller States in the creation of a new union. They were the last State to ratify the Constitution; the last to get on board, only after they realized the nation was going ahead without them.
10
There were 13 original States; however, Rhode Island did not have any representatives at the Constitutional Convention. They were jealous of their rights and believed the larger States would overpower or swallow up the smaller States in the creation of a new union. They were the last State to ratify the Constitution; the last to get on board, only after they realized the nation was going ahead without them.
10. Which Article and Section of the Constitution enumerates the specific powers of Congress? How many are listed?
Article 1, §8; 18 powers
Article 12, §2; anything except those protected in the Bill of Rights
The powers are enumerated in Article 1, §8. There are 18 of them.
Article 4. §4; 58 powers
The powers are enumerated in Article 1, §8. There are 18 of them.
Article 3, §1; anything except those protected in the Bill of Rights
The powers are enumerated in Article 1, §8. There are 18 of them.
None of the Above
The powers are enumerated in Article 1, §8. There are 18 of them.

A Brief Look at the History of Third Parties in America

by Gary Odom, political activist and former National Field Director for the Constitution Party
 
Gary Odom Publicity Shot Most Americans have been led to believe that that the United States has a two-party political system. In fact, of course, the Constitution of the United States says nothing about political parties and many of the founding fathers abhorred the very idea of political parties taking root in America.

The fact that political parties have developed over the history the United States of America is largely due to human nature–a tendency to congregate with others who have mutual ideas and interests.  From almost the beginning there were two competing parties–the Federalists of Washington, Hamilton and Adams and the Democratic-Republicans of Jefferson, Madison and others.  This was the beginning of the so-called “two party system.”

Despite this, new parties are not a unique experience in American politics.  It wasn’t long before there was a change in the original line-up.  In 1816,  the Federalists were to run their last Presidential candidate and for much of the remainder of the first part of the 19th Century the Whig Party provided the primary competition for the party that came to be known as the Democrat Party.  Well known Whigs included Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison and Henry Clay.

In the 19th Century new parties continued to develop.  In 1832, the Anti-Masonic Party won 8% of the vote.  In 1848 the Free Soil Party, led by former President Martin Van Buren, won 10% of the vote.  In 1856, the year the Republican Party was born–as a new or “3rd Party–another 3rd Party, the American Party (or Know Nothings as they came to be better known) won 22% of the popular vote with former President Millard Fillmore heading the ticket.  Of course, in 1860, Abraham Lincoln of the new Republican Party was elected President.  The Republican Party had been born as a “third party” in 1856, as aforementioned, largely in response to the issue of slavery.

Thereafter, the Whig Party, which had failed to take a strong stand on the matter of slavery, faded from the political scene and was replaced by the Republican Party as the second major party in the eyes of most people.  Nevertheless, throughout the remainder of the 19th Century new parties continued to burst onto the scene and some met with success.  The People’s Party (also known as Populist Party) flourished in the latter years of the 19th Century and continued on into the early years of the 20th Century.  Its Presidential ticket carried four states in 1892 and it elected candidates to office in local and statewide races in some jurisdictions.  Its fortunes were short lived, however, as the Democrat Party co-opted many of its main issues in 1896.  It re-organized and hung on to some degree until 1908 when its flame finally flickered out.

In the early 1900’s the interest in alternative political solutions had not, however, abated.  As the late William K. Shearer noted, in his history of the American Independent Party: 

“By the early 1900s, the Republican Party had become thoroughly dominated by a few powerful political bosses, the giant political bosses, and the financial empires which the bosses serve.  Farmers, workers and independent businessmen suffered while the power of government was directed only to serve the interests of railroad, banking and other monopolies.”

“Particularly in the Midwest and West rebellion stirred.  Dynamic political personalities such as Robert La Follette in Wisconsin, George Norris in Nebraska, Hiram Johnson in California, the Nonpartisan League in North Dakota, and the Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota overturned the monopoly-dominated Republican machines and elected public officials pledged to progressive goals…” 

This, generally speaking, was the foundation of what became known as the Progressive Party.  In 1912, the Progressive Party, with Theodore Roosevelt as its standard bearer, received over 4,000,000 popular votes (27.4% of the total) and over 88 electoral votes.  In 1916, however, Roosevelt deliberately scuttled the Progressive Party, and went back to the Republican Party.  That year, the Progressive Party failed to nominate a candidate for President at its national convention.  The Progressive Party did survive in some states until the 1940’s and again ran a Presidential ticket in 1924 with Senator Robert La Follette as its Presidential nominee and Senator Burton K. Wheeler as its Vice-Presidential candidate.  That ticket secured 4,800,000 popular votes (16.6%) and 13 electoral votes, but 1924 proved to be the end for the Progressive Party as a national entity.

In the 20th Century there were more new party efforts, not all of which does space allow mention of here.  The 1948 Presidential Campaign featured two “third parties,” the States Rights Dem­ocrats, “Dixiecrats” lead by South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond and a new Progressive Party incarnation led by former Vice-President, Henry Wallace, though neither effort took on a life beyond the 1948 election year.  Two other major third party efforts in the 20th Century must also be noted:  The American Independent Party candidacy of former Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968 and the Reform Party candidacies of Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996.

In 1968, a year of great turbulence in American history, George Wallace secured nearly 10,000,000 popular votes and about 14% of the votes along with the electoral votes of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.  This effort did grow into an ongoing political party, the American Independent Party, though Wallace was never again to be its nominee.

After the Wallace candidacy of 1968, the Republicans and Democrats and the power brokers who support them, were sufficiently alarmed so as to cause them to begin the process of making ballot access laws for new parties–particularly in some southern states–much more difficult around the country.  As a result, new grassroots parties such as the Constitution, Libertarian and Green Parties now face difficulties not generally encountered by 3rd Parties in the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century in just putting its candidates on the ballot.  Many state laws make simply qualifying for the ballot an exceedingly difficult chore.  It is, of course, very difficult to compete in an election when one isn’t even allowed to be on the ballot!

Another obstacle arising more prevalently in the latter part of the 20th Century has resulted in the dwindling number of competitive news media sources that are willing to provide information about new parties and their candidates.  With the vast reduction in the number of newspapers and consolidation of all news media sources into the hands of just a few major corporations, which are closely interlocked with the major financial institutions who have a strong interest in perpetuating the status quo, there is very little opportunity for a new political “brand” to break through the media barrier.  In fact, since 1972, after the shock to the establishment caused by the Wallace candidacy in ’68, there has been in effect what has been described as a “blackout” concerning new or “third” political parties on the part of the national media.

The majority of Americans who depend on the national media for their information are now completely unaware of the existence and efforts the so-called “minor parties” such as the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party or the Green Party.  Only in unique circumstances, when its hand is forced, does the national news media even acknowledge other parties or independent candidates, in any kind of a serious way.  Such a circumstance did arise in 1992, when well- known billionaire Ross Perot ran as a candidate on his newly established Reform Party.  It was clear to the news media that if it ignored his candidacy he could bypass any blackout by simply buying all of the paid advertising that he needed.  In addition, his money would allow him to overcome ballot access barriers which provide difficult obstacles to grassroots party movements.  Therefore, the national news media didn’t even try to ignore him.  Because of his folksy manner and the fact that he was hitting on important issues,  ignored by the other parties, such as the national debt and trade policies which were causing the loss millions of  American jobs, Perot actually led all candidates in the polls for quite a while in 1992 and finally ended up setting a record for an independent or third party popular vote total, though he received no electoral votes.

It should be noted that in 1992 there were several other well organized third party efforts including the US Taxpayers (Constitution) Party, Libertarian Party, and Natural Law Party.  These parties did not have millions at their disposal to spend and were ignored by the national news media, despite the serious messages propounded by their candidates.

That only two parties have dominated the American political scene for most of the 20th Century and early portion of the 21st Century can be attributed to the fact that this “two-party paradigm” has served the established economic powers very well.  While this was to some extent true throughout history, the consolidation of media sources and the mergers of major corporations and financial interests have made the effect more pronounced since the latter part of the 20th Century.

Dr. Carroll Quigley, a professor at Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown Universities wrote a book entitled “Tragedy and Hope” which amounted to an “expose,” albeit an affectionate one, of the international “roundtable” network which, working with “the ‘powers of financial capitalism, has the aim of establishing world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.”  Certainly in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is little room for doubt that we have seen the consolidation of financial power into fewer hands and that these power brokers exert greater control over the media and the political system than ever before.

In examining the “two party system” prevalent in the United States, Professor Quigley noted:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers.  Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.”

One doesn’t have to subscribe to a “conspiracy theory of history” to understand that this “pendulum-style political system” serves the big-monied special interests and the entrenched parties, whom they control, quite well.  The powerful special interests, sitting, figuratively, at the fulcrum of the pendulum, contribute to and exert tremendous influence and control over both, the Republican and Democrat parties.  While the voters feverishly push the political pendulum back and forth from one side to the other, election after election, under the impression that they are making significant changes, there is actually almost never any significant change made at all when it comes to real policy.  In fact, those who exert the real power and influence behind the scenes (or at the fulcrum for the purpose of this example) rarely, if ever, care which candidate or party is elected.  While the names sometimes change, and the rhetoric may be passionate and seem significantly different between the parties, policy almost never changes because the big money power brokers who effectively control most of what happens in both major parties remain the same and so do their interests.

History demonstrates that new parties, despite the “conventional wisdom” that America has a two-party system, have existed almost from the beginning of our nation’s history.  Rather than being a strange anomaly, they have been a natural and frequent political occurrence.  On two occasions previously dominant national parties were replaced by newer parties.  First, the Whigs replaced the Federalists and later the Republicans replaced the Whigs.  In both 1968 and 1992, similar re-alignments nearly occurred.  As dissatisfaction with major party politicians has reached an all-time high, it would certainly appear that some new re-alignment of political parties is highly possible, and would be extraordinarily appropriate.  It will be necessary however, if this is to occur, for American voters to begin to think for themselves and to cease being slaves to “pendulum politics.”  The American voter must break from the habit of voting for the lesser of two evils out of fear, and begin voting for what, in their heart, they know is right and for those candidates who they know will do right, according to the Constitution of the United States of America.

If the American people are ready to take this courageous step, the Constitution Party is prepared to be that new broom that will sweep clean and give the American people a real chance to reclaim their nation.


(“A Brief Look at the History of Third Parties in America”, page 5;  America Needs a Third Party Now!


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BILL OF RIGHTS

Congress of the United States

Amendment I

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.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

THE VIRGINIA DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government .

Section 1. 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 and safety.

Section 2. 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.

Section 3. 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, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Section 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, nor being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

Section 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the state should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens 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 shall direct.

Section 6. 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, assembled for the public good.

Section 7. 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.

Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man has 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 twelve men 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 judgment of his peers.

Section 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Section 10. That general warrants, whereby an 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.

Section 11. 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.

Section 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

Section 13. 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 governed by, the civil power.

Section 14. 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.

Section 15. 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 fundamental principles.

Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only 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 practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.

Virginia’s Declaration of Rights was drawn upon by Thomas Jefferson for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. It was widely copied by the other colonies and became the basis of the Bill of Rights. Written by George Mason, it was adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776.

THE VIRGINIA RESOLUTION

RESOLVED, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocably express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.

That this assembly most solemnly declares a warm attachment to the Union of the States, to maintain which it pledges all its powers; and that for this end, it is their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them, can alone secure it’s existence and the public happiness.

That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constitutiong the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

That the General Assembly doth also express its deep regret, that a spirit has in sundry instances, been manifested by the federal government, to enlarge its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that implications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases (which having been copied from the very limited grant of power, in the former articles of confederation were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to destroy the meaning and effect, of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases; and so as to consolidate the states by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable consequence of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States, into an absolute, or at best a mixed monarchy.

That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the “Alien and Sedition Acts” passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government, and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thererto;_a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.

That this state having by its Convention, which ratified the federal Constitution, expressly declared, that among other essential rights, “the Liberty of Conscience and of the Press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified by any authority of the United States,” and from its extreme anxiety to guard these rights from every possible attack of sophistry or ambition, having with other states, recommended an amendment for that purpose, which amendment was, in due time, annexed to the Constitution; it would mark a reproachable inconsistency, and criminal degeneracy, if an indifference were now shewn, to the most palpable violation of one of the Rights, thus declared and secured; and to the establishment of a precedent which may be fatal to the other.

That the good people of this commonwealth, having ever felt, and continuing to feel, the most sincere affection for their brethren of the other states; the truest anxiety for establishing and perpetuating the union of all; and the most serupulous fidelity to that constitution, which is the pledge of mutual friendhsip, and the instrument of mutual happiness; the General Assembly doth solemenly appeal to the like dispositions of the other states, in confidence that they will concur with this commonwealth in declaring, as it does hereby declare, that the acts aforesaid, are unconstitutional; and that the necessary and proper measures will be taken by each, for co-operating with this state, in maintaining the Authorities, Rights, and Liberties, referred to the States respectively, or to the people.

That the Governor be desired, to transmit a copy of the foregoing Resolutions to the executive authority of each of the other states, with a request that the same may be communicated to the Legislature thereof; and that a copy be furnished to each of the Senators and Representatives representing this state in the Congress of the United States.

Agreed to by the Senate, December 24, 1798.