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Encyclopedia > Montana Constitution

The Montana Constitution is the primary legal document providing for the self-governance of the U.S. State of Montana. It establishes and defines the powers of the three branches of the government of Montana, and the rights of its citizens. Its provisions are sovereign within the state, subject only to the limits imposed by the federal laws and constitution of the United States. The current Montana Constitution was adopted in 1972 and is the second enacted in the state's history. Constitution of the United States A constitution is a system, often codified as a written document, which establishes the rules and principles by which an organization, or political entity, is governed. ... A state of the United States (a U.S. state) is any one of the fifty states (four of which officially favor the term commonwealth) which, along with the District of Columbia, form the United States of America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Helena Largest city Billings Area  Ranked 4th  - Total 147,165 sq mi (381,156 km²)  - Width 255 miles (410 km)  - Length 630 miles (1,015 km)  - % water 1  - Latitude 44°26 N to 49° N  - Longitude 104°2 W to 116°2 W Population  Ranked... The separation of powers (or trias politica, a term coined by French political thinker Montesquieu) is a model for the governance of the state. ... Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e. ... The law of the United States was originally largely derived from the common law of the system of English law, which was in force at the time of the Revolutionary War. ...


The Montana Territory was organized by the United States Congress on May 26, 1864. The first constitution intended for Montana's statehood was written in 1866, but was lost on the way to the printer and so was never subject to a vote. A second constitution was written and ratified in 1884, but due to political reasons, Congress failed to take any action to approve Montana's admission to the Union. That document consequently never attained legal force. The Montana Territory was an organized territory of the United States that existed between 1864 and 1889. ... In the history of the United States, an organized territory is a territory for which the United States Congress has enacted an Organic Act. ... May 26 is the 146th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (147th in leap years). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...

In 1889, Congress passed an enabling act that finally permitted the people of Montana to be admitted to the Union after adopting and ratifying a constitution, and the third constitution for the incipient state was written and ratified later that year. It entered into force on November 8, 1889, when Montana became the 41st state admitted to the Union by the Presidential Proclamation of Benjamin Harrison. November 8 is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 53 days remaining. ... 1889 (MDCCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Benjamin Harrison VI (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States. ...

The 1889 Constitution remained in force until 1972, when a new constitutional convention was held. The 1972 Constitution was adopted by the 100 delegates to the Constitutional Convention on March 22, 1972, and was ratified by the citizens of Montana on June 6, 1972, through Referendum No. 68. ... March 22 is the 81st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (82nd in Leap years). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... June 6 is the 157th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (158th in leap years), with 208 days remaining. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ...

External links

  • Full text of the 1972 Montana Constitution
  • Full text of the 1889 Montana Constitution (.pdf)
  • Full text of the 1884 Montana Constitution (.pdf), ratified but never approved by Congress.
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