Liberian Constitution of 1847
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The Liberian Constitution of 1847 was the first constitution of Liberia. Largely modeled on the Constitution of the United States, it remained in effect from its adoption on 26 July 1847 until its suspension by the People's Redemption Council on 12 April 1980.
The Constitution created a unitary state governed by three branches of government: the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The executive branch was led by the President of Liberia, elected by popular vote of all land-owning citizens to a two-year term. Legislative power was held by the Legislature of Liberia, a bicameral body made up of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The judicial branch consisted of the Supreme Court of Liberia, made up of a chief justice and four associate justices, and circuit courts created by the Legislature. Article One of the Constitution enshrined civil liberties similar to those protected by the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.
Approved in a referendum on 27 September 1847, the Constitution was amended several times from 1847 to 1980. Among these amendments, the term length of the president was extended to four years in 1908, and to eight years in 1934.