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                            THE CONSTITUTION
                                 of the
                              UNITED STATES
                               OF AMERICA



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106th Congress                                                Document 
  2d Session            HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES            No. 106-214




                                   THE

                              CONSTITUTION

                                 OF THE

                              UNITED STATES

                               OF AMERICA

                               As Amended

                                -------                                

                          Unratified Amendments

                                -------                                

                            Analytical Index


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                          PRESENTED BY MR. HYDE

          January 31, 2000    <bullet>    Ordered to be printed

                              UNITED STATES
                       GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                            WASHINGTON: 2000



House Doc. 106-214

    The printing of the revised version of The Constitution of 
the United States of America As Amended (Document Size) is 
hereby ordered pursuant to H. Con. Res. 221 as passed on 
January 31, 2000, 106th Congess, 2nd Session. This document was 
compiled at the direction of Chairman Bill Thomas of the Joint 
Committee on Printing, and printed by the U.S. Government 
Printing Office.

                                CONTENTS

Foreword by Hon. Henry Hyde......................................     v
Historical Note..................................................   vii
Text of the Constitution.........................................     1
Amendments.......................................................    13
Proposed Amendments not ratified.................................    29
Index to the Constitution and amendments.........................    33


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                                FOREWORD

By Hon. Henry Hyde, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of 
                            Representatives

    It is a great honor to present to the American people this 
new annotated edition of our Constitution--the founding 
document of our Republic.
    It is not too much to say that this document (together with 
the Declaration of Independence) is the product of the greatest 
assemblage of political geniuses in modern history. It 
establishes and defines the three branches of our Government, 
the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary, and, as a 
government of enumerated powers, reserves those powers not 
granted to the Federal government to the people themselves.
    On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln at Gettysburg best 
described the kind of government our Founders and Framers have 
given us--``a government of the people, by the people, and for 
the people.'' The liberty we all enjoy in the United States is 
our legacy from them.
    Part of the Constitution's brilliance is its brevity and 
flexibility. Our forefathers understood that it would be 
necessary, due to changing times and circumstances, for the 
people, through their elected federal and state representatives 
to amend this fundamental document from time to time. Due to 
this foresight, the Constitution now contains twenty seven 
amendments which have been ratified by the states, and have 
become a part of the basic law of the land. In addition, this 
publication provides information on proposed amendments 
approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress but not 
ratified by three-fourths of the states.
    It is very important that our Constitution be made 
accessible to as many Americans as possible, therefore, we have 
provided for this special reprinting.
    As we enter the new millennium, it is essential that our 
people read and understand the powers and limitations of our 
government, and the people's role in that government.
    Our Constitutional Democracy is an ongoing experiment in 
self-government. Although strong, it must not be taken for 
granted. It will remain vibrant, a beacon on the hill to many 
millions of people around the world as long as the American 
people remain vigilant and dedicated to the basic principles 
upon which it rests. Thus, as we set a course for the 21st 
Century, let us keep faith with our forefathers and mothers, by 
rededicating ourselves to the defense of constitutional 
government and thus secure freedom for ourselves and our 
children for generations to come.


                            HISTORICAL NOTE

                              ----------                              

    The Delegates who convened at the Federal Convention on May 
25, 1787, quickly rejected the idea of revising the Articles of 
Confederation and agreed to construct a new framework for a 
national government. Throughout the summer months at the 
Convention in Philadelphia, delegates from 12 States debated 
the proper form such a government should take, but few 
questioned the need to establish a more vigorous government to 
preside over the union of States. The 39 delegates who signed 
the Constitution on September 17, 1787, expected the new 
charter to provide a permanent guarantee of the political 
liberties achieved in the Revolution.
    Prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, an 
Articles of Confederation, drafted by the Continental Congress 
and approved by 13 States, provided for a union of the former 
British colonies. Even before Maryland became the last State to 
accede to the Articles in 1781, a number of Americans, 
particularly those involved in the prosecution of the 
Revolutionary War, recognized the inadequacies of the Articles 
as a national government. In the 1780s these nationally-minded 
Americans became increasingly disturbed by the Articles' 
failure to provide the central government with authority to 
raise revenue, regulate commerce, or enforce treaties.
    Despite repeated proposals that the Continental Congress 
revise the Articles, the movement for a new national government 
began outside the Congress. Representatives of Maryland and 
Virginia; meeting at Mt. Vernon to discuss trade problems 
between the two States, agreed to invite delegates from all 
States to discuss commercial affairs at a meeting in Annapolis, 
Maryland, in September 1786. Although delegates from only five 
States reached the Annapolis Convention, that group issued a 
call for a meeting of all States to discuss necessary revisions 
of the Articles of Confederation. Responding to this call and 
the endorsement of the Continental Congress, every State except 
Rhode Island selected delegates for the meeting in the State 
House at Philadelphia.
    The document printed here was the product of nearly 4 
months of deliberations in the Federal Convention at 
Philadelphia. The challenging task before the delegates was to 
create a republican form of government that could encompass the 
13 States and accommodate the anticipated expansion to the 
West. The distribution of authority between legislative, 
executive, and judicial branches was a boldly original attempt 
to create an energetic central government at the same time that 
the sovereignty of the people was preserved.
    The longest debate of the Convention centered on the proper 
form of representation and election for the Congress. The 
division between small States that wished to perpetuate the 
equal representation of States in the Continental Congress and 
the large States that proposed representation proportional to 
population threatened to bring the Convention proceedings to a 
halt. Over several weeks the delegates developed a complicated 
compromise that provided for equal representation of the States 
in a Senate elected by State legislature and proportional 
representation in a popularly-elected House of Representatives.
    The conflict between large and small States disappeared in 
the early years of the republic. More lasting was the division 
between slave and free States that had been a disturbing 
undercurrent in the Convention debates. The Convention's 
strained attempt to avoid using the word slavery in the 
articles granting recognition and protection to that 
institution scarcely hid the regional divisions that would 
remain unresolved under the terms of union agreed to in 1787.
    The debates in the State ratification conventions of 1787 
and 1788 made clear the need to provide amendments to the basic 
framework drafted in Philadelphia. Beginning with 
Massachusetts, a number of State conventions ratified the 
Constitution with the request that a bill of rights be added to 
protect certain liberties at the core of English and American 
political traditions. The First Congress approved a set of 
amendments which became the Bill of Rights when ratified by the 
States in 1791. The continuing process of amendment, clearly 
described in the note of the following text, has enabled the 
Constitution to accommodate changing conditions in American 
society at the same time that the Founders' basic outline of 
national government remains intact.

                 CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES \1\

                              ----------                              

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect 
        Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide 
        for the common defence, 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.

                               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.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          
\1\ This text of the Constitution follows the engrossed copy signed by 
Gen. Washington and the deputies from 12 States. The small superior 
figures preceding the paragraphs designate clauses, and were not in the 
original and have no reference to footnotes.
                                                                          
The Constitution was adopted by a convention of the States on September 
17, 1787, and was subsequently ratified by the several States, on the 
following dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 
1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; 
Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; 
Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, 
June 21, 1788.
                                                                          
Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.
                                                                          
The Constitution was subsequently ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; 
New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode 
Island, May 29, 1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.
                                                                          
In May 1785, a committee of Congress made a report recommending an 
alteration in the Articles of Confederation, but no action was taken on 
it, and it was left to the State Legislatures to proceed in the matter. 
In January 1786, the Legislature of Virginia passed a resolution 
providing for the appointment of five commissioners, who, or any three 
of them, should meet such commissioners as might be appointed in the 
other States of the Union, at a time and place to be agreed upon, to 
take into consideration the trade of the United States; to consider how 
far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary 
to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to 
the several States such an act, relative to this great object, as, when 
ratified by them, will enable the United States in Congress effectually 
to provide for the same. The Virginia commissioners, after some 
correspondence, fixed the first Monday in September as the time, and 
the city of Annapolis as the place for the meeting, but only four other 
States were represented, viz: Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and 
Pennsylvania; the commissioners appointed by Massachusetts, New 
Hampshire, North Carolina, and Rhode Island failed to attend. Under the 
circumstances of so partial a representation, the commissioners present 
agreed upon a report, (drawn by Mr. Hamilton, of New York) expressing 
their unanimous conviction that it might essentially tend to advance 
the interests of the Union if the States by which they were 
respectively delegated would concur, and use their endeavors to procure 
the concurrence of the other States, in the appointment of 
commissioners to meet at Philadelphia on the Second Monday of May 
following, to take into consideration the situation of the United 
States; to devise such further provisions as should appear to them 
necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate 
to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an act for that 
purpose to the United States in Congress assembled as, when agreed to 
by them and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State, 
would effectually provide for the same.
                                                                          
Congress, on the 21st of February, 1787, adopted a resolution in favor 
of a convention, and the Legislatures of those States which had not 
already done so (with the exception of Rhode Island) promptly appointed 
delegates. On the 25th of May, seven States having convened, George 
Washington, of Virginia, was unanimously elected President, and the 
consideration of the proposed constitution was commenced. On the 17th 
of September, 1787, the Constitution as engrossed and agreed upon was 
signed by all the members present, except Mr. Gerry of Massachusetts, 
and Messrs. Mason and Randolph, of Virginia. The president of the 
convention transmitted it to Congress, with a resolution stating how 
the proposed Federal Government should be put in operation, and an 

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