The Constitution What is the Constitution? The Constitution is a text that states the basic rules for the government as well the basic rights of the citizens. The Constitution is the law that is the basis of laws in the United States of America. It is the framework and reference for all the other laws of the USA. All the other laws have to comply with what is written in the Constitution. What is its history? The first main law (before the Constitution) was called the Articles of Confederation. But it did not work out so well, it did not specify enough details to be interpreted the same way by all States.
So there were many fights and problems about it, and even sometimes it was ignored, for example in Shays rebellion when a State blocked the taxation wished by the other twelve states. That made the constitution so poor that they couldn't afford an army. After Shay's rebellion in September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, a constitutional convention (meeting) was called to make a functional governmental system. Seventy three US citizens where called to this meeting from every single State, except from Rhode Island, but only fifty five of those citizens attended. Between them there were many famous people like the Philadelphian hero George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. In that meeting they wrote the Constitution.
The document was a piece of work that everybody in the meeting wrote something in, but the main writer is thought to be governor Morris from Pennsylvania It was singed by thirty nine of the people that attended the convention. How does it work? The constitution is divided into articles and amendments. There were originally ten amendments (they are called the Bill of Rights) but now there are twenty seven. An amendment is a modification or added article. For that to happen, three fourths of the states must agree on it. The changes may be proposed by the President, Senators or Congressmen.
When the Senate and the Congress are ready to pass a law, they use the Constitution as reference to see if that law is valid or not. For example if someone proposes that all the Irish Americans have to be Christian or Catholic that law would be invalid because amendment number one opposes that by giving freedom of religion. When there is a discussion about whether or not a law complies with the Constitution the US Supreme Court is the one that decides. How does it relate to the American Revolution Without this document the US after the would have been close anarchy.
Without a strong government nor an army to protect it from invaders. It might be just recaptured by the English.