AN ADDRESS OF THE CONVENTION, FOR FRAMING A NEW CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT, FOR THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS.

Boston [MA]: Printed by White and Adams, next door to the Cromwell's Head-Tavern, in School-Street, 1780. Stitched sheets, 21 cm. 18 pp., including half-title, [final blank leaf lacking]. Signed in type by James Bowdoin, President, and Samuel Barrett, Secretary. Overall toning and old tidelines, two small holes in half-title. This address, primarily the work of John Adams, is his appeal to the citizens of Massachusetts to study and vote on the newly created "civil Constitution for the People of Massachusetts." The constitution, also primarily Adams' work, was a carefully constructed document which attempted to formulate a government representative of all its constituents and to balance all branches of power: "Unless a due Proportion of Weight is given to each of the Powers of Government, there will soon be a Confusion of the whole. An Overbearing of any one of its Parts on the rest, would destroy the Balance and accelerate its Dissolution and Ruin: And, a Power without any Restraint is Tyranny. The Powers of Government must then be balanced: To do this accurately requires the highest Skill in political Architecture." Adams encouraged all Massachusetts citizens to carefully review the proposed Constitution, and propose such amendments or alterations as they thought necessary, or to ratify or reject it as they saw fit. According to Ronald Gephart's bibliography "Revolutionary America 1763-1789," [Wash., DC: 1984, p.749]: "the participation of local citizens in the search for legitimate government was more explicit and conscious in Massachusetts than in any other state." This Constitution was ratified in 1780, and became one of the guiding documents in the formation of the Federal Constitution following the end of the Revolutionary War. Item #64100

EVANS 16843 ESTC W6515.

Price: $2,250.00

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