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The old constitution of this state was formed in 1776, and continued in operation until 1830, when the present amended constitution was formed by a convention, and accepted by the people.
By this constitution the legislative power is vested in a senate and a house of delegates, which are together styled the General Assembly of Virginia.
The house of delegates consists of 134 members, chosen annually; thirty-one from the twenty-six counties west of the Allegany mountains; twenty-five from the fourteen counties between the Allegany mountains and Blue Ridge; forty-two from the twenty-nine counties east of the Blue Ridge, and above tide-water; and thirty-six from the counties, cities, towns and boroughs, lying upon tide-water.
The senate consists of thirty-two members: thirteen from the counties west of the Blue Ridge, and nineteen from the counties, cities, towns and boroughs, east thereof. The senators are elected for four years; and the seats of one-fourth of them are vacated every year. In all elections to any office or place of trust, honor, or profit, the votes are given openly, or viva voce, and not by ballot.
A re-apportionment for representatives in both houses is to take place every ten years, commencing in 1841, until which time there is to be no change in the number of delegates and senators from the several divisions, and after 1841, the number of delegates is never to exceed 150, nor that of the senators 36.
The time of election of delegates is fixed by the general assembly, and at present takes place in April.
The general assembly meets annually at Richmond, on the first Monday in December.
The executive power is vested in a governor, elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly. He holds his office three years, commencing on the first of January next succeeding his election, or on such other days as may be from time to time prescribed by law; and he is ineligible for the three years next after the expiration of his term of office.
There is a council of state, consisting of three members, elected for three years by the joint vote of the two; houses, the seat of one being vacated annually. The senior councillor is lieutenant-governor.
The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts, are elected by a joint vote of both houses of the general assembly, and hold their offices during good behavior, or until removed by a concurrent vote of both houses; but two-thirds of the members present must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal be entered on the journals of each house.
The right of suffrage is extended to every white male citizen of the commonwealth, resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upward, who is qualified to exercise the right of suffrage according to the former constitution and laws; or who owns a freehold of the value of twenty-five dollars; or who has a joint interest to the amount of twenty-five dollars, in a freehold; or who has a life estate in, or reversionary title to, land of the value of fifty dollars, having been so possessed for six months; or who shall own and be in the actual occupation of a leasehold estate, having the title recorded two months before he shall offer to vote —of a term originally not less than five years, and of the annual value or rent of two hundred dollars; or who for twelve months before offering to vote, has been a housekeeper and head of a family, and shall have been assessed with a part of the revenue of the commonwealth, within the preceding year, and actually paid the same.
The constitution of North Carolina was originally framed and adopted in December, 1776, and certain amendments agreed upon by a convention in 1835, and ratified by the people, went into operation on the first of January, 1836.
The legislative power is vested in a body styled the General Assembly, consisting of a senate and house of commons, both elected biennially by the people.
The senate consists of fifty members, elected by districts, laid off and apportioned according to the amount of taxes paid by the citizens into the treasury of the state.
The house of commons consists of one hundred and twenty members, chosen by counties, according to their federal population, that is, according to their respective numbers, determined by adding to the whole number of free persons (including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed) three-fifths of all other persons (slaves).
All freemen (people of color excepted) of the age of twentyone years, who have been inhabitants of any one district within the state for twelve months preceding the day of any election, and are possessed of a freehold within the same district, of fifty acres of land, for six months next before and at the day of election, are entitled to vote for senators. The constitution grants the right of voting for governor and members of the house of commons, to all freemen of the age of twenty-one years, who have been inhabitants of the state twelve months immediately preceding the election.
The executive power is vested in a governor, who is elected by the people biennially; is to enter on the duties of his office on the first day of January next after his election; but he is not eligible more than four years in any term of six years. He is assisted by a council of state of seven persons, elected by the legislature.
The time of holding the election for governor and members of the general assembly, is appointed by the legislature; at present it is fixed for the first Thursday in August, biennially. All elections by the people are by ballot. The general assembly meets biennially, at Raleigh, on the third Monday in November.
The judicial power is vested in a supreme court of three judges, and in a superior or circuit court of seven judges; besides inferior courts. The state is divided into seven circuits, in which the superior court is held half yearly in the several counties. As judges of the superior courts of law they have jurisdiction of all pleas, whether brought before them by original.or mesne process, or by certiorari writs of error, or appeal from any inferior court; also of all pleas of the state, and criminal matters. As judges of the courts of equity, they have all the powers of courts of chancery. The judges of the supreme and superior courts are elected by the legislature, in joint ballot, and hold their offices during good behavior.
The first constitution of this state was formed in 1775; the present constitution was adopted in 1790.
The legislative authority is vested in a general assembly, consisting of a senate and house of representatives.
The senate consists of forty-five members, who are elected by districts, for four years, one half being chosen biennially.
The house of representatives consists of one hundred and twenty-four members, who are apportioned among the several districts, according to the number of white inhabitants and taxation, and are elected for two years. The representatives and one-half of the senators are chosen every second year, on the second Monday in October, and the day following.
The executive power is vested in a governor, who is elected for two years, by a joint vote of the senate and house of representatives, at every first meeting of the house of representatives. A governor, after having performed the duties of the office for two years, cannot be re-elected till after the expiration of four years.
At the time of the election of governor, a lieutenant-governor is chosen in the same manner, and for the same period.
The general assembly meets annually, at Columbia, on the fourth Monday in November.
The judicial power is vested in such superior and inferior courts of law and equity as the legislature shall,"from time to time, direct and establish. In December, 1835, a change was made in the judiciary, though the judges remained the same. The old court of appeals of three judges was abolished, and two of the judges were made chancellors in equity, and the other one of the common law judges. The present court of appeals is constituted of the judges of the courts of law, and chancellors, who meet twice a year at Columbia, and twice a year at Charleston. There are four chancellors in equity, and seven judges of the general sessions and common pleas. The chancellor and judges are appointed by joint ballot of the senate and house of representatives, and hold their offices during good behavior.
.The constitution grants the right of suffrage to every free white male citizen, of the age of twenty-one years, having resided in the state two years previous to the day of election, and having been possessed of a freehold of fifty acres of land, or a town lot, at least six months before such election, or (not having such freehold or town lot) having been a resident in the election district in which he offers his vote, six months before said election, and having paid a tax the preceding year, of three shillings sterling toward the support of the government.
The first constitution of Georgia was formed in 1777 ; a second in 1785; and a third, the one now in operation, in 1798.
The legislative power is vested in a senate and house of representatives, which together are styled the General Assembly.
The members of both houses are chosen annually, by the people, on the first Monday in October. The number of representatives is in proportion to population, including three-fifths of all the people of color; but each county is entitled to at least one member. The constitution was altered by the legislature in 1844, so as to divide the state into forty-seven senatorial districts, and to reduce the number of representatives from 201 to 130. The legislature have the power of altering the constitution, provid.-d two-thirds of each branch agree on amendments proposed by one legislature, and confirmed by their successors by a two-third vote, at the following session.
The executive power is vested in a governor, who was formerly elected by the general assembly ; but he is now (and since 1824) elected by the people, on the first Monday in October; and he holds the office for two years.
The general assembly meets at Milledgeville, on the first Monday in November, unless convened at another time by the governor.
The judicial power is vested in a superior court, and in such inferior jurisdictions as the legislature may, from time to time, ordain and establish; and the superior and inferior courts sit twice in each county every year. The state is divided into eleven circuits, with a judge of the superior court for each circuit. An inferior court is held in each county, composed of five justices, elected by the people every four years. These courts possess