Constitution of Vermont (Vermont Republic)

Constitution Of Vermont (Vermont Republic)

Constitution of Vermont (Vermont Republic)

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The Constitution of Vermont was Vermont's constitution when it existed as the independent Vermont Republic from 1777 to 1791. The official title of the document was simply the Constitution of Vermont. The constitution was adopted in 1777 when Vermont declared independence from the British Empire. In 1791 Vermont became the fourteenth U.S. state and in 1793 it adopted its current constitution, the Constitution of the State of Vermont. The 1777 constitution was the first in what is now the territory of the United States to prohibit slavery, grant suffrages to non-landowning males, and require free public education.

The constitution was adopted on July 8, 1777, at the tavern in Windsor now known as the Old Constitution House and administered as a state historic site. The constitution consisted of three main parts. The first was a preamble reminiscent of the United States Declaration of Independence:

It is absolutely necessary, for the welfare and safety of the inhabitants of this State, that it should be, henceforth, a free and independent State; and that a just, permanent, and proper form of government, should exist in it, derived from, and founded on, the authority of the people only, agreeable to the direction of the honorable American Congress.

(Here the term "American Congress" refers to the Continental Congress, not the United States Congress, which had not yet been established.)

The second part of the 1777 constitution was Chapter 1, a "Declaration of the...
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