Constitution of the United States

  • constitution of the united states
    constitution of the united states, page 1.jpg
    page one of the original copy of the constitution
    jurisdictionunited states of america
    createdseptember 17, 1787
    presentedseptember 28, 1787
    ratifiedjune 21, 1788
    date effectivemarch 4, 1789[1]
    systemconstitutional presidential republic
    branches3
    chambersbicameral
    executivepresident
    judiciarysupreme, circuits, districts
    federalismfederation
    electoral collegeyes
    entrenchments2, 1 still active
    first legislaturemarch 4, 1789
    first executiveapril 30, 1789
    first courtfebruary 2, 1790
    amendments27
    last amendedmay 5, 1992
    locationnational archives building
    commissioned bycongress of the confederation
    author(s)philadelphia convention
    signatories39 of the 55 delegates
    media typeparchment
    supersedesarticles of confederation

    the constitution of the united states is the supreme law of the united states of america.[2] the constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral congress (article one); the executive, consisting of the president (article two); and the judicial, consisting of the supreme court and other federal courts (article three). articles four, five and six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. article seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen states to ratify it. it is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force.[3]

    since the constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including one amendment that repealed a previous one,[4] in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century.[5] in general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the bill of rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.[6][7] the majority of the seventeen later amendments expand individual civil rights protections. others address issues related to federal authority or modify government processes and procedures. amendments to the united states constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. all four pages[8] of the original u.s. constitution are written on parchment.[9]

    according to the united states senate: "the constitution's first three words—we the people—affirm that the government of the united states exists to serve its citizens. for over two centuries the constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the federal and state governments."[5] the first permanent constitution of its kind,[a] adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted, supplemented, and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, and has influenced the constitutions of other nations.

  • background
  • history
  • influences
  • original frame
  • amending the constitution
  • ratified amendments
  • unratified amendments
  • judicial review
  • civic religion
  • worldwide influence
  • criticisms
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

Constitution of the United States
Constitution of the United States, page 1.jpg
Page one of the original copy of the Constitution
JurisdictionUnited States of America
CreatedSeptember 17, 1787
PresentedSeptember 28, 1787
RatifiedJune 21, 1788
Date effectiveMarch 4, 1789[1]
SystemConstitutional presidential republic
Branches3
ChambersBicameral
ExecutivePresident
JudiciarySupreme, Circuits, Districts
FederalismFederation
Electoral collegeYes
Entrenchments2, 1 still active
First legislatureMarch 4, 1789
First executiveApril 30, 1789
First courtFebruary 2, 1790
Amendments27
Last amendedMay 5, 1992
LocationNational Archives Building
Commissioned byCongress of the Confederation
Author(s)Philadelphia Convention
Signatories39 of the 55 delegates
Media typeParchment
SupersedesArticles of Confederation

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America.[2] The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress (Article One); the executive, consisting of the president (Article Two); and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts (Article Three). Articles Four, Five and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. It is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force.[3]

Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including one amendment that repealed a previous one,[4] in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century.[5] In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.[6][7] The majority of the seventeen later amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others address issues related to federal authority or modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages[8] of the original U.S. Constitution are written on parchment.[9]

According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the federal and state governments."[5] The first permanent constitution of its kind,[a] adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted, supplemented, and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, and has influenced the constitutions of other nations.