United States state constitution

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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 the U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican form of government to all states.

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 740 amendments as of 2004 (the average state constitution has been amended about 115 times). The oldest state constitution (and the oldest constitution in the world) 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).

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 State 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 State Constitution
Texas Constitution Utah Constitution Vermont Constitution
Constitution of Virginia Washington State Constitution West Virginia Constitution
Wisconsin Constitution Wyoming 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.

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

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