The Constitution of the United States
As Seen By an Average American.
Note: The following text in bold is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Each State shall have control of their own proceedings.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
Citizens of one State will not have to show papers or identification to travel from one State to another. All citizens will have the same privileges and rights regardless of what State they reside in. The second paragraph simply says that one State will not harbor fugitives from another State, upon request they will extradite fugitives. The third paragraph was directed towards indentured servants and slaves, both of which are no longer practiced. It was one point of contention in the late 1800’s when the Southern States claimed that the Northern States had broken their contract with them when it came to slavery and the harboring of escaped slaves to the North.
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
Section 3 is simply protecting the States borders from being rewritten into new States or to add land to other States. There are questions as to whether or not the formation of West Virginia, which was originally a part of Virginia, was Constitutional or not. During the time of the Civil War, or War of Northern Aggression if you prefer, Virginia seceded from the Union but the North Western portion of the State remained loyal to the Union. Because of this that portion of Virginia was accepted into the Union as a new State. The questions come in as to whether or not the Southern States actually seceded or not. According to various accounts President Lincoln did not believe the States could secede so that would mean they were only rebelling making the formation of West Virginia unconstitutional. If the States could secede then the formation of West Virginia was just a new State being admitted to the Union from a different country altogether which is legal. Either way we have WV.
The second part of this leads back to Article I; giving Congress the authority to take lands for needful buildings. This section allows them to make rules and regulations for those lands, in other words, military bases, Post Offices, etc…
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.
Section 4 of Article IV is where the Federal Government promises to protect the borders of the States. If the Section 2 of this Article granted the Citizens of each State all privileges and immunities of the Citizens of the Several States then the Federal Government would not need to protect the States from invasion from each other. This would obviously mean invasion from outside the borders of the United States. This section also gives the Federal Government the authority to act in times of domestic violence; these are the cases where the Federal Government have called out the National Guard.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
The Framers of the Constitution knew they were not perfect and knew there was no way they could predict how the country would change or what types of technological advances would come along. There was no way they could have ever imagined that we would be dealing on a global scale the way we are today or traveling from one country to another in the matter of hours, much less to other States in a matter of hours. They addressed this lack of knowledge by providing for a method to amend the Constitution to meet the changing times. They stipulated that it would take a super majority of both Houses of Congress or a super majority of the legislatures of the Several States to even make a proposed Amendment. To have the Amendment approved it would take a super majority of the States Legislatures to ratify it to become a part of the Constitution. To date there are 27 Amendments to the Constitution, the first 10 were written and added prior to the ratification of the Constitution because of concerns the States had about the Constitution not being specific enough in some areas. Once an Amendment is placed in the Constitution it will remain for the life of the Constitution, even if another Amendment abolishes it as the 18th Amendment, Prohibition was abolished by the 21st Amendment. This is a way to preserve history and to be able to look back at what has worked and has not worked. The Constitutional Convention process of Article V is the only correct way to change the Constitution, not interpretations by politicians of Supreme Court Judges.
To fight the Revolutionary War the Colonies went into debt with several Nations, including the French. The Framers felt they needed to honor those debts and any others incurred by the Colonies prior to their Independence from British rule if they were ever to be taken seriously on the international scene.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
In the area of treaties made with other Nations the Constitution and the Federal Government is the supreme Law of the Land. In other words the several States have, by accepting this Constitution and becoming a part of the United States, granted the Federal Government the power and authority to deal with foreign Governments.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
All officers of the United States per the Constitution shall take an oath to support and defend it, every Congressman, every Supreme Court Judge, every Federal District Court Judge and the President. In keeping with the freedom of religion that the Framers believed in this oath was to be free from religious test or bindings, you did not have to be of a certain religion or any religion at all to be an elected official in the Federal Government or a Supreme Court of District Court Judge/
Article. VII. Ratification of The Constitution
The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.
Attest William Jackson Secretary
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 Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,
In keeping with the super majority, or two thirds, the Framers determined that this Constitution would not even become effective until at least nine of the original Colonies ratified, approved, the Constitution. All States had to agree to the terms of the Constitution to become a member of the Union of States, that was the date they became a State.
Thirty nine men signed the Constitution, forever putting their names in the history books. These men bet their fortunes and their fame on a dream they called a Republic, a country for the People, not a country that would rule over the People.
Presidt and deputy from Virginia