Imágenes de páginas



1. Every noun will be found in the index, with reference to article, section, clause, and pages where found.

2. The text is in "long primer," or the larger type, and the notes in "brevier," or the smaller type.

3. The notes are numbered consecutively, and they stand between the texts in the order of the words and phrases defined and expounded.

4. The marginal numbers refer to other notes having relation to the same subjects-matter.

5. The abbreviations of authorities will be found after the "Table of Contents."

6. The citations in (parenthesis) show that they have been quoted in the case, or by the author to whom they are credited.

7. The definitions are all upon the highest authorities, and are usually the first remark in the note.

8. The interrogations (?) in the margin are for the use of teachers.

9. The figures in [17.] are not in the Constitution as filed in the State Department, but are inserted for convenience, because the general mode of printing the Constitution is with these enumerations.




What is the 2. Let it be remembered: 1. That it is a government; 2. That Constitution it is the supreme law of the land. Farrar's Const. § 1-4. And and its his- the laws of the Union can be enforced by its own authority, on all tory?


Went into operation when?

Did it create


persons and subjects-matter, over which jurisdiction was granted to any department or officer of the Government of the United States. Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 12 Pet. 657, 729. It is not a league, but a government. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 187. For a history of the thirteen colonies, until the formation of the Constitution of the United States, see Story's Commentaries on the Constitution, vol. 1; Johnson v. McIntosh, 8 Wh. 543-573; Curtis's Hist. of the Const. chap. 1, Book 1, §. 1-197; 1 Kent's Com. 11th Ed., sec. 10 and notes. See Stearns v. United States, 2 Paine, 300.

3. This Constitution went into operation on the first Wednesday (4th day) of March, 1789. Owings v. Speed, 5 Wheat. 420; 1 Kent's Com. 219.

4. The new government was not a mere change in dynasty, as in a new gov- a form of government, leaving the nation or sovereignty the same, and clothed with all the rights, and bound by all the obligations of the preceding one; but it was a new political body, a new nation, then, for the first time, taking its place in the family of nations. Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 397.


Was it a mere


According to Mr. Duane, the Constitution of the United States has passed through three forms: 1. The revolutionary; 2. The confederate; 3. The constitutional; and the first and the third pr ceeded equally from the people in their original capacity. 1 Kent's Com., 11th Ed., 212, note a.

The Constitution is not a mere compact among the States; but it is a government agreed to by the people of the United States. 1 Story's Const., 3d edition, § 344–365, and notes; 3 Elliot's De

bates, 286, 287, 288, and notes; Webster's Speeches, 410; Farrar's Const. § 5-38. And whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. President Jackson's Proclamation, 10th Dec. 1833; Story's Const., 3d Ed., p. 727.

When adopted it was of complete obligation, and bound Its obliga the State sovereignties. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wh. 404; tion? Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 471; Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wh. 414; Metropolitan Bank v. Van Dyck, 27 N. Y. Rep. 409. For a clear 2 exposition of the government, see Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 396; Ableman v. Booth, 21 How. 506.


WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, in order to Preamble. form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, 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.

5. The preamble in the Constitution is constantly referred to by What is the statesmen and jurists, to aid them in the exposition of its pro- use of the visions. Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 475; Brown v. Maryland, preamble? 12 Wh. 455-6; 1 Story's Const. chap. 4, § 5, et seq.

It is the es

sence and epitome of the whole instrument by which the government is ordained and created, and its purposes, authority, and duty established. Farrar's Const. § 5.

It was one of the last clauses incorporated in the Constitution. Its history? Farrar, § 6. It was adopted after various other forms had been proposed and rejected. Farrar, § 6-12; 2 Curtis's Hist. of the Constitution, chap. xii. 372-376.

(1.) To form a more perfect union; (2.) to establish justice; What are its (3.) to insure domestic tranquillity; (4.) to provide for the com- divisions? mon defense; (5.) to promote the general welfare; (6.) to secure

the blessings of liberty to themselves and posterity. (Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dallas, 419; 2 Cond. 635, 671.) Story's Const. § 463; Farrar,


The differences of opinion of the Southern States Rights or Cal- How difhoun school, as they have been called, may be seen in the pre- ered the amble to the Constitution formed at Montgomery, Alabama, in school? March, 1861.

[ocr errors]


'We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in The Confedits sovereign and independent character, in order to form a federal erate States? government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity-looking to the favor and guidance of Almighty God-do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America." It will thus be seen that a "Federal Government was substituted for a more perfect union," which may be no great difference, as "government" carries the idea of perpetuity; for although "cach

79, 80.

By whom ordained and established?

State acted in its sovereign capacity," the instrument was submitted to conventions of the people for ratification. This was the South Carolina form, offered by Mr. Rutledge in the Federal Convention. Farrar, § 8. It was at first so adopted, but afterwards changed. 2 Curtis, 373. The fourth and fifth objects, "general welfare and common defense," were also omitted, although the latter was retained in the first clause of section viii. of art. i., and all the war-powers were retained. Paschal's Annotated Digest, pp. 86, 88, notes 216, 217.

The parenthetical-"looking to the favor of Almighty God "— however piously uttered, met no response from the true Preserver of liberty. The actions of the Secessionists, more than any declaration in their Constitution, showed their belief in the right of each State to retire from the Union.

6. "WE THE PEOPLE." The Constitution was ordained and established, not by the States in their sovereign capacities, but, emphatically, by the people of the United States. Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 1 Wh. 324; Banks v. Greenleaf, 6 Call, 277. It required not the affirmance of, nor could it be negatived by, the State governments. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 404, 405. Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 413, 414; 1 Kent's Com., Lect. 10, p. 217; Farrar's Const. § 1-60; Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 12 Wheat. 657, 720. The true doctrine would seem to be, that the Constitution was adopted by the people of the several States, which had been previously confederated under the name of the United States, acting through the delegates by whom they were respectively represented in the convention which formed the Constitution. Baldwin's Constitutional Views, 29-42. And see Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. 569, where it is said by Mr. Justice McLean to have been formed" by a combined power exercised by the people through their delegates, limited in their sanctions to the respective States." And see Farrar, § 1-60. See Barron v. Mayor of Baltimore, 7 Pet.


Was it by The Constitution resulted neither from the decision of a majority majorities? of the people of the Union, nor from that of a majority of the States. 1 Story's Const, § 360; Ware v. Hylton, 3 Dallas, 199; Chisholm v. Georgia, 3 Dall. 419; 2 Cond. 668, 671; 2 Elliot's Debates, 47; The Federalist, Nos. 22, 33, 39.

What means "we the people "?

The words, "WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES" and CITIZENS" are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. Scott v. Sanford, 19 How. 404. They are "the people of the 16, 17, 24, 46, several States;" "citizens of the United States;" "citizens of 169, 220. each State;" "numbers," ," "free persons," and "other persons. Farrar, § 30-38.

The language is, "WE THE PEOPLE," instead of "We the States." Patrick Henry, 2 Elliot's Debates, 47; and see 1 Elliot's Debates, 91, 92, 110; 1 Story's Const. § 348, note 1 of 3d ed.

And for a full exposition of the action of the people, see Story's Const., 362-365, note 4 of 3d edition; 1 Webster's Speeches, 1830, p. 431; 4 Elliot's Debates, 326; Malison's Letter in the North American Review, October, 1830, p. 537, 538. For the

forms of ratification by the State Conventions, see Hickey's Const., chap. 2, pp. 129-192.

Negroes, whether slaves or free, were not included in the terms Were the “ people," or "citizens of the United States." Scott v. Sandford, Negroes 19 How. 404-5. The case of Legrand v. Darnell, 2 Pet. 664, people? does not conflict with this view. Id. 423-4. But the States may confer all the rights of citizenship upon an alien, or any other person, so far as that State is concerned; this, however, does not make him a citizen of the United States. Id. 405-406.



But a man is not incapacitated to be a citizen of the United Can the States by the sole fact that he is colored or of African descent, and States confer citizenship? not a white man. Opinion of Attorney-General Bates, of 29th Nov., 1862, in which the whole subject of citizenship is discussed. There is no authoritative definition of the phrase "citizen of the United States." Id.


But the question was put to rest by the Civil Rights Bill, in the Declared following words :—

"Be it enacted, &c., That all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States." 14 St. p. 27, § 1; Paschal's Annotated Digest, Art. 5382.

There can be no doubt of the power of Congress to pass this act. Smith v. Moody, 26 Ind. 307.

citizens by the Civil

Rights Bill?


7. "IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION." That it should How a more not, like the Confederation, be a mere treaty, operating by requisi- perfect, Union? tions on the States; and that the people, for whose benefit it was framed, ought to have the sole and exclusive right to ratify, amend, and control its provisions. (2 Elliot's Debates, (Virginia) 47, 61, 131, 57, 97, 98; 3 Id. (North Carolina,) 134, 145; 1 Id. (Masachusetts,) 72, 110.) 1 Story's Const. § 464, 469-480, and notes to third edition; Federalist, Nos. 13, 14, 51.

The Government which preceded were "Articles of Confede- How was ration and Perpetual Union between the States." Ante, p. 9; the Union Story's Const. § 229; Public Journals of Cong., by Way and to be more Gideon, vol. i.; 1 Bioren and Duane, Laws of U. S. 6; Hickey's Const. 483.


It was intended to make the Union stronger, by giving it a well- 14, 165, 195. balanced representative Legislature, an Executive, and a Judiciary, with guaranties for the enforcement of law; these provisions carried along the idea of a 'more perfect" and "perpetual union." See 2 Curtis's History of the Constitution.


8. TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE.-Justice is the constant and ardent What is desire to render to every one that which is his own. Justin- justice? ian; Burrill's Law Dic., JUSTICE. It was probably used here in reference to the judicial power, as there was neither executive nor judiciary under the Articles of Confederation.-ED. Justice is law. 9 Op. 481 (Black). The objects to be attained may be found in the jurisdiction given in the judicial power, and in the How extradition obligations, as well as in the general powers of legis- attained?


« AnteriorContinuar »