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U.s. Constitution


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U.s. Constitution


The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America.[3] It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution, in 1789. Originally comprising seven articles, it delineates the national frame and constraints of government. The Constitution's 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 I); the executive, consisting of the president and subordinate officers (Article II); and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts (Article III). Article IV, Article V, and Article VI 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 VII establishes the procedure subsequently used by the 13 states to ratify it. The Constitution of the United States is the oldest and longest-standing written and codified national constitution in force in the world today.[4][a]


Since the Constitution was ratified in 1789, it has been amended 27 times.[19][20] 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 within the U.S. states.[21][22] The majority of the 17 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. The original U.S. Constitution[23] was handwritten on five pages of parchment by Jacob Shallus.[24]The first permanent constitution,[b] it is interpreted, supplemented, and implemented by a large body of federal constitutional law and has influenced the constitutions of other nations.


The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States.[28] The document was drafted by a committee appointed by the Second Continental Congress in mid-June of 1777 and was adopted by the full Congress in mid-November of that year. Ratification by the 13 colonies took more than three years and was completed March 1, 1781. The Articles gave little power to the central government. While the Confederation Congress had some decision-making abilities, it lacked enforcement powers. The implementation of most decisions, including amendments to the Articles, required legislative approval by all 13 of the newly-formed states.[29][30]


On February 21, 1787, the Confederation Congress called a convention of state delegates at Philadelphia to propose revisions to the Articles.[41] Unlike earlier attempts, the convention was not meant for new laws or piecemeal alterations, but for the "sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation". The convention was not limited to commerce; rather, it was intended to "render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union." The proposal might take effect when approved by Congress and the states.[42]


Montesquieu's influence on the framers is evident in Madison's Federalist No. 47 and Hamilton's Federalist No. 78. Jefferson, Adams, and Mason were known to read Montesquieu.[78] Supreme Court Justices, the ultimate interpreters of the constitution, have cited Montesquieu throughout the Court's history.[79] (See, e.g., .mw-parser-output .citation:targetbackground-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)Green v. Biddle, 21 U.S. 1, 1, 36 (1823).United States v. Wood, 39 U.S. 430, 438 (1840).Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 116 (1926).Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425, 442 (1977).Bank Markazi v. Peterson, 136 U.S. 1310, 1330 (2016).) Montesquieu emphasized the




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