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Encyclopedia > United States state constitution

In the context of the United States of America, a state constitution is the governing document of a U.S. state, comparable to the U.S. Constitution which is the governing document of the United States. Some states have had multiple constitutions and since each state drafts its own, there is great diversity between them, though all have some basic concepts in common. A constitution is a system, often codified in a written document, which establishes the rules and principles by which an organization is governed. ... A U.S. state is any one of the fifty states (four of which officially favor the term commonwealth) which, with the District of Columbia, forms the United States of America. ... The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


The average length of a state constitution is 26,000 words (compared to about 8,700 words for the U.S. constitution). The longest state governing document is that of Alabama, which has over 310,000 words. That document is also the most amended state constitution in the Union, with over 770 amendments as of 2005 (the average state constitution has been amended about 115 times). The oldest state constitution still in effect is that of Massachusetts, which took effect in 1780. The newest is the Georgia Constitution, which was ratified in 1983 (Hammons, 1999). The Alabama State Constitution is huge. ... Amendment has at least two meanings: An amendment is a formal alteration to any official document or record, typically with the aim of improving it. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The Georgia State Constitution, which was ratified in 1983, is the governing document of the U.S. state of Georgia. ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


U.S. State Constitutions

Alabama Constitution Alaska Constitution Arizona Constitution
Arkansas Constitution California Constitution Colorado Constitution
Connecticut Constitution Delaware Constitution Florida Constitution
Georgia Constitution Hawaii Constitution Idaho Constitution
Illinois Constitution Indiana Constitution Iowa Constitution
Kansas Constitution Kentucky Constitution Louisiana Constitution
Maine Constitution Maryland Constitution Massachusetts Constitution
Michigan Constitution Minnesota Constitution Mississippi Constitution
Missouri Constitution Montana Constitution Nebraska Constitution
Nevada Constitution New Hampshire Constitution New Jersey Constitution
New Mexico Constitution New York Constitution North Carolina Constitution
North Dakota Constitution Ohio Constitution Oklahoma Constitution
Oregon Constitution Pennsylvania Constitution Rhode Island Constitution
South Carolina Constitution South Dakota Constitution Tennessee Constitution
Texas Constitution Utah Constitution Vermont Constitution
Virginia Constitution Washington (State) Constitution West Virginia Constitution
Wisconsin Constitution Wyoming Constitution  

The Alabama State Constitution is huge. ... The Arkansas Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Arkansas. ... The California Constitution is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of California. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 8th 269,837 km² 451 km 612 km 0. ... The Connecticut Constitution is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Connecticut. ... The Great Seal of the State of Florida The Florida Constitution is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state. ... The Georgia State Constitution, which was ratified in 1983, is the governing document of the U.S. state of Georgia. ... The Constitution of Hawaii refers to various legal documents throughout the history of the Hawaiian Islands that defined the fundamental principles of authority and governance within its sphere of jurisdiction. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boise Largest city Boise Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 14th 216,632 km² 491 km 771 km 0. ... The Illinois Constitution is the governing body of the state of Illinois. ... Official language(s) English Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 37th 104,749 km² 225 km 610 km 1. ... The Louisiana Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Louisiana. ... The Great Seal of Maryland The current Constitution of Maryland, which was ratified by the people of the state on September 18, 1867, forms the basic law for the U.S. state of Maryland. ... The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ... The Michigan Constitution is the governing document of the state of Michigan. ... The Constitution of the State of Minnesota was initially approved by the residents of Minnesota Territory in a special election held on October 13, 1857, and was ratified by the United States Senate on May 11, 1858, marking the admittance of Minnesota to the Union. ... The constitution of Mississippi is the governing document of Mississippi. ... Within Missouri, there are three levels of government: state government county city Missouris state capital is Jefferson City lying approximately halfway between its two largest cities, St. ... Official language(s) English Capital Lincoln Largest city Omaha Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 16th 200,520 km² 340 km 690 km 0. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: New Hampshire Constitution The New Hampshire State Constitution is the primary governing document of the State of New Hampshire ratified on June 2, 1784. ... The Constitution of the State of New Jersey is the highest law of the state. ... The North Carolina Constitution governs the structure and function of the North Carolina state government. ... The Ohio Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Ohio, which in 1803 became the 17th state to join the United States of America. ... The Oregon Constitution is a U.S. state constitution, the governing document of the American state of Oregon. ... The South Carolina Constitution is the governing document of South Carolina. ... The Tennessee State Constitution defines the form, structure, activities, character, and fundamental rules (and means for changing them) of the U.S. State of Tennessee. ... The Texas Constitution is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of Texas. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 13th 219,887 km² 435 km 565 km 3. ... The Vermont Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Vermont. ... The Constitution of Virginia is a United States state constitution. ...

U.S. Territory Constitutions

The major populated island territories of the United States also have constitutions of their own. These constitutions are subject to Congressional approvial and oversight, which is not the case with state constitutions, and do not qualify the territories for statehood. Upon an Enabling Act, the affected territory may draft a state constitution that will succeed upon statehood. This article discusses states as sovereign political entities. ... An Enabling Act, in reference to admission of new states into the Union, is legislation passed by Congress authorizing the people of a territory to frame a constitution. ...

Politics of American Samoa takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic dependency, whereby the Governor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. ... The Guam Organic Act of 1950, 48 U.S.C. 1421 et. ... Politics of the Northern Mariana Islands takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic system, whereby the Governor is head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. ... The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the basic governing document of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. ... Country name: conventional long form: Virgin Islands of the United States conventional short form: Virgin Islands former: Danish West Indies Data code: VQ Dependency status: organized, unincorporated territory of the US with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs...

"Constitution" for Washington, D.C.

Washington, DC has a charter similar to charters of major cities, instead of having a constitution like the states and territories. The District of Columbia Home Rule Act establishes the Council of the District of Columbia which governs the entire district and has certain devolved powers similar to those of major cities. Congress has full authority over the district and may amend the charter and any legislation enacted by the Council. Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... A charter is a document bestowing certain rights on a town, city, university, land or institution; sometimes used as a loan of money. ... The District of Columbia Home Rule Act is an act of theU.S. Congress passed in 1973. ... The Council of the District of Columbia is the legislative branch of the local government of Washington, D.C.. As such, it is analogous to the city councils of other cities in the United States, but in some manners it is also analogous to state legislatures. ...


Attempts at statehood for the District of Columbia have included the drafting of two constitutions in 1982[1] and 1987[2] respectively refering to the district has the State of New Columbia. D.C. Statehood is the name of a political campaign intended to grant the District of Columbia the full privileges of a U.S. state, including full voting rights in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... New Columbia is the name of the proposed U.S. state that would be created by the admission of the District of Columbia into the Union as the 51st state according to legislation offered starting in the 98th Congress in 1983 and routinely re-introduced in succeeding Congresses. ...


References

  • Hammons, Christopher W. (1999). Was James Madison wrong? Rethinking the American preference for short, framework-oriented constitutions. American Political Science Review. Dec. 1999.
    • The appendices to this article contain substantial data on state constitutions.

External links

  • The Green Papers: Constitutions of the Several states
  • The Green Papers: State constitutions, an explanation
  • The Green Papers: Links to state constitutions
  • Citings of Religious Influence in First State Constitutions

  Results from FactBites:
 
United States Constitution: Information from Answers.com (14282 words)
The Constitution was ratified in June 1788, but because ratification in many states was contingent on the promised addition of a Bill of Rights, Congress proposed 12 amendments in September 1789; 10 were ratified by the states, and their adoption was certified on Dec. 15, 1791.
The Constitution's separation of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, the checks and balances of each branch against the other, and the explicit guarantees of individual liberty were all designed to strike a balance between authority and liberty.
Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by Congress on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the states.
The Constitution of the United States of America (4025 words)
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.
The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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