Constitution for the United States of America

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Articles

Article. I.

Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons [Modified by Amendment XIV]. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof [Modified by Amendment XVII], for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies [Modified by Amendment XVII].

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December [Modified by Amendment XX], unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; — And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws; and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall choose from them by Ballot the Vice President [Modified by Amendment XII].

The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected [Modified by Amendment XXV].

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section. 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article. III.

Section. 1. The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; — to Controversies between two or more States; — between a State and Citizens of another State [Modified by Amendment XI]; — between Citizens of different States; — between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1. 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.

Section. 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

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 Labor 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 Labor, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labor may be due [Modified by Amendment XIII].

Section. 3. 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. 4. 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.

Article. V.

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.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

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.

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.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

 

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,

Go. WASHINGTON — Presidt.
and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire {

JOHN LANGDON
NICHOLAS GILMAN

Massachusetts {

NATHANIEL GORHAM
RUFUS KING

Connecticut {

WM. SAML. JOHNSON
ROGER SHERMAN

New York . . . .

ALEXANDER HAMILTON

New Jersey {

WIL: LIVINGSTON
DAVID BREARLEY.
WM. PATERSON.
JONA: DAYTON

Pennsylvania {

B FRANKLIN
THOMAS MIFFLIN
ROBT MORRIS
GEO. CLYMER
THOS. FITZ SIMONS
JARED INGERSOLL
JAMES WILSON
GOUV MORRIS

Delaware {

GEO: READ
GUNNING BEDFORD jun
JOHN DICKINSON
RICHARD BASSETT
JACO: BROOM

Maryland {

JAMES MCHENRY
DAN OF ST THOS. JENIFER
DANL CARROLL

Virginia {

JOHN BLAIR
JAMES MADISON

North Carolina {

WM. BLOUNT
RICHD. DOBBS SPAIGHT
HU WILLIAMSON

South Carolina {

J. RUTLEDGE
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY
CHARLES PINCKNEY
PIERCE BUTLER

Georgia {

WILLIAM FEW
ABR BALDWIN

 

In Convention Monday, September 17th, 1787.

Present

The States of

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, MR. Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Resolved,

That the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the Opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof, under the Recommendation of its Legislature, for their Assent and Ratification; and that each Convention assenting to, and ratifying the Same, should give Notice thereof to the United States in Congress assembled. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Convention, that as soon as the Conventions of nine States shall have ratified this Constitution, the United States in Congress assembled should fix a Day on which Electors should be appointed by the States which have ratified the same, and a Day on which the Electors should assemble to vote for the President, and the Time and Place for commencing Proceedings under this Constitution. That after such Publication the Electors should be appointed, and the Senators and Representatives elected: That the Electors should meet on the Day fixed for the Election of the President, and should transmit their Votes certified, signed, sealed and directed, as the Constitution requires, to the Secretary of the United States in Congress assembled, that the Senators and Representatives should convene at the Time and Place assigned; that the Senators should appoint a President of the Senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening and counting the Votes for President; and, that after he shall be chosen, the Congress, together with the President, should, without Delay, proceed to execute this Constitution.

By the Unanimous Order of the Convention

Go. WASHINGTON — Presidt.
W. JACKSON Secretary.


The Bill of Rights


 

The Bill of Rights

 

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 offense 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 defense.

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 re-examined 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.

Additional Amendments


Additional Amendments


Amendment XI

[Proposed 1794; Ratified 1798]The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Amendment XII

[Proposed 1803; Ratified 1804]The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. — The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Amendment XIII

[Proposed 1865; Ratified 1865]Section. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XIV

[Proposed 1866; Ratified Under Duress 1868]Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Amendment XV

[Proposed 1869; Ratified 1870]Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XVI

[Proposed 1909; Questionably Ratified 1913] The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Amendment XVII

[Proposed 1912; Ratified 1913; Possibly Unconstitutional (See Article V, Clause 3 of the Constitution)]The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Amendment XVIII

[Proposed 1917; Ratified 1919; Repealed 1933 (See Amendment XXI, Section 1Section. 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section. 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Amendment XIX

[Proposed 1919; Ratified 1920]The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XX

[Proposed 1932; Ratified 1933]Section. 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section. 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section. 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section. 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

Amendment XXI

[Proposed 1933; Ratified 1933]Section. 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section. 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Amendment XXII

[Proposed 1947; Ratified 1951]Section. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section. 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

Amendment XXIII

[Proposed 1960; Ratified 1961]Section. 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XXIV

[Proposed 1962; Ratified 1964]Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XXV

[Proposed 1965; Ratified 1967]Section. 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section. 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section. 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section. 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Amendment XXVI

[Proposed 1971; Ratified 1971]Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XXVII

[Proposed 1789; Ratified 1992; Second of twelve Articles comprising the Bill of Rights]No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.


Learning and Teaching Aids




Learning and teaching aids: Becoming familiar with the information found by clicking on the links below should be part of your everyday life. If doing so has not been part of yours, no worries–here you can learn why and how the United States of America came to exist, why its government was given its original form and substance by the Founders, and how and why the country and its government have changed over time. These are seldom taught in any rigorous way in our nation’s public schools, and are usually presented using counter-factual information informed by an ideology that would have been considered the very antithesis of that held by those who bequeathed this “last, best hope of man” to the world. Here, too, you can find information about the concept of liberty, and how the meaning of liberty has changed over time. In an effort to provide an historical narrative and Constitutional explanation more consonant with the Founders’ intent, and to provide information about what it means to be “free” and to “enjoy the blessings of liberty,” listed below are links to free courses and educational material that you and your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers can use to obtain the information and explanation you did not receive, but should have, in school:

The Cato University Home Study Course

The 12 Cato University Home Study Course programs are:

  1. The Ideas of Liberty
    Summary Download audio
  2. John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government
    Summary Download audio
  3. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
    Summary Download audio – part 1 Download audio – part 2
  4. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (part 1)
    Summary Download audio
  5. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (part 2)
    Summary Download audio
  6. The Constitution of the United States of America
    Summary Download audio
  7. The Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments to the Constitution
    Summary Download audio
  8. John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman
    Summary Download audio – part 1 Download audio – part 2
  9. Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience and William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator
    Summary Download audio – part 1 Download audio – part 2
  10. The Achievement of 19th Century Classical Liberalism
    Summary Download audio
  11. The “Austrian” Case for the Free Market
    Summary Download audio
  12. The Modern Quest for Liberty
    Summary Download audio


Library of Economics and Liberty

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

The Use of Knowledge in Society by Friedrich Hayek


Online Library of Liberty

Liberty and Order: The First American Party Struggle, by Lance Banning

Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.), by James McClellan

The American Republic: Primary Sources, ed. Bruce Frohnen

American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760-1805, ed. Charles S. Hyneman and Donald Lutz, 2 vols.

Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History, ed. Donald S. Lutz

Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers (2nd ed.), M.J.C. Vile

Empire and Nation: Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, by John Dickinson.

Letters from the Federal Farmer, by Richard Henry Lee

Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the “Other” Federalists, 1787-1788, edited by Colleen A. Sheehan and Gary L. McDowell

The History of the American Revolution, by David Ramsay; Foreword by Lester H. Cohen, 2 vols.

History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution interspersed with Biographical, Political and Moral Observations, by Mercy Otis Warren, in Two Volumes, Foreword by Lester H. Cohen

The Lamp of Experience: Whig History and the Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution, by Trevor Colbourn

Liberty and American Experience in the Eighteenth Century, edited and with an Introduction by David Womersley

Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, 2 vols, Foreword by Ellis Sandoz

Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, published during its Discussion by the People, 1787-1788, edited with notes and a bibliography by Paul Leicester Ford

View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings, by St. George Tucker, ed. Clyde N. Wilson

A Treatise on State and Federal Control of Persons and Property in the United States considered from both a Civil and Criminal Standpoint, by Christopher G. Tiedeman, 2 vols.

The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition). In 12 vols.

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams. 10 volumes.

The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition. 12 vols.

The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford. 14 vols.

The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt. 9 vols.

Collected Works of James Wilson, edited by Kermit L. Hall and Mark David Hall, with an Introduction by Kermit L. Hall, and a Bibliographical Essay by Mark David Hall, collected by Maynard Garrison. 2 vols.

The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. 4 Vols.

The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, Minister of the United States to France; Member of the Constitutional Convention, ed. Anne Cary Morris. 2 vols.


Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage


Freedom 101:

Freedom 101, Ep. 1: In The Beginning

Freedom 101, Ep. 2: The Bill of Rights and the States

Freedom 101, Ep. 3: A Living Constitution?

Freedom 101, Ep. 4: Equal Protection: Affirmative Action

Freedom 101, Ep. 5: Change Is A Comin’

Freedom 101, Ep. 6: Equal Protection: How Does It Work?

Freedom 101, Ep. 7: Forget Me Not

Freedom 101, Ep. 8: Gender and the Constitution

Freedom 101, Ep. 9: College Try

Freedom 101, Ep. 10: Interpreting the Constitution

Freedom 101, Ep. 11: Bottom of the 9th

Freedom 101, Ep. 12: Qualifications for Office: “You could be President”

Freedom 101, Ep. 13: Originalism

Freedom 101, Ep. 14: Indian Affairs

Freedom 101, Ep. 15: That’s In The Constitution?

Freedom 101, Ep. 16: Who or What is a Person?

Freedom 101, Ep. 17: Slavery and the Constitution

Freedom 101, Ep. 18: Race and the Constitution

Freedom 101, Ep. 19: Habeas Corpus

Freedom 101, Ep. 20: Federalism and the Constitution

Freedom 101, Ep. 21: Religious Freedom

Freedom 101, Ep. 22: Marbury vs. Madison

Freedom 101, Ep. 23: Establishment Clause

Freedom 101, Ep. 24: Federalism in the 20th Century

Freedom 101.2, Ep. 1: Sovereign Immunity

Freedom 101.2, Ep. 2: Judicial Review and Slavery

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 3: Nullification

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 4: The Louisiana Purchase

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 5: Judicial Independence & the Impeachment of Samuel Chase

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 6: The Alien & Sedition Acts

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 7: The Articles of Confederation

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 8: Free Speech

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 9: Intellectual Property & Freedom

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 10: Free Exercise

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 11: New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

Freedom 101.2; Ep. 13: Why Do We Have a Bill of Rights?


The Story of Freedom

Lecture 1 – Introduction: The Guns of Lexington

Lecture 2 – The Clouds of Tyranny, George III

Lecture 3 – Independence, Freedom, and Honor: The Declaration

Lecture 4 – The Test of Battle: The Surrender at Yorktown

Lecture 5 – A Galaxy of Statesmen: Making The Constitution

Lecture 6 – The Charter of Freedom: Our Constitution

Lecture 7: Debts, Frontier, Liberties: The First Congress

Lecture 8 – The Roots of American Liberty

Lecture 9 – Freedom and the Frontier: Lewis and Clark

Lecture 10 – Tyranny on the Southern Plains: Remember the Alamo

Lecture 11 – A House Divided: Lee and Lincoln

Lecture 12: To Make Men Free: Lincoln As A Statesman

Lecture 13 – Progress and Democracy : Theodore Roosevelt

Lecture 14 – A New Freedom: Franklin D Roosevelt

Lecture 15 – New Frontiers of Freedom: John F Kennedy

Lecture 16 – The Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King

Lecture 17 – From Quagmire to Hope: The 1970s and 80s

Lecture 18 – The Clouded Horizon: The Future of American Freedom


The Heritage Foundation – First Principles

 

The American Founding

The Founding is where it all begins. The great men who established this country first articulated the foundational principles that still define America. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on the American Founding. When you’re ready for more, read the primary sources yourself and explore the Founding in greater depth.

Must-Reads

Questions and Answers

What is the Founding and who are the Founders?

What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence?

What does the Declaration of Independence mean by equality? How does the contemporary understanding of equality differ?

When the Declaration of Independence speaks of “all men,” are women included? Are blacks?

What does the Declaration of Independence mean by liberty?

What are rights and where do they come from? How is the Founders’ understanding of rights different from contemporary conceptions of rights?

What does it mean to say that our rights are “unalienable”?

What are the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” that the Declaration of Independence appeals to?

Are human rights the same as natural rights?

What is the difference between natural rights and civil rights?

What is the right to property?

What is religious liberty?

What is the purpose of government according to the Declaration of Independence?

How does government secure our rights?

What is “the consent of the governed” and how is it obtained?

When can the people exercise their right to revolution and throw off the government?

How can America’s founding principles be just if the country did not abolish slavery?

Did the Founders really think that blacks were worth three-fifths of a white person?

How do you account for the fact that the same Founders who proclaimed the equality of men owned slaves?

Weren’t all the Founders deists or atheists?

Did America have a Christian founding?

Is America an exceptional country? If so, what does that mean?


Constitutional Government

The Constitution translates the principles of the Founding into a framework of limited republican government that remains central to the American way of life. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on constitutional government. When you’re ready for more, dive into the online Heritage Guide to the Constitution, read the primary sources yourself and explore the Constitution in greater depth.

Must-Reads


Questions and Answers

What was wrong with the Articles of Confederation? Why did we need the Constitution?

What is the rule of law? Why is it important?

What is the separation of powers? Why is it important?

What is federalism? Why is it important?

What is the proper way to interpret the Constitution?

Who has the ultimate say in determining what the Constitution means?

What does the term “living constitution” mean?

What is judicial review? How is it different from judicial supremacy and judicial activism?

Is the Supreme Court obliged to follow its own precedents?

What does the general welfare clause in the Constitution mean?

What does the interstate commerce clause in the Constitution mean?

How is the Constitution amended?

What is the Bill of Rights? Why was it added to the Constitution?

Does the First Amendment create a wall of separation between church and state?

What’s the point of the Tenth Amendment?

What did the Seventeenth Amendment do to federalism?

Could women vote in federal elections before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment?

Is America a republic or a democracy? What’s the difference?

What is nullification and is it constitutional?


Lincoln and the Civil War

 

The Civil War completes the Founding by abolishing the institution of slavery. In this great conflict, Lincoln re-affirmed the principles of the Founding and re-established limited constitutional government. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on Lincoln and the Civil War. When you’re ready for more, explore Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War in greater depth.


Must-Reads

 


Questions and Answers

 

What was the primary cause of the Civil War?

Can individual states secede from the United States?

Why didn’t Lincoln let the Southern states secede, instead of taking the nation into a civil war?

Why did Lincoln say that he was opposed to abolishing slavery?

Was Lincoln a tyrant?

Was Lincoln the father of big government?


Progressivism and Liberalism

The Progressive assault on the limited constitutionalism of the Founders set the stage for modern liberalism and the rise of big government over the past century. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on Progressivism and Liberalism. When you’re ready for more, read the primary sources yourself and explore Progressivism and Liberalism in greater depth.


Must-Reads

 

 

Questions and Answers

 

Who were the Progressives? What did they believe?

What were the intellectual origins of the Progressive Movement?

How is the Progressive understanding of government different from that of the Founders?

What is Liberalism and how is it different from Progressivism?

What’s the difference between Progressivism and Socialism?

What is the New Deal? How does it depart from the principles of the Founding?

What is the Great Society? How does it depart from the principles of the Founding?

What is the “Administrative State?” Is it constitutional?

Conservatism

Conservatism arose in response to the Progressive challenge in the early 20th century and coalesced into the modern conservative movement in the post-World War II era. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on Conservatism. When you’re ready for more, read the primary sources yourself and explore Conservatism in greater depth.

Must-Reads

 

Questions and Answers

What is the conservative movement about?

What are the origins of the conservative movement?

Who was Calvin Coolidge and why does he matter?

Who was Robert A. Taft and why is he important?

Who was Friedrich von Hayek and why is he important?

Who was Russell Kirk and why is he important?

Who was William F. Buckley Jr. and why is he important?

Who was Barry Goldwater and why is he important?

What were Ronald Reagan’s greatest achievements?

What is the Tea Party? Is it important?


Foreign Policy

 

Because of its dedication to the universal truths of equality and liberty, America has a special role to play in the world: this country has a responsibility to uphold the cause of freedom abroad. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on foreign policy. When you’re ready for more, explore foreign policy in greater depth.


Must-Reads

 


Questions and Answers

What is the most important goal of American foreign policy?

What is America’s role in the world? Does America have a duty to spread democracy around the world?

Is the United States military responsible to intervene in conflicts where innocent civilians are being killed?

Who makes foreign policy?

What is sovereignty and why is it important?

Does the President have the power to wage war without a formal declaration of war from Congress?

What can Congress do if it disagrees with the President’s decision to use military force?

Were the Founders isolationists? Are America’s foreign policy principles isolationist?

Were the Founders suspicious of a standing army and navy?

Economic Thought

Property rights and free markets are an integral component of what it means to be free. Here are three must-reads and some basic Q&As to get a handle on economics. When you’re ready for more, explore economic thought in greater depth.

Must-Reads


Questions and Answers

What are property rights?

What is economic freedom? Why does it matter?

Is economic freedom sufficient for liberty?

Did the Founders support free-market capitalism?

Do tax cuts stimulate the economy?

What should government do to stimulate the economy in a recession?

Does government spending in a recession lead to economic growth?

Does free trade harm workers?


National Security, Foreign Policy, and Immigration

America’s commitment to the ideals of liberty and self-government requires a strong national defense and a principled foreign policy, and entails an openness to immigrants “yearning to breathe free.” Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on national security, foreign policy, and immigration.


Must-Reads


Religion, Education, and the Family

Republican self-government cannot endure without a virtuous and educated citizenry. Families, religious organizations, and schools are the pillars on which the country’s tradition of ordered liberty rests. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on religion, education, and the family.

Must-Reads

 

Entitlements and the Welfare State

The Liberal-Progressive demands for new rights give rise to an ever-expanding welfare state. As entitlement spending soars, threatening our economic stability, it is time to replace the culture of entitlement with one of mutual responsibility. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on entitlements and the welfare state.

Must-Reads

Property Rights, Free Markets, and the Economy

The most prosperous economy is one in which people can freely exchange goods and services with the knowledge that their property rights are secure. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on property rights, free markets, and the economy.

Must-Reads


Budget Taxes and Fiscal Responsibility

To create a vibrant economy in which everyone has the opportunity to succeed, we need a fiscally responsible government that spends wisely and does not overtax its citizens. High taxes, bloated budgets, and crushing deficits are a recipe for economic disaster. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on budget, taxes, and fiscal responsibility.

Must-Reads


Regulation and the Administrative State

The administrative state undermines the principle of self-government by empowering unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats to make laws in the guise of regulations. Over time, excessive regulations stifle economic growth by erecting barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on the administrative state and regulations.

Must-Reads


Energy and Environment

We don’t need big government to meet America’s energy and environmental needs. It is in fact possible to preserve our commitment to limited government and market solutions while remaining good stewards of our natural resources. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on energy issues and the environment.

Must-Reads


Politics, Elections, and the Rule of Law

Crucial to the active consent of the governed is a political and judicial process that operates under the rule of law and is consistent with America’s principles. Here are some basic publications for you to get a handle on politics, elections, and the rule of law.

Must-Reads

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Early US Constitutional History