This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
AS A BASIS of action in the government of an association of people, who propose to hold regular and frequent meetings, it becomes necessary to make a specific agreement by such association of the course of action they will pursue, and the rules by which they shall be governed in their deliberations. This agreement is termed a "Constitution."
In its preparation, care should be taken, while making it sufficiently explicit, to have the document as concise, clear and distinct as possible.
In the adoption of a constitution by an assembly, it is usually customary to consider it section by section. After it has been accepted, the secretary should make record of the constitution in a blank-book suitable for the purpose. This should be signed by the members of the society, who consent to accept of the same as their fundamental rule of action.
When it is desired to add matter more clearly defining certain articles of the Constitution, such explanatory notes are termed 'By-Laws." When the Constitution is quite explicit, for most associations by-laws are unnecessary. If it is desirable, however, to be very minute in explanation, that members of an association may fully understand their rights and duties, by-laws are sometimes quite essential. When added, they should follow immediately after the Constitution.
Explanatory words giving the character of each article in the Constitution, may be placed above, or at the left side of the article, as shown in the following forms.