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9. Not less than sixteen members
of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for doing business.
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.
Legislative Porner. 1. Legislative department. 2. Governor's veto.- Bill may
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 appointment of officers, and may prescribe their duties. May impose taxes.
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.
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 to be final Judge of
elections, etc., of its own mem
bers. 5. Qualifications of a Senator.
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.
Gorrnor. 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 forces. 8. Governor may pardon.
9. Judicial officers, etc., how nomi
nated and appointed. 10. Militia officers, how elected, how
commdssioned. Major - generals, how appointed and com
missioned. 11. Money, how drawn from the
treasury. 12. All public boards to make quar
terly returns. 13. Salary of Governor.
Lieutenant-Governor. 1. Lieutenant-Governor, his qualifi
cations.- How chosen. 2. President of council. 3. Lieutenant-Governor to be act
ing Governor, when.
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.
Section 4. Secretary, Treasury, Commissary. 1. Secretary, by whom and how
chosen. Treasurer ineligible for more than five successive
3. Justices of the peace.--Tenure of
office. 4. Provisions for holding Probate
Courts. 5. Marriage, divorce and alimony.
Delegates to Congress. 1. Delegates to Congress.
The University. 1. Harvard College.- Powers and
privileges of the president and
fellows confirmed. 2. All gifts, grants, etc., confirmed. 3. Who shall be overseers.
Section 2. The Encouragement of Literature, 1. Duty of Legislatures and magis.
trates in all future periods.
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.
years. 2. Secretary to keep records. To
attend Governor and council.
cers to be expressed.- Judicial
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
3. Qualification of voters for Goy
ernor, 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 Goy
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
election of sheriffs.- Registers of Probate Court, etc.
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,
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, ar
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 shall be hurt, molested or restrained, in his person, liberty or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agree able to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession of sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or obstruct others in their religious worship.
III. (As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality: Therefore, to promote their happiness, and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their Legislature with power to authorize and require, and the Legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenan of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.
And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to, and do, invest their Legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects and attendants upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.
Provided, notwithstanding that the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies shall, at all times, have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance.
And all moneys paid by the subject to the support of public worship, and of the public teachers aforesaid, shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sector denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid towards the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised.
And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination