Constitution

Detail from Hammurabi's stele shows him receiving the laws of Babylon from the seated sun deity.

The constitution of a country (or a state) is a special type of law document that tells how its government is supposed to work. It tells how the country's leaders are to be chosen and how long they get to stay in office, how new laws are made and old laws are to be changed or removed based on law, what kind of people are allowed to vote and what other rights they are guaranteed, and how the constitution can be changed.

Limits are put on the Government in how much power they have within the Constitution (see Rule of Law ). On the other hand, countries with repressive or corrupt governments frequently do not stick to their constitutions, or have bad constitutions without giving freedom to citizens and others. This can be known as dictatorship or simply "bending the rules". A Constitution is often a way of uniting within a Federation.

The UK's constitution is not written in one single document like many other countries' are. In fact, the UK's constitution is not completely written down at all. Some of it can be found in writing, starting with the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Bill of Rights Act 1689 and including more modern Acts of Parliament. Other parts of it are considered common law and are made up of the decisions of judges over many hundreds of years in a system called legal or judicial precedence. Because of this, some people say that the United Kingdom has a de facto or "unwritten" constitution.[1]

The United States in 1787 began a trend in the writing of constitutions. The United States Constitution is also the shortest that people are still using, and it has been changed (amended) many times over the years. It was made after the colonists won their independence from Britain. At first they had the Articles of Confederation but the Articles were replaced with today's Constitution.

The Indian constitution of 1950 is the longest ever written constitution in the world. It has 448 Articles and 12 Schedules in it, with 5 appendices and 98 amendments.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Grondwet
Alemannisch: Verfassung
العربية: دستور
aragonés: Constitución
asturianu: Constitución
azərbaycanca: Konstitusiya
تۆرکجه: آنایا‌سا
বাংলা: সংবিধান
Bân-lâm-gú: Hiàn-hoat
башҡортса: Конституция
беларуская: Канстытуцыя
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Канстытуцыя
भोजपुरी: संबिधान
български: Конституция
bosanski: Ustav
brezhoneg: Bonreizh
català: Constitució
Чӑвашла: Конституци
čeština: Ústava
Cymraeg: Cyfansoddiad
dansk: Forfatning
Deutsch: Verfassung
Ελληνικά: Σύνταγμα
English: Constitution
español: Constitución
Esperanto: Konstitucio
euskara: Konstituzio
Fiji Hindi: Vidhaan
français: Constitution
Frysk: Grûnwet
Gàidhlig: Bun-reachd
한국어: 헌법
हिन्दी: संविधान
hrvatski: Ustav
Ilokano: Batay-linteg
Bahasa Indonesia: Konstitusi
interlingua: Constitution
íslenska: Stjórnarskrá
italiano: Costituzione
עברית: חוקה
Basa Jawa: Konstitusi
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಸಂವಿಧಾನ
къарачай-малкъар: Конституция
ქართული: კონსტიტუცია
kaszëbsczi: Kònstitucjô
қазақша: Конституция
Kiswahili: Katiba
Kreyòl ayisyen: Konstitisyon
Кыргызча: Конституция
Latina: Constitutio
latviešu: Konstitūcija
lietuvių: Konstitucija
Limburgs: Gróndwet
lingála: Mobéko likonzi
lumbaart: Costituzion
magyar: Alkotmány
македонски: Устав
Malagasy: Lalampanorenana
മലയാളം: ഭരണഘടന
मराठी: संविधान
მარგალური: კონსტიტუცია
مصرى: دستور
Bahasa Melayu: Perlembagaan
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Hièng-huák
Mirandés: Custituiçon
Nederlands: Grondwet
Nedersaksies: Groendwet
नेपाली: संविधान
नेपाल भाषा: संविधान
нохчийн: Конституци
norsk nynorsk: Grunnlov
Nouormand: Constitution
occitan: Constitucion
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Konstitutsiya
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸੰਵਿਧਾਨ
پنجابی: آئین
Piemontèis: Costitussion
Plattdüütsch: Verfaten
polski: Konstytucja
português: Constituição
română: Constituție
Runa Simi: Hatun kamachi
русиньскый: Конштітуція
русский: Конституция
саха тыла: Конституция
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱥᱚᱢᱵᱤᱫᱷᱟᱱ
shqip: Kushtetuta
sicilianu: Custituzzioni
سنڌي: آئين
slovenčina: Ústava
slovenščina: Ustava
Soomaaliga: Dastuur
کوردی: دەستوور
српски / srpski: Устав
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ustav
svenska: Grundlag
татарча/tatarça: Конституция
తెలుగు: రాజ్యాంగం
ᏣᎳᎩ: ᎦᎫᏍᏛᏗ
Türkçe: Anayasa
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Wɛ̈tmääc
українська: Конституція
اردو: آئین
vèneto: Costitusion
Tiếng Việt: Hiến pháp
文言: 憲法
吴语: 宪法
粵語: 憲法
žemaitėška: Kuonstėtocėjė
中文: 宪法