Economics Online Tutor
The Constitution of the
United States
The complete text with original spelling and capitalization.
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. 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 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.

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
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.

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

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

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by
the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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. 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.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday
in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5. 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.

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.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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 encreased 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. 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.

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.

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. 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;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

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

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

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

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

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

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;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

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

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

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

To provide and maintain a Navy;

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

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

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;

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

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. 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.

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.

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

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein
before directed to be taken.

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

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.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a
regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from
time to time.

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. 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.

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.

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. 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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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. 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;--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.

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.

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. 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.

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

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.

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.

Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States 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.

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

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.

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 notwith-standing.

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,

George Washington--President and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire: John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts: Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King

Connecticut: William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman

New York: Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey: William Livingston, David Brearly, William Paterson, Jonathan Dayton

Pennsylvania: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas FitzSimons,
Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris

Delaware: George Read, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom

Maryland: James McHenry, Daniel of Saint Thomas Jenifer, Daniel Carroll

Virginia: John Blair, James Madison, Jr.

North Carolina: William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson

South Carolina: John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler

Georgia: William Few, Abraham Baldwin
Important dates in U.S. Constitutional history:

May 14, 1787: The Constitutional Convention begins.
September 17, 1787: The Constitution is adopted by the convention delegates; The Constitutional Convention adjourns.
September 28, 1787: The Congress agrees to send the Constitution to the states for debate and ratification.
December 7, 1787: Delaware ratifies. Vote: 30 for, 0 against.
December 12, 1787: Pennsylvania ratifies. Vote: 46 for, 23 against.
December 18, 1787: New Jersey ratifies. Vote: 38 for, 0 against.
January 2, 1788: Georgia ratifies. Vote: 26 for, 0 against.
January 9, 1788: Connecticut ratifies. Vote: 128 for, 40 against.
February 6, 1788: Massachusetts ratifies. Vote: 187 for, 168 against.
March 24, 1788: Rhode Island popular referendum rejects. Vote: 237 for, 2708 against.
April 28, 1788: Maryland ratifies. Vote: 63 for, 11 against.
May 23, 1788: South Carolina ratifies. Vote: 149 for, 73 against.
June 21, 1788: New Hampshire ratifies. Vote: 57 for, 47 against. Minimum requirement for ratification met.
June 25, 1788: Virginia ratifies. Vote: 89 for, 79 against.
July 26, 1788: New York ratifies. Vote: 30 for, 27 against.
August 2, 1788: North Carolina convention adjourns without ratifying by a vote of 185 in favor of adjournment, 84 opposed.
September 13, 1788: The Constitution is certified.
March 4, 1789: The new government begins operations in New York.
September 25, 1789: Bill of Rights, as promised by supporters of the Constitution, proposed by Congress.
November 21, 1789: North Carolina ratifies. Vote: 194 for, 77 against.
May 29, 1790: Rhode Island ratifies. Vote: 34 for, 32 against.
December 15, 1791: Bill of Rights come into effect through ratification of 3/4 of the states.
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