Prof. Dr. Laura Münkler

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (14. Jan. 1639)

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639)

Dieses Dokument ist noch in Bearbeitung. 
Es datiert vom 14. Januar 1939. 
Ein Abdruck des Textes findet sich in Adolf Rock, Dokumente der amerikanischen Demokratie, Wiesbaden 1947, S. 52-60.


FORASMUCH as it hath pleased the Allmighty God by the wise disposition of his divyne providence so to Order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Harteford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and uppon the River of Coneciecotte and the Lands thereunfo adJoyneing; And well knowing where a peoble are gathered togather the word of God requires that to mayntayne the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Goverment established according to God, to order and dispose of thc afLayres of the people at all seasons as occation shall require; doe therefore assotiate and conJoyne our selves to be as one Publike State or Comnonwelth; and doe, for our selves and our Successors and su as s!lall be adJoyned to us att any tyne hereafter, enter info Combination and Confederation togather, to mayntayne and presearve the liberty and purity of the gospell of our Lord Jesus which we now professe, as also the disciplyne of the Churhes, whih according to the truth of the said gospell is now praclised amongst us; As also in our Civell Affaires to be guiclecl and governed according to suh Lawes, Rules, Orders and decrees as slall be maide, ordered & decreed, as followeth:

1. Tt is Ordered, .sentenced and decreed, that there sha]1 be yerely two gcnerall Assemblies or Courts, the on the second thursday in Aprill, the other the second thursday in September, following; the first shall be called the Courte of Eleclion, v`Therein shall be yerely Chosen from tyme to t me soe many Magestrats and other publike Of ficers as shall be fonnd requisitte: Whereof one to be chosen Governour for the yeare ensueing and untill another be chosen, and noe other Magestrate to be choscn for more than one yeare; provided allwayes there be sixe chosen besids the (,overnour; which :being osen and sworne according to an Oath recorded for that purpose shall have power to administer Justice according to the Lawes here established, and for want thereof according to the rule of the word of God; which choise shall be made by all tkat are admitted freemen and have taken the Oath of Fidellity, and doe cohabitte within this Jurisdiction, (having beene adwitted Inhabitants by the mayor part of the Towne wherein they live), or the mayor parte of suth as shall be then present.

2. It is Ordered, sentensed and decreed, that the Eleclion of the aforesaid Magestrats shall be on this manner: every person present and quallified for choyse shall bring in (to the persons deputed to receave them) one single paper with the name of him writte in yt whom he desirea to have Governour, and he that hath the greatest number of papers shall be Governor for that yeare. And the rest of the Magestrats or publike Officers to be osen in this manner: The Secretary for the tyme being shall first read the names of all that are to be put to choise and then shall .severally nominate them distinctly, and every one that would have the person nominated to be chosen shall bring in one single paper written uppon, and he that would not have him chosen shall bring in a blanke: and every one that hath more written papers then blanks shall be a Magistrat for that yeare; which papers shall bc receaved and told b:T one or more that shall be then chosen by the court and sworne to be faythfnll therein; but in case there should not be sixe chosen as aforesald. besids the Governor, out of those which are nominated, then he or th;y whih have the most written paper.s shall be a Magistrate or Magestrats for the ensueing yeare, to make up the foresaid number.

. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Seeretary shall not nominate any person, nor shall any person be cllosen newly info the Magestracy which was not propo;nded in some Generall Courte before' to be nominated the next Election; and to that cnd yt shall be lawfull for ech of the Townes aforesald by their deputyes to nominale any two whom they conceave fitte to be put to Eleetion; and the Courte may ad so many more as they Judge requisitt.

4. It is Ordered, sentenccd and decreed that noe person be chosen Governor above once in two yeares, and that the Gosernor be alwayes a member of some approved congregation, and formerly of the Magestracy within this Jurisdiction; and all the Magestrats Freemen of this (:on:mon;elth: and that no Magestrate or other publike officer shall execute any parte of his or their Office before they are severally sNvorne, whih shall be done in the face of the Courte if they be present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purposc.

5. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that to the uforesaid Courte of Election the severall Townes shall send their deputyes, and when the Fleetions are ended they may proceed in any publike searvice as at other Courts. Also the other Generall Courte in September shall be for 1nakeing of la-es, and any other publi}<e occation, which conserns the good of the Cr,monwelth.

6. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Governor shall, ether bv himselfe or by secretary, send out sumwons to tle Constables of every Tonv-e for the cauleing of these tsvo standing Courts, on month at lest before their severall tymes: And also if the Governor and the gretest parte of the Magistrats see cause uppon any spetiall occation to call a generall Courte, they may give order to the secretary soe to doe within fowerteene dayes warneing; and if urgent necessity so require, uppon a shortcr notice, giveing suffIcient grownds for. yt to ihe ;deputyes when the meete, or els be questioned for the same; And if the Governor and Mayor parte of Magestrats shall ether neglect or refuse to call the two (3enLrall standing Courts or ether of them, as also at other tymes when tle occations of the Comwonwelth requile, the Freemen thereof, or the Mayor parte of them, shall petition to them soe to doe: if then yt be ether denyed or neglecied the said Freemen or the Mayor parte of them shall have power to give order to the Constables of the severall Townes to doe the same, and so may meete togather, and (huse to themselves a Moderator, and may proceed to any Acte of power, which any other Generall Courte may.

7. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed that after there are warrants gi-ven out for any of the said Generall Courts, the Constable or Constables of ebh Towne shall forthwith give notice distinctly to the inhabitants of the same, in some Publike Assembly or by goeing or sending from howse to howse, that at a place and tyme by him or them lymited and sett, they meet and assemEle them selves togather to elect and bhuse certen deputyes to be att the Generall Courte then following to agitate the afayres of the commonwelth; whih said Deputyes shall be chosen by all that .are admitted Inhabitants in the severall Townes and have taken the oath of £idellity; provided that non be chosen a Deputy for any Generall Courte which is not a Freeman of this Commonwelth.
The foresaid Deputyes shall be chosen in manner following; every person that is present and quallified as before expressed, shall bring the namis of such, written in severall papers, as they desire to have (hosen for that Imployment, and these 3 or 4, more or lesse, being the number apreed on to be chosen for that tyme, that have greatest number of apers written for them shall be deputyes for that Courte; whose names shall be endorsed on the backe side of the warrant and returned into the Courte, with the Constable or Constables hand unfo the same.

8. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that VVyndsor, Hartford and Wethersfleld shall have power, ech Towne, to send fower of their freemen as their deputyes to every Generall Courte; and whatsoever other Townes shall be hereafter added to this Jurisdiction, they shall send so many deput`;es as the Courte shall Judge meete, a resonable proportion to the nunbe1 of Freemen that are in the said Townes being to bc attended tleren; whih deputyes shall have the power of the vhole Tovne to give theTr 70ats and alowance to all such lawes and orders as may be for the publi!e good, and unto which the said Townes are to be bownd.

9. It is ordered and decreed, that the deputyes thus chosen shall have po`7er and liberty to appoynt a tyme and a place of ueeting togather before any Generall Courte to advise and consult of all suh things as nay concerne the good of the publike, as also to examine their owne Elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the gretest parte of them find any election to be illegall they may secind such for present from their meetig, and returne the same and their resons to the Courte; and if yt prove true, the Courte may fyne the party or partyes so intruding and the Towne, if they see cause, and give out a warrant to goe to a newe election in a legall way, either in parte or in whole. Also the said deputyes shall have power to fyne any that shall be disorderly at thei1 meetings, or for not comming in due tyme or place according to appoyntment, and they may returne the said fynes info the Courte if yt be refused to be pald, and the Tresurer to take notice of yt, and to estreete or lev: the same as he doth other fynes.

10. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that every Generall Courte, except su as through neglecie of the Governor and the greatest parte of LIagestrats the Freemen themselves doe call, shall consist of the Governor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, and 4 other Magestrats at lest, with the mayor parte of the deputyes of the soverall Townes legally chosen; and in case the Freemen or mayor parte of them, through negleet or refusall of the Governor and mayor parte of the magestrats, shall call a Courte, it shall consist of the mayor parte of Freemen that are present or their deputyes, vith a Moderator chosen b7 them: In which said Generall Courts shall consist the supreme power of tte CommonweltE, and they only shall have power to make lawes or repeale them, to graunt levyes, to admitt of Freemen, dispose of lands undisposed of, the severallTownes or persons, and also shall have ponver to call ether Courte or Magestrate or any other person whatsoever into question for any misdemeanour, and may for Just causes displace or deale otherwisc according to the nature af the offence; and also may deale in any other matter that concerns the good of this comwonwelth, excepte election- of Magestrats, whih shall be done by the whole boddy of Freemen.
In whi Courte the Governor or Moderator shall have power to order the Courte to give liberty of spech, and silence unceasonable and disorderly speakeings, to put all things to voate, and in case the vote be equall to have the casting volce. But non of these Courts shall be adJorned or dissolved without the consent of the maJor parte of the Court.

11. It is ordered, sentenced and decreed, that when any Generall Courte uppon the occations of the Comwonwelth have agreed uppon any summe or sommes of mony to be levyed uppon the severall Townes within this Jurisdiction, that a Committee be chosen to sett out and appoynt hat shall be the proportion of every Towne to pay of the said lev, provided the Committees be made up of an equall number out of e;ch Towne.