Vermont Constitution of 1786, PreambleThorpe 6:3751
Therefore it is absolutely necessary, for the welfare and safety of the inhabitants of this State, that it should be henceforth a free and independent State, and that a just, permanent, and proper form of government should exist in it, derived from and founded on the authority of the people only, agreeable to the direction of the honourable American Congress.
We the Representatives of the freemen of Vermont, in General Convention met, for the express purpose of forming such a government--confessing the goodness of the great Governor of the universe (who alone knows to what degree of earthly happiness mankind may attain by perfecting the arts of government) in permitting the people of this State, by common consent, and without violence, deliberately to form for themselves such just rules as they shall think best, for governing their future society; and being fully convinced, that it is our indispensable duty to establish such original principles of government as will best promote the general happiness of the people of this State, and their posterity, and provide for future improvements, without partiality for, or prejudice against, any particular class, sect, or denomination of men whatever; do, by virtue of authority vested in us by our constituents, ordain, declare and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, to be the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and to remain in force therein forever unaltered, except in such articles as shall hereafter on experience be found to require improvement, and which shall, by the same authority of the people, fairly delegated, as this Frame of Government directs, be amended or improved, for the more effectual obtaining and securing the great end and design of all government, herein before mentioned.
Thorpe, Francis Newton, ed. The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America. 7 vols. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909.
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