Considerations on the Questions of the Adoption of a Constitution
General Books LLC, 2009 - 54 ページ
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1842 Excerpt: ... Second, the charter, when obtained and brought back, was formally accepted by a vote of the whole people, assembled together, as was then the usage, at Newport. The government was, therefore, originally established by voluntary compact of the whole people, and the present form, as settled in the charter of 1663, was also solemnly accepted and adopted by the people. So far as the charter derived its force from the act of the king of England, (as the charter of a mere corporation, ) it, of course, ceased to be of any binding force after the revolution of 1776. But as the act and compact of the people themselves, it would still remain, and the government exist under it, until changed, either by a revolution, or peaceably and legally, in such a way that it might be presumed to be done with the consent of all, of which we shall speak hereafter. This charter only prescribed the boundaries of the colony, and the form and manner of election of the General Assembly, or legislature. All other matters were left to be provided for by the General Assembly. With the law, and practice settling the construction of it, and the usages which have grown up under it, it now forms the present constitution of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. We have heard a great deal from declaimers about the omnipotence of the General Assembly, and it has frequently been asserted, that they have always treated the charter as a mere thing of straw, and without consulting the people, have altered it to suit their own pleasure. An examination of the cases will show, that all the instances, usually quoted to prove this, are instances where the General Assembly have interfered, either to settle a doubtful construction, or to provide for cases for which the charter had made no pro..
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