Friday, April 25, 2014

"Four score and nine years ago..."

First Continental Congress
Did the Declaration of Independence make the United States a nation? According to the Constitution, it had already been one for two years.

Article II, Secttion 1 of the Constitution states:

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Washington was elected in 1788. The United States declared its independence in 1776. Fourteen years before that was 1774. Does that mean that Washington was ineligible to be president?

We must assume that Washington was duly qualified to become president. In which case, the Constitution is declaring that the United States came into existence in 1774, with the formation of the first Continental Congress.

1 comment:

Rob said...

And naturally, Lincoln asserted this too, in his First Inaugural Address. I had forgotten this:

"The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774."