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U.S. Constitution

U.S. Constitution Definition

The U.S. Constitution is a legal document written by the Founding Fathers of the United States that establishes the fundamental structure of the United States. The U.S. Constitution was created in 1787 to define the laws of the United States and protect freedoms that colonists had suffered in Europe under monarchs previously. The U.S. Constitution is one of the most famous constitutions in the world because it has a unique set of "checks and balances" that were truly ahead of its time. Today, the U.S. Constitution is one of the longest- lasting constitutions and continues to inspire governments around the globe.

Articles of the Constitution

The articles of the U.S. Constitution were designed to serve as a system of "checks and balances," which helps to separate the different powers of the government. In total, the U.S. Constitution has seven different articles that outline the powers of the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of government. The articles are as follows:

  • Article I: The Legislative Branch
  • Article II: The Executive Branch
  • Article III: The Judicial Branch
  • Article IV: The States
  • Article V: Amendment
  • Article VI: Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
  • Article VII: Ratification

Executive Branch

The Executive Branch is primarily comprised of the President and Vice President along with their cabinet of senior advisors. In this framework, the President is limited in his scope of power to avoid the sort of absolute power that a monarch or dictator has.

Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch is the branch that passes statutes and codes. The Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and Senate, which includes Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen from various jurisdictions in all fifty states. The number of seats each state gets is based on their population.

Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch consists of the court system from the smallest county court all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. Each state has its own court system structure. State court frameworks can have circuit courts, district courts, appellate courts, and supreme courts before a case would go before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Amendments to the Constitution

Article V of the U.S. Constitution is what dictates Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Given that the U.S. Constitution is several centuries old, it needs to periodically evolve in order to be applicable to modern issues facing the United States today. Amendments have come about over the years, and there are 27 in total. The 27 Amendments are listed below:

  • First Amendment: Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
  • Second Amendment: Right to Bear Arms
  • Third Amendment: Quartering of Soldiers
  • Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure
  • Fifth Amendment: Trial and Punishment. Compensation for Takings
  • Sixth Amendment: Right to Speedy Trial. Confrontation of Witnesses
  • Seventh Amendment: Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
  • Eighth Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Ninth Amendment: Construction of Constitution
  • Tenth Amendment: Powers of the States and People
  • Eleventh Amendment: Judicial Limits
  • Twelfth Amendment: Choosing the President, Vice President
  • Thirteenth Amendment: Slavery Abolished
  • Fourteenth Amendment: Citizenship Rights
  • Fifteenth Amendment: Race No Bar to Vote
  • Sixteenth Amendment: Status of Income Tax Clarified
  • Seventeenth Amendment: Senators Elected by Popular Vote
  • Eighteenth Amendment: Liquor Abolished
  • Nineteenth Amendment: Women's Suffrage
  • Twentieth Amendment: Presidential, Congressional Terms
  • Twenty-First Amendment: Amendment 18 Repealed
  • Twenty-Second Amendment: Presidential Term Limits
  • Twenty-Third Amendment: Presidential Vote for District of Columbia
  • Twenty-Fourth Amendment:Poll Taxes Barred
  • Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Presidential Disability and Succession
  • Twenty-Sixth Amendment: Voting Age Set to 18 Years
  • Twenty-Seventh Amendment: Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay

How Is the U.S. Constitution Applied to State Constitutions?

It is essential to understand that the states have their own constitutions that are different from the U.S. Constitution. The state constitutions are not allowed to go beyond the scope that is permitted in the U.S. Constitution since the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

U.S. Constitution Glossary Definition

The U.S. Constitution is a document that defines the structure of the government in the United States. The U.S. Constitution is one of the most famous documents in the world as it has managed to promote democracy, protection of individual rights, and balance of powers for centuries. Many disputes come up related to the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions in the field of Constitutional Law where the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments need to be reviewed by courts and clarified as the U.S. society continues to evolve and face new issues.