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.
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.
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.
Full text taken from the US government transcript site.
the meaning of Article VI.
This article is about the Constitution and how it is considered the highest law in the country. It requires all government officials whether they are federal or state swear to follow the constitution and support it word and action. Don't forget to check out the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers as well as James Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention if you want to understand what the founding fathers were so worried about. Every official of the government and every judge technically has a duty to follow and support the Constitution. They are not supposed to pass any laws or judgements that violat the rules of the US Cconstitution.
The first thing the Founders needed to do here was to agree to take responsibility for the debt of the Confederation. Just because they were technically starting a new country didn't mean they could just ignore the responsibilities of the old one. During the Revolutionary War the government sold a large number of bonds (a type of investment used to raise money for government projects). Those bonds were sold to the citizens of the United States and had to be paid back. If they started the new government wihtout a promise to cover the debt of the older one none of the citizens would have been very happy.
Next this article states that the Constitution and any treaties the government enters into are the "supreme law of the land." That is a way of saying the Constitution is supposed to be considered more important than any other laws. What does that mean? I'm glad you asked! It means if there is a legal issue to which a state law and a federal law both could apply, and there is a conflict between the two laws, in most cases the federal law is going to be the law used.
The Constitution is considered such an important document (especially to our founding fathers) that they agreed to add into this section of the document a reminder to future elected politicians. Every state & federal government official elected to office or appointed to a position as a justice (a judge) is required to swear an oath to support the US Constitution. That means they are not supposed to pass any bill or take any action that they know would violate the rules set out for them in the US Constitution. The final bit of this article states that it is not allowed to use a test of someone's religion to give them an office to fulfill or deny them the job in government.
How many times are you going to fall for this?...this Article only has one section!