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1. Declaration of rights.

Frame of government.
Legislative power.

House of Representatives. 2. Governor.

Manner of settling elections.
Secretary, Treasurer, Commis-

sary, etc. 3. Judiciary power. 4. Delegates to Congress. 5. The University. The encouragement of litera

ture. 6. Oaths.

Articles of amendment.

CHAPTER I. 1. Preamble.

7. Objects of government.-- The

right of the people to insti

tute and change it. 8. Right of the people to secure

rotation in office. 9. All having the qualifications

prescribed, equally eligible to

office. 10. Right of protection and duty of

contribution correlative. 11. Remedies by recourse to the

law, to be free, complete and

prompt. 12. Prosecutions regulated. 13. Crimes to be proved in the vi

cinity. 14. To be secure from unreasonable

searches and seizures. 15. Right of trial by jury. 16. Liberty of the press. 17. Right to keep and bear arms.

- Standing armies dangerous. - Military power subordinate

to civil power. 18. Moral qualifications for office.

Moral obligations of law

givers and magistrates. 19. The people have the right to

assemble in a peaceable manner to consult for common

good. 20. Power to suspend the laws or

their execution. 21. Freedom of debate, etc., and

reason thereof. 22. Frequent sessions and objects

thereof. 23. Taxation founded on consent. 24. Ex post facto laws prohibited. 25. Legislature not to convict of

treason, etc. 26. Excessive bail or fines, and cruel

punishment prohibited.

PART 1. Declaration of Rights. 1. Equality and natural rights of

man. 2. Right and duty of public relig

ious worship. – Protection

therein. 3. Legislature empowered to com

pel provisions for public worship and enjoin attendance

thereon. 4. Right of self-government se

cured. 5. Accountability of all officers,

etc. 6. Service rendered to the public

being the only title peculiar to privileges.- Hereditary offices are

absurd and natural.


27. No soldiers to be quartered in

any house, unless, etc. 28. Citizens exempt from law mar

shall, unless, etc. 29. Judges of Supreme Judicial

Court.- Tenure of their office.

- Salaries. 30. Separation of executive, judicial

and legislative departments. 1. Title of the body politic.

Section 1. PART 2.

Legislatire Power.

1. Legislative department. 2. Governor's veto.- Bill may be

passed by two-thirds of each

house notwithstanding. 3. General Court may constitute

judicatories. 4. General Court may enact laws,

etc., not repugnant to the Constitution.-May provide for the election or appointment of officers, and may prescribe their duties. · May impose taxes.

Section 2.


1. Senate, number of, and by whom

elected.- County shall be dis

tricts until, etc. 2. Manner and time of choosing

Senators and councillors.- Selectmen to preside at town

meetings. 3. Governor and council to examine and

count votes and issue summonses. 4. Senate


be final judge of elections, etc., of its own mem

bers. 5. Qualifications of Senator.

9. Not less than sixteen members

of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for doing business.

Section 3. House of Representatives. 1. Representation of the people. 2. Representatives. By whom

chosen.-- Proviso as to towns having less than one hundred

and fifty ratable polls. 3. Qualifications of a Representa

tive. Property qualifications

abolished. 4. Qualifications of a voter. 5. Representatives, when chosen. 6. House alone can impeach. 7. House originates all money bills. 8. Not to adjourn more than two

days. 9. Not less than sixty members of

the House of Representatives shall constitute a quorum for

doing business. 10. To judge of returns, etc., of its

own members; to choose its officers and establish its rules.

Privilege of members from

arrest. 11. Senate.- Governor and council

may punish.— Trial may be by committee or otherwise.


Section 1.

Property qualifications abol

ished. 6. Senate not to adjourn more than

two days. 7. Shall choose its officers and

establish its rules. 8. Shall try all impeachments.

Oath.- Limitation of sentence.

Governor. 1. Governor. 2. To be chosen annually. 3. By whom chosen, if he have a

majority of votes.- In case of

tie. 4. Power of Governor, and of Gov

ernor and council. 5. May adjourn or prorogue the

General Court upon request,

and convene the same. 6. Governor and council may ad

journ the General Court in cases, etc., but not exceeding

ninety days. 7. Governor to be commander-in

chief of State military forres. 8. Governor may pardon.


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Section 3. Council, Manner of Settling Election. 1. Number of councillors changed

to eight. 2. From whom and how chosen.

When Senators become coun

cillors their seats are vacated. 3. Rank of councillors. 4. No district to have more than

two. 5. The register of council. 6. When the council is to exercise

the power of Governor. 7. Elections may be adjourned.

CHAPTER VI. 1. Oaths, etc. Declaration and

oaths of all officers.- Oath of

office, how administered. 2. Plurality of offices prohibited to

Governor. Bribery, etc., to

disqualify. 3. Value of money ascertained. 4. Provisions respecting commis

sions. 5. Provisions respecting writs. 6. Continuation of former laws. 7. Benefit of habeas corpus secured,

except, etc. 8. The enacting style. 9. Officers of former government

continued. 10. Provision for revising the Con

stitution. 11. Provision for preserving and

publishing this Constitution.

Section 4. Secretary, I reasury, Commissary. 1. Secretary, by whom and how

chosen. Treasurer ineligible for more than five successive

years. 2. Secretary to keep records. -- To

attend Governor and council.


Judiciary Pover. 1. Tenure of all commissioned offi

cers to be expressed.— Judicial officers to hold office during

good behavior. 2. Justices of the Supreme Court,

to give opinions when required.

ARTICLES OF AMENDMENT. 1. Bill, etc., not approved within

five days not to become a law, if Legislature adjourned in the

meantime. 2. General Court empowered to

charter cities.


3. Qualification of voters for Governor,

Lieutenant - Governor, Senators and Representatives. 4. Notaries public. - How appointed

and removed. 5. Who may vote for captains and

subalterns. 6. Oath to be taken by all officers. 7. Tests abolished. 8. Incompatibility of offices. 9. Amendments to Constitution,

how made. 10. Commencement and termination

of political year. 11. Religious freedom established. 12. Census of ratable polls to be

taken every ten years.--Towns having less than three hundred ratable polls, how represented,

etc. 13. Census of inhabitants to be

taken in 1840 and every ten years thereafter. House of Representatives, how appor

tioned, etc. 14. Elections by the people to be by

plurality of votes. 15. Time of annual election of Gov

ernor and Legislature. 16. Eight councillors to be chosen

by the people, etc. 17. Election of Secretary, Treasurer,

Auditor and Attorney-General by the people.- Vacancies, how

filled. 18. School moneys not to be applied

to sectarian schools. 19. Legislature to prescribe for the

20. Reading Constitution in English

and writing, necessary qualifi

cations of voters. 21. Census of legal voters and in

habitants, when taken.-House of Representatives to consist of two hundred and forty

members, etc. 22. Voters to be basis of apportion

ment of Senators.- Senate to

consist of forty members, etc. 23. Two years' residence required of

naturalized citizens to entitle to suffrage or to make eligible

to office. 24. Vacancies in the Senate. 25. Vacancies in the Council. 26. Twenty-third article of amend

ments annulled. | 27. Provisions of article 2, chapter 6,

election of sheriffs.- Registers of Probate Court, etc.

relating to officers of Harvard

College, annulled. 28. Superseded by article 31. 29. Voting precincts, in towns. 30. Voters not disqualified by

change of residence until six

months from time of removal. 31. Amendments, article 28 amended. 32. Provisions of amendments, are

ticle 3, relative to payment of a tax, as a voting qualification,

annulled. 33. Quorum in each branch of the

General Court, to consist of a

majority of members. 34. Provisions of article 2, section 1,

chapter 2, part 2, relative to the property qualification of Governor annulled.


PREAMBLE. The end of the institution, maintenance and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights and the blessings of life; and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals; it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a Constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them.

We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new Constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish, the following Declaration of Rights, and frame of government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

PART THE FIRST. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Common

wealth of Massachusetts. Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

II. It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the Great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject

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