世界人权宣言-Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1948年12月10日, 联合国大会采认世界人权宣言, 请求它的会员国公布该宣言, 并 “在无政治的考量下, 在各级学校及教育机构里, 传播、张贴、研读及解说其内容。”
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
鉴於对人类家庭所有成员的固有尊严及其平等的和不移的权利的承认, 乃是世界自由、正义及和平的基础,
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
鉴於对人权的忽视及侮蔑已发展为野蛮暴行, 这些暴行玷污了人类的良心, 而一个人人享有言论和信仰自由并免於恐惧和匮乏的世界的来临, 已被宣布为普通人民的最高愿望,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the commonpeople,
鉴於为使人类不致迫不得已铤而走险, 对暴政和压迫进行反抗, 有必要使人权受法治的保护,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
鉴於联合国国家的人民已在联合国宪章中重申他们对基本人权、人格尊严和价值以及男女平等权利的信心, 并决心促成较大自由中的社会进步和生活水平的改善,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
鉴於各会员国都已誓愿同联合国合作, 以促进对人权和基本自由的普遍尊重和遵行,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
鉴於对这些权利和自由的普遍了解, 对於这个誓愿的充分实现, 有很大的重要性,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

因此, 现在,
Now, Therefore,
这一世界人权宣言, 作为所有人民和所有国家努力实现的共同标准, 以期每一个人和社会机构经常铭念本宣言, 努力通过教诲和教育, 促进对权利和自由的尊重, 并通过国家的和国际的渐进措施, 使这些权利和自由在各会员国本身人民及在其管辖下领土的人民中, 得到普遍和有效的承认和遵行。
THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
人人生而自由, 在尊严及权利上一律平等。他们赋有理性和良心, 并应以兄弟关系的精神相对待。
Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
人人有资格享受本宣言所载的一切权利与自由, 不分种族、肤色、性别、语言、宗教、政治或其他见解、国籍或社会出身、财产、出生或其他身份等任何区别。 并且不得因一人所属的国家或领土的政治的、行政的或者国际的地位之不同而有所区别, 无论该领土是独立、托管领土、非自治领土或者处於其他任何主权受限的情况下。
Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
任何人不得使为奴隶或奴役; 一怍形式的奴隶制度和奴隶现实, 均应予以禁止。
Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
任何人不得加以酷刑, 或施以残忍的、不人道的或侮辱性的待遇或刑罚。
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
法律之前人人平等, 并有权享受法律的平等保护, 不受任何歧视。人人有权享受平等保护, 以免受违反本宣言的任何歧视行为以及煽动这种歧视行为之害。
Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

任何人当宪法或法律所赋予他的基本权利遭受侵害时, 有权由合格的国家法庭对这种侵害行作有效的补救。
Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
人人完全平等地有权由一个独立而无偏倚的法庭进行公正的和公开的审讯, 以确定他的权利和义, 并判定对他提出的任何刑事指控。
Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(一)凡受刑事控告者, 在未经获得辩护上所需的一切保证的公开审判而依法证实有罪以前, 有权被视为无罪。
(二)任何人的任何行为或不行为, 在其发生时依国家法或国际法均不构成刑事罪者, 不得被判为犯有刑事罪。刑罚不得重於犯罪时适用的法律规定。
Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
任何人的私生活、家庭、住宅或通讯不得任意干涉, 他的荣誉和名誉不得加以攻击。人人有权享受法律保护, 以免受这种干涉或攻击。
Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
(二)人人有权离开任何国家, 包括其本国在内, 并有权返回他的国家。
Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(二)在真正由於非政治性的罪行或违背联合国的宗旨和原则的行为而被起的情况, 不得援用此权利。
Article 14.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(二)任何人的国籍不得任意剥夺, 亦不得否认其改变国籍的权利。
Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(一)成年男女, 不受种族、国籍或宗教的任何限制, 有权婚嫁和成立家庭。他们在婚姻方面, 在结婚期间和在解除婚约时, 应有平等的权利。
(二)祗有经男女双方的自由的和完全的同意, 才能结婚。
(三)家庭是天然的和基本的社会单元, 并应受社会和国家的保护。
Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at
Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

人人有思想、良心与宗教自由的权利; 此项权利包括改变他的宗教或信仰的自由, 以及其单独或团体、公开或秘密地教义、实践、礼拜及戒律表示他的宗教或信仰的自由。
Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
人人有权享有主张和发表意见的自由; 此项权利包括持有主张而不受干涉的自由, 和通过任何媒介和不论国界寻求、接受和传播消息和思想的自由。
Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(三)人民的意志是政府权力的基础; 这一意志应以定期和真正的选举予以表现, 而选举应依据普遍和平等的投票权, 并以不记名投票或相当的自由投票程序进行。
Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
每个人, 做为社会的一员, 有权享受社会保障, 并有权享受他的个人尊严和人格的自由发展所必需的经济、社会和文化方面, 各种权利的实现, 这种实现是通过国家努力和国际合作并依照各国的组织和资源情况。
Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(一)人人有权工作, 自由选择职业, 享受公正和合适的工作条件并享受免於失业的保障。
(二)人人有同工同酬的权利, 不受任何歧视。
(三)每一个工作的人, 有权享受公正和合适的报酬, 保证使他本人和家属有一个符合人的尊严的生活条件, 必要时并辅以其他方式的社会保障。
Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
人人有享受休息和闲暇的权利, 包括工作时间有合理限制和定期给薪休假的权利。
Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(一)人人有权享受为维持他本人和家属的健康和福利所需的生活水准, 包括食物、衣著、住房、医疗和必要的社会服务; 在遭到失业、疾病、残废、守寡、衰老或在其他不能控制的情况下, 丧失谋生能力时, 有权享受保障。
(二)母亲和儿童有权享受特别照顾和协助。一切儿童, 无论婚生或非婚生, 都应享受同样的社会保护。
Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(一)人人都有受教育的权利, 教育应当免费, 至少在初级和基本阶段应如此。初级教育应属义务性质。技术与职业教育应普遍设立。高等教育应根据成绩而对一切人平等开放。
(二)教育的目的在於充分发展人的个性并加强对人权和基本自由的尊重。教育应谋促进各国、各种族或各宗教集团体间的了解, 容忍和友谊, 并应促进联合国维护和平的各项活动。
(三)父母对其子女所应受的教育的种类, 有优先选择的权利。
Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(一)人人有权自由参加社会的文化生活, 享受艺术, 并分享科学进步及其产生的福利。
(二)人人对由於他所创作的任何科学、文学或美术作品而产生的精神和物质的利益, 有享受保护的权利。
Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
人人有权享受一种社会的和国际的秩序, 在这种秩序中, 本宣言所载的权利和自由能获得允份实现。
Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(一)人人对社会负有义务, 因为只有在社会中, 他的个性才可能得到自由和充份的发展。
(二)人人在行使他的权利和自由时, 祗受法律所确定的限制, 确定此种限制的唯一目的在於保证对旁人的权利和自由给予应有的承认和尊重, 并在一个合民主的社会中适应道德、公共秩序和普遍福利的正当需要。
(三)这些权利和自由的行使, 无论在任何情形下, 均不得违背联合国的宗旨和原则。
Article 29.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and

freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
本宣言的任何条文, 不得解释为默许任何国家、团体或个人有权进行任何旨在破坏本宣言所载的任何权利和自由的活动或行为。
Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.






第一款 本宪法所规定的立法权,全属合众国的国会,国会由一个参议院和一个众议院组成。

第二款 众议院应由各州人民每两年选举一次之议员组成,各州选举人应具有该州州议会中人数最多之一院的选举人所需之资格。凡年龄未满二十五岁,或取得合众国公民资格未满七年,或于某州当选而并非该州居民者,均不得任众议员。众议员人数及直接税税额,应按联邦所辖各州的人口数目比例分配,此项人口数目的计算法,应在全体自由人民--包括订有契约的短期仆役,但不包括未被课税的印第安人--数目之外,再加上所有其他人口之五分之三。实际人口调查,应于合众国国会第一次会议后三年内举行,并于其后每十年举行一次,其调查方法另以法律规定之。众议员的数目,不得超过每三万人口有众议员一人,但每州至少应有众议员一人;在举行人囗调查以前,各州得按照下列数目选举众议员:新罕布什尔三人、麻萨诸塞八人、罗德岛及普罗维登斯垦殖区一人、康涅狄格五人、纽约州六人.新泽西四人、宾夕法尼亚八人、特拉华一人、马里兰六人、弗吉尼亚十人、北卡罗来纳五人、南卡罗来纳五人、乔治亚三人。任何一州的众议员有缺额时,该州的行政长官应颁选举令,选出众议员以补充缺额。众议院应选举该除议长及其他官员;只有众议院具有提出弹劾案的权力。

第三款 合众国的参议院由每州的州议会选举两名参议员组成之,参议员的任期为六年,每名参议员有一票表决权。参议员于第一次选举后举行会议之时,应当立即尽量均等地分成三组。第一组参议员的任期,到第二年年终时届满,第二组到第四年年终时届满,第三组到第六年年终时届满,俾使每两年有三分之一的参议员改选;如果在某州州议会休会期间,有参议员因辞职或其它原因出缺,该州的行政长官得任命临时参议员,等到州议会下次集会时,再予选举补缺。凡年龄未满三十岁,或取得合众国公民资格未满九年,或于某州当选而并非该州居民者,均不得任参议员。合众国副总统应为参议院议长,除非在投票票数相等时,议长无投票权。参议院应选举该院的其他官员,在副总统缺席或执行合众国总统职务时,还应选举临时议长。所有弹劾案,只有参议院有权审理。在开庭审理弹劾案时,参议员们均应宣誓或誓愿。如受审者为合众国总统,则应由最高法院首席大法官担任主席;在未得出席的参议员的三分之二的同意时,任何人不得被判有罪。弹劾案的判决,不得超过免职及取消其担任合众国政府任何有荣誉、有责任或有俸给的职位之资格;但被判处者仍须服从另据法律所作之控诉、审讯、判决及惩罚。

第四款 各州州议会应规定本州参议员及众议员之选举时间、地点及程序;但国会得随时以法律制定或变更此种规定,惟有选举议员的地点不在此例。国会应至少每年集会一次,开会日期应为十二月的第一个星期一,除非他们通过法律来指定另一个日期。

第五款 参众两院应各自审查本院的选举、选举结果报告和本院议员的资格,每院议员过半数即构成可以议事的法定人数;不足法定人数时,可以一天推一天地延期开会,并有权依照各该议院所规定的程序和罚则,强迫缺席的议员出席。参众两院得各自规定本院的议事规则,处罚本院扰乱秩序的议员,并且得以三分之二的同意,开除本院的议员。参众两院应各自保存一份议事记录,并经常公布,惟各该院认为应保守秘密之部分除外;两院议员对于每一问题之赞成或反对,如有五分之一出席议员请求,则应记载于议事记录内。在国会开会期间,任一议院未得别院同意,不得休会三日以上,亦不得迁往非两院开会的其他地点。

第六款 参议员与众议员得因其服务而获报酬,报酬的多寡由法律定之,并由合众国国库支付。两院议员除犯叛国罪、重罪以及扰乱治安罪外,在出席各该院会议及往返各该院途中,有不受逮捕之特权;两院议员在议院内所发表之演说及辩论,在其它场合不受质询。参议员或众议员不得在其当选任期内担任合众国政府任何新添设的职位,或在其任期内支取因新职位而增添的俸给;在合众国政府供职的人,不得在其任职期间担任国会议员。

第七款 有关徵税的所有法案应在众议院中提出;但参议院得以处理其它法案的方式,以修正案提出建议或表示同意。经众议院和参议院通过的法案,在正式成为法律之前,须呈送合众国总统;总统如批准,便须签署,如不批准,即应连同他的异议把它退还给原来提出该案的议院,该议院应将异议详细记入议事记录,然后进行复议。倘若在复议之后,该议院议员的三分之二仍然同意通过该法案,该院即应将该法案连同异议书送交另一院,由其同样予以复议,若此另一院亦以三分之二的多数通过,该法案即成为法律。但遇有这样的情形时,两院的表决均应以赞同或反对来定,而赞同和反对该法案的议员的姓名,均应由两院分别记载于各该院的议事记录之内。如总统接到法案后十日之内(星期日除外),不将之退还,该法案即等于曾由总统签署一样,成为法律¨准有当国会休会因而无法将该法案退还时,该法案才不得成为法律。任何命令、决议或表决(有关休会问题者除外),凡须由参议院及众议院予以同意者,均应呈送合众国总统;经其此准之后,方始生效,如总统不予批准,则参众两院可依照对于通过法案所规定的各种规则和限制,各以三分之二的多数,再行通过。

第八款 国会有权规定并徵收税金、捐税、关税和其它赋税,用以偿付国债并为合众国的共同防御和全民福利提供经费;但是各种捐税、关税和其它赋税,在合众国内应划一徵收;以合众国的信用举债;管理与外国的、州与州间的,以及对印第安部落的贸易;制定在合众国内一致适用的归化条例,和有关破产的一致适用的法律;铸造货币,调议其价值,并厘定外币价值,以及制定度量衡的标准;制定对伪造合众国证券和货币的惩罚条例;设立邮政局及延造驿路;为促进科学和实用技艺的进步,对作家和发明家的著作和发明,在一定期限内给予专利权的保障;设置最高法院以下的各级法院;界定并惩罚海盗罪、在公海所犯的重罪和违背国际公法的罪行;宣战,对民用船只颁发捕押敌船及采取报复行动的特许证,制定在陆地和海面虏获战利晶的规则;募集和维持陆军,但每次拨充该项费用的款项,其有效期不得超过两年;配备和保持海军;制定有开管理和控制陆海军队的各种条例;制定召集民兵的条例,以便执行联邦法律,镇压叛乱和击退侵略;规定民兵的组织、装备和训练,以及民兵为合众国服务时的管理办法,但各州保留其军官任命权,和依照国会规定的条例训练其民团的权力;对于由某州让与而由国会承受,用以充当合众国政府所在地的地区(不逾十哩见方),握有对其一切事务的全部立法权;对于经州议会同意,向州政府购得,用以建筑要塞、弹药库、兵工厂、船坞和其它必要建筑物的地方,也握有同样的权力;--并且为了行使上述各项权力,以及行使本宪法赋予合众国政府或其各部门或其官员的种种权力,制定一切必要的和适当的法律。

第九款 对于现有任何一州所认为的应准其移民或入境的人,在一八O八年以前,国会不得加以禁止,但可以对入境者课税,惟以每人不超过十美元为限。不得中止人身保护令所保障的特权,惟在叛乱或受到侵犯的情况下,出于公共安全的必要时不在此限。不得通过任何褫夺公权的法案或者追溯既往的法律。除非按本宪法所规定的人口调查或统计之比例,不得徵收任何人口税或其它直接税。对各州输出之货物,不得课税。任何有关商务或纳税的条例,均不得赋予某一州的港口以优惠待遇;亦不得强迫任何开往或来自某一州的船只,驶入或驶出另一州,或向另一州纳税。除了依照法律的规定拨款之外,不得自国库中提出任何款项;一切公款收支的报告和账目,应经常公布。合众国不得颁发任何贵族爵位:凡是在合众国政府担任有俸给或有责任之职务者,未经国会许可,不得接受任何国王、王子或外国的任何礼物、薪酬、职务或爵位。


第十款 各州不得缔结任何条约、结盟或组织邦联;不得对民用船只颁发捕押敌船及采取报复行动之特许证;不得铸造货币;不得发行纸币;不得指定金银币以外的物品作为偿还债务的法定货币;不得通过任何褫夺公权的法案、追溯既往的法律和损害契约义务的法律;也不得颁发任何贵族爵位。未经国会同意,各州不得对进口货物或出口货物徵收任何税款,但为了执行该州的检查法律而有绝对的必要时,不在此限;任何州对于进出囗货物所徵的税,其净收益应归合众国国库使用;所有这一类的检查法律,国会对之有修正和监督之权。未经国会同意,各州不得徵收船舶吨位税,不得在和平时期保持军队和军舰,不得和另外一州或国缔结任何协定或契约,除非实际遭受入侵,或者遇到刻不容缓的危急情形时,不得从事战争。


第一款 行政权力赋予美利坚合众国总统。总统任期四年,总统和具有同样任期的副总统,应照下列手续选举:每州应依照该州州议会所规定之手续,指定选举人若干名,其人数应与该州在国会之参议员及众议员之总数相等;但参讥员、众议员及任何在合众国政府担任有责任及有俸给之职务的人,均不得被指定为选举人。各选举人应于其本身所属的州内集会,每人投票选举二人,其中至少应有一人不属本州居民。选举人应开列全体被选人名单,注明每人所得票数;他们还应签名作证明,并将封印后的名单送至合众国政府所在地交与参议院议长。参议院议长应于参众两院全体议员之前,开拆所有来件,然后计算票数。得票最多者,如其所得票数超过全体选举人的半数,即当选为总统;如同时不止一人得票过半数,旦又得同等票数,则众议院应立即投票表决,选毕其中一人为总统;如无人得票过半数,则众议院应自得票最多之前五名中用同样方法选举总统。但依此法选举总统时,应以州为单位,每州之代表共有一票;如全国三分之二的州各有一名或多名众议员出席,即构成选举总统的法定人数;当选总统者需获全部州的过半数票。在每次这样的选举中,于总统选出后,其获得选举人所投票数最多者,即为副总统。但如有二人或二人以上得票相等时,则应由参议院投票表决,选学其中一人为副总统。国会得决定各州选出选举人的时期以及他们投票的日子;投票日期全国一律。只有出生时为合众国公民,或在本宪法实施时已为合众国公民者,可被选为总统;凡年龄未满三十五岁,或居住合众国境内未满十四年者,不得被选为总统。如遇总统被免职,或因死亡、辞职或丧失能力而不能执行其权力及职务时,总统职权应由副总统执行之。国会得以法律规定,在总统及副总统均被免职,或死亡、辞职或丧失能力时,由何人代理总统职务,该人应即遵此视事,至总统能力恢复,或新总统被选出时为止。总统得因其服务而在规定的时间内接受俸给,在其任期之内,俸金数额不得增加或减低,他亦不得在此任期内,自合众国政府和任何州政府接爱其它报酬。在他就职之前,他应宣誓或誓愿如下:--「我郑重宣誓(或矢言)我必忠诚地执行合众国总统的职务,并尽我最大的能力,维持、保护和捍卫合众国宪法。

第二款 总统为合众国陆海军的总司令,并在各州民团奉召为合众国执行任务的担任统帅;他可以要求每个行政部门的主管官员提出有关他们职务的任何事件的书面意见,除了弹劫案之外,他有权对于违犯合众国法律者颁赐缓刑和特赦。总统有权缔订条约,但须争取参议院的意见和同意,并须出席的参议员中三分之二的人赞成;他有权提名,并于取得参议院的意见和同意后,任命大使、公使及领事、最高法院的法官,以及一切其他在本宪法中未经明定、但以后将依法律的规定而设置之合众国官员;国会可以制定法律,酌情把这些较低级官员的任命权,授予总统本人,授予法院,或授予各行政部门的首长。在参议院休会期间,如遇有职位出缺,总统有权任命官员补充缺额,任期于参议院下届会议结束时终结。

第三款 总统应经常向国会报告联邦的情况,并向国会提出他认为必要和适当的措施,供其考虑;在特殊情况下,他得召集两院或其中一院开会,并得于两院对于休会时间意见不一致时,命令两院休会到他认为适当的时期为止;他应接见大使和公使;他应注意使法律切实执行,并任命所有合众国的军官。

第四款 合众国总统、副总统及其他所有文官,因叛国、贿赂或其它重罪和轻罪,被弹劾而判罪者,均应免职。


第一款 合众国的司法权属于一个最高法院以及由国会随时下令设立的低级法院。最高法院和低级法院的法官,如果尽忠职守,应继续任职,并按期接受俸给作为其服务之报酬,在其继续任职期间,该项俸给不得削减。

第二款 司法权适用的范围,应包括在本宪法、合众国法律、和合众国已订的及将订的条约之下发生的一切涉及普通法及衡平法的案件;一切有关大使、公使及领事的案件;一切有关海上裁判权及海事裁判权的案件;合众国为当事一方的诉讼;州与州之间的诉讼,州与另一州的公民之间的诉讼,一州公民与另一州公民之间的诉讼,同州公民之间为不同之州所让与之土地而争执的诉讼,以及一州或其公民与外国政府、公民或其属民之间的诉讼。在一切有关大使、公使、领事以及州为当事一方的案件中,最高法院有最初审理权。在上述所有其它案件中,最高法院有关于法律和事实的受理上诉权,但由国会规定为例外及另有处理条例者,不在此限。对一切罪行的审判,除了弹劫案以外,均应由陪审团裁定,并且该审判应在罪案发生的州内举行;但如罪案发生地点并不在任何一州之内,该项审判应在国会按法律指定之地点或几个地点学行。

第三款 只有对合众国发动战争,或投向它的敌人,予敌人以协助及方便者,方构成叛国罪。无论何人,如非经由两个证人证明他的公然的叛国行为,或经由本人在公开法庭认罪者,均不得被判叛国罪。国会有权宣布对于叛国罪的惩处,但因叛国罪而被褫夺公权者,其后人之继承权不受影响,叛国者之财产亦只能在其本人生存期间被没收。


第一款 各州对其它各州的公共法案、记录、和司法程序,应给予完全的信赖和尊重。国会得制定一般法律,用以规定这种法案、记录、和司法程序如何证明以及具有何等效力。

第二款 每州公民应享受各州公民所有之一切特权及豁免。凡在任何一州被控犯有叛国罪、重罪或其它罪行者,逃出法外而在另一州被缉获时,该州应即依照该罪犯所逃出之州的行政当局之请求,将该罪犯交出,以便移交至该犯罪案件有管辖权之州。凡根据一州之法律应在该州服役或服劳役者,逃往另一州时,不得因另一州之任何法律或条例,解除其服役或劳役,而应依照有权要求该项服役或劳役之当事一方的要求,把人交出。

第三款 国会得准许新州加入联邦;如无有关各州之州议会及国会之同意,不得于任何州之管辖区域内建立新州;亦不得合并两州或数州、或数州之一部分而成立新州。国会有权处置合众国之属地及其它产业,并制定有关这些属地及产业的一切必要的法规和章则;本宪法中任何条文,不得作有损于合众国或任何一州之权利的解释。

第四款 合众国保证联邦中的每一州皆为共和政体,保障它们不受外来的侵略;并且根据各州州议会或行政部门(当州议会不能召集时)的请求,平定其内部的暴乱。

















第十一条修正案 (一七九八年)

第十二条修正案 (一八〇四年)

第十三条修正案 (一八六五年)
第一款 苦役或强迫劳役,除用以惩罚依法判刑的罪犯之外,不得在合众国境内或受合众国管辖之任何地方存在。
第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。

第十四条修正案 (一八六八年)
第一款 任何人,凡在合众国出生或归化合众国并受其管辖者,均为合众国及所居住之州的公民。任何州不得制定或执行任何剥夺合众国公民特权或豁免权的法律。任何州,如未经适当法律程序,均不得剥夺任何人的生命、自由或财产;亦不得对任何在其管辖下的人,拒绝给予平等的法律保护。
第二款 各州众议员的数目,应按照各该州的人口数目配分;此项人口,除了不纳税的印第安人以外,包括各该州全体人口的总数。但如果一个州拒绝任何年满二十一岁的合众国男性公民,参加对于美国总统及副总统选举人、国会众议员、本州岛行政及司法官员或本州岛州议会议员等各项选举,或以其它方法剥夺其上述各项选举权(除非是因参加叛变或因其它罪行而被剥夺),则该州在众议院议席的数目,应按照该州这类男性公民的数目对该州年满二十一岁男性公民总数的比例加以削减。
第三款 任何人,凡是曾经以国会议员、合众国政府官员、州议会议员或任何州的行政或司法官员的身分,宣誓拥护合众国宪法,而后来从事于颠覆或反叛国家的行为,或给予国家的敌人以协助或方便者,均不得为国会的参议员、众议员、总统与副总统选举人,或合众国政府或任何州政府的任何文职或军职官员。但国会可由参议院与众议院各以三分之二的多数表决,撤销该项限制。
第四款 对于法律批准的合众国公共债务,包括因支付平定作乱或反叛有功人员的年金和奖金而产生的债务,其效力不得有所怀疑,但无论合众国或任何一州,都不得承担或偿付因援助对合众国的作乱或反叛而产生的任何债务或义务,或因丧失或解放任何奴隶而提出的任何赔偿要求;所有这类债务、义务和要求,都应被视为非法和无效。
第五款 国会有权适当立法实施本条规定。

第十五条修正案 (一八七〇年)
第一款 合众国政府或任何州政府,不得因种族、肤色,或以前曾服劳役而拒绝给予或剥夺合众国公民的选举权。
第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。

第十六条修正案 (一九一三年)

第十七条修正案 (一九一三年)
第一款 合众国参议院由每州人民各选参议员二人组成,任期六年;每名参议员有一票的表决权。各州选举人,应具有该州议会中人数最多一院所必需之选举人资格。
第二款 当任何一州有参议员出缺时,该州行政当局应颁布选举令,以便补充空额。各州州议会授权该州行政当局任命临时参议员,其任期至该州人民依照州议会的指示进行选举补缺为止。
第三款 对本条修正案所作之解释,不得影响在此修正案作为宪法的一部分而生效以前当选的任何参议员的选举或任期。

第十八条修正案 (一九一九年)
第一款 本条批准一年后,禁止在合众国及其管辖下的所有领土内酿造、出售和运送作为饮料的致醉酒类;禁止此等酒类输入或输出合众国及其管辖下的所有领土。
第二款 国会和各州同样有权以适当立法实施本条。
第三款 本条除非在国会将其提交各州之日起七年以内,由各州议会按宪法规定批准为宪法修正案,否则不发生效力。

第十九条修正案 (一九二〇年)
第一款 合众国公民的选举权,不得因性别缘故而被合众国或任何一州加以否定或剥夺。
第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。

第二十条修正案 (一九三三年)
第一款 如本条未获批准,总统和副总统的任期应在原定任期届满之年的一月二十日正午结束,参议员和众议员的任期应在原定任期届满之年的一月三日正午结束,他们的继任人的任期应在同时开始。
第二款 国会每年至少应开会一次,除国会依法另订日期外,此种会议应在一月三日正午开始。
第三款 如当选总统在规定总统任期开始之时已经死亡,当选副总统应即成为总统。如在规定总统任期开始的时间以前,总统尚未选出,或当选总统不合资格,当选副总统应在有合乎资格的总统之前代理总统职务。倘当选总统或当选副总统均不合乎资格时,国会得依法作出规定,宣布何人代理总统,或宣布遴选代理总统的方法。此人在有合乎资格的总统或副总统前,应代行总统职务。
第四款 在选举总统的权利交到众议院,而可选为总统的人中有人死亡时;在选举副总统的权利交到参议院,而可选为副总统的人中有人死亡时;国会得依法对这些情况作出决定。

第五款 第一款和第二款应在紧接本条批准以后的十月十五日生效。准为宪法修正案,否则不发生效力。

第二十一条修正案 (一九三三年)
第一款 美利坚合众国宪法修正案第十八条现予废除。
第二款 禁止在合众国任何州、准州或属地,违反当地法律,为发货或使用而运送或输入致醉酒类。
第三款 本条限非在国会将其提交各州之日起七年以内,由各州修宪会议依照本宪法规定批准为宪法修正案,否则不发生效力。

第二十二条修正案 (一九五一年)
第一款 无论何人,当选担任总统职务不得超过两次;无论何人,于他人当选总统任期内担任总统职务或代理总统两年以上者,不得当选担任总统职务超过一次。但本条不适用于在国会提出本条时正在担任总统职务的任何人;也不妨碍在本条开始生效时正在担任总统职务或代行总统职务的任何人,在此届任期届满前继续担任总统职务或代行总统职务。
第二款 本条除非在国会将其提交各州之日起七年以内,由四分之三州议会批准为宪法修正案,否则不发生效力。

第二十三条修正案 (一九六一年)
第一款 合众国政府所在地的特区,应依国会规定方式选派;一定数目的总统和副总统选举人,特区如同州一样,其选举人的数目等于它有权在国会拥有的参议员和众议员人数的总和,但决不得超过人口最少之州的选举人数目。他们是各州所选派的选举人以外另行增添的选举人,但为选举总统和副总统目的,应被视为一个州选派的选举人;他们应在特区集会,履行第十二条修正案所规定的职责。
第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。


第二十五条修正案 (一九六七年)
第一款 如遇总统免职、死亡或辞职时,副总统应成为总统。
第二款 当副总统职位出缺时,总统应提名一名副总统,在国会全院均以过半数票批准后就职。
第三款 当总统向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称他不能够履行其职务的权力和责任时,在他再向他们提交一份内容相反的书面声明前,此种权力和责任应由副总统以代总统身分履行。
第四款 当副总统和行政各部或国会一类的其它机构的多数长官,依法律规定向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称总统不能够履行总统职务的权力和责任时,副总统应立即以代总统身分承受总统职务的权力和责任。此后,当总统向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称丧失能力的情况并不存在时,他应恢复总统职务的权力和责任,除非副总统和行政各部或国会一类的其它机构的多数长官依法在四天内向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称总统不能够履行其职务的权力和责任。在此种情况下,国会应对此问题做出决定;如国会正在休会期间,应为此目的在四十八小时内召集会议。如国会在收到后一书面声明后的二十一天以内,或如适逢休会期间,在国会按照要求召集会议以后的二十一天以内,以两院的三分之二多数票决定总统不能够履行其职务的权力和责任时,副总统应继续代理总统职务;否则总统应恢复其职务的权力和责任。

第二十六条修正案 (一九七一年)
第一款 已满十八岁和十八岁以上的合众国公民的选举权,不得因为年龄关系而被合众国或任何一州加以否定或剥夺。
第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。

第二十七条修正案 (一九九二年)

Constitution of the United States – Preamble

Constitution of the United States – Article 1

Constitution of the United States – Article 2

Constitution of the United States – Article 3

Constitution of the United States – Article 4

Constitution of the United States – Article 5

Constitution of the United States – Article 6

Constitution of the United States – Article 7

Constitution of the United States – Bill of Rights – The First Ten Amendments

Constitution of the United States – Amendments 11 – 27


Constitution of the United States : Preamble

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article I

Constitution of the United States : Article I

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5

Section 6 Section 7 Section 8 Section 9 Section 10

Section 1 – Legislative powers; in whom vested

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2 – House of Representatives, how and by whom chosen Qualifications of a Representative. Representatives and direct taxes, how apportioned. Enumeration. Vacancies to be filled. Power of choosing officers, and of impeachment.

  1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the elector in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.
  1. No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
  1. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding 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.(The previous sentence was superceded by Amendment XIV). The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
  1. When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
  1. The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3 – Senators, how and by whom chosen. How classified. State Executive, when to make temporary appointments, in case, etc. Qualifications of a Senator. President of the Senate, his right to vote. President pro tem., and other officers of the Senate, how chosen. Power to try impeachments. When President is tried, Chief Justice to preside. Sentence.

  1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding five words were superceded by Amendment XVII) for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
  1. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies. (The words in italics were superceded by Amendment XVII)
  1. No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
  1. The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.
  1. The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of the President of the United States.
  1. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
  1. Judgement in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgement and punishment, according to law.

Section 4 – Times, etc., of holding elections, how prescribed. One session in each year.

  1. The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.
  1. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,(The words in italics were superceded by Amendment XX) unless they by law appoint a different day.

Section 5 – Membership, Quorum, Adjournments, Rules, Power to punish or expel. Journal. Time of adjournments, how limited, etc.

  1. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.
  1. Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.
  1. Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgement require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.
  1. Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6 – Compensation, Privileges, Disqualification in certain cases.

  1. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
  1. No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

Section 7 – House to originate all revenue bills. Veto. Bill may be passed by two-thirds of each House, notwithstanding, etc. Bill, not returned in ten days to become a law. Provisions as to orders, concurrent resolutions, etc.

  1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.
  1. Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the president of the United States; if he approve, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration, two thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the president within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
  1. Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the president of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or, being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Section 8 – Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have the power

  1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States:
  1. To borrow money on the credit of the United States:
  1. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states,and with the Indian tribes:
  1. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States:
  1. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures:
  1. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States:
  1. To establish post-offices and post-roads:
  1. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries:
  1. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court:
  1. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations:
  1. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:
  1. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years:
  1. To provide and maintain a navy:
  1. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces:
  1. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions:
  1. To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress:
  1. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings: And,
  1. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Section 9 – Provision as to migration or importation of certain persons. Habeas Corpus , Bills of attainder, etc. Taxes, how apportioned. No export duty. No commercial preference. Money, how drawn from Treasury, etc. No titular nobility. Officers not to receive presents, etc.

  1. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importations, not exceeding 10 dollars for each person.
  1. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
  1. No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
  1. No capitation, or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken. (Modified by Amendement XVI)
  1. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.
  1. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from one state, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.
  1. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
  1. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no person holding any office or profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

Section 10 – States prohibited from the exercise of certain powers.

  1. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
  1. No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.
  1. No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in a war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Article II

Constitution of the United States : Article II

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4

Section 1- President: his term of office. Electors of President; number and how appointed. Electors to vote on same day. Qualification of President. On whom his duties devolve in case of his removal, death, etc. President’s compensation. His oath of office.

  1. The Executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold office during the term of four years, and together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected as follows:
  1. Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector. The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.(The clause in italics was superceded by Amendment XII)
  1. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.
  1. 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.

5 . In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected. (This clause has been modified by Amendment XX and Amendment XXV)

  1. The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
  1. Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:

‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’

Section 2 – President to be Commander-in-Chief. He may require opinions of cabinet officers, etc., may pardon. Treaty-making power. Nomination of certain officers. When President may fill vacancies.

  1. The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.
  1. He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
  1. The President shall have the power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of their next session.

Section 3 – President shall communicate to Congress. He may convene and adjourn Congress, in case of disagreement, etc. Shall receive ambassadors, execute laws, and commission officers.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he may receive ambassadors, and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

4 – All civil offices forfeited for certain crimes.

The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Article III

Constitution of the United States : Article III

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3

Section 1- Judicial powers. Tenure. Compensation.

The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.


Section 2 – Judicial power; to what cases it extends. Original jurisdiction of Supreme Court Appellate. Trial by Jury, etc. Trial, where

  1. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more states, between a state and Citizens of another state, between Citizens of different states, between Citizens of the same state, claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign states, Citizens or subjects. (This section modified by Amendment XI)
  1. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before-mentioned, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
  1. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

Section 3 – Treason defined. Proof of. Punishment of.

  1. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
  1. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.

Article IV

Constitution of the United States : Article IV

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4

Section 1 – Each State to give credit to the public acts, etc. of every other State.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Section 2 – Privileges of Citizens of each State. Fugitives from Justice to be delivered up. Persons held to service having escaped, to be delivered up.

  1. The Citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of Citizens in the several states.
  1. A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee justice, and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.
  1. No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.(This clause superceded by Amendment XIII)

Section 3 – Admission of new States. Power of Congress over territory and other property.

  1. New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state, nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as well as of the Congress.
  1. The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.

Section 4 – Republican form of government guaranteed. Each State to be protected.

The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union, a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.

Article V

Constitution of the United States : Article V

Constitution: how amended; proviso.

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which , in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress: Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808, shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Article VI

Constitution of the United States : Article VI

Certain debts, ect. declared valid, Supremacy of Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States, Oath to support Constitution, by whom taken. No religious test.

  1. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this constitution, as under the confederation.
  1. This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.


  1. The senators and representatives before-mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Article VII

Constitution of the United States : Article VII

What ratification shall establish constitution.

The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution between the states so ratifying the same.


Bill of Rights

Constitution of the United States : Bill of Rights

I – Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition

II – Right to keep and bear arms

III – Conditions for quarters of soldiers

IV – Right of search and seizure regulated

V – Provisons concerning prosecution

VI – Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.

VII – Right to a trial by jury

VIII – Excessive bail, cruel punishment

IX – Rule of construction of Constitution

X – Rights of the States under Constitution

I – Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

II – Right to keep and bear arms

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

III – Conditions for quarters of soldiers

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

IV – Right of search and seizure regulated

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

V – Provisons concerning prosecution

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

VI – Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

VII – Right to a trial by jury

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

VIII – Excessive bail, cruel punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

IX – Rule of construction of Constitution

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

X – Rights of the States under Constitution

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Amendments 11-27

Constitution of the United States :

Amendments XI – XXVII

XI – Judicial Powers Construed

XII – Manner of Choosing a President and Vice-President

XIII – Slavery Abolished

XIV – Citizen rights not to be abridged

XV – Race no bar to voting rights

XVI – Income taxes authorized

XVII – U.S. Senators to be elected by direct popular vote

XVIII – Liquor Prohibition

XIX – Giving nationwide suffrage to women

XX – Terms of the President and Vice-President

XXI – Repeal of Amendment XVIII

XXII – Limiting presidential terms of office

XXIII – Presidential vote for the District of Columbia

XXIV – Barring poll tax in federal elections

XXV – Presidential disability and succession

XXVI – Lowering the voting age to 18 years

XXVII – Congressional Pay

XI – Judicial Powers Construed

Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

XII – Manner of Choosing a President and Vice-President

This Amendment altered Article 2 Section 1 Part 2

Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified July 27, 1804.

  1. The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; – The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.(The words in italics were superceded by Amendment XX)
  1. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such numbers be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

XIII – Slavery Abolished

Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

  1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
  1. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

XIV – Citizen rights not to be abridged

Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868

  1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
  1. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of Electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
  1. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or Elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
  1. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
  1. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

XV – Race no bar to voting rights

Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

  1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
  1. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

XVI – Income taxes authorized

Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

XVII – U.S. Senators to be elected by direct popular vote

Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.

  1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures.


  1. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the Legislature of any State may empower the Executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the Legislature may direct.
  1. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

XVIII – Liquor Prohibition

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919.

Altered by Amendment XXI

  1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
  1. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  1. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

XIX – Giving nationwide suffrage to women

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

  1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
  1. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

XX – Terms of the President and Vice-President

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 4 Part 2 and Article 2 Section 1 Part5

Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933

  1. The terms of the President and the Vice-President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3rd day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
  1. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3rd day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
  1. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice-President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice-President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice-President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice-President shall have qualified.
  1. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice-President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
  1. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article (October 1933).
  1. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

XXI – Repeal of Amendment XVIII

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

  1. The Eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
  1. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
  1. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

XXII – Limiting presidential terms of office

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

  1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more that two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more that once.
  1. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
  1. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

XXIII – Presidential vote for the District of Columbia

Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

  1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:
  1. A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
  1. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

XXIV – Barring poll tax in federal elections

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 2 Part 3

Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23,1964.

  1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or any other tax.
  1. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

XXV – Presidential disability and succession

This Amendment altered Article 2 Section 1 Part 5

Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

  1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
  1. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take the office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress
  1. Whenever the President transmits to the President Pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
  1. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmits to the President Pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
  1. Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President Pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmits within four days to the President Pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

XXVI – Lowering the voting age to 18 years

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 9 Part 4

Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified June 30, 1971.

The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

XXVII – Congressional Pay

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 3 Part 1 and Article 1 Section 3 Part 2

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

5 ways to lead in an era of constant change

0:11Have you ever noticed when you ask someone to talk about a change they’re making for the better in their personal lives, they’re often really energetic? Whether it’s training for a marathon, picking up an old hobby, or learning a new skill, for most people, self-transformation projects occupy a very positive emotional space.

0:32Self-transformation is empowering, energizing, even exhilarating. I mean just take a look at some of the titles of self-help books: “Awaken the Giant Within,” “Practicing the Power of Now,” or here’s a great one we can all relate to, “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.”


0:59When it comes to self-transformation, you can’t help but get a sense of the excitement. But there’s another type of transformation that occupies a very different emotional space. The transformation of organizations. If you’re like most people, when you hear the words “Our organization is going to start a transformation,” you’re thinking, “Uh-oh.”


1:27“Layoffs.” The blood drains from your face, your mind goes into overdrive, frantically searching for some place to run and hide.

1:39Well, you can run, but you really can’t hide. Most of us spend the majority of our waking hoursinvolved in organizations. And due to changes in globalization, changes due to advances in technology and other factors, the reality is our organizations are constantly having to adapt. In fact,I call this the era of “always-on” transformation.

2:08When I shared this idea with my wife Nicola, she said, “Always-on transformation? That sounds exhausting.” And that may be exactly what you’re thinking — and you would be right. Particularly if we continue to approach the transformation of organizations the way we always have been.

2:27But because we can’t hide, we need to sort out two things. First, why is transformation so exhausting? And second, how do we fix it?

2:40First of all, let’s acknowledge that change is hard. People naturally resist change, especially when it’s imposed on them. But there are things that organizations do that make change even harder and more exhausting for people than it needs to be. First of all, leaders often wait too long to act. As a result, everything is happening in crisis mode. Which, of course, tends to be exhausting. Or, given the urgency, what they’ll do is they’ll just focus on the short-term results, but that doesn’t give any hope for the future. Or they’ll just take a superficial, one-off approach, hoping that they can return back to business as usual as soon as the crisis is over.

3:36This kind of approach is kind of the way some students approach preparing for standardized tests.In order to get test scores to go up, teachers will end up teaching to the test. Now, that approach can work; test results often do go up. But it fails the fundamental goal of education: to prepare students to succeed over the long term.

4:05So given these obstacles, what can we do to transform the way we transform organizations so rather than being exhausting, it’s actually empowering and energizing? To do that, we need to focus on five strategic imperatives, all of which have one thing in common: putting people first.

4:32The first imperative for putting people first is to inspire through purpose. Most transformations have financial and operational goals. These are important and they can be energizing to leaders, but they tend not to be very motivating to most people in the organization. To motivate more broadly, the transformation needs to connect with a deeper sense of purpose.

4:56Take LEGO. The LEGO Group has become an extraordinary global company. Under their very capable leadership, they’ve actually undergone a series of transformations. While each of these has had a very specific focus, the North Star, linking and guiding all of them, has been Lego’s powerful purpose: inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. Expanding globally? It’s not about increasing sales, but about giving millions of additional children access to LEGO building bricks.Investment and innovation? It’s not about developing new products, but about enabling more children to experience the joy of learning through play. Not surprisingly, that deep sense of purpose tends to be highly motivating to LEGO’s people.

5:53The second imperative for putting people first is to go all in. Too many transformations are nothing more than head-count cutting exercises; layoffs under the guise of transformation. In the face of relentless competition, it may well be that you will have to take the painful decision to downsize the organization, just as you may have to lose some weight in order to run a marathon. But losing weight alone will not get you across the finish line with a winning time. To win you need to go all in.You need to go all in. Rather than just cutting costs, you need to think about initiatives that will enable you to win in the medium term, initiatives to drive growth, actions that will fundamentally change the way the company operates, and very importantly, investments to develop the leadership and the talent.

6:57The third imperative for putting people first is to enable people with the capabilities that they need to succeed during the transformation and beyond. Over the years I’ve competed in a number of triathlons. You know, frankly, I’m not that good, but I do have one distinct capability; I am remarkably fast at finding my bike.


7:27By the time I finish the swim, almost all the bikes are already gone.


7:35Real triathletes know that each leg — the swim, the bike, the run — really requires different capabilities, different tools, different skills, different techniques. Likewise when we transform organizations, we need to be sure that we’re giving our people the skills and the tools they need along the way.

7:57Chronos, a global software company, recognized the need to transfer from building products —software products — to building software as a service. To enable its people to take that transformation, first of all they invested in new tools that would enable their employees to monitor the usage of the features as well as customer satisfaction with the new service. They also invested in skill development, so that their employees would be able to resolve customer service problems on the spot. And very importantly, they also reinforced the collaborative behaviors that would be required to deliver an end-to-end seamless customer experience. Because of these investments,rather than feeling overwhelmed by the transformation, Chronos employees actually felt energizedand empowered in their new roles.

8:55In the era of “always-on” transformation, change is a constant. My fourth imperative therefore is to instill a culture of continuous learning. When Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, he embarked on an ambitious transformation journey to prepare the company to compete in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. This included changes to strategy, the organization and very importantly, the culture. Microsoft’s culture at the time was one of silos and internal competition — not exactly conducive to learning. Nadella took this head-on. He rallied his leadership around his vision for a living, learning culture, shifting from a fixed mindset, where your role was to show up as the smartest person in the room, to a growth mindset, where your role was to listen, to learn and to bring out the best in people. Well, early days, Microsoft employees already noticed this shift in the culture — clear evidence of Microsoft putting people first.

10:07My fifth and final imperative is specifically for leaders. In a transformation, a leader needs to have a vision, a clear road map with milestones, and then you need to hold people accountable for results.In other words, you need to be directive. But in order to capture the hearts and minds of people,you also need to be inclusive. Inclusive leadership is critical to putting people first.

10:38I live in the San Francisco Bay area. And right now, our basketball team is the best in the league.We won the 2015 championship, and we’re favored to win again this year. There are many explanations for this. They have some fabulous players, but one of the key reasons is their head coach, Steve Kerr, is an inclusive leader. When Kerr came to the Warriors in 2014, the Warriors were looking for a major transformation. They hadn’t won a national championship since 1975.

11:16Kerr came in, and he had a clear vision, and he immediately got to work. From the outset, he reached out and engaged the players and the staff. He created an environment of open debate and solicited suggestions. During games he would often ask, “What are you seeing that I’m missing?”

11:39One the best examples of this came in game four of the 2015 finals. The Warriors were down two games to one when Kerr made the decision to change the starting lineup; a bold move by any measure. The Warriors won the game and went on to win the championship. And it is widely viewedthat that move was the pivotal move in their victory.

12:08Interestingly, it wasn’t actually Kerr’s idea. It was the idea of his 28-year-old assistant, Nick U’Ren.Because of Kerr’s leadership style, U’Ren felt comfortable bringing the idea forward. And Kerr not only listened, but he implemented the idea and then afterwards, gave U’Ren all the credit — actions all consistent with Kerr’s highly inclusive approach to leadership.

12:40In the era of “always-on” transformation, organizations are always going to be transforming. But doing so does not have to be exhausting. We owe it to ourselves, to our organizations and to society more broadly to boldly transform our approach to transformation. To do that, we need to start putting people first.

13:10Thank you.


Barack Obama: America will take the giant leap to Mars

(CNN)One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders, waving a flag as our astronauts returned to Hawaii. This was years before we’d set foot on the moon. Decades before we’d land a rover on Mars. A generation before photos from the International Space Station would show up in our social media feeds.

I still have the same sense of wonder about our space program that I did as a child. It represents an essential part of our character — curiosity and exploration, innovation and ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and doing it before anybody else. The space race we won not only contributed immeasurably important technological and medical advances, but it also inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers with the right stuff to keep America on the cutting edge.
President Barack Obama

That’s one of the reasons why, in my first address as President to the American people, I vowed to return science to its rightful place. In our first few months, my administration made the largest single investment in basic research in our history, and I went to the Kennedy Space Center to call for reimagining and reinvigorating our space program to explore more of our solar system and look deeper into the universe than ever.
In the years since, we’ve revitalized technology innovation at NASA, extended the life of the International Space Station, and helped American companies create private-sector jobs by capitalizing on the untapped potential of the space industry.
Last year alone, NASA discovered flowing water on Mars and evidence of ice on one of Jupiter’s moons, and we mapped Pluto — more than 3 billion miles away — in high-resolution. Our space telescopes revealed additional Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, and we’re pursuing new missions to interact with asteroids, which will help us learn how to protect the Earth from the threat of colliding with one while also teaching us about the origins of life on Earth. We’ve flown by every planet in the solar system — something no other nation can say. And we continue to drive down the cost of space exploration for taxpayers.
This week, we’ll convene some of America’s leading scientists, engineers, innovators and students in Pittsburgh to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers. Just five years ago, US companies were shut out of the global commercial launch market. Today, thanks to groundwork laid by the men and women of NASA, they own more than a third of it. More than 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives.
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We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time. Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we’re already well on our way. Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.
The next step is to reach beyond the bounds of Earth’s orbit. I’m excited to announce that we are working with our commercial partners to build new habitats that can sustain and transport astronauts on long-duration missions in deep space. These missions will teach us how humans can live far from Earth — something we’ll need for the long journey to Mars.
The reporter who covered the moon landing for The New York Times, John Noble Wilford, later wrote that Mars tugs at our imagination “with a force mightier than gravity.” Getting there will take a giant leap. But the first, small steps happen when our students — the Mars generation — walk into their classrooms each day. Scientific discovery doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch; it takes years of testing, patience and a national commitment to education.
President Eisenhower knew this: In 1958, he devoted great resources to science and math education around the same time he created NASA. And it’s why I’m proud that we’ve passed important milestones in STEM education. For the first time, more than 100,000 engineers are graduating from American schools every year, and we’re on track to accomplish my goal of training 100,000 excellent new STEM teachers in a decade.
When our Apollo astronauts looked back from space, they realized that while their mission was to explore the moon, they had “in fact discovered the Earth.” If we make our leadership in space even stronger in this century than it was in the last, we won’t just benefit from related advances in energy, medicine, agriculture and artificial intelligence, we’ll benefit from a better understanding of our environment and ourselves.
Someday, I hope to hoist my own grandchildren onto my shoulders. We’ll still look to the stars in wonder, as humans have since the beginning of time. But instead of eagerly awaiting the return of our intrepid explorers, we’ll know that because of the choices we make now, they’ve gone to space not just to visit, but to stay — and in doing so, to make our lives better here on Earth.

Helen Fisher: Why we love, why we cheat

0:11 I’d like to talk today about the two biggest social trends in the coming century, and perhaps in the next 10,000 years. But I want to start with my work on romantic love, because that’s my most recent work. What I and my colleagues did was put 32 people, who were madly in love, into a functional MRI brain scanner. 17 who were madly in love and their love was accepted; and 15 who were madly in love and they had just been dumped. And so I want to tell you about that first, and then go on into where I think love is going.

0:47 (Laughter)

0:49 “What ’tis to love?” Shakespeare said. I think our ancestors — I think human beings have been wondering about this question since they sat around their campfires or lay and watched the stars a million years ago. I started out by trying to figure out what romantic love was by looking at the last 45 years of the psychological research and as it turns out, there’s a very specific group of things that happen when you fall in love. The first thing that happens is, a person begins to take on what I call, “special meaning.” As a truck driver once said to me, “The world had a new center, and that center was Mary Anne.”

1:32 George Bernard Shaw said it differently. “Love consists of overestimating the differences between one woman and another.” And indeed, that’s what we do.

1:41 (Laughter)

1:44 And then you just focus on this person. You can list what you don’t like about them, but then you sweep that aside and focus on what you do. As Chaucer said, “Love is blind.”

1:57 In trying to understand romantic love, I decided I would read poetry from all over the world, and I just want to give you one very short poem from eighth-century China, because it’s an almost perfect example of a man who is focused totally on a particular woman. It’s a little bit like when you are madly in love with somebody and you walk into a parking lot — their car is different from every other car in the parking lot. Their wine glass at dinner is different from every other wine glass at the dinner party. And in this case, a man got hooked on a bamboo sleeping mat.

2:30 And it goes like this. It’s by a guy called Yuan Zhen. “I cannot bear to put away the bamboo sleeping mat. The night I brought you home, I watched you roll it out.” He became hooked on a sleeping mat, probably because of elevated activity of dopamine in his brain, just like with you and me.

2:48 But anyway, not only does this person take on special meaning, you focus your attention on them. You aggrandize them. But you have intense energy. As one Polynesian said, “I felt like jumping in the sky.” You’re up all night. You’re walking till dawn. You feel intense elation when things are going well; mood swings into horrible despair when things are going poorly. Real dependence on this person. As one businessman in New York said to me, “Anything she liked, I liked.” Simple. Romantic love is very simple.

3:21 You become extremely sexually possessive. You know, if you’re just sleeping with somebody casually, you don’t really care if they’re sleeping with somebody else. But the moment you fall in love, you become extremely sexually possessive of them. I think there’s a Darwinian purpose to this. The whole point of this is to pull two people together strongly enough to begin to rear babies as a team.

3:44 But the main characteristics of romantic love are craving: an intense craving to be with a particular person, not just sexually, but emotionally. It would be nice to go to bed with them, but you want them to call you on the telephone, to invite you out, etc., to tell you that they love you. The other main characteristic is motivation. The motor in the brain begins to crank, and you want this person.

4:12 And last but not least, it is an obsession. Before I put these people in the MRI machine, I would ask them all kinds of questions. But my most important question was always the same. It was: “What percentage of the day and night do you think about this person?” And indeed, they would say, “All day. All night. I can never stop thinking about him or her.”

4:36 And then, the very last question — I would always have to work myself up to this question, because I’m not a psychologist. I don’t work with people in any kind of traumatic situation. My final question was always the same. I would say, “Would you die for him or her?” And, indeed, these people would say “Yes!” as if I had asked them to pass the salt. I was just staggered by it.

4:58 So we scanned their brains, looking at a photograph of their sweetheart and looking at a neutral photograph, with a distraction task in between. So we could look at the same brain when it was in that heightened state and when it was in a resting state. And we found activity in a lot of brain regions. In fact, one of the most important was a brain region that becomes active when you feel the rush of cocaine. And indeed, that’s exactly what happens.

5:26 I began to realize that romantic love is not an emotion. In fact, I had always thought it was a series of emotions, from very high to very low. But actually, it’s a drive. It comes from the motor of the mind, the wanting part of the mind, the craving part of the mind. The kind of part of the mind when you’re reaching for that piece of chocolate, when you want to win that promotion at work. The motor of the brain. It’s a drive.

5:54 And in fact, I think it’s more powerful than the sex drive. You know, if you ask somebody to go to bed with you, and they say, “No, thank you,” you certainly don’t kill yourself or slip into a clinical depression. But certainly, around the world, people who are rejected in love will kill for it. People live for love. They kill for love. They die for love. They have songs, poems, novels, sculptures, paintings, myths, legends. In over 175 societies, people have left their evidence of this powerful brain system. I have come to think it’s one of the most powerful brain systems on Earth for both great joy and great sorrow.

6:38 And I’ve also come to think that it’s one of three basically different brain systems that evolved from mating and reproduction. One is the sex drive: the craving for sexual gratification. W.H. Auden called it an “intolerable neural itch,” and indeed, that’s what it is. It keeps bothering you a little bit, like being hungry. The second of these three brain systems is romantic love: that elation, obsession of early love. And the third brain system is attachment: that sense of calm and security you can feel for a long-term partner.

7:11 And I think that the sex drive evolved to get you out there, looking for a whole range of partners. You can feel it when you’re just driving along in your car. It can be focused on nobody. I think romantic love evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one individual at a time, thereby conserving mating time and energy. And I think that attachment, the third brain system, evolved to enable you to tolerate this human being at least long enough to raise a child together as a team. So with that preamble, I want to go into discussing the two most profound social trends. One of the last 10,000 years and the other, certainly of the last 25 years, that are going to have an impact on these three different brain systems: lust, romantic love and deep attachment to a partner.

8:05 The first is women working, moving into the workforce. I’ve looked at 130 societies through the demographic yearbooks of the United Nations. Everywhere in the world, 129 out of 130 of them, women are not only moving into the job market — sometimes very, very slowly, but they are moving into the job market — and they are very slowly closing that gap between men and women in terms of economic power, health and education. It’s very slow.

8:37 For every trend on this planet, there’s a counter-trend. We all know of them, but nevertheless — the Arabs say, “The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.” And, indeed, that caravan is moving on. Women are moving back into the job market. And I say back into the job market, because this is not new. For millions of years, on the grasslands of Africa, women commuted to work to gather their vegetables. They came home with 60 to 80 percent of the evening meal. The double income family was the standard. And women were regarded as just as economically, socially and sexually powerful as men. In short, we’re really moving forward to the past.

9:23 Then, women’s worst invention was the plow. With the beginning of plow agriculture, men’s roles became extremely powerful. Women lost their ancient jobs as collectors, but then with the industrial revolution and the post-industrial revolution they’re moving back into the job market. In short, they are acquiring the status that they had a million years ago, 10,000 years ago, 100,000 years ago. We are seeing now one of the most remarkable traditions in the history of the human animal. And it’s going to have an impact.

10:01 I generally give a whole lecture on the impact of women on the business community. I’ll say just a couple of things, and then go on to sex and love. There’s a lot of gender differences; anybody who thinks men and women are alike simply never had a boy and a girl child. I don’t know why they want to think that men and women are alike. There’s much we have in common, but there’s a whole lot that we do not have in common.

10:22 We are — in the words of Ted Hughes, “I think that we are like two feet. We need each other to get ahead.” But we did not evolve to have the same brain. And we’re finding more and more gender differences in the brain. I’ll only just use a couple and then move on to sex and love. One of them is women’s verbal ability. Women can talk.

10:42 Women’s ability to find the right word rapidly, basic articulation goes up in the middle of the menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels peak. But even at menstruation, they’re better than the average man. Women can talk. They’ve been doing it for a million years; words were women’s tools. They held that baby in front of their face, cajoling it, reprimanding it, educating it with words. And, indeed, they’re becoming a very powerful force.

11:08 Even in places like India and Japan, where women are not moving rapidly into the regular job market, they’re moving into journalism. And I think that the television is like the global campfire. We sit around it and it shapes our minds. Almost always, when I’m on TV, the producer who calls me, who negotiates what we’re going to say, is a woman. In fact, Solzhenitsyn once said, “To have a great writer is to have another government.”

11:40 Today 54 percent of people who are writers in America are women. It’s one of many, many characteristics that women have that they will bring into the job market. They’ve got incredible people skills, negotiating skills. They’re highly imaginative. We now know the brain circuitry of imagination, of long-term planning. They tend to be web thinkers. Because the female parts of the brain are better connected, they tend to collect more pieces of data when they think, put them into more complex patterns, see more options and outcomes. They tend to be contextual, holistic thinkers, what I call web thinkers.

12:19 Men tend to — and these are averages — tend to get rid of what they regard as extraneous, focus on what they do, and move in a more step-by-step thinking pattern. They’re both perfectly good ways of thinking. We need both of them to get ahead. In fact, there’s many more male geniuses in the world. And there’s also many more male idiots in the world.

12:42 (Laughter)

12:44 When the male brain works well, it works extremely well. And what I really think that we’re doing is, we’re moving towards a collaborative society, a society in which the talents of both men and women are becoming understood and valued and employed.

13:00 But in fact, women moving into the job market is having a huge impact on sex and romance and family life. Foremost, women are starting to express their sexuality. I’m always astonished when people come to me and say, “Why is it that men are so adulterous?” “Why do you think more men are adulterous than women?” “Well, men are more adulterous!” And I say, “Who do you think these men are sleeping with?”

13:26 (Laughter)

13:27 And — basic math!

13:29 Anyway. In the Western world, women start sooner at sex, have more partners, express less remorse for the partners that they do, marry later, have fewer children, leave bad marriages in order to get good ones. We are seeing the rise of female sexual expression. And, indeed, once again we’re moving forward to the kind of sexual expression that we probably saw on the grasslands of Africa a million years ago, because this is the kind of sexual expression that we see in hunting and gathering societies today.

14:03 We’re also returning to an ancient form of marriage equality. They’re now saying that the 21st century is going to be the century of what they call the “symmetrical marriage,” or the “pure marriage,” or the “companionate marriage.” This is a marriage between equals, moving forward to a pattern that is highly compatible with the ancient human spirit.

14:32 We’re also seeing a rise of romantic love. 91 percent of American women and 86 percent of American men would not marry somebody who had every single quality they were looking for in a partner, if they were not in love with that person. People around the world, in a study of 37 societies, want to be in love with the person that they marry. Indeed, arranged marriages are on their way off this braid of human life.

15:06 I even think that marriages might even become more stable because of the second great world trend. The first one being women moving into the job market, the second one being the aging world population. They’re now saying that in America, that middle age should be regarded as up to age 85. Because in that highest age category of 76 to 85, as much as 40 percent of people have nothing really wrong with them. So we’re seeing there’s a real extension of middle age.

15:37 For one of my books, I looked at divorce data in 58 societies. And as it turns out, the older you get, the less likely you are to divorce. So the divorce rate right now is stable in America, and it’s actually beginning to decline. It may decline some more. I would even say that with Viagra, estrogen replacement, hip replacements and the incredibly interesting women — women have never been as interesting as they are now. Not at any time on this planet have women been so educated, so interesting, so capable. And so I honestly think that if there really was ever a time in human evolution when we have the opportunity to make good marriages, that time is now.

16:27 However, there’s always kinds of complications in this. These three brain systems — lust, romantic love and attachment — don’t always go together. They can go together, by the way. That’s why casual sex isn’t so casual. With orgasm you get a spike of dopamine. Dopamine’s associated with romantic love, and you can just fall in love with somebody who you’re just having casual sex with. With orgasm, then you get a real rush of oxytocin and vasopressin — those are associated with attachment. This is why you can feel such a sense of cosmic union with somebody after you’ve made love to them.

17:00 But these three brain systems: lust, romantic love and attachment, aren’t always connected to each other. You can feel deep attachment to a long-term partner while you feel intense romantic love for somebody else, while you feel the sex drive for people unrelated to these other partners. In short, we’re capable of loving more than one person at a time. In fact, you can lie in bed at night and swing from deep feelings of attachment for one person to deep feelings of romantic love for somebody else. It’s as if there’s a committee meeting going on in your head as you are trying to decide what to do. So I don’t think, honestly, we’re an animal that was built to be happy; we are an animal that was built to reproduce. I think the happiness we find, we make. And I think, however, we can make good relationships with each other.

17:57 So I want to conclude with two things. I want to conclude with a worry, and with a wonderful story. The worry is about antidepressants. Over 100 million prescriptions of antidepressants are written every year in the United States. And these drugs are going generic. They are seeping around the world. I know one girl who’s been on these antidepressants, SSRIs, serotonin-enhancing antidepressants — since she was 13. She’s 23. She’s been on them ever since she was 13.

18:36 I’ve got nothing against people who take them short term, when they’re going through something horrible. They want to commit suicide or kill somebody else. I would recommend it. But more and more people in the United States are taking them long term. And indeed, what these drugs do is raise levels of serotonin. And by raising levels of serotonin, you suppress the dopamine circuit. Everybody knows that. Dopamine is associated with romantic love. Not only do they suppress the dopamine circuit, but they kill the sex drive. And when you kill the sex drive, you kill orgasm. And when you kill orgasm, you kill that flood of drugs associated with attachment. The things are connected in the brain. And when you tamper with one brain system, you’re going to tamper with another. I’m just simply saying that a world without love is a deadly place.

19:35 So now —

19:36 (Applause)

19:41 Thank you.

19:42 I want to end with a story. And then, just a comment. I’ve been studying romantic love and sex and attachment for 30 years. I’m an identical twin; I am interested in why we’re all alike. Why you and I are alike, why the Iraqis and the Japanese and the Australian Aborigines and the people of the Amazon River are all alike. And about a year ago, an Internet dating service,, came to me and asked me if I would design a new dating site for them. I said, “I don’t know anything about personality. You know? I don’t know. Do you think you’ve got the right person?” They said, “Yes.” It got me thinking about why it is that you fall in love with one person rather than another.

20:27 That’s my current project; it will be my next book. There’s all kinds of reasons that you fall in love with one person rather than another. Timing is important. Proximity is important. Mystery is important. You fall in love with somebody who’s somewhat mysterious, in part because mystery elevates dopamine in the brain, probably pushes you over that threshold to fall in love. You fall in love with somebody who fits within what I call your “love map,” an unconscious list of traits that you build in childhood as you grow up. And I also think that you gravitate to certain people, actually, with somewhat complementary brain systems. And that’s what I’m now contributing to this.

21:05 But I want to tell you a story, to illustrate. I’ve been carrying on here about the biology of love. I wanted to show you a little bit about the culture of it, too, the magic of it. It’s a story that was told to me by somebody who had heard it just from one — probably a true story. It was a graduate student — I’m at Rutgers and my two colleagues — Art Aron is at SUNY Stony Brook. That’s where we put our people in the MRI machine.

21:36 And this graduate student was madly in love with another graduate student, and she was not in love with him. And they were all at a conference in Beijing. And he knew from our work that if you go and do something very novel with somebody, you can drive up the dopamine in the brain, and perhaps trigger this brain system for romantic love.

22:00 (Laughter)

22:02 So he decided he’d put science to work. And he invited this girl to go off on a rickshaw ride with him.

22:11 And sure enough — I’ve never been in one, but apparently they go all around the buses and the trucks and it’s crazy and it’s noisy and it’s exciting. He figured that this would drive up the dopamine, and she’d fall in love with him. So off they go and she’s squealing and squeezing him and laughing and having a wonderful time. An hour later they get down off of the rickshaw, and she throws her hands up and she says, “Wasn’t that wonderful?” And, “Wasn’t that rickshaw driver handsome!”

22:43 (Laughter)

22:46 (Applause)

22:53 There’s magic to love!

22:54 (Applause)

22:55 But I will end by saying that millions of years ago, we evolved three basic drives: the sex drive, romantic love and attachment to a long-term partner. These circuits are deeply embedded in the human brain. They’re going to survive as long as our species survives on what Shakespeare called “this mortal coil.”

23:17 Thank you.

23:18 Chris Anderson: Helen Fisher!

23:19 (Applause)

Technology hasn’t changed love. Here’s why

0:11 I was recently traveling in the Highlands of New Guinea, and I was talking with a man who had three wives. I asked him, “How many wives would you like to have?” And there was this long pause, and I thought to myself, “Is he going to say five? Is he going to say 10? Is he going to say 25?” And he leaned towards me and he whispered, “None.”

0:31 (Laughter)

0:34 Eighty-six percent of human societies permit a man to have several wives: polygyny. But in the vast majority of these cultures, only about five or ten percent of men actually do have several wives. Having several partners can be a toothache. In fact, co-wives can fight with each other, sometimes they can even poison each other’s children. And you’ve got to have a lot of cows, a lot of goats, a lot of money, a lot of land, in order to build a harem.

1:02 We are a pair-bonding species. Ninety-seven percent of mammals do not pair up to rear their young; human beings do. I’m not suggesting that we’re not — that we’re necessarily sexually faithful to our partners. I’ve looked at adultery in 42 cultures, I understand, actually, some of the genetics of it, and some of the brain circuitry of it. It’s very common around the world, but we are built to love.

1:26 How is technology changing love? I’m going to say almost not at all. I study the brain. I and my colleagues have put over 100 people into a brain scanner — people who had just fallen happily in love, people who had just been rejected in love and people who are in love long-term. And it is possible to remain “in love” long-term. And I’ve long ago maintained that we’ve evolved three distinctly different brain systems for mating and reproduction: sex drive, feelings of intense romantic love and feelings of deep cosmic attachment to a long-term partner. And together, these three brain systems — with many other parts of the brain — orchestrate our sexual, our romantic and our family lives.

2:13 But they lie way below the cortex, way below the limbic system where we feel our emotions, generate our emotions. They lie in the most primitive parts of the brain, linked with energy, focus, craving, motivation, wanting and drive. In this case, the drive to win life’s greatest prize: a mating partner. They evolved over 4.4 million years ago among our first ancestors, and they’re not going to change if you swipe left or right on Tinder.

2:45 (Laughter)

2:47 (Applause)

2:49 There’s no question that technology is changing the way we court: emailing, texting, emojis to express your emotions, sexting, “liking” a photograph, selfies … We’re seeing new rules and taboos for how to court. But, you know — is this actually dramatically changing love? What about the late 1940s, when the automobile became very popular and we suddenly had rolling bedrooms?

3:20 (Laughter)

3:21 How about the introduction of the birth control pill? Unchained from the great threat of pregnancy and social ruin, women could finally express their primitive and primal sexuality.

3:36 Even dating sites are not changing love. I’m Chief Scientific Advisor to, I’ve been it for 11 years. I keep telling them and they agree with me, that these are not dating sites, they are introducing sites. When you sit down in a bar, in a coffee house, on a park bench, your ancient brain snaps into action like a sleeping cat awakened, and you smile and laugh and listen and parade the way our ancestors did 100,000 years ago. We can give you various people — all the dating sites can — but the only real algorithm is your own human brain. Technology is not going to change that.

4:20 Technology is also not going to change who you choose to love. I study the biology of personality, and I’ve come to believe that we’ve evolved four very broad styles of thinking and behaving, linked with the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems. So I created a questionnaire directly from brain science to measure the degree to which you express the traits — the constellation of traits — linked with each of these four brain systems. I then put that questionnaire on various dating sites in 40 countries. Fourteen million or more people have now taken the questionnaire, and I’ve been able to watch who’s naturally drawn to whom.

5:05 And as it turns out, those who were very expressive of the dopamine system tend to be curious, creative, spontaneous, energetic — I would imagine there’s an awful lot of people like that in this room — they’re drawn to people like themselves. Curious, creative people need people like themselves. People who are very expressive of the serotonin system tend to be traditional, conventional, they follow the rules, they respect authority, they tend to be religious — religiosity is in the serotonin system — and traditional people go for traditional people. In that way, similarity attracts. In the other two cases, opposites attract. People very expressive of the testosterone system tend to be analytical, logical, direct, decisive, and they go for their opposite: they go for somebody who’s high estrogen, somebody who’s got very good verbal skills and people skills, who’s very intuitive and who’s very nurturing and emotionally expressive. We have natural patterns of mate choice. Modern technology is not going to change who we choose to love.

6:08 But technology is producing one modern trend that I find particularly important. It’s associated with the concept of paradox of choice. For millions of years, we lived in little hunting and gathering groups. You didn’t have the opportunity to choose between 1,000 people on a dating site. In fact, I’ve been studying this recently, and I actually think there’s some sort of sweet spot in the brain; I don’t know what it is, but apparently, from reading a lot of the data, we can embrace about five to nine alternatives, and after that, you get into what academics call “cognitive overload,” and you don’t choose any.

6:47 So I’ve come to think that due to this cognitive overload, we’re ushering in a new form of courtship that I call “slow love.” I arrived at this during my work with Every year for the last six years, we’ve done a study called “Singles in America.” We don’t poll the Match population, we poll the American population. We use 5,000-plus people, a representative sample of Americans based on the US census.

7:15 We’ve got data now on over 30,000 people, and every single year, I see some of the same patterns. Every single year when I ask the question, over 50 percent of people have had a one-night stand — not necessarily last year, but in their lives — 50 percent have had a friends with benefits during the course of their lives, and over 50 percent have lived with a person long-term before marrying. Americans think that this is reckless. I have doubted that for a long time; the patterns are too strong. There’s got to be some Darwinian explanation — Not that many people are crazy.

7:52 And I stumbled, then, on a statistic that really came home to me. It was a very interesting academic article in which I found that 67 percent of singles in America today who are living long-term with somebody, have not yet married because they are terrified of divorce. They’re terrified of the social, legal, emotional, economic consequences of divorce. So I came to realize that I don’t think this is recklessness; I think it’s caution. Today’s singles want to know every single thing about a partner before they wed. You learn a lot between the sheets, not only about how somebody makes love, but whether they’re kind, whether they can listen and at my age, whether they’ve got a sense of humor.

8:40 (Laughter)

8:42 And in an age where we have too many choices, we have very little fear of pregnancy and disease and we’ve got no feeling of shame for sex before marriage, I think people are taking their time to love.

8:57 And actually, what’s happening is, what we’re seeing is a real expansion of the precommitment stage before you tie the knot. Where marriage used to be the beginning of a relationship, now it’s the finale. But the human brain —

9:12 (Laughter)

9:14 The human brain always triumphs, and indeed, in the United States today, 86 percent of Americans will marry by age 49. And even in cultures around the world where they’re not marrying as often, they are settling down eventually with a long-term partner.

9:28 So it began to occur to me: during this long extension of the precommitment stage, if you can get rid of bad relationships before you marry, maybe we’re going to see more happy marriages. So I did a study of 1,100 married people in America — not on, of course — and I asked them a lot of questions. But one of the questions was, “Would you re-marry the person you’re currently married to?” And 81 percent said, “Yes.”

9:59 In fact, the greatest change in modern romance and family life is not technology. It’s not even slow love. It’s actually women piling into the job market in cultures around the world. For millions of years, our ancestors lived in little hunting and gathering groups. Women commuted to work to gather their fruits and vegetables. They came home with 60 to 80 percent of the evening meal. The double-income family was the rule. And women were regarded as just as economically, socially and sexually powerful as men.

10:35 Then the environment changed some 10,000 years ago, we began to settle down on the farm and both men and women became obliged, really, to marry the right person, from the right background, from the right religion and from the right kin and social and political connections. Men’s jobs became more important: they had to move the rocks, fell the trees, plow the land. They brought the produce to local markets, and came home with the equivalent of money.

11:00 Along with this, we see a rise of a host of beliefs: the belief of virginity at marriage, arranged marriages — strictly arranged marriages — the belief that the man is the head of the household, that the wife’s place is in the home and most important, honor thy husband, and ’til death do us part. These are gone. They are going, and in many places, they are gone.

11:25 We are right now in a marriage revolution. We are shedding 10,000 years of our farming tradition and moving forward towards egalitarian relationships between the sexes — something I regard as highly compatible with the ancient human spirit.

11:44 I’m not a Pollyanna; there’s a great deal to cry about. I’ve studied divorce in 80 cultures, I’ve studied, as I say, adultery in many — there’s a whole pile of problems. As William Butler Yeats, the poet, once said, “Love is the crooked thing.” I would add, “Nobody gets out alive.”

12:02 (Laughter)

12:04 We all have problems. But in fact, I think the poet Randall Jarrell really sums it up best. He said, “The dark, uneasy world of family life — where the greatest can fail, and the humblest succeed.”

12:19 But I will leave you with this: love and attachment will prevail, technology cannot change it. And I will conclude by saying any understanding of human relationships must take into account one the most powerful determinants of human behavior: the unquenchable, adaptable and primordial human drive to love.

12:44 Thank you.

12:45 (Applause)

12:50 Kelly Stoetzel: Thank you so much for that, Helen. As you know, there’s another speaker here with us that works in your same field. She comes at it from a different perspective. Esther Perel is a psychotherapist who works with couples. You study data, Esther studies the stories the couples tell her when they come to her for help. Let’s have her join us on the stage. Esther?

13:13 (Applause)

13:21 So Esther, when you were watching Helen’s talk, was there any part of it that resonated with you through the lens of your own work that you’d like to comment on?

13:31 Esther Perel: It’s interesting, because on the one hand, the need for love is ubiquitous and universal. But the way we love — the meaning we make out of it — the rules that govern our relationships, I think, are changing fundamentally.

13:46 We come from a model that, until now, was primarily regulated around duty and obligation, the needs of the collective and loyalty. And we have shifted it to a model of free choice and individual rights, and self-fulfillment and happiness. And so, that was the first thing I thought, that the need doesn’t change, but the context and the way we regulate these relationships changes a lot.

14:13 On the paradox of choice — you know, on the one hand we relish the novelty and the playfulness, I think, to be able to have so many options. And at the same time, as you talk about this cognitive overload, I see many, many people who … who dread the uncertainty and self-doubt that comes with this massa of choice, creating a case of “FOMO” and then leading us — FOMO, fear of missed opportunity, or fear of missing out — it’s like, “How do I know I have found ‘the one’ — the right one?”

14:51 So we’ve created what I call this thing of “stable ambiguity.” Stable ambiguity is when you are too afraid to be alone but also not really willing to engage in intimacy-building. It’s a set of tactics that kind of prolong the uncertainty of a relationship but also the uncertainty of the breakup. So, here on the internet you have three major ones. One is icing and simmering, which are great stalling tactics that offer a kind of holding pattern that emphasizes the undefined nature of a relationship but at the same time gives you enough of a comforting consistency and enough freedom of the undefined boundaries.

15:32 (Laughter)

15:35 Yeah?

15:36 And then comes ghosting. And ghosting is, basically, you disappear from this massa of texts on the spot, and you don’t have to deal with the pain that you inflict on another, because you’re making it invisible even to yourself.

15:50 (Laughter)

15:52 Yeah?

15:53 So I was thinking — these words came up for me as I was listening to you, like how a vocabulary also creates a reality, and at the same time, that’s my question to you: Do you think when the context changes, it still means that the nature of love remains the same?

16:13 You study the brain and I study people’s relationships and stories, so I think it’s everything you say, plus. But I don’t always know the degree to which a changing context … Does it at some point begin to change — If the meaning changes, does it change the need, or is the need clear of the entire context?

16:34 HF: Wow! Well —

16:36 (Laughter)

16:38 (Applause)

16:41 Well, I’ve got three points here, right? First of all, to your first one: there’s no question that we’ve changed, that we now want a person to love, and for thousands of years, we had to marry the right person from the right background and right connection. And in fact, in my studies of 5,000 people every year, I ask them, “What are you looking for?” And every single year, over 97 percent say —

17:04 EP: The list grows —

17:05 HF: Well, no. The basic thing is over 97 percent of people want somebody that respects them, somebody they can trust and confide in, somebody who makes them laugh, somebody who makes enough time for them and somebody who they find physically attractive. That never changes. And there’s certainly — you know, there’s two parts —

17:26 EP: But you know how I call that? That’s not what people used to say —

17:30 HF: That’s exactly right.

17:32 EP: They said they wanted somebody with whom they have companionship, economic support, children. We went from a production economy to a service economy.

17:39 (Laughter)

17:40 We did it in the larger culture, and we’re doing it in marriage.

17:43 HF: Right, no question about it. But it’s interesting, the millennials actually want to be very good parents, whereas the generation above them wants to have a very fine marriage but is not as focused on being a good parent. You see all of these nuances.

17:57 There’s two basic parts of personality: there’s your culture — everything you grew up to do and believe and say — and there’s your temperament. Basically, what I’ve been talking about is your temperament. And that temperament is certainly going to change with changing times and changing beliefs.

18:12 And in terms of the paradox of choice, there’s no question about it that this is a pickle. There were millions of years where you found that sweet boy at the other side of the water hole, and you went for it.

18:24 EP: Yes, but you —

18:25 HF: I do want to say one more thing. The bottom line is, in hunting and gathering societies, they tended to have two or three partners during the course of their lives. They weren’t square! And I’m not suggesting that we do, but the bottom line is, we’ve always had alternatives. Mankind is always — in fact, the brain is well-built to what we call “equilibrate,” to try and decide: Do I come, do I stay? Do I go, do I stay? What are the opportunities here? How do I handle this there? And so I think we’re seeing another play-out of that now.

18:55 KS: Well, thank you both so much. I think you’re going to have a million dinner partners for tonight!

18:59 (Applause)

19:01 Thank you, thank you.


How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting

0:11 You know, I didn’t set out to be a parenting expert. In fact, I’m not very interested in parenting, per Se. It’s just that there’s a certain style of parenting these days that is kind of messing up kids, impeding their chances to develop into theirselves. There’s a certain style of parenting these days that’s getting in the way.

0:35 I guess what I’m saying is, we spend a lot of time being very concerned about parents who aren’t involved enough in the lives of their kids and their education or their upbringing, and rightly so. But at the other end of the spectrum, there’s a lot of harm going on there as well, where parents feel a kid can’t be successful unless the parent is protecting and preventing at every turn and hovering over every happening, and micromanaging every moment, and steering their kid towards some small subset of colleges and careers.

1:09 When we raise kids this way, and I’ll say we, because Lord knows, in raising my two teenagers, I’ve had these tendencies myself, our kids end up leading a kind of checklisted childhood.

1:24 And here’s what the checklisted childhood looks like. We keep them safe and sound and fed and watered, and then we want to be sure they go to the right schools, that they’re in the right classes at the right schools, and that they get the right grades in the right classes in the right schools. But not just the grades, the scores, and not just the grades and scores, but the accolades and the awards and the sports, the activities, the leadership. We tell our kids, don’t just join a club, start a club, because colleges want to see that. And check the box for community service. I mean, show the colleges you care about others.

1:57 (Laughter)

1:59 And all of this is done to some hoped-for degree of perfection. We expect our kids to perform at a level of perfection we were never asked to perform at ourselves, and so because so much is required, we think, well then, of course we parents have to argue with every teacher and principal and coach and referee and act like our kid’s concierge and personal handler and secretary.

2:26 And then with our kids, our precious kids, we spend so much time nudging, cajoling, hinting, helping, haggling, nagging as the case may be, to be sure they’re not screwing up, not closing doors, not ruining their future, some hoped-for admission to a tiny handful of colleges that deny almost every applicant.

2:53 And here’s what it feels like to be a kid in this checklisted childhood. First of all, there’s no time for free play. There’s no room in the afternoons, because everything has to be enriching, we think. It’s as if every piece of homework, every quiz, every activity is a make-or-break moment for this future we have in mind for them, and we absolve them of helping out around the house, and we even absolve them of getting enough sleep as long as they’re checking off the items on their checklist. And in the checklisted childhood, we say we just want them to be happy, but when they come home from school, what we ask about all too often first is their homework and their grades. And they see in our faces that our approval, that our love, that their very worth, comes from A’s. And then we walk alongside them and offer clucking praise like a trainer at the Westminster Dog Show —

3:53 (Laughter)

3:54 coaxing them to just jump a little higher and soar a little farther, day after day after day. And when they get to high school, they don’t say, “Well, what might I be interested in studying or doing as an activity?” They go to counselors and they say, “What do I need to do to get into the right college?” And then, when the grades start to roll in in high school, and they’re getting some B’s, or God forbid some C’s, they frantically text their friends and say, “Has anyone ever gotten into the right college with these grades?”

4:28 And our kids, regardless of where they end up at the end of high school, they’re breathless. They’re brittle. They’re a little burned out. They’re a little old before their time, wishing the grown-ups in their lives had said, “What you’ve done is enough, this effort you’ve put forth in childhood is enough.” And they’re withering now under high rates of anxiety and depression and some of them are wondering, will this life ever turn out to have been worth it?

5:00 Well, we parents, we parents are pretty sure it’s all worth it. We seem to behave — it’s like we literally think they will have no future if they don’t get into one of these tiny set of colleges or careers we have in mind for them.

5:16 Or maybe, maybe, we’re just afraid they won’t have a future we can brag about to our friends and with stickers on the backs of our cars. Yeah.

5:29 (Applause)

5:35 But if you look at what we’ve done, if you have the courage to really look at it, you’ll see that not only do our kids think their worth comes from grades and scores, but that when we live right up inside their precious developing minds all the time, like our very own version of the movie “Being John Malkovich,” we send our children the message: “Hey kid, I don’t think you can actually achieve any of this without me.” And so with our overhelp, our overprotection and overdirection and hand-holding, we deprive our kids of the chance to build self-efficacy, which is a really fundamental tenet of the human psyche, far more important than that self-esteem they get every time we applaud. Self-efficacy is built when one sees that one’s own actions lead to outcomes, not — There you go.

6:28 (Applause)

6:32 Not one’s parents’ actions on one’s behalf, but when one’s own actions lead to outcomes. So simply put, if our children are to develop self-efficacy, and they must, then they have to do a whole lot more of the thinking, planning, deciding, doing, hoping, coping, trial and error, dreaming and experiencing of life for themselves.

7:00 Now, am I saying every kid is hard-working and motivated and doesn’t need a parent’s involvement or interest in their lives, and we should just back off and let go? Hell no.

7:12 (Laughter)

7:13 That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, when we treat grades and scores and accolades and awards as the purpose of childhood, all in furtherance of some hoped-for admission to a tiny number of colleges or entrance to a small number of careers, that that’s too narrow a definition of success for our kids. And even though we might help them achieve some short-term wins by overhelping — like they get a better grade if we help them do their homework, they might end up with a longer childhood résumé when we help — what I’m saying is that all of this comes at a long-term cost to their sense of self. What I’m saying is, we should be less concerned with the specific set of colleges they might be able to apply to or might get into and far more concerned that they have the habits, the mindset, the skill set, the wellness, to be successful wherever they go. What I’m saying is, our kids need us to be a little less obsessed with grades and scores and a whole lot more interested in childhood providing a foundation for their success built on things like love and chores.

8:27 (Laughter)

8:29 (Applause)

8:34 Did I just say chores? Did I just say chores? I really did. But really, here’s why. The longest longitudinal study of humans ever conducted is called the Harvard Grant Study. It found that professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids, that professional success in life comes from having done chores as a kid, and the earlier you started, the better, that a roll-up-your-sleeves- and-pitch-in mindset, a mindset that says, there’s some unpleasant work, someone’s got to do it, it might as well be me, a mindset that says, I will contribute my effort to the betterment of the whole, that that’s what gets you ahead in the workplace. Now, we all know this. You know this.

9:16 (Applause)

9:19 We all know this, and yet, in the checklisted childhood, we absolve our kids of doing the work of chores around the house, and then they end up as young adults in the workplace still waiting for a checklist, but it doesn’t exist, and more importantly, lacking the impulse, the instinct to roll up their sleeves and pitch in and look around and wonder, how can I be useful to my colleagues? How can I anticipate a few steps ahead to what my boss might need?

9:47 A second very important finding from the Harvard Grant Study said that happiness in life comes from love, not love of work, love of humans: our spouse, our partner, our friends, our family. So childhood needs to teach our kids how to love, and they can’t love others if they don’t first love themselves, and they won’t love themselves if we can’t offer them unconditional love.

10:16 (Applause)

10:20 Right. And so, instead of being obsessed with grades and scores when our precious offspring come home from school, or we come home from work, we need to close our technology, put away our phones, and look them in the eye and let them see the joy that fills our faces when we see our child for the first time in a few hours. And then we have to say, “How was your day? What did you like about today?” And when your teenage daughter says, “Lunch,” like mine did, and I want to hear about the math test, not lunch, you have to still take an interest in lunch. You gotta say, “What was great about lunch today?” They need to know they matter to us as humans, not because of their GPA.

11:10 All right, so you’re thinking, chores and love, that sounds all well and good, but give me a break. The colleges want to see top scores and grades and accolades and awards, and I’m going to tell you, sort of. The very biggest brand-name schools are asking that of our young adults, but here’s the good news. Contrary to what the college rankings racket would have us believe —

11:37 (Applause)

11:43 you don’t have to go to one of the biggest brand name schools to be happy and successful in life. Happy and successful people went to state school, went to a small college no one has heard of, went to community college, went to a college over here and flunked out.

11:57 (Applause)

12:04 The evidence is in this room, is in our communities, that this is the truth. And if we could widen our blinders and be willing to look at a few more colleges, maybe remove our own egos from the equation, we could accept and embrace this truth and then realize, it is hardly the end of the world if our kids don’t go to one of those big brand-name schools. And more importantly, if their childhood has not been lived according to a tyrannical checklist then when they get to college, whichever one it is, well, they’ll have gone there on their own volition, fueled by their own desire, capable and ready to thrive there.

12:48 I have to admit something to you. I’ve got two kids I mentioned, Sawyer and Avery. They’re teenagers. And once upon a time, I think I was treating my Sawyer and Avery like little bonsai trees —

13:01 (Laughter)

13:04 that I was going to carefully clip and prune and shape into some perfect form of a human that might just be perfect enough to warrant them admission to one of the most highly selective colleges. But I’ve come to realize, after working with thousands of other people’s kids —

13:22 (Laughter)

13:25 and raising two kids of my own, my kids aren’t bonsai trees. They’re wildflowers of an unknown genus and species —

13:38 (Laughter)

13:40 and it’s my job to provide a nourishing environment, to strengthen them through chores and to love them so they can love others and receive love and the college, the major, the career, that’s up to them. My job is not to make them become what I would have them become, but to support them in becoming their glorious selves.

14:06 Thank you.

14:07 (Applause)