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Italics which appear in many published copies of the U.S. Constitution, and particularly in history and civics textbooks, are usually intended to point out provisions of the document which are no longer in force - which in one way or another have expired. For example, Article 1, Section 2 Paragraph 3, begins with "Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned …etc." In many copies, "…and direct taxes…" is italicized because those words no longer apply. In 1913, the 16th Amendment changed the taxation procedure. Before that, everyone was taxed by the same percentages. By the 20th century, however, it was recognized that people with more wealth, could afford higher taxes and had more property that the government was bound to protect, could be and should be taxed at a higher rate (today we know this as income tax).

That very same paragraph (1,2,3) has two other italicized portions, one dealing with slavery (I will address that in Question 2) and the other, in the final part of the paragraph, talks about how many members of the US House of Representatives each state may select: it begins " …until such enumeration shall be made …" and ends with … "and Georgia 3." That entire passage should be italicized because it no longer applies.

By my count, there are 23 places in the US Constitution that are italicized, blue-lined, or in some other way identified as no longer operative. It is interesting to note that 11 of the 12 articles of James Madison's United States Bill of Rights - the first 10 Amendments and the 27th Amendment - were eventually added to the Constitution (although it took 201 years!); the remaining amendment dealt with apportionment of representatives and is outmoded. Although the Constitution continues to prescribe sanctions for persons who commit acts of insurrection or rebellion against the US, that prescription has not been applied, or even formally considered, since our Civil War.

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12y ago
  • It indicates that those parts in the constitution are no longer in effect due to the passage or changes made by the amendments.
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Q: Why have certain phrases or sections been italicized in the constitution?
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Continue Learning about American Government

How many questions are in the constitution?

There are no phrases in the Constitution that are posed as questions.


In 1788 and 1789 a major controversy between the federalist and the anti federalist focused on?

division of power among different levels of government


What is the phrases of arrangements involving many parties?

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What are the qualities of a good written constitution?

A good written constitution must possess three characteristics: brief, broad, and definite.Brief: since its outlines the objectives of the state not on a limited scope but in a measurable extent. It is a written instrument that should not contain many details in form.Broad: in its extent with the purpose of outlining the framework of the organization of the state. A declaration of domains and functions of the government, and the interrelationships between those in power and the governed, necessitates an extensive or broad document.Definite: The possible inclusion of vague or unclear words or phrases having two or more possible meanings may cause conflict of interpretation.Answered by: JB aka HL


Not including the amendments how does the constitution deal with the issue of slavery?

Found this: "Originally, the Framers were very careful about avoiding the words "slave" and "slavery" in the text of the Constitution. Instead, they used phrases like "importation of Persons" at Article 1, Section 9 for the slave trade, and "other persons" at Article 1, Section 2 for slaves. Not until the 13th Amendment was slavery mentioned specifically in the Constitution. There the term was used to ensure that there was to be no ambiguity as what exactly the words were eliminating. In the 14th Amendment, the euphemism "other persons" (and the three-fifths value given a slave) was eliminated. The Slavery Topic Page has a lot more detail." From here: http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html#slavery

Related questions

Why have certain phrases or sections be italicized?

We have certain phrases or sections italicized in the Constitution because it indicates thtat these parts are no longer in effect due to the passage of time or changes made by the Amendments.


Why have certain phrases and sections in the constitution been italicized?

it indicates that these parts are no longer in effect due to the passage of time or changes made to the Amendments :)


How many questions are in the constitution?

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Do you italicize titles of nobility from another language?

Yes, titles of nobility from another language should be italicized to indicate that they are foreign words or phrases. For example, "Duke" in English should be italicized when referred to in a text primarily written in another language like French or Spanish.


What are amendments?

apex question : alterations to the constitution of a nation or a state . the u.s constitution has been amended 27 times


How would you describe Faulkners style Can you identify the point of view used in the story Why are some sentences italicized?

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This is a question about the forms of quizzes and tests. Typically they will ask about a word, such as an adverb, that is shown in italics (italicized). This just means that it is shown in letters like this.


Why is Google translation so funny?

It is because Google Translation doesn't understand the meaning of the sentence, it can only translate word for word and certain phrases for certain phrases but it lacks the understanding of purpose and meaning of a sentence.


What does italicize look like?

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What does meaning of time phrases?

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Why have certain phrases or sections been italicizes?

it indicates that those parts in the constitution are no longer in effect due to the passage or changes made by the amendments. ;-D