United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles entrench the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six entrench concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments and of the states in relationship to the federal government. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it.
Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended twenty-seven times. 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. The majority of the seventeen later amendments expand individual civil rights. Others address issues related to federal authority or modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the US Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions world-wide, are appended to the end of the document. At seven articles and twenty-seven amendments, it is the shortest written constitution in force. All five pages of the U.S. Constitution are written on parchment.
The Constitution is interpreted, supplemented, and implemented by a large body of constitutional law. The Constitution of the United States was the first constitution of its kind, and has influenced the constitutions of other nations.
American History USA Articles
- The History of the United States, in 10,000 Words
American history in a single article. A 10,000 word history of the United States.
- The First United States Congress and the Bill of Rights
The Constitution was not ratified with a Bill of Rights. It was ratified with a promise that Congress would consider the issue.
- The Three-Fifths Compromise, Black Personhood, and Southern Representation
As a compromise between northern and southern delegates, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person towards Congressional representation.
- The Necessary and Proper Clause and the First Bank of the United States
Since the earliest days of the United States, debate has raged on the meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause in Article I of the Constitution.
- The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and its Effects
The Northwest Ordinance defined the Midwest region, both physically and legally. It's protection of the individual foreshadowed the Bill of Rights.
- The United States Constitution - United States
- The Constitution of the United States of America - founding united states (author) ; fathers