The Combinations of the Inhabitants Upon the Piscataqua River for Government, 1641

Whereas sundry Mischiefs and Inconveniences have befallen us, and more and greater may, in regard of want of Civill Government, his gracious Majesty haveing settled no order for us, to our knowledge wee chose names are underwritten, being Inhabitants upon the River of Pascataqua have voluntary agreed to combine ourselves into a body Politick, that wee may the more comfortably enjoy the Benefit of his Majesties Laws and doe hereby actually engage ourselves to submit to his Royall Majesties laws, together with all such Laws as shall be concluded by a major part of the Freemen of our Society, in Case they be not repugnant to the laws of England, and administered in behalf of his Majestie And this wee have mutually promised, and engaged to doe, an so to continue till his excellent Majestic shall give other orders concerning us. In witness whereof Wee have hereunto set our hands, October 22. In the 16 Year of the Reigne of our Sovereiglle lord, Charles by the grace of God, King of Great Brittaine, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.

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WILLIAM WALDRENE, with 38 more

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I am the supreme law of the United States. Originally comprising seven articles, I delineate the national frame of government. My first three articles entrench the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six entrench concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments and of the states in relationship to the federal government. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. I am regarded as the oldest written and codified constitution in force of the world.

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