Questions tagged [constitution]

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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14
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4answers
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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....
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Did James Madison sign all copies of the Bill of Rights?

I'm aware that James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights but then 13 copies were distributed to the 13 original colonies to review and edit. Is it James Madison's signature on the copies that were sent ...
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Are there records of federal courts under the Articles of Confederation?

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were the agreement among the thirteen United States of America to unite under a federal government consisting of a Continental Congress. They were ...
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What was the historical context of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution?

The 2nd amendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. There is a lot of ...
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What did Harry Truman think about the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution?

The American Presidential succession process is interesting in that it starts off in the executive branch (with the VP), moves to the legislative branch (Speaker of the House, then President Pro Tem), ...
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1answer
819 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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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 I'...
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Does Japan have the constitutional and legal right to have its own army or navy?

After WW2 Japan capitulated and was disarmed. And as I know Japan was not able to have its own army, and its boundary would be protected by the United States. So, does Japan have the legal right to ...
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Were there weapons that a private citizen could not legally own in 1789 in the US?

For example: a cannon, certain types of muskets etc... Were there laws for whether women or freed slaves could not own specific weapons?
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1answer
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Is there any documentation on the creation of Article 1 Section II of the US constitution

I'm doing some personal research on the electoral college as it has been becoming more and more relevant in modern US elections. I've seen tons of people talking about how it was designed to protect ...
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761 views

Was the United States meant to be a confederation of states?

I read the Constitution, and, if I recall correctly, no members of the Federal government were to be elected by the common people according to the original documents. Governors, however, were elected ...
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What was the goal behind the 9 state approval of the United States constitution?

My US History textbook states the following: But since absent Rhode Island was certain to veto the Constitution, the delegates boldly adopted a different scheme. They stipulated that when nine ...
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What were the founding fathers' views on Native Americans? [closed]

What were the founding fathers' views on Native Americans? Did the founding fathers have a lack of respect for the natives, or were they accounted for positively in the enacting of the constitution? ...
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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 ...
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271 views

What unknown laws were mentioned in earlier Coronation Oaths of England?

In 1688, the English Parliament passed the Coronation Oath Act, establishing a new Coronation Oath for monarchs of England. This Coronation Oath, with some modifications, is still used in the United ...
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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 ...
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Organizing the 1788 presidential and congressional elections

In 1788 the new Constitution of the United States went into effect in the states that had ratified it, and that meant elections had to be organized for representatives in Congress and for members of ...
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1answer
242 views

Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

A footnote on page 30 of this document says that the date of Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment (which abolished slavery) was on the 9th of February, 1865. (If I recall correctly, ...
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1answer
143 views

History of the 1793 revision of the constitution of Vermont

Is there any account of the politics of the revisions of Vermont's constitution in 1793? When Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1791, it continued to function under the constitution of ...
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1answer
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Why was the Titles of Nobility Amendment proposed?

Why is it that the Titles of Nobility Amendment was proposed in congress? Were there instances of Americans accepting foreign noble titles?
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Why was the Congressional Apportionment Amendment opposed?

The Congressional Apportionment Amendment only established a principal for congressional apportionment, which was followed out of custom for many years after the adoption of the constitution. If these ...
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1answer
120 views

Why was Schuyler Colfax not present at the vote to reconsider the 13th amendment?

According to this question about the thirteenth amendment and by extension this source it references, both say that Schuyler Colfax, the speaker at the time did not vote on the motion to reconsider ...
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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 ...
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1answer
162 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 ...
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1answer
170 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 ...
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171 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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?
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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" ...
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216 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 ...
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225 views

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

How did he convince the south to legitimize the emancipation proclamation?
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557 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 ...
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1answer
209 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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155 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 ...
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1answer
127 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 ...
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1answer
428 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 ...
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1answer
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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? (...
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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 ...
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1answer
152 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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
679 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 ...
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1answer
392 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 ...