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    Lehrstuhl für Rechtsphilosophie, Staats- und Verwaltungsrecht – Prof. Dr. Horst Dreier

    Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges (1701)

    Dieses Dokument ist noch in Bearbeitung. 
    Es datiert vom 28. Oktober 1701. 
    Ein Abdruck des Textes findet sich in Adolf Rock, Dokumente der amerikanischen Demokratie, Wiesbaden 1947, S. 74-80.


    KNOW ye therefore, That for the further Well-being and good Governwent of the said Province, and Terrilories; and in Pursuance of the Rights and Powers before-mentioned, I the said William Penn do declare, grant and coni;rm, unlo all the Freemen, Planters, and Adenturers, and other Inhabitants of this Province and Territories, these following Liberties, Franchises and Privileges, so far as in me lieth, to be held, enJoyed, and kept, bY the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers, and other Inhabitants of and in the said Province, and Terrilories thereunto annexed, for ever.

    1. Because no Peeple can be truly happy, tho' under the greatest Enoyment of civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Conciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the ouly Lord of Conseience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as ObJect of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person or Persons, inhabiting in this Province or Territories, who shall confess and acknowledge One almighty God, the C:reator, Upholder and Rler of the World; and profess him, or themselves, obliged to live quietls under the civil Government,'shall be in any Case molested or perJudiced, in his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious Pers;asion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain nnv religious Worship, Place or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind, or to do or suffer any other Rct or Thing, contrary to their religious Perssvasion.
    And that all Persons vho also profess to believe ;n Jesus Christ, the Saiour of the World' shall be capable (not`vithstanding their other Perswasions and Praclices in Point of Conscience and Religion) to serve this Covernwent in any Capacity, both legislatively and executively, he or theY solemulv promising, when lawfully required, Alleglance to the King as Sovereign. and Fidelity to the Proprietary and Governor, and'takin the Attests as now established by the Law raade at Newcastle, in the Year One Thousand and Seven Hundred, intituled, An Act directing the Attests of several Officers and Ministers, as now- amended and confirmed this present Assembly. 

    2. For the well governing of this Province and Territories, there shalI le an Assenbly yearly (hosen by the Freemen thereof, to consist of Four Persons out of ea County, of most Note for Virtue, Wisdom and Ability (or of a greater Number at any Time, as the Governor and Assembly shall agree) upon the first Dav of October for ever; and shall sit on the fourteenth Day of the same NIonth at Philadelphia, unless the Governor and Con ocil for the Time being, shall see Cause to appoint another Place within the said Province or Territories: Whih Assembly shall bave Power to use a Speaker and other their OffEcers and shall be Judges of the Qualifications and Elections of their own Members; sit upon their ow-n AdJournwents; appoint Committees; prepare Bills, in order to pass info Laws; impeach Criminals, and redress Grievances; and shall have all other Powers and Privileges of an Assembly, according to the Rights of the Freeborn SubJects of England, and as is usnal in any of the King's Plantations in America.
    Ad if any County or Counties, shall refuse. or neglect to use their respeclive Representatives as aforesaid, or if chosen, do not meet to ser-e in Assembly, those who are so chosen and met, shall ha`-e the fnll Power of an Assembly, in as ample Manner as if all the Representatives ha`d been ikosen and met, providecl they are not lecs than Two Thirds of the hole Number that o'ght to neet
    And tbat the Qualifications of Eleciors and Elected, aDd all other M.atters and Things relatirg to Elections of l.epresentatives to serve in Assemblies, tho' not herein particularly expressed, shall be and remain a.s by a Law of this Government, made at Newcastle in the Year One Tlousand Seven Hundred, intituled, An Act to ascertain the Nunber of Members of Assenbly, and to regulate the Eleclions.

    3. That the Freemen in each respeclive Connty, at the Time and Place of Meeting for Elecling their Representatives to serve in Assembly, may, as often as there shall be Occasion, ehuse a double Number of Persos to present to the Governor for Sheriffs and Coroners, to serve for Tlree Years, if so long they behave themselves `vell; out of whicl respective Elections and I,resentments, the Goernor shall nominate and corumissionate one for each of the said Offices, the third Day after such Presentment, or else the first named in such Preseniment, for eah Office as aforesaid, shall'stand and serYe in tbat Office for the Time before respectively limited; and in case of Death or Defanlt, su Vacancies shall be supplied by the Governor, to serve to the End of the said Term.
    Provided always. That if the said Freemen shall, at any Time, neglect, or decline to (huse a Person or Persons for either or hoth the aforesaid Offices, then and in suh Case, the Persons that are or shall be in the respective Offices of Sheriffs or Coroners, at the Time of Election. shall remain therein, until they shall be removed by another Election as aforesaid.

    4. And that the Justices of the respective Counties, !shall or may nominate and present to the Governor three Persons, to serve for Clerk of the Peace for the said County when there is a Vacancy, one of whi the Governor shall commissionate vithin ten Days after suh Presentment, or else the first nominated, shall sere in the said Office during good Behviour.

    5. That all Criminals shall have the same Privileges of Witnesses and Conncil as their Prosecutors.

    6. That no Person or Persons shall, or may, at any Time hereafter, be obiged to answer any Complaint, Matter or Thing whatsoever relating to Property, before the Governor and Council, or in any other Place, but in ordinary Course of Justite, unless Appeals thereunfo shall be hereafter by Law appointed. - '

    7. 1'hat no Person within this Goverument shall be licensed by the Go ernor to keep an Ordinary, Tavern, or House of publi Entertainment, but suh who are first recommendecl to him, under the Hands of the Justices of the respecti`-e Counties, signed in open Court; whid Justices are and shall bc hereby impowered, to suppress and forbid any Person, keeping suh Publihk-house as aforesald upon theIr Misbehaiour, on such Penalies as the Law doth or shall direct; and to recommend others from time to time as they shall see Occasion.

    8. If any Person, through Templation or Melancholy, shall destroy himself, his Estate, real and personal, shall,' notwithstanding, descend to his Wife and Children, or Relations, as if he had died a natural Death; and if any Person shall be destroyed or killed by Casualty or Accident, Ihere shall.be no Forfeiture to the Governor by Reason thereof. 
    Ad no Act, Lav or Ordinance whatsoever shall, at any Time hereafter, be made or done, to alter, change or diminish the Form or Effect of this Charter, or of any Part or Clause therein, contrary to the trne Intent and Meaning thereof, without the Consent of the Governor for the Time being, and Six Parts of Seven of the Assembly met.
    But because the Happiness of Mankind depends so much upon the EnJoying of Liberty of their Consciences as aforesaid, I do hereby solemnly declare, promise and grant, for me, my Heirs and Assigns, That the first Article of this Charter relating to Liberty of Conscience, and ever:, Part and Clause therein, according to the trne Intent and Meaning ihereof, shall be kept and remain, without any Alteration, inviolably for ever.

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