Category Archives: Government

Concerns about the money system and the federal Reserve

Overview

Much discussion and hype has surrounded the money supply.
Those who understand it least are the most concerned (which should encourage you).
I believe there are some real concerns about money in the United States of America and some exaggerated concerns based on a lack of understanding or faulty assumptions.
I want to discuss both kinds of concerns on this page.
If you have others, please comment below to me for investigation or explanation.

Paper money is worthless

Those who want you to invest in gold and silver and other “real” money try to scare you into thinking that paper money has no value but the paper it’s printed on.
For those of us with paper debts I think we wish that were true.
Any legally enforceable contract involving debt is treated much the same way as our current money system.
Dollar bills are simply promises by the government to pay the value equal to “one dollar”.
This is a self referencing amount which in theory could be set to the value of the paper but this would be ridiculous.
The government has a vested interest in the happiness (or at least complacency) of its citizens.
There would be no reason to make the value of the dollar so low as to be worthless.
On the other hand, the government (or the Federal Reserve) allows (or designs in) inflation, which is a tax on those holding the money.
Why is this a tax you ask? It’s because the value of the money goes down when inflation happens.
The value lost is exactly what is gained by the US treasury when it’s “obligations to pay” are similarly reduced.

The Federal Reserve is actually owned by foreigners

False. The shares of the Federal Reserve are all owned by member banks much the same way a credit union is organized.

There are no privately held shares and the banking institutions who own the shares happen to not be significantly owned by any one foreigner.

Please see this excellent article on the subject.

The money system is unstable

There are those who believe the money system is inherently unstable and will inevitably lead to meltdown.
Many people have predicted dates when this will happen – much to their embarrassment.

The thinking goes that since each dollar in circulation is borrowed (right?) from the Fed it will need to be paid back to the Fed with interest.
The money to get that interest is not in existence and therefore must be borrowed from the Fed to pay off the existing debt as well.
In this scenario the Federal debt must increase year over year infinitely and exponentially.
(Here is a great example of this thinking).

Anyone who believes this must think the bankers are stupid or part of a conspiracy against the government.

This theory also sounds a lot like an excuse why the government runs a deficit almost every year and has a humongous debt.
Other than the war of 1812, the government has only had a significant debt since the 1930s.
It was not the money system itself that caused the spending problems but the inability of the elected officials to show restraint or accountability.
(Here is a great article on where this could all be headed.).

No, it is not the money system itself that is unstable but the elected and appointed officials that run the government who are unstable.
You can see here how the money supply is really handled. It’s not exponentially unstable by design.

If the government spends only what it gets in taxes there is no debt to gather interest from the Fed.

If the government borrows extra money to spend above what it gets in taxes it has to pay the borrower interest on the debt (of course). It is convenient to borrow this money from the Fed. Most any profit the Fed gets is given back to the treasury.
The Fed goes to international markets to get any money more than what is absorbed by the US population.

So.. what’s wrong with the “Earth plus 5%” article?

  1. The premise that the bank starts out with all the money is a false one.
    The Fed was created by deposits (investments?) from member banks.
    Member banks got the money from depositors like us.
    Originally these deposits were metal backed (representing Gold or Silver or whatever)
    which came from someone digging it up out of the ground.

  2. Most people don’t understand that the Fed returns any interest after expenses and dividends back to the Treasury department.
  3. Many people forget that inflation makes all money worth less over time and thus requires some interest just to maintain value.
  4. In theory, since the Fed can’t make money on it’s own (acting like a monopoly) and all other banks are in a competitive environment
    the interest rates available on the (loan) open market should be as low as possible – just enough to cover the expenses of running bank operations.
    Presumably you would deposit with banks who offer higher rates of return and loan from banks who offer lower rates of interest.

  5. I must admit that any profit a bank makes (and they do) will lead to more and more ownership of private assets by banks.
    A majority of houses and businesses are owned by banks and the ratio is getting worse (or appears to be).
    Even though I believe the system is stable, I have a hard time backing that belief with an ironclad proof.

History of the Federal Reserve

Early conditions

In the early history of what is now the United States, the settlers used the currency of their previous country, base metals (gold and Silver and others), or simple barter.
Over time, as the individual states became organized, the states set up their own central banks and printed money by the authority (and obligation) of the state government.
The money supply was unplanned and unrelated to the productivity of the citizens, so the value of that money fluctuated quite a bit and the value was lower the farther you were from that state.
(Why that happened – and still does.)

Bank of the United States

The first bank of the United States was formed with a 20 year charter in 1791 by congress.
There were political issues having to do with banking that caused the charter not to be renewed, so in 1811 the bank was disbanded.
The War of 1812 made obvious the need for a central authority in banking.

In 1816 the Second bank of the United States was founded with another 20 year charter.

In 1832 President Jackson vetoed the renewal of the charter, so in 1836 the second bank was disbanded.

Banking Acts

Finally in 1836 (in the midst of the Civil War) the National Banking Act created National banks with authority across state lines.
It also made individual state bank currency illegal. Now at least the money would all be on a national basis.

In 1907 there was a banking panic and a major bank failed due to the inability of that bank to obtain enough cash on hand to cover the “run” on the bank.
The money supply was not elastic, so the economy went through wild gyrations in currency value and job stability.

In 1908 the Aldich-Vreeland Act was passed. It allowed for the emergency issue of currency. This was to cover things like the bank collapse and times of war.

In 1911 the Aldrich Plan was proposed. It provided for a National Reserve Association to centrally control currency, interest rates, and the gold supply.
It was “shot down” by William Jennings Bryan.

Federal Reserve

December 23rd, 1913 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Federal Reserve Act.
Wilson wisely put William Jennings Bryan in the position of Secretary of State.
Wilson assured Bryan that the Federal Reserve banks would be controlled by the Federal Reserve board of governors
and that the board would be in the control of the government.
Federal Reserve notes were defined as obligations of the United States government.

In 1914 the system was better defined with 12 member banks and 7 board members.
One member would be the comptroller of the currency (an employee of the treasury).
Another member of the board would be the Secretary of the Treasury himself.
The other 5 members would come from the member banks (each having a board of 9 members as well).
All of these board members would be appointed by the President of the United States.
The Secretary of Treasury would serve as the chairman.

In 1922 an eighth member was added to the board to allow more influence from the farming communities.

Federal Open Market Committee

The FMOC was formed in 1922 to help regulate interest rates.
This was accomplished by buying and selling government bonds on the open market.
The FMOC was formalized in 1933 as part of the workings of the Fed.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The FDIC was formed in 1933 by the Glass-Steagall Act.
It serves to insure deposits of account holders up to $100,000 per person.
In case of catastrophe or bank run, you are guaranteed to get at least that much back from the government.

Further refinements

In 1935 the Banking Act was passed. This required the Federal Reserve board to appoint the 12 bank governors.
It redefined the board to be made up of 7 members, none of which were the Secretary of Treasury or the Comptroller of the currency.
The FMOC was to be the 7 board members plus another 5 members from the 12 regional Reserve banks.

This act also gave authority to the Fed to define and change deposit ratios for member banks without any emergency.

In 1951 the Treasury – Federal Reserve Accord was passed.
This act defined and emphasized the fact that the Fed was independent of the Treasury department and could make decisions without the President’s approval.
This became necessary because the politicians were using the Fed to manipulate the economy to their short term advantage.
(If people feel good about the economy, they are more likely to vote for the incumbent).

In 1980 the Monetary Control Act changed the demand deposit reserves requirement from 16.25% to 12% (in effect, giving the banks a tax break of $5 billion).
It also forced the banks not in the system to hold the same amount of reserves (thus encouraging them to join rather than sit out).

Today, the Fed is working to remove the barriers of distinction between banks and brokerages or investment firms.
This would increase the power of the Fed even more!
Look for this legislation coming to a congressional floor near you :-)

Fed Chairmen

1914 Benjamin Strong became the first Fed chairman (other than Secretaries of Treasury).
He had to deal with an oversupply of currency because of the high regard other nations of the world had of America.
(They kept sending their cash to the USA).

1934 Marriner S. Eccles became the seventh Chairman of the Fed. He helped write a plan that became the Banking Act of 1935.
Prior to 1935 the Chairman role had less power and influence than it did after the Banking Act. Eccles was the first Fed Chariman with any significant power.

1948 Thomas B. McCabe became the chairman of the Fed. He had a disagreement with President Truman over priorities.
Truman invited the entire FMOC board to the White house and “encouraged” them to keep interest rates low.
4 weeks later McCabe resigned.

In 1951 President Truman appointed William McChesney Martin to be the Fed Chairman.
Martin did a great job of keeping interest rates and inflation low and maintained a predictable economy.

In 1970 Arthur Burns became chairman.
He endured the inflationary 70’s and let President Nixon dictate a loose money supply policy.
The oil embargo of 1973-4 and again in 1979 exacerbated the inflationary spiral.

In 1978 G. William Miller was appointed Fed Chairman.
He was a man President Carter could rely on to set interest rates where he wanted. This made things worse.
Miller resigned in 1979 to become Secretary of Treasury.

In 1979 Paul Volcker became chairman of the Fed and really shook things up. (He was 6 foot 7 and was sometimes referred to as the jolly green giant).
He tightened the money supply with a change in the reserve rate and interest rate manipulations in order to take the 20% inflation down to 1% by 1986.
He knew what he was doing to bring confidence in the government back to the world, but he induced a recession along the way.
He is known for making the position of the Fed chairman a position of power.
He didn’t even consult the President before putting his plan into action.

In 1987 Alan Greenspan became the Fed chairman. He responded correctly to the stock market crash of 1987 by loosening the money supply (opposite of the crash of 1929).
All along Greenspan did a fine job through difficult economic conditions.
He dealt with the dot com boom and bust of the late 90’s keeping the “new economy” arguments in perspective.
The 90’s saw around 4% productivity gains year over year – much higher than historically seen.

2/1/2006 Ben Bernanke was appointed by President George W Bush and renewed by President Barack Obama.
Bernanke is known for deftly handling the “Great Recession” of 2008.
He increased the money supply and took decisive action to rescue major banks in the housing crisis that occurred that year.
He was a noted student of the Great Depression and it’s causes.

Bernanke is also noted for his controversial roles in the bailouts of various banks and the refusal to bail out certain other banks.
As a result, some banks failed and others were merged into other banks.

Bernanke is also known for the drastic “quantitative easing” executed from 2008 to 2011.

This history summary was largely gathered from “The Federal Reserve System” (part of the Know Your Government series) by Gary Taylor. (332.11)

Also see How Money Works and the Constitution

History of the Secret Service

BEGINNINGS

1865 The Secret Service Division began on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C., to suppress counterfeit currency.
Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch.
1867 Secret Service responsibilities were broadened to include
“detecting persons perpetrating frauds against the government.”
This appropriation resulted in investigations into the Ku Klux Klan, non-conforming distillers, smugglers, mail robbers, land frauds, and a number of other infractions against the federal laws.
1870 Secret Service headquarters relocated to New York City.
1874 Secret Service headquarters returned to Washington, D.C.
1875 The first commission book and a new badge were issued to operatives.
1877 Congress passed an Act prohibiting the counterfeiting of any coin, gold or silver bar.
1883 Secret Service was officially acknowledged as a distinct organization within the Treasury Department.
1894 The Secret Service began informal part-time protection of President Cleveland.
1895 Congress passed corrective legislation for the counterfeiting or possession of counterfeit stamps.
1901 Congress informally requested Secret Service Presidential protection following the assassination of
President William McKinley.
1902 The Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for protection of the President.
Two operatives were assigned full time to the White House Detail.
1906 Congress passed Sundry Civil Expenses Act for 1907 that provided funds for Presidential protection by the Secret Service.
Secret Service operatives began to investigate the western land frauds.
The Service’s investigations returned millions of acres of land to the government.
Operative Joseph A. Walker was murdered on November 3, 1907, while working on one of these cases.
He was the first operative killed in the line of duty.
1908 Secret Service began protecting the President-elect.
Also, President Roosevelt transferred eight Secret Service agents to the Department of Justice.
They formed the nucleus of what is now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
EXPANSION
1913 Congress authorized permanent protection of the President and the statutory authorization for President-elect protection.
1915 President Wilson directed the Secretary of the Treasury to have the Secret Service investigate espionage in the United States.
1917 Congress authorized permanent protection of the President’s immediate family and made “threats” directed toward the President a federal violation.
1922 White House Police Force created on October 1, 1922, at the request of President Harding.
1930 White House Police were placed under the supervision of the Secret Service.
1950 Officer Leslie Coffelt, White House Police, was shot and killed by Puerto Rican nationalists while protecting President
Truman at the Blair House on November 1, 1950.
1951 Triggered by the attack on Truman, Congress enacted legislation that permanently authorized Secret Service protection of
the President, his immediate family, the President-elect, and the Vice President, if he wishes. (Public Law – 82-79).
1961 Congress authorized protection of former Presidents for a reasonable period of time.
1962 Congress expanded coverage to include the Vice President (or the next officer to succeed the President) and the Vice President-elect. (Public Law 87-829).
1963 Congress passed legislation for protection of Mrs. John F. Kennedy and her minor children for 2 years.
(Public Law 83-195).
1965 Congress authorized protection of former Presidents and their spouses during their lifetime and minor children until age 16.
1968 As a result of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, Congress authorized protection of major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and nominees. (Public Law 90-331).
Congress also authorized protection of widows of Presidents until death, or remarriage, and their children until age 16.
1970 White House Police Force renamed the Executive Protective Service and increased its responsibilities to include the protection of diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C., area.
(Public Law 91-217).
1971 Congress authorized Secret Service protection for visiting heads of a foreign state or government, or other official guests,
as directed.
1975 The duties of Executive Protective Service were expanded to include protection of foreign diplomatic missions located throughout the United States and its territories.
1977 The Executive Protective Service was officially renamed the Secret Service Uniformed Division on November 15, 1977.
1984 Congress enacted legislation making the fraudulent use of credit and debit cards a federal violation. The law also authorized the Secret Service to investigate violations relating to credit and debit card fraud, federal-interest computer fraud,
and fraudulent identification documents.
1986 Treasury Police Force merged into the Secret Service Uniformed Division on October 5, 1986.
A Presidential directive authorized protection of the accompanying spouse of the head of a foreign state or government.
1990 The Secret Service received concurrent jurisdiction with Department of Justice law enforcement personnel to conduct any kind of investigation, civil or criminal, related to federally insured financial institutions.
1994 The passage of the 1994 Crime Bill Public Law 103-322, in part, revised Title 18 USC Section 470, providing that any person manufacturing, trafficking in, or possessing counterfeit U.S. currency abroad may be prosecuted as if the act occurred within the United States.
TODAY
1997 Congress passed legislation in 1994 stating that Presidents elected to office after January 1, 1997, will receive Secret Service protection for 10 years after leaving office.
Individuals elected to office prior to January 1, 1997, will continue to receive lifetime protection.
(Public Law 103-329)
1998 Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Act (Public Law105-184) allowed for criminal forfeiture of fraud proceeds for convictions of
18 USC sections 1028, 1029, 1341, or 1344, or of a conspiracy to commit such an offense, if the offense involved telemarketing.
The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (Public Law 105-318) amends 18 USC section 1028 to establish the offense of “Identity Theft.” Penalties were established for anyone who knowingly transfers or uses, without authority, any means of identification of another person, with the intent to commit an unlawful activity that is a violation of the identity theft provisions of section 1028.
2000 Presidential Threat Protection Act (Public Law 106-544) is passed, which in part, authorizes the Secret Service to participate in the planning, coordination, and implementation of security operations at special events of national significance (“National
Special Security Event”), as determined by the President.
2001 The Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56) increases the Secret Service’s role in investigating fraud and related activity in connections with computers. In addition it authorizes the Director of the Secret Service to establish nationwide electronic crimes task-forces to assist the law enforcement, private sector and academia in detecting and suppressing computer-based crime; increases the statutory penalties for the manufacturing, possession, dealing and passing of counterfeit U.S. or foreign obligations; and allows enforcement
action to be taken to protect our financial payment systems while combating transnational financial crimes directed by terrorists or
other criminals.
2002 The Department of Homeland Security is established with the passage of (Public Law 107-296) which in part, transfers the United States Secret Service from the Department of the Treasury, to the new department effective March 1, 2003.

History of the ATF

Effective January 24, 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was transferred under the Homeland Security bill to the Department of Justice. The law enforcement functions of ATF under the Department of the Treasury were transferred to the Department of Justice. The tax and trade functions of ATF will remain in the Treasury Department with the new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

In addition, the agency’s name was changed to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to reflect it new mission in the Department of Justice.

History of ATF from Oxford University Press, Inc.  1789 Р1998 U.S.

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The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a tax-collecting, enforcement and regulatory arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In common with all other members of the executive branch, ATF’s responsibility is established by congressional action. ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend the law. Charged as it is with fiscal oversight of some of the most controversial topics in Western civilization, ATF strives to maintain professional neutrality while giving a 35-to-1 return on every dollar it spends. ATF has the best cost-to-collection ratio in the federal family.

ATF is the youngest tax-collecting Treasury agency, separated from the Internal Revenue Service by Treasury Department Order No. 120-1 (former No. 221), effective 1 July 1972. Notwithstanding, ATF traces its roots across two hundred years of American history.

In 1789 under the new Constitution, the first Congress imposed a tax on imported spirits to offset a portion of the Revolutionary War debt assumed from the states. Administration of duties fell to the Department of the Treasury, whose Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, had suggested them. Congressional lawmakers were favorably impressed by the results. The imports tax was augmented by one on domestic production in 1791. Taxpayers had grumbled over import duties. Some of them greeted the domestic levy — as they do today — with political resistance, escalating in that early case to the short-lived Whisky Rebellion of 1794. Both revenue sources survived rebellion — as they do today. Although these particular taxes were eventually abolished, similar devices for revenue came and went as needed until 1862. By Act of 1 July 1862, Congress created an Office of Internal Revenue within the Treasury Department, charging the commissioner with collection, among others, of taxes on distilled spirits and tobacco products that continue, with amendments, today. Because taxation so often does evoke resistance, including criminal evasion, during 1863 Congress authorized the hiring by Internal Revenue of “three detectives to aid in the prevention, detection and punishment of tax evaders.” Tax collecting and enforcement were now under one roof. Before decade’s end, the Office of Internal Revenue had its own counsel, another component descending in unbroken line to ATF today.

In 1875 federal investigators broke up the “Whisky Ring”, an association of grain dealers, politicians and revenue agents that had defrauded the government of millions of dollars in distilled spirits taxes. Responding to the scandal, Congress undertook the first Civil Service reform acts, acknowledging formally that effectiveness of law depends on the quality of its administrators.

The commissioner’s annual report for 1877 refers to his office as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, a title that it retained for the next seventy-five years. In 1886, a single employee from the Department of Agriculture came to the Bureau of Internal Revenue under authority of the Oleomargarine Act to establish a Revenue Laboratory. The first samples received in the laboratory that 29 December were of butter suspected of adulteration with oleomargarine. In its second century, ATF’s laboratory staff includes — but is not limited to — chemists, document analysts, latent print specialists, and firearms and toolmark examiners, supported by its own highly sophisticated facilities at Rockville, Maryland, Atlanta, Georgia, and Walnut Creek, California. That first chemist would recognize some aspects of laboratory service today (analysis of alcohol and tobacco products, for instance) although tools such as chromatography and electrophoresis might seem magic. There was nothing in 1886 to foreshadow the Laboratory’s sought-after forensic skills in arson, explosives, and criminal-evidence examination, a resource now available to law enforcement personnel worldwide.

Ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, in combination with the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Act of that year, brought to prominence those officers — ‘revenoors’ — charged with investigating criminal violations of the Internal Revenue law, including illicit manufacture of liquors, who coalesced by 1920 into the Prohibition Unit. Evolution of this unit reflects the difficulty of enforcing a nation-wide ban on “manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.” Internal Revenue’s orientation has been toward collection throughout its history. Enforcement efforts, albeit necessary, never came easily. On April Fool’s Day, 1927, Treasury elevated the Prohibition Unit to bureau status within the department. Congress was impatient with the results. On 1 July 1930 Congress created certain confusion for later historians by transferring “the penal provisions of the national prohibition act” from Treasury’s Bureau of Prohibition (which then ceased to exist) to the Department of Justice’s new Bureau of Prohibition — with an important exception: tax-related and regulatory activities, “the permissive provisions,” remained at Treasury, under a new Bureau of Industrial Alcohol. The most illustrious enforcer during that tumultuous era was Eliot Ness, the “T-man” who toppled Chicago’s organized-crime king Al Capone on tax-evasion charges.

The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution, repealing Prohibition, achieved ratification with unanticipated speed by 5 December 1933, catching Congress in recess. As an interim measure to manage a burgeoning legitimate alcohol industry, by executive order under the National Industrial Recovery Act, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Federal Alcohol Control Administration (FACA). The FACA, in cooperation with the Departments of Agriculture and Treasury, endeavored to guide wineries and distilleries under a system based on brewers’ voluntary codes of fair competition. The FACA was relieved of its burden — and effectively vanished from history — after just twenty months, when President Roosevelt in August 1935 signed the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. The new FAA received a firm departmental assignment: Treasury once more found itself regulating the alcohol industry.

Although Prohibition was officially over, the era’s side effects continued for decades to mold the shape of ATF. On 10 March 1934 Justice’s Prohibition enforcement duties folded into the infant Alcohol Tax Unit (ATU), Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of the Treasury. At the same time, the FAA, functioning independently within Treasury, was carrying forward its mandate to collect data, to establish license and permit requirements, and define the regulations that ensure an open, fair marketplace for the alcohol industry and the consumer. In 1940 the FAA as an Administration merged with the ATU. The FAA Act continues today as one foundation of ATF’s enabling legislation.

National dismay over the weaponry wielded so conspicuously by organized crime during Prohibition led to passage in 1934 of the National Firearms Act, followed in four years by the Federal Firearms Act. The newly regulated articles might be firearms, but taxes were involved as ever. The Miscellaneous Tax Unit, Bureau of Internal Revenue, collected the fees. In 1942 enforcement duties for the “Firearms Program” fell to the ATU, which was accustomed to managing controversial industries. In a major Internal Revenue reorganization of 1952, the nearly-century-old Miscellaneous Tax Unit was dismantled. Its firearms and tobacco tax responsibilities went to the ATU. The Bureau of Internal Revenue became the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) we know today. Acknowledging a portion of ATU’s new burden, IRS renamed it the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division. This incarnation lasted until 1968 passage of the Gun Control Act, which gave to the laboratory, among other things, responsibility for explosives. The division title shifted to Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Division. Title XI of the Organized Crime Control Act in 1970 (Title XI) formalized ATF Division explosives expertise. In the same year, moved by a growing perception that the IRS’s revenue-collecting bias did not reflect ATF Division’s enforcement skills, overtures began toward ATF independence.

Treasury Department Order No. 120-1 (originally No. 221), effective 1 July 1972, transferred to ATF from IRS those functions, powers and duties related to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. (During the mid-1970s at Treasury’s direction ATF briefly assumed responsibility for wagering laws; that task returned to the IRS in less than 3 years.) Throughout the 1970s, based on determination that accelerants used in arson, when explosions might occur, meet Title XI’s definition of explosives, ATF began demonstrating in court its ability to prove arson. In the Anti-Arson Act of 1982, Congress amended Title XI to make it clear that arson is a federal crime, giving ATF responsibility for investigating commercial arson nationwide.

ATF continues a mutually beneficial interface with its legitimate industries, while refining unique enforcement skills. With developments such as the state-of-the-art Integrated Ballistic Identification System (a computerized matching program for weapons and the ammunition fired from them), accelerant- and explosives/weapons-detection canines, and the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program (which gives children the tools to resist membership in violent gangs), ATF leads and supports law enforcement internationally.

In its first quarter-century ATF has had only 4 Directors: Rex Davis, G.R. Dickerson, Stephen Higgins, and John Magaw. The director is appointed by the secretary of the Treasury, and reports to the under secretary (enforcement). ATF headquarters are in Washington, D.C., although most personnel and many ATF operations are decentralized throughout the country, with a few stations overseas. ATF agents, inspectors, and support staff are involved in investigating some of the most violent crimes in society, in regulating some of the most important and sensitive industries in America, and in collecting over $13 billion in annual revenue. ATF is a young federal agency, yet it is heir to the whole experience and proud tradition of “these United States.”

Bibliography
Annual Report of the Commissioner of Industrial Alcohol. Washington, D.C., 1931 – 1933.
Annual Report of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Washington, D.C., 1863 – present.
Annual Report of the Commissioner of Prohibition. Washington, D.C., 1927 – 1930.
ATF Facts – History. Washington, D.C., n.d.
A Report on The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Its History, Progress and Programs. Washington, D.C., 1995.
United States Government Manual, 1994/1995, Washington, D.C., 1994. See pp. 496-498.

From A HISTORICAL GUIDE TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, edited by George T. Kurian. Copyright © 1998 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by kind permission of Oxford University Press, Inc.

The United States Constitution

(See Note 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.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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. (See Note 2) 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 chuse 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.

Clause 4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, (See Note 3) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Clause 2: 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. (See Note 4)

Clause 3: 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.

Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Clause 5: The Senate shall chuse 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.

Clause 6: 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.

Clause 7: 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.

Clause 1: 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 chusing Senators.

Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, (See Note 5) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Clause 3: 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.

Clause 4: 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.

Clause 1: 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. (See Note 6) 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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.

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8: 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;

Clause 9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16: 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;

Clause 17: 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

Clause 18: 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.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
(See Note 7)

Clause 5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Clause 6: 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.

Clause 7: 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.

Clause 8: 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.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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 Controul of the Congress.

Clause 3: 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.

Clause 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

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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 chuse 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 chuse the President. But in chusing 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 chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President. (See Note 8)

Clause 4: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Clause 5: 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.

Clause 6: 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, (See Note 9) 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.

Clause 7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased 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.

Clause 8: 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.

Clause 1: 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 Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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 Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: 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; (See Note 10)
–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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: No Person held to Service or Labour 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 Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
(See Note 11)


Section. 3.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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.

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

[Signed also by the deputies of twelve States.]

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 Jr.

North Carolina

WM Blount
RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge
Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce
Butler.

Georgia

William Few
Abr Baldwin

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.
FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson.
Gouv Morris

Attest William Jackson Secretary

NOTES

Note 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 explanatory letter. Congress, on the 28th of September, 1787, directed the Constitution so framed, with the resolutions and letter concerning the same, to “be transmitted to the several Legislatures in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each State by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the convention.”

On the 4th of March, 1789, the day which had been fixed for commencing the operations of Government under the new Constitution, it had been ratified by the conventions chosen in each State to consider it, as follows: 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; Virginia, June 25, 1788; and New York, July 26, 1788.

The President informed Congress, on the 28th of January, 1790, that North Carolina had ratified the Constitution November 21, 1789; and he informed Congress on the 1st of June, 1790, that Rhode Island had ratified the Constitution May 29, 1790. Vermont, in convention, ratified the Constitution January 10, 1791, and was, by an act of Congress approved February 18, 1791, “received and admitted into this Union as a new and entire member of the United States.”

Note 2: The part of this Clause relating to the mode of apportionment of representatives among the several States has been affected by Section 2 of amendment XIV, and as to taxes on incomes without apportionment by amendment XVI.

Note 3: This Clause has been affected by Clause 1 of amendment XVII.

Note 4: This Clause has been affected by Clause 2 of amendment XVIII.

Note 5: This Clause has been affected by amendment XX.

Note 6: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXVII.

Note 7: This Clause has been affected by amendment XVI.

Note 8: This Clause has been superseded by amendment XII.

Note 9: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXV.

Note 10: This Clause has been affected by amendment XI.

Note 11: This Clause has been affected by amendment XIII.

 

Ammendments to the Constitution

ARTICLES IN ADDITION TO, AND AMENDMENTS OF, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PROPOSED BY CONGRESS, AND RATIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURES OF THE SEVERAL STATES, PURSUANT TO THE FIFTH ARTICLE OF THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION (See Note 12)

Article [I.] (See Note 13)

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.

Article [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.

Article [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.

Article [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.

Article [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.

Article [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.

Article [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.

Article [VIII.]

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article [IX.]

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article [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.

Article [XI.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The eleventh amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Third Congress, on the 4th of March 1794; and was declared in a message from the President to Congress, dated the 8th of January, 1798, to have been ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States. The dates of ratification were: New York, March 27, 1794; Rhode Island, March 31, 1794; Connecticut, May 8, 1794; New Hampshire, June 16, 1794; Massachusetts, June 26, 1794; Vermont, between October 9, 1794 and November 9, 1794; Virginia, November 18, 1794; Georgia, November 29, 1794; Kentucky, December 7, 1794; Maryland, December 26, 1794; Delaware, January 23, 1795; North Carolina, February 7, 1795.

Ratification was completed on February 7, 1795.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by South Carolina on December 4, 1797. New Jersey and Pennsylvania did not take action on the amendment.

Article [XII.]

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. (See Note 14)–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.

Proposal and Ratification The twelfth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Eighth Congress, on the 9th of December, 1803, in lieu of the original third paragraph of the first section of the second article; and was declared in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 25th of September, 1804, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 13 of the 17 States. The dates of ratification were: North Carolina, December 21, 1803; Maryland, December 24, 1803; Kentucky, December 27, 1803; Ohio, December 30, 1803; Pennsylvania, January , 1804; Vermont, January 30, 1804; Virginia, February 3, 1804; New York, February 10, 1804; New Jersey, February 22, 1804; Rhode Island, March 12, 1804; South Carolina, May 15, 1804; Georgia, May 19, 1804; New Hampshire, June 15, 1804.

Ratification was completed on June 15, 1804.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Tennessee, July 27, 1804.

The amendment was rejected by Delaware, January 18, 1804; Massachusetts, February 3, 1804; Connecticut, at its session begun May 10, 1804.

Article [XIII.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Thirty-eighth Congress, on the 31st day of January, 1865, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 18th of December, 1865, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the thirty-six States. The dates of ratification were: Illinois, February 1, 1865; Rhode Island, February 2, 1865; Michigan, February 2, 1865; Maryland, February 3, 1865; New York, February 3, 1865; Pennsylvania, February 3, 1865; West Virginia, February 3, 1865; Missouri, February 6, 1865; Maine, February 7, 1865; Kansas, February 7, 1865; Massachusetts, February 7, 1865; Virginia, February 9, 1865; Ohio, February 10, 1865; Indiana, February 13, 1865; Nevada, February 16, 1865; Louisiana, February 17, 1865; Minnesota, February 23, 1865; Wisconsin, February 24, 1865; Vermont, March 9, 1865; Tennessee, April 7, 1865; Arkansas, April 14, 1865; Connecticut, May 4, 1865; New Hampshire, July 1, 1865; South Carolina, November 13, 1865; Alabama, December 2, 1865; North Carolina, December 4, 1865; Georgia, December 6, 1865.

Ratification was completed on December 6, 1865.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Oregon, December 8, 1865; California, December 19, 1865; Florida, December 28, 1865 (Florida again ratified on June 9, 1868, upon its adoption of a new constitution); Iowa, January 15, 1866; New Jersey, January 23, 1866 (after having rejected the amendment on March 16, 1865); Texas, February 18, 1870; Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected the amendment on February 8, 1865); Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on February 24, 1865).

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Mississippi, December 4, 1865.

Article [XIV.]

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,(See Note 15) 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.

Proposal and Ratification

The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Thirty-ninth Congress, on the 13th of June, 1866. It was declared, in a certificate of the Secretary of State dated July 28, 1868 to have been ratified by the legislatures of 28 of the 37 States. The dates of ratification were: Connecticut, June 25, 1866; New Hampshire, July 6, 1866; Tennessee, July 19, 1866; New Jersey, September 11, 1866 (subsequently the legislature rescinded its ratification, and on March 24, 1868, readopted its resolution of rescission over the Governor’s veto, and on Nov. 12, 1980, expressed support for the amendment); Oregon, September 19, 1866 (and rescinded its ratification on October 15, 1868); Vermont, October 30, 1866; Ohio, January 4, 1867 (and rescinded its ratification on January 15, 1868); New York, January 10, 1867; Kansas, January 11, 1867; Illinois, January 15, 1867; West Virginia, January 16, 1867; Michigan, January 16, 1867; Minnesota, January 16, 1867; Maine, January 19, 1867; Nevada, January 22, 1867; Indiana, January 23, 1867; Missouri, January 25, 1867; Rhode Island, February 7, 1867; Wisconsin, February 7, 1867; Pennsylvania, February 12, 1867; Massachusetts, March 20, 1867; Nebraska, June 15, 1867; Iowa, March 16, 1868; Arkansas, April 6, 1868; Florida, June 9, 1868; North Carolina, July 4, 1868 (after having rejected it on December 14, 1866); Louisiana, July 9, 1868 (after having rejected it on February 6, 1867); South Carolina, July 9, 1868 (after having rejected it on December 20, 1866).

Ratification was completed on July 9, 1868.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Alabama, July 13, 1868; Georgia, July 21, 1868 (after having rejected it on November 9, 1866); Virginia, October 8, 1869 (after having rejected it on January 9, 1867); Mississippi, January 17, 1870; Texas, February 18, 1870 (after having rejected it on October 27, 1866); Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected it on February 8, 1867); Maryland, April 4, 1959 (after having rejected it on March 23, 1867); California, May 6, 1959; Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on January 8, 1867).

Article [XV.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Fortieth Congress, on the 26th of February, 1869, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated March 30, 1870, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-nine of the thirty-seven States. The dates of ratification were: Nevada, March 1, 1869; West Virginia, March 3, 1869; Illinois, March 5, 1869; Louisiana, March 5, 1869; North Carolina, March 5, 1869; Michigan, March 8, 1869; Wisconsin, March 9, 1869; Maine, March 11, 1869; Massachusetts, March 12, 1869; Arkansas, March 15, 1869; South Carolina, March 15, 1869; Pennsylvania, March 25, 1869; New York, April 14, 1869 (and the legislature of the same State passed a resolution January 5, 1870, to withdraw its consent to it, which action it rescinded on March 30, 1970); Indiana, May 14, 1869; Connecticut, May 19, 1869; Florida, June 14, 1869; New Hampshire, July 1, 1869; Virginia, October 8, 1869; Vermont, October 20, 1869; Missouri, January 7, 1870; Minnesota, January 13, 1870; Mississippi, January 17, 1870; Rhode Island, January 18, 1870; Kansas, January 19, 1870; Ohio, January 27, 1870 (after having rejected it on April 30, 1869); Georgia, February 2, 1870; Iowa, February 3, 1870.

Ratification was completed on February 3, 1870, unless the withdrawal of
ratification by New York was effective; in which event ratification was completed on February 17, 1870, when Nebraska ratified.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Texas, February 18, 1870; New Jersey, February 15, 1871 (after having rejected it on February 7, 1870); Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected it on March 18, 1869); Oregon, February 24, 1959; California, April 3, 1962 (after having rejected it on January 28, 1870); Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on March 12, 1869).

The amendment was approved by the Governor of Maryland, May 7, 1973; Maryland having previously rejected it on February 26, 1870.

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Tennessee, November 16, 1869.

Article [XVI.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The sixteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-first Congress on the 12th of July, 1909, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 25th of February, 1913, to have been ratified by 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Alabama, August 10, 1909; Kentucky, February 8, 1910; South Carolina, February 19, 1910; Illinois, March 1, 1910; Mississippi, March 7, 1910; Oklahoma, March 10, 1910; Maryland, April 8, 1910; Georgia, August 3, 1910; Texas, August 16, 1910; Ohio, January 19, 1911; Idaho, January 20, 1911; Oregon, January 23, 1911; Washington, January 26, 1911; Montana, January 30, 1911; Indiana, January 30, 1911; California, January 31, 1911; Nevada, January 31, 1911; South Dakota, February 3, 1911; Nebraska, February 9, 1911; North Carolina, February 11, 1911; Colorado, February 15, 1911; North Dakota, February 17, 1911; Kansas, February 18, 1911; Michigan, February 23, 1911; Iowa, February 24, 1911; Missouri, March 16, 1911; Maine, March 31, 1911; Tennessee, April 7, 1911; Arkansas, April 22, 1911 (after having rejected it earlier); Wisconsin, May 26, 1911; New York, July 12, 1911; Arizona, April 6, 1912; Minnesota, June 11, 1912; Louisiana, June 28, 1912; West Virginia, January 31, 1913; New Mexico, February 3, 1913.

Ratification was completed on February 3, 1913.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Massachusetts, March 4, 1913; New Hampshire, March 7, 1913 (after having rejected it on March 2, 1911).

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah.

Article [XVII.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The seventeenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-second Congress on the 13th of May, 1912, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 31st of May, 1913, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Massachusetts, May 22, 1912; Arizona, June 3, 1912; Minnesota, June 10, 1912; New York, January 15, 1913; Kansas, January 17, 1913; Oregon, January 23, 1913; North Carolina, January 25, 1913; California, January 28, 1913; Michigan, January 28, 1913; Iowa, January 30, 1913; Montana, January 30, 1913; Idaho, January 31, 1913; West Virginia, February 4, 1913; Colorado, February 5, 1913; Nevada, February 6, 1913; Texas, February 7, 1913; Washington, February 7, 1913; Wyoming, February 8, 1913; Arkansas, February 11, 1913; Maine, February 11, 1913; Illinois, February 13, 1913; North Dakota, February 14, 1913; Wisconsin, February 18, 1913; Indiana, February 19, 1913; New Hampshire, February 19, 1913; Vermont, February 19, 1913; South Dakota, February 19, 1913; Oklahoma, February 24, 1913; Ohio, February 25, 1913; Missouri, March 7, 1913; New Mexico, March 13, 1913; Nebraska, March 14, 1913; New Jersey, March 17, 1913; Tennessee, April 1, 1913; Pennsylvania, April 2, 1913; Connecticut, April 8, 1913.

Ratification was completed on April 8, 1913.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Louisiana, June 11, 1914.

The amendment was rejected by Utah (and not subsequently ratified) on February 26, 1913.

Article [XVIII.](See Note 16)

Section 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.

Proposal and Ratification

The eighteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-fifth Congress, on the 18th of December, 1917, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 29th of January, 1919, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Mississippi, January 8, 1918; Virginia, January 11, 1918; Kentucky, January 14, 1918; North Dakota, January 25, 1918; South Carolina, January 29, 1918; Maryland, February 13, 1918; Montana, February 19, 1918; Texas, March 4, 1918; Delaware, March 18, 1918; South Dakota, March 20, 1918; Massachusetts, April 2, 1918; Arizona, May 24, 1918; Georgia, June 26, 1918; Louisiana, August 3, 1918; Florida, December 3, 1918; Michigan, January 2, 1919; Ohio, January 7, 1919; Oklahoma, January 7, 1919; Idaho, January 8, 1919; Maine, January 8, 1919; West Virginia, January 9, 1919; California, January 13, 1919; Tennessee, January 13, 1919; Washington, January 13, 1919; Arkansas, January 14, 1919; Kansas, January 14, 1919; Alabama, January 15, 1919; Colorado, January 15, 1919; Iowa, January 15, 1919; New Hampshire, January 15, 1919; Oregon, January 15, 1919; Nebraska, January 16, 1919; North Carolina, January 16, 1919; Utah, January 16, 1919; Missouri, January 16, 1919; Wyoming, January 16, 1919.

Ratification was completed on January 16, 1919. See Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368, 376 (1921).

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Minnesota on January 17, 1919; Wisconsin, January 17, 1919; New Mexico, January 20, 1919; Nevada, January 21, 1919; New York, January 29, 1919; Vermont, January 29, 1919; Pennsylvania, February 25, 1919; Connecticut, May 6, 1919; and New Jersey, March 9, 1922.

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Rhode Island.

Article [XIX.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The nineteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-sixth Congress, on the 4th of June, 1919, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 26th of August, 1920, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Illinois, June 10, 1919 (and that State readopted its resolution of ratification June 17, 1919); Michigan, June 10, 1919; Wisconsin, June 10, 1919; Kansas, June 16, 1919; New York, June 16, 1919; Ohio, June 16, 1919; Pennsylvania, June 24, 1919; Massachusetts, June 25, 1919; Texas, June 28, 1919; Iowa, July 2, 1919; Missouri, July 3, 1919; Arkansas, July 28, 1919; Montana, August 2, 1919; Nebraska, August 2, 1919; Minnesota, September 8, 1919; New Hampshire, September 10, 1919; Utah, October 2, 1919; California, November 1, 1919; Maine, November 5, 1919; North Dakota, December 1, 1919; South Dakota, December 4, 1919; Colorado, December 15, 1919; Kentucky, January 6, 1920; Rhode Island, January 6, 1920; Oregon, January 13, 1920; Indiana, January 16, 1920; Wyoming, January 27, 1920; Nevada, February 7, 1920; New Jersey, February 9, 1920; Idaho, February 11, 1920; Arizona, February 12, 1920; New Mexico, February 21, 1920; Oklahoma, February 28, 1920; West Virginia, March 10, 1920; Washington, March 22, 1920; Tennessee, August 18, 1920.

Ratification was completed on August 18, 1920.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Connecticut on September 14, 1920 (and that State reaffirmed on September 21, 1920); Vermont, February 8, 1921; Delaware, March 6, 1923 (after having rejected it on June 2, 1920); Maryland, March 29, 1941 (after having rejected it on February 24, 1920, ratification certified on February 25, 1958); Virginia, February 21, 1952 (after having rejected it on February 12, 1920); Alabama, September 8, 1953 (after having rejected it on September 22, 1919); Florida, May 13, 1969; South Carolina, July 1, 1969 (after having rejected it on January 28, 1920, ratification certified on August 22, 1973); Georgia, February 20, 1970 (after having rejected it on July 24, 1919); Louisiana, June 11, 1970 (after having rejected it on July 1, 1920); North Carolina, May 6, 1971; Mississippi, March 22, 1984 (after having rejected it on March 29, 1920).

Article [XX.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The twentieth amendment to the Constitution was proposed to the legislatures of the several states by the Seventy-Second Congress, on the 2d day of March, 1932, and was declared, in a proclamation by the Secretary of State, dated on the 6th day of February, 1933, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Virginia, March 4, 1932; New York, March 11, 1932; Mississippi, March 16, 1932; Arkansas, March 17, 1932; Kentucky, March 17, 1932; New Jersey, March 21, 1932; South Carolina, March 25, 1932; Michigan, March 31, 1932; Maine, April 1, 1932; Rhode Island, April 14, 1932; Illinois, April 21, 1932; Louisiana, June 22, 1932; West Virginia, July 30, 1932; Pennsylvania, August 11, 1932; Indiana, August 15, 1932; Texas, September 7, 1932; Alabama, September 13, 1932; California, January 4, 1933; North Carolina, January 5, 1933; North Dakota, January 9, 1933; Minnesota, January 12, 1933; Arizona, January 13, 1933; Montana, January 13, 1933; Nebraska, January 13, 1933; Oklahoma, January 13, 1933; Kansas, January 16, 1933; Oregon, January 16, 1933; Delaware, January 19, 1933; Washington, January 19, 1933; Wyoming, January 19, 1933; Iowa, January 20, 1933; South Dakota, January 20, 1933; Tennessee, January 20, 1933; Idaho, January 21, 1933; New Mexico, January 21, 1933; Georgia, January 23, 1933; Missouri, January 23, 1933; Ohio, January 23, 1933; Utah, January 23, 1933.

Ratification was completed on January 23, 1933.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Massachusetts on January 24, 1933; Wisconsin, January 24, 1933; Colorado, January 24, 1933; Nevada, January 26, 1933; Connecticut, January 27, 1933; New Hampshire, January 31, 1933; Vermont, February 2, 1933; Maryland, March 24, 1933; Florida, April 26, 1933.

Article [XXI.]

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The twenty-first amendment to the Constitution was proposed to the several states by the Seventy-Second Congress, on the 20th day of February, 1933, and was declared, in a proclamation by the Secretary of State, dated on the 5th day of December, 1933, to have been ratified by 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Michigan, April 10, 1933; Wisconsin, April 25, 1933; Rhode Island, May 8, 1933; Wyoming, May 25, 1933; New Jersey, June 1, 1933; Delaware, June 24, 1933; Indiana, June 26, 1933; Massachusetts, June 26, 1933; New York, June 27, 1933; Illinois, July 10, 1933; Iowa, July

Amendment [XXII.]

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.]

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.]

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.]

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

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

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

Amendment [XXVII.]

No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

NOTES

Note 12: The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States (and two others, one of which failed of ratification and the other which later became the 27th amendment) were proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the First Congress on September 25, 1789. The first ten amendments were ratified by the following States, and the notifications of ratification by the Governors thereof were successively communicated by the President to Congress: New Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire, January 25, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February 24, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790; Vermont, November 3,
1791; and Virginia, December 15, 1791.

Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791.

The amendments were subsequently ratified by the legislatures of Massachusetts, March 2, 1939; Georgia, March 18, 1939; and Connecticut, April 19, 1939.

Note 13: Only the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th articles of amendment had numbers assigned to them at the time of ratification.

Note 14: This sentence has been superseded by section 3 of amendment XX.

Note 15: See amendment XIX and section 1 of amendment XXVI.

Note 16: Repealed by section 1 of amendment XXI.