the Constitution of the United States of America
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.
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