Talk:United States Constitution

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Former featured article United States Constitution is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on January 15, 2005.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 4, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
October 25, 2008 Featured article review Demoted
August 24, 2010 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Former featured article

Half the intro is about amendments[edit]

Seems to me the paragraph could be improved by losing half or a quarter of it. Jim.henderson (talk) 11:43, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Without changing the sense, I copy edited for conciseness, leaving all links and references in tact. The attempt is as follows:
Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended twenty-seven times.[2] In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights protect individual liberty and justice, and safeguard a balance between the federal government, states and the people within. The majority of the seventeen later amendments expand individual civil rights. Others address issues related to federal authority or modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the US Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions world-wide, are appended to the end of the document. At seven articles and twenty-seven amendments, it is the shortest written constitution in force.[3]
This copy edit is meant only as a first draft. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:53, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Nicely done TVH. One point though; in the 2nd sentence above, I think something needs to be added to identify what (the balance of what) is being safeguarded. I'll leave the phrasing to you, but here's sort-of what I was thinking ...
...and safeguard the political power sharing arrangement between the federal government, states and the people within. OR ...and safeguard the shared sovereignty of the federal government, states and the people within. OR ...and safeguard federalism. Drdpw (talk) 19:31, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I chose "safeguard federalism" and moved Dhtwiki's sentence from the article summary into the section "Ratified Amendments" lead intro per Dhtwiki's edit summary, "replacing what seems legitimately informative, rather than mere excess verbiage, although it might not have to be in the lead", the sentence being"
Structurally, the Constitution's original text and all prior amendments remain untouched. The precedent for this practice was set in 1789, when Congress considered and proposed the first several Constitutional amendments.
Hope that answers the mail. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 20:59, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Splendidly. The whole world, or anyway the whole Wikipedia, ought to be like this, full of smarter people than me who take my suggestions. Jim.henderson (talk) 01:14, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Intro characterizing First Ten Amendments[edit]

The first ten amendments "preserve federalism as a balance among the federal government, states and the people within", they are not limited to restraining the federal government, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, but in any case, all do not proscribe the federal government alone, "Congress shall make no law". TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 19:17, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

As later amendments and the Supreme Court, through the doctrine of incorporation, have extend the scope of many parts of the Bill of Rights to cover the power exercised by state and local governments, I've modified my edit from earlier today and offered citations for my choice of words. Drdpw (talk) 00:19, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems POV to cherry pick sources to imply the Founders did not limit the sovereignty of the states in the Constitution or its amendments. Although I suppose it is enough to say it reflects the thinking of post-Civil War Jefferson Davis in his "Rise and Fall of the Confederate States of America". I do not think balance is being preserved, but if it is good enough for a high school curriculum, it may be good enough here. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:26, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 November 2014[edit]

correctional messsags may remove after specifyd time it may affect wikipeedias reliability badly

Cia fbi (talk) 07:11, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Stickee (talk) 07:54, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposed US Constitution WikiProject[edit]

Hi everybody! The is currently a proposed WikiProject called WikiProject: United States Constitution, which would focus on article related to the United States constitution. If you want to support the creation of the group, visit Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/United States Constitution. Thank you! CookieMonster755 (talk) 20:49, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Influence of Iroquois Great Law of Peace[edit]

The discussion in the section United States Constitution: Influences: Native Americans regarding the relative influence of the Iroquois Great Law of Peace seems rather incomplete; it also contradicts the information given elsewhere in Great Law of Peace: Influence on the United States Constitution, and I've tagged it as such. Basically, this article treats the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy as a given, while the latter article treats this as a controversial hypothesis. I tend to think the later is likely the case, and that both sides of this argument should be given here, and that the respective sections in both articles should be brought more in line with one another. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 20:24, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's in need of fixing. No, it doesn't need more information in this already long article. Rather, less. This material should be cut to one or two sentences, lose its header, move to the top of the parent section, and be joined there by similarly brief mentions of other confederacies well known and more often discussed by colonial gentlemen of the time such as Switzerland, the Netherlands and the ancient Achaean League. Jim.henderson (talk) 22:41, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Agree. The existing verbiage could be blue lined to the following passage about quarter the size without changing the effect.
The Iroquois nations' political confederacy and democratic government under the Great Law of Peace have been credited as influences on the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.[25] While John Rutledge (SC) quoted Iroquoian law to the Constitutional Convention, [28 the Iroquois experience with confederacy was both a model and a cautionary tale. Their "Grand Council" had no coercive control over the constituent members, and decentralization of authority and power frequently plagued the Six Nations.[29]
Otherwise, the section might be removed whole to the History of the United States Constitution article, along with explanation there of the influences of the republics of Switzerland, Netherlands, Venice and Achaean League. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 06:47, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

"the executive, consisting of the President"[edit]

Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure the executive branch consists of more entities than just the President. Article Two does say that "the executive power shall be vested in a President", but that's still quite different from consisting of. I'd propose changing the phrasing to "headed by". 2A02:1810:4D34:DC00:C421:D27F:537:E61E (talk) 19:25, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Constitutionally the president is the executive branch, but I think the wording could be changed a bit, to be less repetitive, as "consisting" gets a workout and may not be the best choice where the power is vested in a single person, or just to contrast with those branches where the power is vested jointly. Dhtwiki (talk) 23:57, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps it could read "... consisting of a President." Another possibility might be "... consisting of the office of President." Drdpw (talk)

Preamble regarding Welfare[edit]

There is no provision in the preamble providing for any form of welfare. The explicit purpose, as written, was to promote the general welfare, which is quite a different matter. "Provide for" would establish a duty to ensure every person's basic needs were met. Promote requires a reduced duty of advocating processes that could potentially enhance the welfare of an individual or group. There was never any intention by the authors of the document that the government should bankrupt the treasury to feed, cloth and house the masses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.223.246.3 (talk) 00:20, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

OK; where in this article is that misconception stated? I don't see it anywhere. Drdpw (talk) 00:53, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Summary of Article I, Section 8: To tax, borrow, pay debt and provide for the common defense and the general welfare; the US generally has paid down its debt; only in the last two wars have taxes not been raised to an appropriate level to retire it promptly at the conclusion of the conflict. In the modern era one year under Johnson, two years under Carter, six years under Clinton, national debt was retired -- what is your point? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:55, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Summary of Article I, Section 8.[edit]

I provided a summary encyclopedic style to substitute for the extended direct quote for the Article I, section 8.

To tax, borrow, pay debt and provide for the common defense and the general welfare; to regulate commerce, bankruptcies, and coin money; to provide for naturalization, standards of weights and measures, post offices and roads, and patents; to define and punish piracies and offenses against the Law of Nations, to declare war and make rules of war; to directly govern the federal district and cessions of land by the states for forts and arsenals.

TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:04, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

With the specific enumerations of powers listed under Article Two, I've reverted your edits to assist those without an understanding of the relationship between the branches to understand the nature and number of powers of the legislature as compared to the same of the executive. Should encyclopedic style be preferred it should be used throughout the article, as opposed to listed enumeration of one branch's powers and a paragraph-style enumeration of another branch's powers. Endeavor51 (talk) 01:12, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, the specific enumerations for Article II should be rewritten. Encyclopedic style should be used throughout the article. The original document is found at a sister wiki project in full. There used to be a link. We are agreed the First Branch is Congress. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:37, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Second draft, following a summary encyclopedic style to conform with the WP Manual of Style,

Financially, Congress has the power to tax, borrow, pay debt and provide for the common defense and the general welfare; to regulate commerce, bankruptcies, and coin money. To regulate internal affairs, it has the power to regulate and govern military forces and militias, suppress insurrections and repel invasions. It is to provide for naturalization, standards of weights and measures, post offices and roads, and patents; to directly govern the federal district and cessions of land by the states for forts and arsenals. Internationally, Congress has the power to define and punish piracies and offenses against the Law of Nations, to declare war and make rules of war. The final Necessary and Proper Clause, also known as the Elastic Clause, expressly confers incidental powers upon Congress without the Articles' requirement for express delegation. ---

Of course the Second Article summary should also follow the WP:MOS, conveying meaning in a paragraph without the use of bullets. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 05:32, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Summary of Article II, Section 2,3.[edit]

Following the Manual of Style MOS:LISTBULLET, a paragraph describing a summary of Article II, Sections 2 and 3:

The president is the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and state militias when they are mobilized. To administer the federal government, he commissions all the offices of the federal government as Congress directs; he may require the opinions of its principle officers and make ”recess appointments” while Congress is not in session. The president is to see that the laws are faithfully executed, though he may grant reprieves and pardons except regarding Congressional impeachment of himself or other federal officers. The president reports to Congress on the State of the Union, and by the Recommendation Clause, recommends “necessary and expedient” national measures. He may convene and adjourn Congress under special circumstances.

Please discuss here at Talk. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 06:07, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Summary of Article II, section 1.[edit]

Proposal for Article II, section 1.

Article Two describes the office, qualifications and duties of the President of the United States and the Vice President. It is modified by the 12th Amendment which tacitly acknowledges political parties, and the 25th Amendment relating to office succession. The president is to receive only one compensation from the federal government only. The inaugural oath is specified to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

Please discuss here. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:05, 15 May 2015 (UTC)