The Constitution of Spensonia

Spence's token 'Heart in Hand'

The Constitution of Spensonia is a reworking of the Constitution of a Perfect Commonwealth. Like that work, it combines the French constitution of 1793 with Spence's Plan. This version simplifies and clarifies some parts of the earlier work — such as the rights of women and their limits (clause 5b) —

Female Citizens have the same right of suffrage in their respective parishes as the men; because they have equal property in the country, and are equally subject to the laws, and, indeed, they are in every respect, as well on their own account, as on account of their children, as deeply, and in fact more interested in every public transaction. But in consideration of the delicacy of their sex, they are exempted from, and ineligible to, all public employments.

and greatly expands others. There is now far more detail on the workings of the parish administration, on the county level between parish and national government, and on the voting system. The national government, taxation, armed forces, and legal systems are mostly left as before, largely unchanged from the French constitution, though the Republic has now become a Commonwealth. Finally, two whole new sections are added: one giving independence to all current and future colonies:

"All the colonies be they small or great that now belong to Spensonia, or shall be hereafter established by her, are declared independent states"

and one reorganizing the working week, with three working days followed by a market day and a day of rest. This clause (155) is the only addition made to the constitution between the 1803 and final 1807 editions.

The Constitution of Spensonia had four editions, two before 1801, one in 1803, and a final 1807 edition. The version here is the 1807 edition, with the Epilogue from the 1803 edition appended.

Spence produced broadsheets advertising the work, which also went through multiple editions. The titles and contents of these varied slightly, with a medicinal flavour: generally A Receipt to Make a Millenium or Happy World or Something to the Purpose,