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William Kilty et. al., (eds).The Laws of Maryland from the End of the Year 1799,...
Volume 192, Page 5   View pdf image (33K)
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                        THE DECLARATION OF RIGHTS,

Agreed to by the Delegates of Maryland in free and full Convention assembled,
                                    November 3d, Anno Domini 1776.

    THE Parliament of Great Britain, by a declaratory act, having assumed a
right to make laws to bind the Colonies in all cases whatsoever, and in pursuance
of such claim endeavoured by force of arms to subjugate the United Colonies
to an unconditional submission to their will and power, and having at
length constrained them to declare themselves Independent States, and to assume
Government under the authority of the People, Therefore WE, the Delegates
of Maryland, in free and full Convention assembled, taking into our
most serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in
this state, for the surer foundation, and more permanent security thereof, DECLARE,

    1.  That all government of right originates from the people, is founded in
compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole.

    2.  That the people of this state ought to have the sole and exclusive right of
regulating the internal government and police thereof.

    3.  That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the common law of England,
and the trial by jury according to the course of that law, and to the benefit
of such of the English statutes as existed at the time of their first emigration,
and which by experience have been found applicable to their local and
other circumstances, and of such others as have been since made in England
or Great Britain, and have been introduced, used and practised by the courts
of law or equity; and also to all acts of assembly in force on the first of June,
seventeen hundred and seventy-four, except such as may have since expired, or
have been, or may be altered by acts of convention, or this declaration of
rights; subject nevertheless to the revision of, and amendment or repeal by, the
legislature of this state; and the inhabitants of Maryland are also entitled to
all property derived to them from or under the charter granted by his majesty
Charles the first, to Cæcilius Calvert, baron of Baltimore.

    4.  That all persons invested with the legislative or executive powers of
government, are the trustees of the public, and as such accountable for their
conduct, wherefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public
liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual,
the people may, and of right ought, to reform the old, or establish a new government;
the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression,
is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

    5.  That the right in the people to participate in the legislature is the best security
of liberty, and the foundation of all free government; for this purpose
elections ought to be free and frequent, and every man having property in, (a)
a common interest with, and an attachment to, the community, ought to have
a right of suffrage.

    6.  That the legislative, executive and judicial powers of government, ought
to be for ever separate and distinct from each other.

(a)  As far as this part of the declaration made the right of suffrage depend on the having property
in, as well as a common interest with, and an attachment to, the community is altered
by the acts of 1809, ch. 83, and confirmed by 1810, ch. 33.

 

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William Kilty et. al., (eds).The Laws of Maryland from the End of the Year 1799,...
Volume 192, Page 5   View pdf image (33K)
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  << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>


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