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Constitutions » Introduction

A constitution defines the core beliefs and laws of a society by determining the role of government and the rights of the people.

constitution [kon-sti-too-shuh n] noun -

  1. the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is governed. Unabridged
  2. the fundamental political principles on which a state is governed, especially when considered as embodying the rights of the subjects of that state. World English Dictionary
  3. the fundamental law of the United States, drafted in Philadelphia in 1787, ratified in 1788, and put into effect in 1789. It established a strong central government in place of the Articles of Confederation. The American Heritage ® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

A republic is a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. An oligarchy vests all power in a few people, but a true democracy is based entirely on the will of the majority. Our constitution gives the government enough power to declare the actions of a majority illegal if those actions violate the rights of the minority as established in the Constitution.

This chapter includes online resources for kids to learn about the United States Constitution, an online course on the United States Constitution for adults, the full text of the United State's founding documents, the writing, adopting, signing, and amending processes of the Kansas Constitution, and the full text of Kansas' founding documents.