A document or documents which set the fundamental principles and rules to which a state, or organisation agrees to govern itself.

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16
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2answers
1k views

What was the original process for becoming a US citizen?

So it's 1789 and the US constitution has just come into force. Who is now a citizen of this new government? Were some granted citizenship automatically, or were there also forms to fill out and ...
11
votes
5answers
704 views

What are the safeguards in the German constitution of 1949 against dictatorship?

In the constitution of 1949 Germany ensured that chancellors could not endow themselves with additional powers, eliminating the chance of a repeat of Hitler's 1933 episode. What were these steps?
10
votes
2answers
211 views

Why did 1906 Iranian constitutionalists use the Belgian constitution as inspiration?

The Constitutional Revolution of Iran in 1906 resulted in a constitution that established a parliament and a constitutional monarchy. Interestingly, it was based on the Belgian constitution. Was ...
10
votes
3answers
580 views

How did the Alien and Sedition acts pass?

The Alien and Sedition acts, passed in 1798, are said to have been an attempt by the Federalist Party to suppress opposition. In Chapter 74 Section 2, the law seems to put restrictions on freedom of ...
9
votes
1answer
911 views

Were there weapons that a private citizen could not legally own in 1789 in the US?

For example: a canon, certain types of muskets etc... Were there laws for whether women or freed slaves could not own specific weapons?
9
votes
1answer
873 views

Did the U.S Constitution revoke or merely amend the the Articles of Confederation?

This may seem like a silly question, but I only ask because of a U.S. Supreme Court case that actually cited the Articles of Confederation. After the civil war, there is this case called Texas_v....
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What did the word 'unconstitutional' mean to Americans prior to the Revolution?

I'm reading about the Townshend Acts on Wikipedia, and it says that the American colonists rejected any taxation because it was unconstitutional. Were they referring to a specific document, like the ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

How was the lower chamber of the Japanese Imperial Diet elected under the Meiji constitution?

During the period 1868-1945, Japan was ruled under the "constitution of the empire of Japan" better known as the "Meiji constitution". Under this constitution, the Imperial Diet was the legislature ...
6
votes
3answers
260 views

Natural born citizen

From what I understand, the so-called "birther movement" in the US asserts that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president of the USA because he allegedly wasn't born in the US and therefore is not ...
5
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1answer
174 views

What was the earliest known written constitution?

I was reading Wikipedia today, specifically the Constitution of Medina article and it states: This was the first written constitution in the history of the world. With two book references (that ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did Jefferson have to 'Stretch the Constitutional Breaking Point' for the Louisiana Purchase?

Because the U.S. Constitution did not explicitly grant the president the power to purchase territory, when the 'Now or Never' moment came to purchase the Louisiana territory, he had 'stretched ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Were NC, IL, and VA's latest concurrent constitutions' effective dates coincidental?

The latest Constitutions of North Carolina, Illinois, and Virginia all became effective on the same day (July 1, 1971). Was this coincidental, or was there some coordination going on? If so, why did ...
5
votes
0answers
135 views

Diverse ways of admitting new states to the Union

Admission of new states into the United States must be consistent with Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution, but that leaves some discretion to Congress in a number of matters. What were the ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Framers and Criminal Voting Rights

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, who can and cannot vote was left up to the states. Despite leaving it up to the states to decide, did any of the Framers view that criminals, either in ...
4
votes
1answer
413 views

The Great Compromise, is there analysis on the outcome?

I'm doing a research about the Great Compromise and how it originated from the Virginia and the New Jersey Plan. Has there been any analysis on which side got the better part of the compromise. (The ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Did the Founding Fathers believe that states had the right to secede?

This question is a follow-up to the Founding Fathers and the Civil War question. Although the Constitution dictates how a state may join the Union, there is no written provision for secession. Did ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

Mexico has the right to possess firearms? [closed]

I have lived and grown up in Mexico for most of my life. I have always known firearms to be illegal here, as well as everyone I know. But just today, I came across this article on Wikipedia, (Gun ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What “other property” was considered for representation at the Constitutional Convention?

In the Wikipedia article on the US Constitutional Convention, it states that: The most contentious disputes revolved around the composition and election of the Senate, how "proportional ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

Contemporary objections to the Bill of Rights's 1st Amendment / Declaration of the Rights of Man, art. 10? [closed]

What were the objections to the Bill of Rights's 1st Amendment when it was first published? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise ...
2
votes
2answers
339 views

Why was a gold standard not stipulated in the U.S. Constitution? [closed]

It is a known fact that some of the founding fathers wanted to limit the power of the federal government. I have heard it said on the History Channel that one of the ways they did this was by ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

Voting enfranchisement in the USA in the 18th century

It is frequently asserted that when the US constitution was ratified in 1788, it was a very progressive piece of legislation because it gave everyone the right to vote, making the US the first modern ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Governors' veto power

If I'm not mistaken, governors in the thirteen colonies, appointed by the king, had veto power over acts of colonial legislatures. In 1996, I was living in North Carolina. At that time NC was the ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Were the doors kept open for the entire Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention?

On November 20, 1787, the fourth day of the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention, before any debates had taken place, it was "Ordered, That the doors of the Convention be left open during the session" ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

The Constitution of the United States: Background material for the original, esp. the Bill of Rights?

During the work and debate around the Constitution of the United States; where there much background-material like surveys, notes and minutes (from debates)? How much of such material have survived? ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

What process have countries followed when creating constitutions?

Countries that have been led by an individual (through a declaration, revolution, war, ...) have constitutions heavily influenced by that leader, for better or worse. History has shown that simply ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Federal courts under the Articles of Confederation

The ninth Article of Confederation establishes federal judicial jurisdiction in some cases, including "disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more States ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

Are there notes by the Founding Fathers which indicate why DC citizens were denied a vote in Congress?

Are there any records from the Constitutional Convention that establish why the District of Columbia was denied voting representation in the Senate and the House? Was there even any expression of ...
1
vote
1answer
265 views

Do authoritative Jewish historical records record the expulsion

The following wiki extract demonstrates the possibility that the Muhammad's expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa and execution of Banu Qurayza to be a myth. Do authoritative Jewish historical records track or ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

What is the oldest regulation in the world regarding a head of state?

With a regulation I mean something akin to a constituional codex. It doesn't have to be a constitution per se, but it should outline the head of state's limitations or privileges. The oldest I have ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

History of ways of choosing members of the electoral college

The Constitution of the United States Article II, Section 1, second paragraph, says: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Has the electoral college system ever ignored popular vote in full or in part? [closed]

Have there ever been instances of the electoral college ignoring the popular vote?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Primary sources for ratification of Constitutional amendments

How would I know that Constitutional amendments were ratified on certain dates? What evidence would I have? For example, a search result from the Library of Congress website states that the 15th ...
-1
votes
2answers
121 views

Government started within another government

Has an independent constitution ever been enacted and claimed the territory of another independent constitution in whole or part, and did its government actually exist after enactment within the ...
-1
votes
1answer
132 views

How did Lincoln legitimize the constitutionality of his Emancipation Proclamation? [closed]

How did he convince the south to legitimize the emancipation proclamation?
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Why was Lakhdar Boumediene, in the Boumediene v Bush case, acquitted of his charges? And, why was the habeas corpus not suspended? [closed]

From my knowledge, the habeas corpus can be suspended in times of rebellion and danger of public health and safety. Wouldn't this be ground to ultimately suspend the habeas corpus in Bush's favor? (...