Imágenes de páginas

These councils shall be composed of members elected by each community, in accordance with the regulations to be drawn up ad hoc.

The said councils shall be under the local government and the provincial general councils.

Art. 112. Municipal affairs shall be administered, at Constantinople and in the provinces, by elected municipal councils. The organization of these councils, their attributions and the method of electing their members shall be defined in a law ad hoc.


Art. 113. If there appear strong indications and signs that a disturbance will break out in some parts of the Empire, the imperial government has the right to proclaim martial law temporarily in that place.

Martial law consists in a temporary suspension of the civil laws and regulations, and the form of administration of the district under martial law shall be determined by special regulation.

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan has the exclusive power to expel from the territory of the Empire those who, as a result of credible information gathered by the police administration, are recognized as a danger to the State.

Art. 114. Elementary education shall be compulsory for all Ottomans. The details shall be settled by a law ad hoc.

ART. 115. No article of the Constitution shall be suspended or suppressed for any reason or any pretext whatsoever.

Art. 116. If it is seen to be absolutely necessary that certain provisions of the Constitution should be changed or amended in accordance with circumstances or the needs of the time, the amendments inay be made on the following conditions:

Any amendment proposed by the Cabinet, the Senate or the Chamber of Deputies shall first of all be voted by a two-thirds majority of the members composing the Chamber of Deputies; and if this vote is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of the Senate and sanctioned by imperial irade, the amendment becomes law.

Any article of the Constitution which it is proposed to amend shall remain in full force until the above-mentioned debates have taken place and the imperial irade has been issued. Art. 117. The interpretation of laws belongs:

To the Court of Cassation, in the case of civil and penal laws.
To the Council of State, in the case of civil administration.

And to the Senate, when it is a question of the Constitution. Art. 118.1 The existing laws, regulations, usages and customs shall remain in force unless modified or abolished by new laws or regulations. In drawing up laws and regulations care shall be taken to base them upon the provisions of the canon and civil laws and upon public morals and customs, in accordance with the dictates of humanity and the needs of the time.

1 As amended in 1909,

Art. 119.1 Documents and letters entrusted to the post shall not be opened without a decision of a mustantik (juge d'instruction) or of a court of law.

ART. 120.2 Ottomans enjoy the right of assembly, on the condition that they obey the law on the subject.

Those societies are forbidden which aim at injuring the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire, changing the form of the Constitution or of the government, acting contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, or bringing about a separation between the various Ottoman elements, or which are contrary to public morals.

The formation of secret societies in general is also forbidden.

ART. 121.1 The debates in the Senate shall be public; but if the Cabinet or 5 Senators propose that the debate on some important matter shall be secret, the place in which the Senate is sitting shall be cleared of all persons except the senators, and the question of accepting or rejecting the proposal shall be submitted to a majority vote.

1 These three articles, added to the Constitution in 1909, shall eventually be placed in the special division to which they belong.


Before 1776 the 13 British colonies of North America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, had obtained an important share in their own government. Rhode Island and Connecticut under their charters were practically independent. The other colonies were governed by a governor and council, appointed by the English Crown, and an assembly chosen by the people. These colonies had what we call representative government in the present British colonial system, but through the increasing powers of the assemblies after 1700 they were rapidly approaching the system of responsible government. The development of self-government was suspended by the reactionary British policy after 1763 and on 4 July 1776 the colonies took the decisive step of declaring themselves independent.

Some union of the colonies was necessary for the conduct of the war with Great Britain, and united action was obtained by means of congresses to which the several colonies sent delegates. The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, for the first time embodied in a written instrument an agreement of union between the previously independent States. The Articles of Confederation were unsatisfactory in that they did not give sufficient power to the central government, and efforts to amend them failed because of the requirement that all States agree upon an amendment.

In pursuance of a recommendation of a convention of 5 States which met at Annapolis, 11 September 1786, delegates of 12 States inet in convention at Philadelphia in May, 1787. This convention drafted a Constitution, which was finally ratified by all of the 13 States. Government under this Constitution was organized in April, 1789. Since its adoption the Constitution has received 18 amendments; the text of the amendments is given after that of the original Constitution.2

1 The council was both a legislative and an executive body, except in Pennsylvania, where it was denied legislative power; in Pennsylvania and Maryland appointinents were made by proprietors rather than by the Crown; in Massachusetts the members of the council were elected by the general court of the colony.

2 These introductory paragraphs are based upon W. F. DODD, Modern Constitutions (Chicago, 1909), vol. II, p. 291.


[PREAMBLE] We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


SECTION 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

Sect. 2. 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.

No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of 25 years, and been 7 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.

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. 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 10 years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed 1 for every 30,000, but each State shall have at least 1 representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose 3, Massachusetts 8, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1, Connecticut 5, New York 6,


1 This is the date upon which the Constitution was agreed upon by the Constitutional Convention ; according to the terms of the Constitution it became effective on 21 June 1788, after ratification by 9 States. The date set by Congress for proceedings to begin under the Constitution was 4 March 1789, but the government was actually not organized until April of that year. French translation of this Constitution and its subsequent amendments up to the 15th in F. R. DARESTE ET P. DARESTE, Les Constitutions modernes (3d edition, Paris, 1910), vol. II, pp. 396–421.

2 The conditions required to be elector vary in the different States. The length of residence required varies from 3 months to a year. Some States require the elector merely to pay a tax; many require an ability to read and write, or to read only. The age required is 21 years in all the States.

3 The first sentence of this paragraph was amended by the second section of the fourteenth amendment (below, p. 621).

« AnteriorContinuar »