NJ 350 – NJ’s First Constitution

As discussed last week, 350 years ago in 1664, New Jersey became a colony.  On July 2, 1776, New Jersey became the 4th colony to adopt a constitution.  The New Jersey State Archives has this constitution to view digitally.

Whereas all the constitutional Authority, everpossessed by the Kings of Great Britain over these Colonies, or their other Dominions, was, by Compact, derived from the People, and held of them for the common Interest of the whole Society, Allegianceand Protection are, in the Nature of Things, reciprocal Ties, eachequally depending upon the other, and liable to be dissolved bythe other’s being refused or withdrawn. And whereas George the third, King of Great Britain, has refused Protection to the good People of these Colonies; and, by assenting to sundry Acts of the British Parliament, attempted to subject them to the absolute Dominion of that Body; and has also made War upon themin the most cruel and unnatural Manner, for no other Cause than asserting their just Rights, all civil Authority under himis necessarily at an End, and a Dissolution of Government in each Colony has consequently taken Place.  

And whereas in the present deplorable Situation of these Colonies, exposed to the Fury of a cruel and relentless Enemy,some Form of Government is absolutely necessary, not only for the Preservation of good Order, but also the more effectually to unite the People, and enable them to exert their whole Force in their own necessary Defence; and as the Honorable the Continental Congress, the Supreme Council of the American Colonies, has advised such of the Colonies, as have not yet gone into the

To view the rest of the constitution visit this website.

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