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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Underlying principles of the federal government were either endorsed or scored yesterday as 50 students met in Phillips Brooks House and Sever Hall in the first Model Constitutional Convention which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the original convention.
Committees met again last night and these meetings will be followed by an all day session today. Yesterday H. VanBuren Cleveland '38 acted as chairman of the convention which adopted four major propositions of constitutional government.
A definition of the Constitution was drafted by the Committee on Constitutional Philosophy under William N. Chambers '39. It reads, "This Constitution shall be a regularized delegation and limitation of authority from the sovereign people to its governments."
The federal system receives an endorsement from the members of the convention in preference to a motion that the body go on record as favoring a unitary system of government. It was resolved that the federal system was 'more in keeping with the spirit and political philosophy of the American people." Discussion today, however, will decide whether the federal system should be composed of the present 48 states or whether a smaller number of administrative units might not be possible.
A third resolution rejected the independent separation of the three federal powers of legislation, administration, and adjudication. It may be resolved today that there be a separation of powers but that separation may be under a single board.
A fourth resolution recast the amending process making a simple majority vote sufficient to change the constitution. There were four provisions in the fourth resolution providing that the new constitution could be adopted by a majority, amended by a majority, that the government set up under it could be reformed, altered, or abolished by a majority, and that amendments will be submitted for referendum of the people by the President
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