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now before it the Plan of Reform which, on the 17th of August, it ratified by means of Treaties for the Union of Cundinamarca; and considering:

1st. That this Union, so much desired by the true lovers of liberty, and for the sake of which the Provinces, and, in their name, the Congress have spared no persuasions, concessions, or sacrifices, having been unfortunately frustrated, much to the gratification of those Enemies who have laboured so strenuously against it; that every effort notwithstanding, nay, even on this very account, should be made to carry into effect the Reform as far as regards the other Provinces, whose resources for establishing and maintaining their Government upon the footing they desire, although not increased by that occurrence, are certainly not annihilated, or wholly insufficient in consequence;

2dly. That for this object, and in order to assimilate the beforementioned Plan to the state of separation in which the said Provinces remain, it will be expedient to annul, as inconvenient, the Articles relative to the Union of Cundinamarca, and which either contemplate or involve its interests and wishes, excited to the highest degree by the spirit of zeal with which the Negotiation was conducted on the part of the Congress;

3dly. That the Reform, thus curtailed of these considerations, far from weakening or impairing the General Act of Federation, becomes a means of securing its accomplishment, by imparting to it that consistency, and that promptitude of action, which, by concentrating the exertions and efforts of those who obey, opens a field for the genius, activity, and energies of those who command;

4thly. That in this view of the subject, the said Reform is not only conformable to the wishes manifested by the Provinces in their Official Communications, but is based upon the Stipulations or Renunciations made in the Federal Act itself, and upon the original object of their Association;

5thly and Lastly, That, influenced by these reasonings, and consi dering that, in the dangerous circumstances under which the Country imperiously requires the augmentation of its resources, and their most immediate and vigorous application, in order to effect its salvation, the Congress, availing itself of the authority entrusted to it by the said Provinces, ought to present them with a focus for the concentration of their wishes and efforts, and conduct them through the road pointed out to it by experience, and by an acquaintance with their political interests;

Decrees the above-mentioned Reform, as contained in the Articles following:

CHAPTER I. Of the Deliberative Body.

I. Considering that the majority of the United Provinces have given Special Instructions for this Reform, and that Article LXXV of the Act of Federation authorizes the adoption of the necessary measures thereto : no provision whatsoever of the said Act shall be interpreted against those which are now proposed.

II. Experience having shown the irreparable injury inflicted upon the general defence by the want of unity of action, as well as the absolute necessity of reducing to the least possible amount the list of Civil Expenses, it is hereby resolved that the branches of Revenue and of War shall be solely and exclusively subject to the General Government.

III. The Deliberative Body shall be composed, as heretofore, of 2 Deputies for each of the United Provinces; but the small Provinces of Cazanare, Neiva, and Choko (Novita and Citará included), shall each nominate 1 Deputy only.

IV. The Provinces which have 2 Deputies in the Congress shall renew them annually.

V. In addition to the Powers bestowed by the Federative Act upon the Deliberative Body, it shall also be invested with absolute powers, so far as concerns the legislative part of the branches of Revenue and War; and it may consequently form a National Treasury by the imposition of every kind of Contribution it may think fit, although the same must be duly and equably proportioned, according to the resources and capabilities of the different Provinces. It may also organize the system of Revenue, making such reforms and regulations as may be required. It shall devise, grant, raise and levy such Taxes as it may consider most fit and efficacious for meeting the expenses of the War, with the least possible burden to the People.

VI. One of the chief duties of the Deliberative Body, is that of proceeding with the utmost expedition to effect the Union of New Granada and Venezuela, and to prepare the means by which, at the conclusion of the War, or earlier, should the urgency of circumstances require it, the Grand Convention may be rendered effective; and this Reform is to be understood as provisional until that event.

VII. This Great Convention shall have for its object, the deliberating upon and confirming the Government which it may consider to be the best adapted to our present circumstances and position; the enacting the Constitution which shall direct the measures of the said Government; the securing the liberty of the People; and the defining the limits of the Provinces; consulting in this latter measure the general welfare of all, and the most easy administration and internal policy of each People composing the Union.

VIII. The Deliberative Body shall lay down the rule to be followed by the Executive Power in the acquisition by it of all the powers and

attributes inherent in it, as well as those extraordinary powers which present circumstances require that it should be invested with, in order that it may possess more energy and vigour; it being empowered, in all urgent cases, and without any restriction, to act as it may deem necessary for the salvation of the State; but upon such crisis being past, the said Executive Power must answer for its measures by means of the Report required to be rendered in by all public Functionaries: in no case, however, and for no reason, shall, the said Executive Power be reduced to the condition of a simple Minister of the Deliberative Body.

IX. The Executive Power shall nominate and appoint the Secretaries who may be required for the proper discharge of the duties of the said Office, and shall fix the salaries to be received by the said Functionaries.

CHAPTER II. Of the Executive Power.

X. The Deliberative Body shall elect, from within or from without their number, 3 Persons, in whom shall reside conjointly and indivisibly (de mancomun e insolidum) the Executive Power of the Union: these 3 Individuals shall be chosen from among those Deputies who are renewed annually, being appointed originally by lot, and subsequently by seniority.

XI. The Executive Power, to whom is entrusted the charge of the General Government, is an Office incompatible with the power of voting in the Congress, and also with the Office of Judge of the High Court of Justice, or of any of the other Local Courts, so that the case can never occur of these Situations being held simultaneously; and in the event of any Deputy of the Deliberative Body being elected for the Executive Power, he shall, by that very act, cease to be a Representative, and the Province for which he sat shall nominate another in his place.

XII. The Presidency of the Executive Power shall alternate every 4 months among its Members, and he who exercises it shall, for the time being, have the title of "President of the United Provinces of New Granada.”

XIII. A Journal shall be kept, in which the Members of the Executive, who shall have made Protests against certain Measures, may enter them, in order to vindicate their responsibility.

XIV. During the illness, or temporary absence, of a Member of the Executive Government, the Deliberative Body shall appoint I of the Secretaries to act as the Substitute, or locum tenens, of the said Member; and he shall be associated with the other 2, his own functions as Secretary being performed by the Chief Clerk, or by another of the Secretaries; but in case of death, or any other permanent deprivation, a new election shall take place.

XV. The Political, Civil, and Military Government or Administration of the United Provinces, with the exception of whatever is connected with the Legislative or Judicial Branches, belongs to the Executive Power of the Union. Its paramount and most sacred duty is the defence of the Country when threatened.

CHAPTER III. Of the Judicial Power.

XVI. The Executive Power, with the previous approval and consent of the Deliberative Body, shall nominate and appoint the Individuals who are to compose the High Court of Justice: this Court shall take cognizance of all the Suits and other matters referred to it by the Act of Federation, and also the last Appeal in all cases of Revenue. The said Individuals shall be renewed every year by 1-third part, in the first instance by lot, and afterwards by seniority.

XVII. The Deliberative Body shall create such other Courts as it may deem to be necessary in consequence of this Reform; always observing, however, with regard thereto the strictest economy.

CHAPTER IV. Of the Government of the Provinces.

XVIII. There shall be in each Province a Governor, named and appointed by the Electoral College, which Body shall fix the time for the duration of his Office: he shall receive a moderate Salary; and in the War and Revenue Departments, he shall be dependent upon the Executive Power, or General Government; to which he is responsible for his conduct.

XIX. He shall execute their orders with the most scrupulous fidelity, more especially such as relate to the common defence.

CHAPTER V. Of the Provincial Legislatures.

XX. The Branches of Revenue and War being concentrated in the Deliberative Body, or General Government, and it being neither possible nor convenient to reform, at the present moment, our Civil and Criminal Legislation, it follows that the Funds which are employed upon these Legislatures are superfluous, and the Reform, so far as regards them, in a great measure inoperative: such Provinces, however, as desire so to do, may, notwithstanding, still preserve the said Legislatures, provided the Members thereof serve gratuitously, in which case their duties may be the following, or similar ones: to report to the Executive Power of the Union, the abuses in the administration of the Public Revenue which may come to their knowledge, and to suggest the reforms and improvements which they consider necessary; to promote the establishment of Corporate Bodies in those Populations where the Elections are required to be made within the year, and other objects connected with the internal administration of the Provinces.


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CHAPTER VI. Of the Judicial Power of the Provinces.

XXI. In order that the Provinces may continue in the enjoyment of the advantages of their internal Government, in all matters connected with the administration of justice, without any prejudice to that system of economy so necessary under our present circumstances, the Electoral Colleges shall appoint the Members who are to compose the Courts of Justice, which must be as few in number as possible. These shall take cognizance, in the last resort, of all the Suits or Causes which are not within the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Federation, as well as of those which the latter may refer to their judgment or decision.

XXII. Although the Provinces have, each of them separately, means sufficient to establish these Courts, they will, especially such as are conterminous, render a great service to their Country, by forming one only for the decision of their Causes.

XXIII. At the time of the nomination of the Governors by the Electoral Colleges, they shall also appoint a Lieutenant, who shall be of the Legal Profession: this Functionary shall supply the place of the Governor in case of his absence from any cause, and shall officiate as Chief Judge, in the first resort, in all Suits relating to the Government, Revenue, and Police.

XXIV. The Electoral Colleges shall prescribe the mode and form by which the Functionaries shall be made accountable for their public conduct.

XXV. For the Salaries of these Functionaries the Deliberative Body shall assign to each Province a small contingent.

XXVI. Let the above Provisions be communicated to the Provinces for the direction and government of the present Colleges: they must, however, be carried into immediate execution as a matter of urgency, conformably to the LXXVth Article of the Federative Act; for which purpose, as well as for that of having the Provisional Seal of the Congress attached to them, let them be passed to the Federal Executive Power.

Given in Tunja, signed by the Deputies, Vice-President, and other Members, in due order, and countersigned by the Secretary of Congress, on the 23rd September, 1814.

By the Congress :

JOSÉ FERNANDez de Madrid, Vice President;



To the Federal Executive Power.

Tunja, 23rd September, 1814.

Let the above be executed.


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