the Constitution of the United States of America
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was the military rebellion against Great Britain of Thirteen American Colonies which joined together as the United States of America in July 1776 – leading to the Declaration of Independence and then ultimately the creation of the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution of the United States of America was signed and adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has been amended twenty-seven times since then (the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights).
Articles of the Constitution
Preamble: Statement of purpose
Article One: Legislative Power
Article Two: Executive power
Article Three: Judicial power
Article Four: States’ powers and limits
Article Five: Amendments
Article Six: Federal power
Article Seven: Ratification
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
-establishes the Congress, the legislative branch, the first of the three branches of the government. The United States Congress is a body consisting of two co-equal houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
-establishes the second of the three branches of government, the Executive, and establishes the office of the President and the Vice-President.
-establishes the last of the three branches of government, the Judiciary, and describes the court system including the Supreme Court.
-outlines the relation between the states and the relation between the federal government.
-details the method of amending, or changing, the Constitution.
-sets the Constitution and all laws and treaties of the United States to be the supreme law of the country. It requires all officers of the United States and of the states to swear an oath of allegiance to the United States and the Constitution when taking office.
-details the method for ratification, or acceptance, of the Constitution: of the original 13 states in the United States, nine had to accept the Constitution before it would officially go into effect.
Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.