Massachusetts Constitution of 1780

Massachusetts Constitution of 1780

In 1630, John Winthrop and his associates in the Massachusetts Bay Company established the Great and General Court of Massachusetts to provide a form of local government for the Puritans who had settled the Boston area. During the American Revolution, the General Court produced an initial draft of a state constitution for Massachusetts. The citizens of Massachusetts refused to accept this constitution as law, however, due to their nonparticipation in the process by which it was formed; instead they elected representatives to meet at a constitutional convention to determine the nature of their government. In 1779, the representatives convened in Cambridge and designated John Adams to be the primary drafter of the constitution. This constitution was ratified in 1780.

Among the terms of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 is the provision that empowers the governor and his or her council or the legislature to obtain advisory opinions from the Supreme Judicial Court on questions relating to the scope of the power of the governor or legislature of the Commonwealth. Presently Massachusetts is the only one of the thirteen original states that has retained its first constitution. The constitution has, however, been subject to numerous amendments, the most extensive of which were made by the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention that was convened from 1917 to 1919.

References in periodicals archive ?
Return of the Town of Sutton on the Massachusetts Constitution of 1778, in THE POPULAR SOURCES OF POLITICAL AUTHORITY: DOCUMENTS ON THE MASSACHUSETTS CONSTITUTION OF 1780, at 237 (Oscar & Mary Handlin eds.
The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 anticipated this transformation: "All cases of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the Judges of Probate, shall be heard and determined by the Governor and Council until the Legislature shall, by law, make other provisions.
He will discuss how the new Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 came to protect taxpayer-funded support of churches and the long campaign to disestablish the Congregational Church that finally succeeded through Constitutional amendment in 1833.
From the Virginia Declaration of 1776 through the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 and later, the use of the term "Bill of Rights" was often heard.
While no new stipulations were added to the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 (even though the rights catalog continued to grow) (118) it may easily be concluded that the contribution of the states to the evolution of human rights in America, and to what is considered the human rights heritage of the country today, is much greater than the consistent fixation on the national Bill of Rights seems to suggest.
A similar provision was included in the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.
For example, Berger objects to those who rely on such extraconstitutional sources as the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address but does not hesitate to rely on the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.
Thus, when Adams drafted the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 he proposed, and the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention adopted, a Bill of Rights that pointedly included an express guarantee of the right of every person to a remedy for all injuries.
XI of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 assures that every person "ought to find a certain remedy .
The terms of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 obligated the
7 (1982); Symposium: Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, 14 SUFFOLK U.
45) As Professor Osgood notes, "[t]he drafting and implementation of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 is one of the major events in American constitutional and legal history.

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