Prof. Dr. Laura Münkler

Articles of the New England Confederation (19. Mai 1643)

New England Confederation (1643)

Dieses Dokument ist noch in Bearbeitung.  
Es datiert vom 19. Mai 1643.  
Ein Abdruck des Textes findet sich in Adolf Rock, Dokumente der amerikanischen Demokratie, Wiesbaden 1947, S. 62-60.

ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION betwixt the Plantations under the Government of the Massachusetts, the Plantations under the Government of Plimouth, the Plantations under the Government of Connectecut, and the Government of New-Haven, with the Plantations in Combination therewith.

WHEREAS we all came info these parts of America, with one and the same end and ayme, namely, to advance the Kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel, in purity with peace; and whereas in our settling (by a wise providence of God) we are further dispersed upon the Sea-Coasts, and Rivers, then was at first intended, so that we cannot (according to our desire) with convenience communicate in one Government, and Jurisdiction; and whereas we live encompassed with people of severall Nations, and strange languages, whith hereafter may prove injurious to us, and our posterity: And forasmuch as the Natives have formerly committed sundry insolencies and outrages upon severall Plantations of the English, and have of late combined against us. And seeing by reason of the sad distractions in England, which they have heard of, and by which they know we are hindred both from that humble way of seeking advice, and reaping those comfortable fruits of protection which, at other times, we might well expect; we therefore doe conceive it our bounden duty. without delay, to enter into a present Consotiation amongst our selves, for mutuall help and strength in all our future concernments, that, as in Nation, and Religion, so in other respects, we be, and continue, One, according to the tenour and true meaning of the ensuing Articles. 

1. Wherefore it is fully Agreed and Concluded by and between the parties:, or Jurisdictions above named, and they doe joyntly and severally by these presents agree and conclude, That they all be, and henceforth he called by the name of, The United Colonies of New--England. 

2. The said United Colonies for themselves, and their posterities doe joyntly, and severally hereby enter into a firm and perpetuall league of friendship and amity, for offence and defence, mutuall advice and succour, upon all just occasions, both for preserving and propagating the truth, and liberties of the Gospel, and for their own mutuall safety, and wellfare.  

3. It is further agreed, That the Plantations which at present are, or hereafter shall be settled within the limits of the Massachusets, shall be forever under the Government of the Massachusets. And shall have peculiar Jurisdiction amongst themselves as an intire body, and that Plimouth, Connecticut, and New-Haven, shall each of them. in all respects, hav-e the like peculiar Jurisdiction, and Government within their limits. And in reference to the Plantations which already are setled, or shall hereafter be erected and shall settle within any of their limits respectively, provided that no other Jurisdiction shall hereafter be taken in, as a distinct head, or Member of this Confederation, nor shall any other either Plantation, or Jurisdiction in present being, and not already in combination, or under the Jurisdiction of any of these Confederates, be received by any of them, nor shall any two of these Confederates, joyne in one Jurisdiction, without consent of the rest, which consent to be Interpreted, as in the sixt ensuing Article is expressed. 

4. lt is also by these Confederates agreed, That the charge of all just Wars, whether offensive, or defensive, upon what part or Member of this Confederation soever they fall, shall both in men, provisions, and all·other disbursements, be born by all the parts of this Confederation, in different proportions, acoording to their different abilities, in manner following, namely, That the Commissioners for each Jurisdiction, from time to time, as there shall be occasion, bring a true account and number of all the Males in each Plantation, or any way belonging to, or under their severall Jurisdictions, of what quality, or condition soever they be, from sixteen years old, to threescore, being inhabitants there. And that according to the different numbers, which from time to time shall be found in each Jurisdiclion, upon a true, and just account, the service of men, and all charges of the war, be born by the poll: Each Jurisdiction, or Plantation, being left to their own just course, and custome, of rating themselves, and people, acoording to their different estates, with due respect to their qualities and exemptions among themselves, though the Confederation take no notice of any such priviledge. And that, according to the different charge of each Jurisdiction, and Plantation, the whole advantage of the War (if it please God so to blesse their endeavours) whether it be in Lands, Goods, or persons, shall be proportionably divided, among the said Confederates. 

5. It is further agreed, That if any of these Jurisdictions, or any Plantation under, or in Combination with thern, he invaded by any enemy whomsoever, upon notice, and request of any three Magistrates of that Jurisdiction so invaded. The rest of the Confederates, without any further meeting or expostulation, shall forthwith send ayde to the Confederate in danger, but in different proportion, namely the Massachusets one hundred men sufficiently armed, and provided for suh a ervice, and Journey. And each of the rest £ive aTd forty men, so armed and pro,ided, or any lesse number, if lesse be required, according to this proportion. But if such a Confederate may be supplyed by their next Confederatc, not cxceeding the number hereby agrecd, they may crave help there, and seek no further for the present. The charge to be born, as in this Article is expressed. And at their return to be victualled, and supplied with powder and shot (if there be need) for their Journey by that Jurisdiction which imployed, or sent for them. But none of the Jurisdiclions to exceed these numbers, till by a meeting of the Commisioners for this Confederation, a greater ayde appear nocessary. And this proportion to continue, tillupon knowledge of the numbers in euch Jurisdiction, whi shal] be brought to the next meeting, some other proportion be ordered. But in any such case of ending m en for present ayde, vhether before or after such order or alteration, it is agreed, That at the meeting of the Commissioners for this Confederation, the cause of su war or invasion, lJe duly considered, and if it appear, that the fanlt lav in the party so invaded, that then, that Juridiction, or Plantation, makc JUSt satisfaction, both to the invaders, whom the7 hae inJuried, an1 bear all the charges af the war themselves, without requlring any allonrance from the rest of the Confederates toward the same. 
And further, if any Jurisdiclion see any danger of an invaion approacl,ing, and there be time for a meeting, That in suh case, three Magistrates of that Jurisdicton may summon a meeting, at su convenient place, as themselves !shall think meet, to consider, and pro`-ide against the threatened danger. Provided, when they are net, they may remove to vhat place they please, onely while any of these four Confederates, ha`e but three Magistrates in their Jurisdiction, a request or summons, £rom any two of them, shall be accounted of equall force, witt the three mentiorled in both the clauses of this Article, till there be an inerease of Magistrates there. 

6. ]t is also agreed, That for the manuging and conclnding of all affaires proper to, and concerning the whole Confederation, two Commissioers shall be chosen by, and out of the foure Jurisdictions, namely tsvo for the Massachusets, two for P]imouth, twu for Conneclicut, and tsvo for Nev-Haven, being a11 in Chrckfellowship with us, ``hi shall bring [ull power from their severall generall Courts respectively, to hear, exanine, weigh, and determine all all aires of war, or peace, leagues, aydes, (harges, and numbers of men for war, division of spoyles, or whatsoever is gotten by conquest, receiving of more confederates, or Plantations into Combination with .any of these Confederates, and all things of likc nature, whih are the proper concomita-nts, or consequences of SU a Confederation, for amity, offence, and defence, not intermedling sith tle Government of any of the Jurisdictions, whih by the third Article, is preserved intirely to themselves. But if these eight Commissioners when they meet, shall not all agree, yet it is conclnded, That anr six of the eight agreeing, shall have power to settle, ancl determine the businesse in question. But if six doe not agree, that then such Propositions, with their Reasons, so far as they have been debated, be sent, and referred to the foure Generall Courts, viz. The Massathusets, Plymouth, (:onnectecut, and New-Haven. And if at all the said Generall Courts, the businesse so referred, be concluded, then to be prosecuted by the (:onfederates, and all their Members. It is further agreed, That these eight Commissioners shall meet once every year, besides extraordinary Tneetings, according to the fifth Article to consider, treat, and conclude of all a£faires belonging to this Confederation, whih meeting shall ever be the first Thursday in September. And that the next meeting after the cl.ate of these presents, which shall be acconnted the second meeting, shall le at Boston in the Massahusets, the third at Hartford, the fourth at Nev-Haven, the fifth at Plimouth, the sixth and seventh at Boston; anr1 then Hariford, New-Haven, and Plymouth, and so in course successively. If in the mean time, some middle place be not found out, and agreed on, ``hich may be comodious for all the Jurisdictions. 

7. lt is further agreed, That at each meeting of ttese eight Commissiones, whether ordinary or extraordinary; they all, or any six of them apreeig as before, may oose their President out of themseles, whose Office and work shall be, to take care, and direct for Order, and a conely carrying on of all proceedings in the present meeting. But he shall be invested with no suh power or respect, as by whih, he shall hinder the proponnding or progresse of any businesse, or any way cast the scales, otherwise then in the precedent Artiele is agreed. 

8. It is also agreed, That the Commissioners for this Confederation }erealter at their meetings, whether ordinary or extraordinary, as thev may have Commission or opportunit,-. doe endeavour to frame and estab]ish Agreements and Orders in generall cases of a civil nature, vherein all the Plantations are interestcd, for preserving peace amongst themse'lves, and preventing (as much as may be) all occasions of war, or diffcrences with other, as about the free and speedy passage of Justice in euch Jurisdiction, to all the Confederates equally, as to their oNvn, receiving those tbat rewove from one Plantation to another, without due Certifieates, how all the Jurisdiclions mar carry {t towards the Indi;ns. tbat they neither grow insolent, nor be inJuried vithout due satisfaclion, least War break in upon the Confederates. through su miscarriages 
It is also agreed, That if any Servant run aNay from his Master, info any other of these Confederated Jurisdiclions, That in suh case, upon the Certi£icate of one Magistra'te in the Jurisdiction, out of which the said Servant fled, or upon other due proof, the said Servant shall be delivered either to his Master, or any other that pursues, and brings such Certicate, or proof. And that upon the escape of any Prisoner whatsoever, or fugitive, for any Criminall Cause, whether breaking Prison, or getting from the Offieer, or otherwise escaping, upon the Certifieate of tvo Magistrates of the Jurisdiclion out of whih the escape is made, th,at he was a prisoner or such an offendor, at the time of the escape. The Magistrates, or some of them, of that Jurisdiction `here for the present the said prisoner or fugitive abideth, shall forthwith grant such a Warrant. as the case will bear, for the appretending of any!such person, and the delivery of him into the hand of the Officer, or other person who pursueth him. And if help be required for the safe returning of any such offender, it shall be granted unfo him that craves the ' same, he paying the carges thereof. 

9. And for that thc Justest Vars may bc of dangerous consequence, especially to the smaller Plantations in these' United ColoIies, it is agreed, That neither the Massachusets, Plymouth, Conneclicut, nor NewHaven, nor any of the Members of any of them, shall at any time hereafter begin undertake or engage themselves, or this Confederation, or any part thereof in any War whatsoever (sudden exigents with the necessary consequences thereof excepted, which are also to be moderated, as much as the case will permit) without thc consent and agreement of 'the forenamed eight Commissioners, or at least six of them, as in the 6ixt Article is provided. And that no charge be required of any of the Confederates in case of a defensive War, till the said Commissioners have met, and lJprovd the Justice of the War, and have agreed upon the sum of money to le levied; which sum is then to be paid by the severall Confederates, in proportioD, according to the fourth Article. 
10. That in extraordinary occasions, when meetings are summone.d by three Magistrates of any Jurisdiclion, or two as in the fiffh Article, il any of the Commissioners come not, due warning being given, or sent, it is agreed, That foure of the Commissioners shall have power to direct a War which cannot he delayed, and to send for due proportions of men, out of each Jurisdiction as utell as six might doe, if all met, but not lesse than six shall deterrtine the Justice of the War, or allow the de mands, or Bil].s of charges, or cause any levies to be made for the same. 
li. It is further agreed, That if any of the Confederates shall hereafter break any of these pr.esents Articles, or be any other way inJurious to any one of the other Jurisdiclions- such breah of Agreement, or inJury shall be duly considered, and ordered by the C:ommissioners for the other Jurisdiclions, that both peuce, and this present Confederation, may b 
intirely preserserl without violation.  
Lastly, this perpetuall Confederation, and the severall Articles and Agreements thereof, }eing read and seriously considered, both by the Generall Court for the Massachusetts, an.d hy the Commissioners for Plymouth, Conneclicut, and New-Haven, were presently and fully allowed and confirmed ly three of the forenamed Confederates, namely the Massacllusett.s, Conneclicut, and New-Haven, in testimony whereof, the Generall Court of the Massathusetts by their Secretary, and the Commissioners for Conneclicut and New-Haven subscribed them the 19 day of the third month, commonly called May, Anno Donini, I643. 
Only the Commissioners from Plymouth, having brought no Comnission to conclude, desired respite to advise with their Generall Court, whih was granted, and at the second meeting of the Commissioners for the Confederation, held at Boston in September following, the Commissioners for the Jurisdiclion of Plymouth, delivered in un Order of their Generall Court, dated the 29 of August, 1643, by which it appeared that these Articles of Confederation were read, approved and confirmed by the said Court, and all their Townships, and their Conmissioners authorized to ratifLe them by their subscriptions, wih they accordingly did, the  day of September, 1643.