Amendments Proposed by The Rhode Island Convention (March 6, 1790)

  • 3. That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness: --- That the rights of the States respectively to nominate and appoint all State officers, and every other power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the departments of government thereof, remain to the people of the several States, or their respective State governments, to whom they may have granted the same; --- and that those clauses in the said Constitution, which declare that Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers, do not imply, that Congress is entitled to any powers not given by the said Constitution; --- but such clauses are to be construed, either as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.
  • 6. That elections of representatives in the Legislature ought to be free and frequent --- and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with and attachment to the community, ought to have the right of suffrage: And no aid, charge, tax, or fee, can be set, rated or levied upon the people, without their own consent, or that of their representatives, so elected; nor can they be bound by any law, to which they have not in like manner, assented for the public good.
  • 8. In cases of direct taxes, Congress shall first make requisitions on the several States, to assess, levy and pay, their respective proportions of such requisitions, in such way and manner as the Legislatures of the several States shall judge best. And in case any State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion, pursuant to such requisition, then Congress may assess and levy such State's proportion, together with interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum, from the time prescribed in such requisition.
  • 12. As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty and ought not to be kept up, except in cases of necessity; and as at all times the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power --- that therefore no standing army, or regular troops, shall be raised or kept up in time of peace.
  • 13. That no monies be borrowed on the credit of the United States, without the assent of two-thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.
  • 14. That the Congress shall not declare war, without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.
  • 17. As a traffic tending to establish or continue the slavery of any part of the human species is disgraceful to the cause of liberty and humanity --- that Congress shall, as soon as may be, promote and establish such laws and regulations as may effectually prevent the importation of slaves of every description into the United States.