United States Charters and Constitutions

From Defending Conservatism Encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following are quotations from early state charters/frames of government showing that the United States, each of them, began as blatantly Christian organizations. Key quotations are in bold for ease of reading. The state constitutions from 1776-80 of 8 of the original 13 states, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina all specifically state that only Christians can run for public office, which makes it very odd for liberals to argue that Separation of Church and State should be interpreted as restricting expression of God's existence by politicians and in government. The 14th state to join, Vermont, which existed at the time of the Revolutionary War but was not formally admitted until 1791, also required public officials to be Christians in its 1777 state constitution.

Contents

This page provides constitutions and charters authored specifically by the early colonists themselves proving that America began a Christian nation. For charters authored by English monarchs to the colonies displaying an even earlier Christian basis for the original colonies, see English Colonial Charters. Another of the original 13 states, Rhode Island, was also openly Christian, but remained governed by its 1663 colonial charter until 1843. Connecticut likewise was openly Christian but stayed with its 1639 Constitution until 1818. New Hampshire's 1784 Constitution did not explicitly require legislative representatives to be Christian in the way that other states did (although it did provide specifically guarantee religious freedom itself specifically to Christians) but did specify that publicly-funded teachers be protestant Christians. As such, at least 11 of the original 13 states had early Christian state constitutions, and 8 of them required public officials to be Christians. English colonial charters are generally not included here because the intent of those English rulers became null and void as a result of the Revolutionary War (excepting Rhode Island and Connecticut, which kept their English colonial charters for decades after the Revolutionary War).

Carolina

Both North and South

The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina : March 1, 1669

North Carolina

Constitution of North Carolina : December 18, 1776

South Carolina

Constitution of South Carolina - March 19, 1778

Connecticut

Fundamental Agreement, or Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4, 1639

Charter of Connecticut - 1662

Delaware

Charter of Delaware - 1701

Constitution of Delaware; 1776

Georgia

Constitution of Georgia; February 5, 1777

Maryland

Constitution of Maryland - November 11, 1776

Massachusetts

Constitution of Massachusetts--1780

New England (MA and CT)

Declaration for Resignation of the Charter by the Council for New England; April 25, 1635

The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England; May 19, 1643

New Hampshire

Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire, 1639

Constitution of New Hampshire, June 2, 1784

New Jersey

The Charter or Fundamental Laws, of West New Jersey, Agreed Upon - 1676

The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America, Anno Domini 1683

Constitution of New Jersey; 1776

"XVIII. That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner, agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor, under any presence whatever, be compelled to attend any place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall any person, within this Colony, ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rates, for the purpose of building or repairing any other church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has deliberately or voluntarily engaged himself to perform.

XIX. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect. who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their fellow subjects.

XXIII. That every person, who shall be elected as aforesaid to be a member of the Legislative Council, or House of Assembly, shall, previous to his taking his seat in Council or Assembly, take the following oath or affirmation, viz:' I, A. B., do solemnly declare, that, as a member of the Legislative Council, [or Assembly, as the case may be,] of the Colony of New-Jersey, I will not assent to any law, vote or proceeding, which shall appear to me injurious to the public welfare of said Colony, nor that shall annul or repeal that part of the third section in the Charter of this Colony, which establishes, that the elections of members of the Legislative Council and Assembly shall be annual; nor that part of the twenty-second section in said Charter, respecting the trial by jury, nor that shall annul, repeal, or alter any part or parts of the eighteenth or nineteenth sections of the same.'"
-Constitution of New Jersey; 1776[17]

Pennsylvania

See also Province of Pennsylvania

Frame of Government of Pennsylvania, May 5, 1682

Constitution of Pennsylvania - September 28, 1776

Rhode Island

Government of Rhode Island-March 16-19, 1641

Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - July 15, 1663

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Rhode Island; May 29, 1790

Vermont

Constitution of Vermont - July 8, 1777

Constitution of Vermont - July 4, 1786

Virginia

Preamble and Resolution of the Virginia Convention, May 15, 1776

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26, 1788.

External Sources

Sources

  1. The Avalon Project. "The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina : March 1, 1669." Yale Law Library.
  2. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of North Carolina : December 18, 1776." Yale Law Library.
  3. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of South Carolina - March 19, 1778." Yale Law Library.
  4. The Avalon Project. "Fundamental Agreement, or Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4, 1639." Yale Law Library.
  5. The Avalon Project. "Charter of Connecticut - 1662." Yale Law Library.
  6. The Avalon Project. "Charter of Delaware - 1701." Yale Law Library.
  7. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of Delaware; 1776." Yale Law Library.
  8. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of Georgia; February 5, 1777." Yale Law Library.
  9. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of Maryland - November 11, 1776." Yale Law Library.
  10. (1780). "Constitution of Massachusetts." National Humanities Center.
  11. The Avalon Project. "Declaration for Resignation of the Charter by the Council for New England; April 25, 1635." Yale Law Library.
  12. The Avalon Project. "The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England; May 19, 1643." Yale Law Library.
  13. The Avalon Project. "Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire, 1639." Yale Law Library.
  14. "Constitution of New Hampshire, 1776 and 1784." D. Eric Williams Online.
  15. The Avalon Project. "The Charter or Fundamental Laws, of West New Jersey, Agreed Upon - 1676." Yale Law Library.
  16. The Avalon Project. "The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America, Anno Domini 1683." Yale Law Library.
  17. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of New Jersey; 1776." Yale Law Library.
  18. The Avalon Project. "Frame of Government of Pennsylvania, May 5, 1682." Yale Law Library.
  19. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of Pennsylvania - September 28, 1776." Yale Law Library.
  20. The Avalon Project. "Government of Rhode Island-March 16-19, 1641." Yale Law Library.
  21. The Avalon Project. "Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - July 15, 1663." Yale Law Library.
  22. The Avalon Project. "Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Rhode Island; May 29, 1790." Yale Law Library.
  23. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of Vermont - July 8, 1777." Yale Law Library.
  24. The Avalon Project. "Constitution of Vermont - July 8, 1777." Yale Law Library.
  25. The Avalon Project. "Preamble and Resolution of the Virginia Convention, May 15, 1776 ." Yale Law Library.
  26. The Avalon Project. "Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26, 1788.." Yale Law Library.