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Why was the Constitution Written? A Global History 14 October, 2020   

Almost every country around the globe has its constitution. But have you ever wondered why the constitution was written? In this piece, we will discuss the history of the constitution. The country that introduced the constitution to the world is the United States. The constitution of the United States was developed on 17th September 1787. As it was a very new concept back then, many ideas clashed. But after all the heated arguments and the insightful perspectives, the first-ever constitution came into existence. The state legislature assigned the people who were involved in drafting the constitution. Each member assigned to the drafting committee represented a particular state’s welfare. The Constitution of the United States is special as it is a mostly veteran written constitution. Due to this constitution first federal government of the world was also formed in the United States. 


What do you mean by the constitution?

Before knowing why the constitution was written, it is quite important to know about the constitution first. So, it could be said as a body that constitutes fundamental principles. According to the established precedents or these principles, any organization or State is recognized by the government. Most of the countries consider the Constitution as the highest authority or Supreme Law. Leading the role of the supreme law constitution has to deal with some tasks. These tasks mainly include distributing power and authority to exercise them and other governmental functions with particular fields. The constitution is not only for the common citizens but for every citizen. More specifically, the constitution has to be followed by-

  • The legislature: body involved in making laws

  • The executive: body involved in carrying laws

  • The judiciary: body involved in protecting laws

Therefore, the Constitution makes every citizen of a country equal.

Why was the constitution written?


The main explanation:

The constitution is a body composed of rules and is established to regulate the government’s system functioning in a state. Now the answer to why the constitution was written is that it is all about time and state. The constitution was drafted to address any implication or change that is accounted for the whole nation in simpler words. The multiple reasons for having a constitution of a State may include-


Types of Constitution:


As we know, that constitution is not a brief subject. Therefore, there are several types of the constitution as well. Various types of the constitution include:


Written Constitution

This type of constitution is like a compilation of documents series in book form. It is framed consciously and is of enacted nature. This type of constitution is adopted and formulated by a council, legislature, or constituent assembly. More specifically, a written constitution incorporates a state’s constitutional law. It has the pleasure of having a kind of supremacy as its provisions bounds even the government's highest authority. Countries with a written constitution include The United States of America, Japan, Germany, Canada, France, India, and many others. The United States was the first country to introduce a written constitution. 


Unwritten Constitution

This constitution is not enacted in the State. As the name suggests, this constitution is not even drafted in book form. But, it has its references in several conventions, laws, and charters from history. It is the result of steady, gradual, and slow evolution. This doesn’t mean that there is no government at all. In fact, there is an organized government that runs according to various composed rules. However, these rules are not drafted or written appropriately. It is like the people of the state know about their constitution, so they follow that. The unwritten constitution is followed in the United Kingdom.


Flexible Constitution

The flexible constitution could be amended easily. Various experts from the political field believe that constitutional law can be changed like other laws in this constitution. This means the way any other law can be amended, the constitution's laws can also be amended. The constitution of the British could be said as an appropriate example of being a flexible constitution. The British parliament is a sovereign type of parliament; it means the parliament can easily amend laws no matter normal or constitutional. The only factor involved here is the majority. If the majority is with the amendment to be made, then it is made. Thus, it could be said that when amendments are carried out without hassles, the constitution is flexible. The one best thing about the flexible constitution is that it is highly beneficial in emergency cases. 


Rigid Constitution

As the name itself says, the rigid constitution has a rigid nature. In simple words, it is just the opposite of the flexible constitution, unlike the flexible constitution-making amendments in a rigid constitution is not easy. A rigid constitution exists in a country where a rigid constitution is considered the top fundamental law. The rigid constitution is referred to as sovereign people’s basic will. This is the reason behind its requirement of special procedures for amendments. Among all the other countries, the constitution of the United States of America is quite rigid. An advantage of a rigid constitution is that it assists the administration in being stable and helps maintain its continuity. Political experts also say that this type of constitution is best for the federation. The demerits of this constitution may include hassles in case of emergency and a delay in social development. Along with that, due to inflexibility towards amendments, this constitution couldn’t match pace with time.


Evolved Constitution       

Any institution, person, or assembly does not create the evolved constitution at any point of time. More specifically, it is the outcome of a gradual and slow evolution process. The principles and rules of the evolved constitution have its reference from history. In the evolved constitution, some law recognized a set of rules while others came into force due to public opinion’s support. The practical wisdom and the political needs of citizens brought the evolved constitution into existence. Along with that, it is also an outcome of the historical revolution. Great Britain’s constitution is a perfect example of the evolved constitution.


Enacted Constitution

The enacted constitution is not natural. This constitution is created, enforced, and adopted by a council or an assembly known as a constituent assembly. The enacted constitution is passed after objectives, provisions, and principles-based discussions. It is drafted in a book form or documental series that too in a formal manner. Countries like the United States of America, China, Japan, and India have enacted the constitution.

Here along with the answer to why was the constitution written? We have also discussed its importance and types. One thing about drafting the constitution is that it should be written in an effortless and easy to understand language. This doesn’t mean that using legal terms should be avoided, but unnecessary jargons should be avoided. An ideal constitution must reflect the sovereignty of people who stand by it. Three things that a constitution offers to the government are organizations with its functions and powers. Although it provides power to the government, no government is bigger than it. This means that the constitution bounds all the institutions under the government. To sum up, it could be aptly said that the constitution is the ultimate law that rules all.         




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