Talk:Constitution/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2

unsourced opinion "much more developed"

Editor inserted an opinion stating that a given constitution was "much more developed". The first source given does not mention the topic, and the second is not in English. So far it's unsourced. Some reliable sources, e.g., relevant analyses by well-known historians might help Tedickey (talk) 20:28, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

absolutely unmodifiable constitution(s)

Does anyone know if there are other constitutions than the Constitution of Honduras that have absolutely unmodifiable articles? See the section that i've started below "Entrenchment". Is there a general term for this in constitutional law? (BTW, the entrenchment section lacks a definition near the beginning of the section. The reader can guess what it means by the middle of the section - superiority of the constitution above all other laws - but a more formal definition would be nice.)

Also, if someone knows Honduran constitution law - when did Article 374 become part of the constitution? since the beginning in 1982? And is there any debate about whether it is really meant to be absolute or not - e.g. would a constituent assembly constitute "reforma" or something more fundamental than just "reforma" (presumably, "amendment")? Some of these answers should probably both go in this article and in the Constitution of Honduras article, in appropriate, referenced, forms. Boud (talk) 23:53, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

The US Constitution has two unamendable elements, both in Article V - one relates to banning the slave trade and had a time limit that expired in 1808. The other is still in effect, and prohibits any amendment which ends the equality of representation in the Senate. However, it might be possible, under the language of Article V, to make such a change with the consent of every American State - I'm not sure if this meets the standard of "absolutely unmodifiable" you're discussing, but it would in practice be impossible to get all fifty States in the USA to agree to such a change.Professor Storyteller (talk) 00:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Constitution versus Legal Code

There is a clear and distinct difference between a legal code and a constitution, and we need to be sure this distinction is maintained. A case in point - the US Constitution is the entrenched fundamental law that governs the United States of America, while the US Code is the legal code under which American federal law operates. Constitutions can be written or unwritten, and not every polity has a constitution, but constitutions and legal codes are very different things.Professor Storyteller (talk) 00:37, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

That is right. Legal code is not a Constitution, but constitution is not just fundamental law. It is specific fundamental law it is fundation of: 1) Democracy 2)Republic 3)Equality 4) sovereignty of people (nation). See also the link to Encyclopedia Britanica where come from the idaes and Constitutions itself goes.--Cleaghyre (talk) 18:49, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Concur. Const--Cleaghyre (talk) 22:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)itutions obviously existed before 1789, with most if not all of the 12 American colonies having them before becoming states in the USA. Further, the US Constituion was written in 1787, and is specifically called a "constitution" in the document. Further, the Britannica.com ref given by the user in question defines a contitution as "Set of doctrines and practices that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state" and "constitution, the body of doctrines and practices that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state. In some cases, such as the United States, the constitution is a specific written document; in others, such as the United Kingdom, it is a collection of documents, statutes, and traditional practices that are generally accepted as governing political matters." Clearly, the user's definition is not supported by his own added reference. Finally, the user is misinterpreting the refs statement that "Modern constitutional ideas developed during the Enlightenment, when philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, and open, should represent the governed, and should divide power according to its purpose." The key phrases there are "idea" and "proposed that constitutional governments should be ..." These in no way limit the definition of other contitutions, as the definitions given inthe reference clearly show. - BilCat (talk) 12:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

SEE BELLOW:

(UTC)itutions obviously existed before 1789, with most if not all of the 12 American colonies having them before becoming states in the USA.

The Acts were not democratic. They were given by single governor or imperial body.

Further, the US Constituion was written in 1787, and is specifically called a "constitution" in the document.

It could be but I doubt. Let me now you source. However suggest you to look on photocopy (for example on MS Encarta) I refer to the first two words and their size:

It reads “We People” – if you really put attention why the enface?

Further, the Britannica.com ref given by the user in question defines a contitution as "Set of doctrines and practices that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state" and "constitution, …

You did not read the link which I provided. This is the text:
It may be written (e.g., the Constitution of the United States) or partly written and uncodified (e.g., Britain’s constitution). Its provisions usually specify how the government is to be organized, what rights it shall have, and what rights shall be retained by the people. Modern constitutional ideas developed during the Enlightenment, when philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, and open, should represent the governed, and should divide power according to its purpose. The oldest constitution still in force is that of the state of Massachusetts (1780). See also social contract.
Put attention to worlds:
1) “what rights shall be retained by the people”
2) “constitutional ideas developed during the Enlightenment”
3) “should represent the governed”
I do not know how the so called “Massachusetts Constitution” was formulated and if it set the principles of modern democracy (i.e. not the antique Greek democracy), but I have doubt. This is most possible just Foundation Act without democratic spirt.

Clearly, the user's definition is not supported by his own added reference.

Sorry you mislead public.

Finally, the user is misinterpreting the refs statement that "Modern constitutional ideas developed during the Enlightenment, when philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, and open, should represent the governed, and should divide power according to its purpose." The key phrases there are "idea" and "proposed that constitutional governments should be ..."

Yes J)) the ideas were before the first constitution, obviously. In practice first time the ideas were employed in US Federal Convention Act, soon called US Constitution

These in no way limit the definition of other contitutions, as the definitions given inthe reference clearly show.

There is obvious need to change the article to enface the most important items which presently all civilized World use, cherish and accepted as backbone of every correctly formulated National Fundamental Act – for short called simply Constitution. If you would name an National Fundamental Act written by dictator a Constitution? I do not think so. Even the best Act written by dictator need to be accepted by peple and lead to democracy by issue to be call constitution.

Naming something which is not democratic act a constitution is offence against DEMOCRACY and most above all offence against the people who fought and died for DEMOCRACY.--Cleaghyre (talk) 19:36, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Cleaghyre: This is the Preamble of the 1787 US Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." What is the problem? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 19:58, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

The PEOPLE appear as sovereign and law makers. It is a new thinks - the DEMOCRATIC thing. You do not price it as you should do, this is the problem.--Cleaghyre (talk) 20:13, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I see... So, what are you proposing should be done about it then old chap? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:40, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
My proposition is to separate the so call old constitutions in sub chapter and name it: History of Legal Codes, Fundamental National Acts and pre-democratic constitutionalism. In first chapter should be the most important info about the history and meaning of the Democratic/Modern Constitutions. The reader should read first about essence of the word Constitution as understand in present days instead wondering around unclear political wants.--Cleaghyre (talk) 21:00, 10 December 2010 (UTC)



That is right it should be difference between legal codes definition and Constitution. The Constitution is a fundamental legal code written "by people for people". Legal Code can be written by ministry and accepted by Parliament. For short we can name fundamental legal code of stating political system for example Fundacts :))) if you like. However the Constitution is specific Fundact it is democratic and foundation of no less than a democratic system. All other previous Fundacts were not Constitutions. After 1790' many nations adopted the democratic concept creating democratic Constitutions from scratch, that is all. At present many wants to say we had Constitution from XIV century or XVI century, no you adapted old Fundacts to new, the democratic era. --Cleaghyre (talk) 22:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


Your definition of what makes a constitution is too narrow, and does not encompass currently existing or historical constitutions. Constitutions are not necessarily democratic, and a do not have to be democratic to be accepted as constitutions. A constitution is nothing more and nothing less than fundamental law established as the guiding structure for a polity's later laws by means of requiring greater effort to change than the effort required to create a law. For further information on the origins of the United States Constitution and its roots beyond just late 18th century western Europe, please see my response to your statement below.
Thank you for your time.Professor Storyteller (talk) 00:36, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

>>>

Your definition of what makes a constitution is too narrow, and does not encompass currently existing or historical constitutions.
For you is too narrow,. For me you definition open a way to name a constitution a non-democratic creation – just pretending to be a something. You can name a constitution a creation of ill brain of a dictator etc. You offend the most important achievement of modern era Democracy, Equality, Republic. Etc. For sure “set of people have made and agreed upon for” can be any set of people.

For sure “defining the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties, of a government” can be any one shape and value, unnecessary justified. So on and so on… You loosing what is most imortant.


Constitutions are not necessarily democratic, and a do not have to be democratic to be accepted as constitutions.

Really? So it can be a “final solution for non-Arians” Act. Be serious. In Britanica definition is: “proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, and open, should represent the governed, and should divide power according to its purpose”
’’’In one word Constitution should provide constitutional government’’’ something which does not should be call constitution. You propose to name nay facade tapestry a constitution?

A constitution is nothing more and nothing less than fundamental law established as the guiding structure for a polity's later laws by means of requiring greater effort to change than the effort required to create a law.

Sorry I see no grammar sense in this sentence. What it means in short words.--Cleaghyre (talk) 20:08, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
It's perfectly understandable to anyone fluent in English. That fact that you're not fluent in English enough to have understandable conversations is not our fault, nor our problem. There's no consensus here to support your proposed changes, so it's probably best if you just drop the issue and move on. - BilCat (talk) 22:17, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Cleaghyre - Constitutions are not a creation of the democratic era. That is the point. Democracy is its own achievement, and democracy has been integrated into many constitutions, although some remain non-democratic - especially those that come from a single dictators. But democratic, non-democratic, or partially democratic, they are all constitutions.
There is no definition of the word "constitution" in English which requires that the word solely apply to democratic fundamental law. Democracy is a great thing, a wonderful thing, and indeed a great achievement - but constitutions are something different.
Look at it this way - democracies are very difficult without constitutions (though not entirely impossible). Constitutions came first, and then democracy built on existing documents. Constitutions are a necessary predecessor in political development to democracy, but they are not the same thing. It is political evolution - the one form predates the other.
I am being serious, and the decision by the monstrous government of the Third Reich to commit the unforgivable atrocity of the Shoa (Holocaust) and the related atrocities all across Europe which you reference has nothing to do with our discussions of constitutions.
The sentence I gave you that you see no grammar sense in is in fact a grammatically correct sentence in American Standard English. It is also the basic definition of the word constitution in English. If you would tell me which language I could translate the sentence into that might help you see what I am saying, I will do the best I can with on-line translators to convert it into your language of choice.
But BilCat's point remains. There is no consensus to make the change you suggest, largely because the evidence of the US Constitution and many others refutes your point, and Wikipedia's own policies limit the degree to which we can carry out an intellectual discussion and debate on the merits of your unique definitions. Consequently, there is little else we can accomplish here.
Nevertheless, I thank you for the time you've taken to consider and answer our points.Professor Storyteller (talk) 22:58, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

FOR: Professor Storyteller on 11 Dec

Cleaghyre - Constitutions are not a creation of the democratic era.

You still did not read the definition from Britannica, which I provided. Although some Fund-Acts are pretending to be historically important they are no modern Constitutions. It is important to keep the clear meaning - what definition of Constitution should be. This is for promotion of DEMOCRACTIC thinking.
I proposed already the historical pre-democratic creations (Fund-Act) gather in second chapter of the article. The first chapter should be clearly for the sake of DEMOCRACY devoted to True (modern) Constitutions.

That is the point. Democracy is its own achievement, and democracy has been integrated into many constitutions, although some remain non-democratic - especially those that come from a single dictators.

Creation from single dictator should not be compared with Constitution. It such creation would be worth mentioned it would end the dictatorship.

But democratic, non-democratic, or partially democratic, they are all constitutions.

No absolutely no. They are pretenders, twists, propaganda. The rule of honest scientist is keep clear definitions – do not allow a mess in education and bloody politic manipulations.

There is no definition of the word "constitution" in English which requires that the word solely apply to democratic fundamental law.

The Britannica give suggestion what mean MODERN CONSTITUTION, it separate the event from past.

Democracy is a great thing, a wonderful thing, and indeed a great achievement - but constitutions are something different.

Come on, without Constitution you do not have democracy in a country. Constitution is the corner stone of democracy.

Look at it this way - democracies are very difficult without constitutions (though not entirely impossible).

What do you mean? Are you referring to tribal democracy? This is out of modern scale and practice. It should not be mentioned in this context. Modern democracy absolutely requires a Constitution

Constitutions came first, and then democracy built on existing documents.

Maybe in opposite. First the tribal democracy, Athenian democracy and next the modern democracy on the foundation of the philosophers works followed by Constitutions 1780’

Constitutions are a necessary predecessor in political development to democracy, but they are not the same thing.

Obviously for modern democracy we need constitution and at the start usually a constitution is formulated in modern time. Obviously constitution is a book democracy is the political system so they are not the same item.
The argue remind me a discussion what was first a hen or an egg. Without tribal and Athenian experience (prototype of a chicken) would not be modern constitution (an egg). But without US, Polish and French constitutions (the few first eggs) would not be other democracies (next generation of better chickens) in modern time. New eggs give new chickens.
In one word, without a constitutions new chicken will not appear in next season.
Simply democracy and constitution have to coexist. For the democracy we need fight everyday, if correct Constitution does not exists there is no barricade for the battle

It is political evolution - the one form predates the other.

Here you are! We agree with something. However we did not agree that in the evolution exists death branches, which are minor value for current live. The paleontology and archeology need separate article, I mean the chapter #2. The chapter #1 is for currently alive branch and evolving into the future.

I am being serious, and the decision by the monstrous government of the Third Reich to commit the unforgivable atrocity of the Shoa (Holocaust) and the related atrocities all across Europe which you reference has nothing to do with our discussions of constitutions.

It is the correct coexistence of Constitution and Democracy which allow avoiding dictatorship and its consequences. Wrong “constitution” – i.e. manipulation, leads to terrible governments and consequences. This is why I want clear setup what is what and where the building of constitution - democracy and government should be proceed.
Wikipedia is international project, and particularly English spread knowledge around the World. If editors allow to blur the most essential values, in this case “democracy and constitution” that will be too bad. More, a person sin by wrong act but also by not doing his duties.

The sentence I gave you that you see no grammar sense in is in fact a grammatically correct sentence in American Standard English. It is also the basic definition of the word constitution in English.

Looks somebody wants deliberately blur the real sense of Constitution and Democracy. Somebody wants make the public stupid. It looks for me the practice to make a law unreadable and understandable is the way the manipulators – (government/ and bureaucrats) like so much.

If you would tell me which language I could translate the sentence into that might help you see what I am saying, I will do the best I can with on-line translators to convert it into your language of choice.

Thank you! It is loose of time to translate to other language. If you can translate it to English J that would be great, if you know what I mean.
This is my principle: “Law is for people not for lawyers.” Somebody make mess writing ‘mambo-jumbo’ he should loose his job. People need to know things in simple words, but definitely need not manipulators or uneducated leaders.

But BilCat's point remains. There is no consensus to make the change you suggest, largely because the evidence of the US Constitution and many others refute your point,

We will discuss my editions point by point. And we will see.
BilCat points was the first and last: 'Reverted apparent incorrect, uncited and POV edits by Cleaghyre - no evidence for such a restriction of meaning provided from reliable published sources' that is all.
Evidence of US Constitution? What that mean? We need investigate this – you like general statements, I like step by step edition.

….many others refute your point

Others means individuals or sources. If individuals there is no fields for GANGS. Each editor has right to edit each others approach to the edit singularly and give counterargument. If you mean by “others” US Constitution and other sources let discusses the source single point by point.

….and Wikipedia's own policies limit the degree to which we can carry out an intellectual discussion and debate on the merits of your unique definitions.

Here you are J ! New rule J - limit in discussion J. What a funny personality.
I say step by step. New fact new investigation. One editor give one argument others give other. The consensus builds on facts and scientific investigations. You doing something else, organized group of terror, don’t you? I think you also have no arguments anymore, this is the reason why you want cut off discussion.

Consequently, there is little else we can accomplish here.

You statement seems to be offensive after all. Use arguments, facts – do not give other editors “GOOD ADVICES”. Again I sense you express something in the name of a GANG, are you?

Nevertheless, I thank you for the time you've taken to consider and answer our points.Professor Storyteller (talk) 22:58, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes. You use plural again. Please do not attempt be a voice of an organized group. This is scientific work, facts given personally, discussion editor to editor. This is not a parliament and parties around also.
Academic discussion is not the same like parliament consensus on votes. Here is argument contra argument, somebody knowledge against others. Consensus is also temporary until new facts will be discovered and change the current statuesque. If you any time thought about academic discussion format Professor Storyteller? --Cleaghyre (talk) 21:29, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

_____

I'd even be willing to try to find an editor fluent in his/her language to help interptret, if neccessary. - BilCat (talk) 23:07, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks!Professor Storyteller (talk) 01:15, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Cleaghyre's edit

User:Cleaghyre seems to be arguing that the name "Constitution" was first coined in 1789 in France. Am I right? I'm sure if you looked up the etymology in the OED, you will find previous instances of this name. The US Constitution, that came out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, leaps to mind. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:35, 1 December 2010 (UTC) >>> User:Cleaghyre seems to be arguing that the name "Constitution" was first coined in 1789 in France. Am I right?

No you are not. I say that the ideas of something which pretend to be Constitution in modern sense of the word was invented in Europe by Rousseau and others and first employed in US in 1787, in Poland and in France in 1791.
I'm sure if you looked up the etymology in the OED, you will find previous instances of this name.

O yes, you can lead the etymology in Latin, but the old acts maybe call constitution or act or code has nothing to do with the present meaning of Constitution, which is democratic act.

The US Constitution, that came out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, leaps to mind. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:35, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually the convention was first cal Federal Convention, some time after changed to Constitutional Convention, the same as French National Assembly was not call Constituanta at start. However until I know the change of the name appeared in France already in 1789 ealier than in US. Please take for consideration the fact that the names were changed at all and relatively quickly. My thesis would be the Assemblies put big value for that change for reason obvious to me - they regarded the meanings from Rousseau and others works.--Cleaghyre (talk) 20:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

OK. Look for the name first occurrence. I am sure the Declaration of Independence was not call Constitution. Lately the name was adapted because the idea of "by people for people" sprang from the same source the Rousseau and others works. Remember that it was the same decade and Franklin and others were visiting France or just residing there. It is logical to name the Fundamental Political Act of independent USA as constitution since: 1) there was elected people assembly which wrote it 2) it goes to the equality of "all men" etc. Finally, it was act funding first modern democracy, not in fact for all population yet but very closed. The other creations were more or less adapted to the principle of democracy after a while, as for example the UK “unwritten” constitution, which was glued parts of previous acts (written anywayJ) This is mistake to name adaptation equal to original and proudly announce a constitution existed from XIII century, is it not? --Cleaghyre (talk) 22:46, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Oh, you should learn about the Declaration of Independence when you get to second grade. Or you could try reading up a little during your block. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:46, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Why not name Declaration of Independence a constitution? :))) It state also somthing about a contry state :))))

--Cleaghyre (talk) 20:40, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Cleaghyre - the Declaration of Independence was not what created the Constitution. The Declaration was passed by the Continental Congress to announce the seperation of the American colonies from Great Britain in 1776. Two years later, the Continental Congress proposed the Articles of Confederation, which were not ratified by the new American states until 1781, at which time the Continental Congress was replaced by the Confederation Congress created by the Articles. The Articles failed, leading to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia in 1787, which produced the United States Constitution - the replacement for the Articles of Confederation - which created all the elements of the current federal government of the United States of America. This was ratified in 1788, and is still the constitution for the USA today with 27 amendations carried out under the terms of the amendation process the document itself spelled out in Article V. The term "constitution" does indeed apply to the United States Constitution, as the term was used by the delegates who drafted it and occurs in the title of the document itself, which can be viewed in any number of on-line sources available through Google.
Constitutions can create democracies, or they can created other systems of government. The US Constitution initially created a system dependent on white land-owning male citizens to make decisions at all levels of its electoral process as a result of the voting qualifications of the States. The idea of democracy grew in America from the 1790s until its expression in universal adult male suffrage in the early 19th century - a process achieved through changes to the constitutions and laws of the various States that governed the elections process. After the American Civil War of the 1860s, three new amendments to the Constitution ended slavery and expanded voting rights to all adult male citizens. In the early 20th century, the Constitution was amended again to expand democracy by making Senators directly elected by the people in addition to the Representatives, who had been directly elected from 1788 on, and by extending the right to vote to adult female citizens. Enforcement of the provisions granting the right to vote to non-white Americans proved difficult and Americans shied away from the challenges until the 1960s, when Congress passed and the executive enforced the Voting Rights Act, which finally corrected the last legal blocks to non-white voters. In the same time period, the right to vote was extended to American citizens over the age of 18, marking the conclusion of America's process toward universal adult suffrage democracy. However, this entire process occurred under the same Constitution adopted in 1788 through amendation and acts of the Congress to enforce the relevant amendments.
It is worth noting as well that the Articles of Confederation and their successor, the United States Constitution, both drew the idea of intact and distinct States bonded together into a national union without loss of essential identity from the Iroquois Confederacy, a Native American nation that existed as an independent sovereign polity in northeastern North America from pre-contact times until well into the late 18th century before being conquered and integrated into both the USA and British North America (later Canada). Additionally, the American Founders drew on Roman and Greek political thought in addition to the Enlightenment sources you note. The United States Constitution, then, is an amalgam of Enlightenment ideas, ideas from Greco-Roman antiquity, and Native American ideas that predate contact with Europe. It's political sources cannot be simply tied to western Europe in the 18th century.
As for British history, the unwritten English and British constitution has roots tracing back to the Middle Ages. It has been changed often, and it works differently from the American written constitution, but it is no less a constitution. It is fundamental law entrenched beyond ordinary majority action - and that is what separates a constitution from an ordinary legal code.
Your edit to the lead and section headings creates the erroneous impression that constitutions and legal codes are the same thing, and that all constitutions spring from late 18th century Western European political thought. It seems from your comments here that you agree that constitutions and legal codes are the same thing, and we've established here that constitutions, including the 1788 United States Constitution, have deeper and broader roots than late 18th century Western European political thought. These are the reasons your edit to the lead were reverted.Professor Storyteller (talk) 00:33, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

--- Cleaghyre - the Declaration of Independence was not what created the Constitution. The Declaration … which can be viewed in any number of on-line sources available through Google.

Almost all correct. The exception is that the Constitutional Convention was at beginning called Federal Convention. The name of constitution for the convention and the legal act appeared little bit later. It is unclear for me when in 1788 or in 1789. My sources suggest that in 1789 or later. I have to find adequate sources in English language in this matter. This will not be easy because the common tendency in American literature to colorize history.

Constitutions can create democracies, or they can created other systems of government.

That is bad you got such idea. The world constitution could be used time to time without the meaning which was given by the modern democracy born in 1780’s. The world has a Latin roods but the current meaning and strong sense was given by 1780’s events. You should respect the modern more precise meaning since it is enormous change and achievement in history. It was perceived very early by systematic change of conventions/assembles names and names of the legal fundamental acts in US, France and Poland, later all around the World. As you see at present days all other countries refers to the 1780’s acts, even wants show that their constitutions are older and equal to the great constitution. This constitutions 1780’ give the start of the first modern (not ancient) democracies and nothing will change it –even trillions of you worlds.

The US Constitution initially created a system dependent on white land-owning male citizens to …However, this entire process occurred under the same Constitution adopted in 1788 through amendation and acts of the Congress to enforce the relevant amendments.

Thanks for complete explanation of the way of emancipation in US. I like it, however also the Polish and French Constitutions were not so different. They also introduced limited democracy for only males and with an economical status. Still it was colossal brake into post medieval aristocratic system. This monarchic/aristocratic system was in practice monolithic, almost totally common.

It is worth noting as well that the Articles of Confederation and their successor, the United States Constitution, … USA and British North America (later Canada). Additionally, the American

You are right. The Native American was continuing the oldest form of cooperative government. The democracy in Athens was a continuation and development of family/tribal council of elders. But already there the size of population and style of live enforced evolution.

Founders drew on Roman and Greek political thought in addition to the Enlightenment sources you note. The United States Constitution, then, is an amalgam of Enlightenment ideas, ideas from Greco-Roman antiquity, and Native American ideas that predate contact with Europe. It's political sources cannot be simply tied to western Europe in the 18th century.

Well Rousseau and others derived their ideas from the same ancient sources. They did not hide it in their works. Assuming that they did nothing to develop and adapt the ancient source still they were the first who dig it out and called effectively for application. Sorry I still believe the source of modern democracy is there in Europe. Any way, please watch the documentary “French Revolution”, it is American creation and, maybe strange, but show objective what was what.

As for British history, the unwritten English and British constitution has roots tracing back to the Middle Ages.

Sorry, many nations had something like Magna Carta. Just British are too proud and did not liked to accept the French did something so important and new.

It has been changed often, and it works differently from the American written constitution, but it is no less a constitution. It is fundamental law entrenched beyond ordinary majority action - and that is what separates a constitution from an ordinary legal code.
Why it still exists and was not exchanged for consistent commonly understandable Constitution I mentioned above. Except the sin of vanity, it is also messy and keep low classes in cloudy stage.

Your edit to the lead and section headings creates the erroneous impression that constitutions and legal codes are the same thing,

Absolutely not. My intention is opposite. Legal codes are not the same as Constitution. Briefly:

Constitution are the foundations of modern democracies. Legal codes like the Hammurabi code Magna Carta etc. are not a democratic creation and need different name. In present days Legal Codes refers to a secondary acts which extend in details the principle of Constitution in areas as Criminal Law, Family Law etc. Seems to me that the world for such pre- democratic Political Foundations Acts need other world. Honestly I do not know the correct one, however the Acts are not Constitutions in modern sense. They need to be separated and named differently, that have to be done for the sake of political clear language. For the future “no mix good food with dog food”.

… and that all constitutions spring from late 18th century Western European political thought.

evrything named Constitution should go from the Enlightenment ideas in short: Republic, Freedom, Equality, Fraternity, Democracy, country belong to people (nation).

It seems from your comments here that you agree that constitutions and legal codes are the same thing,

Again no! Constitution is not = Legal Code. But what is not Constitution on Enlightenment ideas are better to be called Legal Code than a constitution. If we will find a better word for the old creation than Legal Codes it would be magnificently. I protest to mix Fund-Acts with True Constitutions

… and we've established here that constitutions, including the 1788 United States Constitution, have deeper and broader roots than late 18th century Western European political thought.

I do not think we should depredate the fantastic philosophers and writes Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke. They perfectly rendered where come from the democracy goes. The deeper roots do not provide excuse to mix all Fund-Acts in one sac with True Constitutions.

These are the reasons your edit to the lead were reverted.

Sorry you conclusion and looking for excuse do not convinced me. You a looking for mix of “good finks with bed thinks”. The all vanity, propaganda and political language twist need to be rectified.

--Cleaghyre (talk) 20:41, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Cleaghyre - Your picture of American history is quite incorrect. The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was held in 1787, and the document was ratified in 1787 and 1788. The first elections under it were held in 1788, and the first members of the United States Congress and the first President of the United States of America took office in 1789. There was never anything called a "Federal Convention." The convention in Philadelphia created the United States Constitution, calling it a "constitution" in the preamble, which reads:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Note the seventh word from the end of the preamble - Constitution. Called thus in 1787 at the time of its drafting, and ever since without interruption.
Adequate sources for this in English abound, both in hard-copy and the internet. Try www.usconstitution.net or the Library of Congress websites, among many, many others.
The "idea" I have is the actual history of constitutions and the definition of the word in English. There is no "modern" or "precise" definition or meaning for the word constitution in English that fits your claim. Your claim as to the meaning of this word is supported neither by evidence nor by any consensus of editors.
As a historian of America, and a university/college instructor who teaches American history and constitutional history, I am extremely familiar with all the threads that lead into American history and the history of the US Constitution - including the histories of Europe, Native American nations, and the interplay between the emerging American republic and its French counterpart in the late 1780s and 1790s. Modern democracy has many roots - many in Europe, many in antiquity, and many among Native American nations. No one people, continent, or culture can lay claim to something that is truly the inheritance and birthright of all humanity.
I am aware that many nations had things like the Magna Carta - as you can see in my post, I stated that the unwritten English and British constitutions trace to the Middle Ages.
The British have their own reasons for wanting to preserve the ancient constitutional system that has saved them from tyranny - many rooted in the brief period when they abandoned it under the tyranny of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Whether or not that or any other constitution advances the cause of freedom or hinders it is irrelevant to whether or not it is in fact a constitution. It is fundamental law entrenched beyond ordinary law, and it shapes and guides the governing of that polity - thus it is a constitution.
I believe I understand your point of view - you believe that only those constitutions which draw on traditions of the Western European Enlightenment, are written, and were created by and are supportive of democratic processes are somehow entitled to be called constitutions. That is your point of view - but it is neither supported by any cited evidence, supported by the consensus of the editors herein, nor is it in fact consistent with history or the definition of the word constitution in the many dialects of the English language.
You are trying to call pre-democratic, non-Enlightenment constitutions "Fundamental Laws," "Fund-Acts," or "Legal Codes." Those words are not used in this way either in history or in modern English parlance. The term in English and in history for a fundamental law entrenched to govern a polity's law-making and governing institutions, whether democratic or not, is "constitution."
This is not "vanity," it is not "propaganda," and it is not "political language twist." It is the reality of history and facts of English vocabulary. There are not "true constitutions" and somehow not-true constitutions - there are only fundamental laws entrenched to guide the creation of ordinary laws. That is a constitution, just as it has been for centuries.Professor Storyteller (talk) 22:18, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Prof S, we have all been patiently pointing out to Cleaghyre for well over a week now in every possible way, that the 1787 text clearly says "Constitution", but even now he seems not to have heard that simple point of fact. At what point do you begin to call it "trolling"? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:37, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I ask you if you can give me a link to photocopy of the ORGINAL text from 1787. I do not accept as a fact some later editions. It is easy and undestandable if the title was given little later. Historian have to pay attention tu such "LITTLE" facts.

Til Eulenspiegel! you attandance in this conversatin seems to be limited to finde a trap and ruls which will make oponet's live missurable.--Cleaghyre (talk) 21:49, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


Til Eulenspeigel - You have a good point. If consensus isn't the goal, Wikipedia cannot function under its own policies. What would be the next step if that indeed turns out to be the case?Professor Storyteller (talk) 01:30, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I give you an edit and the source (Britanica) where the sense of Modern Constitution is explained. You demanded for discussion. The discussin become unconfortable for you. You loosing arguments thus you looking how oponet can be "kill" on spot. I propose to return to edition step by step, fact by fact, sentence by sentence. We are stack in one majnor point for sure. You want use article Constitution for paleontology and arcgheology. I want modern definition of modern constitution in this article.--Cleaghyre (talk) 21:49, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Moving forward

I think at this point it's best to just ignore further responses. The user obviously can't or won't understand plain English as written in Britannica, which clearly gives a definition of "Constitution" as "Set of doctrines and practices that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state", with no caveats for a "modern" definition. Whether this misunderstanding is intentional or not, I can't tell, nor the motive. However, since we have a clear consensus here againt incorporating the user's definition, we should just move on, and not respond. If he tries to edit the article agaisnt consesnus, then we can take action against him as appropriate, probably at WP:ANI. - BilCat (talk) 22:32, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

You see only what you want to see. Read two sentences further: " Modern constitutional ideas developed during the Enlightenment, when philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, and open, should represent the governed, and should divide power according ..." The French Revolution in simply called for: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
More over you do not take part in the discussion. Only person who make effort to understand new ideas and discuss is Professor Storyteller. You just conspire how block somebody whose you do not like. This attitude together with the personal attack “fixation”, who is fixate? – for sure will help you request to block me.--Cleaghyre (talk) 19:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
This link should satisfy the question. Not only does it feature the famous (to Americans) image of the original 1787 printed text of the preamble, but be sure to check the video. Because this video was played on US television repeatedly Sat. mornings during the 1970s when I was a child, it is the very reason I know all the words to the preamble by heart! Now if Cleaghyre still isn't satisfied that the document bore the name of "Constitution" in 1787, let him find even *one* source contending that it did not; otherwise, his continued baseless insistence to the contrary on that point will regrettably have to be taken as trolling. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 00:10, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I am on the way to check if the image is the Draft from 1787 or the officially ratified text 1790. Constituanta in France started in 1789. The Draft can not contain the word Constitution yet. Anyway it is secondary point which I can forgot. However I can not forget importance of modern constitutional ideas as you see in respond to BilCat above. The dull article like present kill the DEMOCRACY essence, I believe you are enemies of DEMOCRACY.--Cleaghyre (talk) 19:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Given the user's pattern on Silesia, he'll tire of this topic eventually, and fixate on another one. Hopefully one I don't watchlist! - BilCat (talk) 01:28, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Great personal attack. Stop judging other user personality. --Cleaghyre (talk) 19:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

To Professor Storyteller - 13Dec2010

There was never anything called a "Federal Convention.

Here you have cite from Ms. Encarta 1996:
” The Congress of the Confederation endorsed the proposal in February 1787, and set Philadelphia as the place, and May of that year as the time, for what later became known as the Constitutional, or Federal, Convention”.
I am sure the name was change very soon from Federal to Constitutional, there is only a point to search when. As I mentioned my non-English sources situate name Constitution from Constituanta thus it indicate me the actual changes in US appeared soon after. Sorry I will say but many times I found “inaccurate” changes in US history literature – quite unscientific, well there is a reason for this tendency …
Anyway, we can leave it as future problem were come from the name ‘Constitution’ appeared.. The essential point is a clear statement what and where come from goes the: Republic, Freedom, Equality, Fraternity, Democracy, country belong to people (nation). In other words what modern thing called Constitution should be. This is more important than pay complements for each small group of malcontents.

"The convention in Philadelphia created the United States Constitution, calling it a "constitution" in the preamble, which reads: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Good, so you can have a point in particular if the word Constitution is in capital letter. Unfortunately I can not give you 100%. I did not see the photocopy big enough to read the original words. I still search for it. You see I am skeptic and scientist I check all in details. I have also long live experience = many will chit you. Sorry I need more info.
OK. I could recognize, beryl recognize - the word “Constitution” on a photocopy, but if it is the document finalized and lastly ratified in 1790 I still would argue since the Draft in 1787 could be little different. French Constituante started in May 1789.

Note the seventh word from the end of the preamble - Constitution. Called thus in 1787 at the time of its drafting, and ever since without interruption.

Maybe it is the Draft or maybe the final ratified text in 1790. I see no date on the photocopy.

Adequate sources for this in English abound, both in hard-copy and the internet. Try www.usconstitution.net or the Library of Congress websites, among many, many others.

OK. I will try you links. Thanks.

The "idea" I have is the actual history of constitutions

Fine, but I would for the history of Fund-Acts, or constitutions (if they were in fact named in this particular name at the day of creation) create separate article or second chapter in article ‘Constitution’. Most important is the modern definition and underlined difference between the predecessors (the pre 1780’ documents.) and modern creations.
The history is very interesting and give a sense of proud and attachment to law and justice of many countries and many people. However the: ‘’’ Republic, Freedom, Equality, Fraternity, Democracy, country belong to people (nation)’’’ emphasize is much much more important.

…and the definition of the word in English.

Well Sir, there is (also in US) many people (in government also) who manipulate around people freedoms. They edit and create pseudo-scientific works. We (at least I am from people) I am interested not in English definition but in ‘’’true definition’’’. And we create in English Wikipedia for many out of English speaking countries also. ‘’’True is identical in all languages’’’

There is no "modern" or "precise" definition or meaning for the word constitution in English that fits your claim. Your claim as to the meaning of this word is supported neither by evidence nor by any consensus of editors.

Look in to Britanica. It is not perfect but send reader to the Enlightenment, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke, and you can easily conclude the essence “by people for people” after all.

As a historian of America, and a university/college instructor who teaches American history and constitutional history, I am extremely familiar with all the threads that lead into American history and the history of the US Constitution - including the histories of Europe, Native American nations, and the interplay between the emerging American republic and its French counterpart in the late 1780s and 1790s.

Well I am only Doctor in Engineering and scientist. I know 2+2 is 4. I also know that in politic manipulations it is not the rule.

Modern democracy has many roots - many in Europe, many in antiquity, and many among Native American nations. No one people, continent, or culture can lay claim to something that is truly the inheritance and birthright of all humanity.

No Sir it is wrong to blur the biggest achievements and its place. Modern democracy has a clear place of birth. If you will dissolve the true for a sake of ….. (put a word whatever you chose there) you are destructor of true. You give support for manipulators - to bend for opportunistic reasons obvious and fundamental thinks. Thinks which belongs to all of us, to all people. You tendency is to pay complements for everybody the results are 1) nobody is satisfied and fighting for more 2) blur definition of constitution allow governments to ‘forgot’ and manipulate the foundation of DEMOCRACY.

I am aware that many nations had things like the Magna Carta - as you can see in my post, I stated that the unwritten English and British constitutions trace to the Middle Ages. The British have their own reasons for wanting to preserve the ancient constitutional system that has saved them from tyranny - many rooted in the brief period when they abandoned it under the tyranny of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Whether or not that or any other constitution advances the cause of freedom or hinders it is irrelevant to whether or not it is in fact a constitution. It is fundamental law entrenched beyond ordinary law, and it shapes and guides the governing of that polity - thus it is a constitution.

It is a constitution, but is not to be put before US, Polish or French constitution in time line, call as older or better. In fact to be honest the British should mark the point when they actually introduced the “Freedom, Equality, Fraternity” in their law. This is or will be the start of their modern constitution, and this would be the reason for proud. Repeating again and again how old we are is just vanity and soaping of unimportant event.

I believe I understand your point of view - you believe that only those constitutions which draw on traditions of the Western European Enlightenment, are written, and were created by and are supportive of democratic processes are somehow entitled to be called constitutions. That is your point of view - but it is neither supported by any cited evidence, supported by the consensus of the editors herein, nor is it in fact consistent with history or the definition of the word constitution in the many dialects of the English language.

I still think that the sense given by Britannica is good foundation and understanding. Enlightenment is not European or Western. It is a period of philosophy development and was practiced also in America. Many fathers of US Independence and Constitution should be considered as Enlightenment philosophers.
Obviously we need to state what is worth to be call Constitution from some point in history in to future. This is for very simple reason. Calling every clumsy dictator, king or whoever code a constitution is destructive. If international definition of Constitution is or would be set it would also clarify the demands of people in political captivity – also those in US for fact.

You are trying to call pre-democratic, non-Enlightenment constitutions "Fundamental Laws," "Fund-Acts," or "Legal Codes." Those words are not used in this way either in history or in modern English parlance. The term in English and in history for a fundamental law entrenched to govern a polity's law-making and governing institutions, whether democratic or not, is "constitution."

I am aware of the English language disability, so I was attempting to find new word for clear separation between what is the Modern Democratic Constitution and preceding historical documents. This old documents mostly were not named a constitution at start (so edit their original name instead). Some accidentally were using the name constitution, but should not be mix with Democratic Constitutions. At present days the word ‘Constitution’ achieved new value and it is essential for culture and communication between people.
Some of the old documents can use the name ‘constitution’ since the Latin word ‘constitutio’ means to pass a law. English follow the Latin using word ‘constitute’ = form or compose. This is a problem since Modern Constitution is new quality and deserve new distinct word. In most countries where a word similar to ‘constitute’ was not use the confusion like ‘Constitution’ = ‘not Modern Constitution’ does not exist.

This is not "vanity," it is not "propaganda," and it is not "political language twist."

O! it is, can be or will be. Honest people looking to clarify vocabulary and definition. Dishonest individuals in opposite for their egoistic reason will mix values to discolor the TRUE. You choose what is more important paying complements and political correctness or clear definition for practical reason of better future.

It is the reality of history and facts of English vocabulary. There are not "true constitutions"

There is GOOD or BED one, and the good values have to be accentuated. More over encyclopedia is not a forum for political courtesy. Here are scientific work facts and definitions for the sake of true and better future. Pay compliments to all around is not actually fruitful on long terms. It is enough to critically read the present definition (I enclose the commentary bellow), to see how harmful the boutique can be. (See attachment at end)

…and somehow not-true constitutions - there are only fundamental laws entrenched to guide the creation of ordinary laws. That is a constitution, just as it has been for centuries.

O yes, I now such “constitutions”, they are just pretenders. For example the Canadian one, this was started and never ended. It made more bed then good. However, you are right, in fact all Constitutions are just “only fundamental laws entrenched to guide the creation of ordinary laws”. The problem is that the guide should be complete and consistent, understandable for common people. If you are historian you possibly know that some constitutions are just stack of Amendments. If you say it is practical I will be surprised. To be effective a Constitution need to be reedited time to time and be simple and extremely consistent. If constitutions are not critically reedited, the inconsistencies multiply and confuse public. It is not good idea to work unsystematically or maybe blur reality by purpose. ‘’’Manipulations are for cows for people are rules’’’ – who does in opposite will pay in blood, this is the reality of history


COMENT TO PRESENT DULL ARTICLE

A constitution is a set of laws that a set of people (??any set of people??) have made and agreed upon for government (??it can be military junta??)—often as a written document—that enumerates and limits the powers and functions of a political entity.[citation needed] (??it can just limit killing only limited citizen annually, for example??) These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is. In the case of countries and autonomous regions of federal countries the term refers specifically to a constitution defining the fundamental political principles (?? can definy mafia like rules, is not to be??), and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties, of a government (??of communist dictatorship methods also??). By limiting the government's own reach, most constitutions guarantee certain rights to the people (?? most constitutions but unnecessary all need yse??). The term constitution can be applied to any overall system of law that defines the functioning of a government, (?? wrong assumption – the democratic world should setup clear bondaries what a constitution means – just for the sake of people in captivity of political manipulators ??) including several uncodified historical constitutions that existed before the development of modern codified constitutions (?? What do you mean? It was something before the Hammurabi ‘constitution’, something like unmodified mess? Anyway, if unmodified means inconsistent. Some doing the inconsistence for manipulations of nations, some for the sake of vanity: “look how OLD our BUTYFULL system is.  ???)

PROPOSAL

Constitution in modern meaning is a set of laws that a democratically elected people have created and agreed upon for government. It fixes the limits and defines the relations of the legislative, judicial, and executive powers of the state. Constitution also provides guarantees of certain rights to the people. The idea of modern state and modern constitution - "by people for people" - was developed during the [Enlightenment], by philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke. The enlightened constitutions appeared almost simultaneously: in 1787-1788 in United States of America, in Poland 3 May 1791 and in France 14 September 1791. The innovative rules: Republic, Democracy, Equality, Freedom and Fraternity become foundation of modern states of liberty and democracy up to present days.

This is to promote well written constitution for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. In following chapters anybody can introduce element of historic development of Codes, Statutes, Constitutions (if it was the act original name). My request is to be very specific with names and dates, just to avoid propaganda and "repairing" of history.--Cleaghyre (talk) 19:55, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

One think more Professor Storyteller: Consensus is not the solution for everything. Assuming that a group of people (assuming even a majority) rich a consent that the Earth is flat. What will be this consent consequence? The fact is that a fact is not changed and such consensus is not suitable to edit in encyclopedia.--Cleaghyre (talk) 20:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Facts

Again Cleaghyre, consensus is vital to Wikipedia. You keep saying that you are presenting "facts," but no one here agrees with you. Please understand that Wikipedia runs on consensus, and merely saying it shouldn't isn't enough to overrule every other editor on this page. Dayewalker (talk) 20:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
We will start editing. I will introduce the facts one by one and we will see what you will do. Until know you work was: 1) plain revert, no explanation 2) complain that i do not want discuses to an administrator 3) No discussion here but plotting how to block me.
Wikipedia do not run on consensus, Wikipedia runs on facts. You attitude is: "We (most of editors - and who give you the power to represent the "every other editor") make the consensus the Earth is flat, so we keep this on Wikipedia. I do not know how you are able to get such position.--Cleaghyre (talk) 14:48, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Cleaghyre, once again, the text of the US Constitution was approved by the Convention in 1787, and immediately sent to the states for ratification; Delaware was the first state to ratify that same year. Once that happened, there was NO procedure to amend the text in the least, not even one word, once it was presented to the states and they were deciding whether to approve it. They can't decide on a changing target that is still being changed after the first state has already approved it. What came out of the 1787 Convention was the FINAL DRAFT and there is NO credible reason to think the preamble read any differently then, than it did in 1790, or still does today. All we have is your baseless original and uncited assertion that it "might have" read differently. For an extraordinary assertion like that to be taken seriously, you have to furnish evidence or citations to that effect; there is no limit to the things one could allege "might have" really happened, in the absence of even a shred of documentation. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:18, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Eulenspiegel! There is no reason to be aggravated. I understood you arguments and I told you: this is not the most important point. I will look for the proof in the future. I will not discuses if you believe is right since you do not want do that. However do not criticize me I do not share you believe. I do not have a source as you possibly have that: "What came out of the 1787 Convention was the FINAL DRAFT..". Anyway you say: "there is NO credible reason to think the preamble read any differently then.." so you are not sure also. Just you suppose that MOST probably were no change.
Here is no reason to discuss the question longer, since I will not make insert until I will have a proof plus need to enter the findings. However, there is much more important fact to introduce. If you would read my discussion with Professor Storyteller you would know to what facts I refer to. Obviously you are free to give you counterarguments here to my new editions.--Cleaghyre (talk) 15:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I had been reviewing the article and I found the sub article Etymology. Somebody long time ago introduced "The term constitution comes through French from the Latin word constitutio ..." Thus not only I got the point of French origin of the world Constitution for modern state fundamental laws. Will you argue with me that American got ideas (at least some of them) from Jean-Jacques Rousseau? I also reviewed with full magnitude the four pages of original US Constitution text, there is no date there. SORRY I bother you. I also sometimes believe I know everything and I did all perfect. --Cleaghyre (talk) 17:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)


Cleaghyre - This will be my last response, as I must honor the consensus of my fellow editors on how to proceed, for such are the rules of Wikipedia and we all agreed to abide by those rules when we chose to edit.

I did in fact read the definition from Britannica - it is what I've been arguing for, as it doesn't have a separate "modern" definition for constitution.

Constitutions are important parts of many democratic societies, but there are democracies which do not have them - including many Amerindian tribes/nations in America, which still exist and function quite well in the modern world as free democratic polities. Modernity is a wonderful thing, but it is not the end-all be-all of human achievement, and there is much good in things which do not line up with Atlantic civilization or the various forms of modernity around the world.

To be clear - I strongly favor written constitutions as the best bulwark against a loss of freedom or democracy in a democratic polity. I am sworn to defend my Constitution against all enemies, and I work every day to educate my fellow citizens in its history, its appropriate use, and the best ways to safeguard it and with it our freedom and democracy.

Here is my best effort at the meaning of the word "constitution" in the plainest least technical English I can produce:

A constitution is a set of fundamental laws used to organize and operate a government and to create ordinary non-fundamental laws. To be fundamental, these laws (which make up the constitution) must be set aside as different from ordinary laws. They are set aside as different by requiring greater effort to change them than ordinary laws. These sets of fundamental laws, known as constitutions, can be written or unwritten, and may create democracies or non-democratic polities. All that is required to create a constitution is to set aside fundamental laws from ordinary laws by means of a need for greater effort to alter the fundamental laws.

The key evidence from the US Constitution in refutation of your point is its existence prior to your stated deadline for constitutions, and the fact that from its inception in 1787 on it was called a Constitution. You can verify these facts by visiting the websites I listed above.

The rule limiting discussion is not my invention - it's not even one I like very much. It is however a requirement of Wikipedia that we seek consensus as quickly and efficiently as possible, and rely only on evidenciary sources which can be verified by others. As a result, because this discussion has shown a consensus against your edit supported by evidence I and others have provided, the Wikipedia policy prevents us continuing this discussion indefinitely.

I have no idea what I might have said that you find offensive, and I regret that you feel otherwise. The reason I am using plural forms in these moments is that I am speaking from within the consensus that Wikipedia requires we all (the editors) seek. This is, regrettably, not an academic discussion, but rather a group of volunteers bound by the rules of Wikipedia to seek consensus and to work together as a group, and to limit our discussions in ways that we would not in academia.

I regret that we cannot continue this discussion as we would in academia. Professor Storyteller (talk) 21:56, 13 December 2010 (UTC)


Respond to Professor Storyteller -17 Dec 2010

Cleaghyre - This will be my last response, as I must honor the consensus of my fellow editors on how to proceed, for such are the rules of Wikipedia and we all agreed to abide by those rules when we chose to edit.

Actually I do not know what are you talking about. You discuss facts or you do not. If you do not have counterarguments do not revert. That is simple.
“Honor consensus of my fellow editors” what that means. You possibly already see that unnecessary you know all facts. You possibly see that the editing is blurry and do not respect Enlightened Constitution values. Consensus is only temporary thinks you need respect facts not “fellow editors”. It seems you value “group” solidarity more than true and facts.
I will precede sentence by sentence and if you will revert me without counterarguments there is no excuse for you. Our discussion was very complicated but I was believing you are willing to make such effort. Now I see you are not comfortable with many arguments at once or you were looking to subdue opponent by many words. Since the above I will simplify go into step by step action/editons.

I did in fact read the definition from Britannica - it is what I've been arguing for, as it doesn't have a separate "modern" definition for constitution.

It has: ‘Modern constitutional ideas developed during the Enlightenment, when ..’

Constitutions are important parts of many democratic societies, but there are democracies which do not have them - including many Amerindian tribes/nations in America, which still exist and function quite well in the modern world as free democratic polities.

God bless them. However what they do it is their own business. I do not press they have to change their approach and have a constitution. This is no reason to withdraw the meaning of Enlightened Constitution from the article. This is not also an argue who is wiser, the European Enlightened Philosophers or the natural tribe/regional democratic solutions. The fact is may if not most states derive from French and American revolutions.
The fact is also that DEMOCRACY is not always the best solution for surviving unfortunately - I think it is clear from human history. My approach is to educate people as much as possible for the reason they can make common decision in democratic way before the critical need for dictatorship appear. It is obvious to me that common, democratic decision will be executed more efficient than the dictatorship one. Beside, possession of power rotten the dictators too often, and even if not so his decisions sacrifice too often the live of intelligent opposition – a very important part of society.
Well, unfortunately for us blind group solidarity are the main pillar of dictatorship and mortal enemy of intelligent opposition.

Modernity is a wonderful thing, but it is not the end-all be-all of human achievement, and there is much good in things which do not line up with Atlantic civilization or the various forms of modernity around the world.

This your thinking is right, and I do not contradict it. I just introduce fact modern/Enlightened constitutions are build on that and that. Sorry you do not like word ‘modern’. Fact is fact people using words and all allergies (in this time, I conclude, one of yours) can not be taken for consideration. I have also a feeling that you can be allergic to “Atlantic civilization” in total, as you call it. Although I can understand existence of such allergy I do not feel I offend you. I just bring to light the historical facts of French and American Revolution and their innovations to the modern/present world. To be clear I use world modern in sense ‘contemporary’, as it should to be, without any hidden meaning ‘better’. Nor I suggest we should forget our traditional tested solution in our small communities. Tradition is not antonym to ‘modern’ neither ‘modern’ is synonym to ‘better’.

To be clear - I strongly favor written constitutions as the best bulwark against a loss of freedom or democracy in a democratic polity. I am sworn to defend my Constitution against all enemies, and I work every day to educate my fellow citizens in its history, its appropriate use, and the best ways to safeguard it and with it our freedom and democracy.

So I do not understand why you prefer the cloudy edition, which only confuse potential reader of the Wikipedia article.

Here is my best effort at the meaning of the word "constitution" in the plainest least technical English I can produce: A constitution is a set of fundamental laws used to organize and operate a government and to create ordinary non-fundamental laws. To be fundamental, these laws (which make up the constitution) must be set aside as different from ordinary laws. They are set aside as different by requiring greater effort to change them than ordinary laws. These sets of fundamental laws, known as constitutions, can be written or unwritten, and may create democracies or non-democratic polities. All that is required to create a constitution is to set aside fundamental laws from ordinary laws by means of a need for greater effort to alter the fundamental laws.

What I can say? I do not want offend you. I understand what you are talking about, but believe me I was several time lost and had to concentrate very much to realize the total sense of the paragraph. Here you are talking about: 1) constitution = fundamental laws 2) constitution is separated protected against easy changes/corruption 3) constitution can be written and unwritten 4) can contain democratic and non-democratic policies 5) you repeat the sense o point 2 and say that creation of a constitution can be easy.
I suppose you would expect me to agree with the definition as total. However I can not do that. The first reason is this is too complicated writing, thus will push away a reader instead interest him. If the pushing away is you true purposes I would suggest to write it for “lazy” reader.
Secondly, I obviously agree with the point 1) and 2) it is unquestionable fact and issue of constitution. @ point 3) I would write: a constitution can be written in systematic way from start on as new formation (US Constitution), or a be collection of elder/preceding acts, statutes etc. combined into set named “unwritten” constitution (UK Constitution). Honestly using world “unwritten” confuse a reader I would rather use word “combined constitution” instead.
Meantime I will live the point 4 aside, and discuss it as last and most important.
@ Point 5, unfortunately writing a democratic constitution is not easy. It can look like that for the resident of American continent, where live was less challenging from political stand point of view. In Europe since 1790 there had been many wars and revolutions, denser population and higher social fragmentation. I have the experience to live extended period of time in Europe and equally long in North America, thus I have clear picture of historical backgrounds. I do not want criticize extensively the North American constitution but I see them as very inconsistent, internally contradicting, and by such reasons problematic for present and future. I am strong believer in systematic work and long time perfecting effort as a general practice. In US, Canada and even in UK the turmoil and wars did not forced the societies to create the most effective and simplified law definitions, as it happened on European continent. The systematize and simplicity were done by permanent bloodsheds. I do not think writing constitutions is easy at all.
@ point 4 a constitution most important issue is not how technically “operate a government”, but for what the government is. And the government should be for the best of people. What about this? So why spoil the word constitution by mix it with undemocratic statutes/edicts.
For me the word Constitution associates with the French Revolution, Democracy in simple “by people for people”. It is not different for American resident. It is enough to read the US Constitutions’ Preamble. I contemplate the words from this Preamble: “We the people…”, “…establish justice…” and “…secure the blessings of liberty…” I also add the words “…this Constitution ..” very mindfully used in the following text. It is the same new idea of that time as in French version: ‘’’We people make the constitution. We need not king and aristocracy we want democracy and liberty’’’.
The word Constitution is really strongly enforced and clear cut for the single most important act - in the US Constitution. Think about that. The creators wanted that and consciously cut it out clear. Sorry but I feel you blur this deliberately. I am sure the creator of US Constitution wanted separate the new Fundamental Act from each other from the past as new and unique.
This is my proposal:
A democratic constitution is a set of fundamental laws used to protect citizen rights and operate a government. These sets of fundamental laws can be written in systematic way or be a collection of acts, statutes etc. combined into set named “unwritten” constitution.
Although we can distinguish some constitution created in non-parliamentary way the issue of a constitution traditionally is aspiration to democracy and justice. An act created without aspiration to democracy and justice should not be call a constitution as it would equalize it with historical achievement of Enlightened Constitution.
Modern constitutional ideas were developed during the Enlightenment, when philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, open, and should represent the governed (the people).

The rule limiting discussion is not my invention - it's not even one I like very much. It is however a requirement of Wikipedia that we seek consensus as quickly and efficiently as possible, and rely only on evidenciary sources which can be verified by others.

”…limiting discussion…” why?
”… seek consensus as quickly and efficiently as possible …” because?
”… only on evidenciary sources which can be verified by others…” we doing nothing more, at least I do.
OK! OK! I understand J you issue is shot me down as soon as possible J
My edits will be done step by step. I always preferred to make small changes and discuses them successively. I entered the big discussion since the others two users just demanded it instead talk about single facts or small editions in order. But there is some advantage fro the discussion. You know that my issue is to promote spirit of the democratic/enlightened constitution, and I know that you issue is different. Until I understood you working for some non-democratic government or you want diminish the Enlightened/Democratic/or Modern Constitution for sake of a POV. The sources of such attitude I can only guess. Sorry about the rough words but I dislike the oppressive demands from you colleagues: 1) go to discussion. 2) no discussion anymore. 3) our consensus for ever 4) editors solidarity my must.

I have no idea what I might have said that you find offensive, and I regret that you feel otherwise.

As I say I prefer simple step by step work and facts in order instead developing argue about big ideas. The approach of many editors is gathering in gangs to defend fragments of their personal believes. I am not interested in that - it is destructive. I work alone and in scientific manner, I expect on others to look for true and logic in the same way. A person who applies group pressure and group unity instead honest person to person conversation offends me. Actually you are the less aggressive in the group of three.

The reason I am using plural forms in these moments is that I am speaking from within the consensus that Wikipedia requires we all (the editors) seek.

Please do not do that. First is first. Honest exchange of ideas and facts between individuals is before all others “Wikipedia’s requires”, don’t you agree with me? And I do not understand why you go to such words like “speaking from consensus”, “we all (the editors) seek.” Until now I see three editors who oppose me and only one (you) doing little more effort than yelling: “shot him down”. Eulenspiegel attempt is a minimal effort and fast “shot down”. BilCat is even more straight i.e. simple call “Shot him! Shot him!”
Please be patient and egalitarian. You will do much better for you sprit living the group of hunters. Democracy (an idea), I believe, is worth thousand times more than group solidarity and group acceptance. Recall Socrates! – well, you surly will found some equally enlightened closer to you heart.

This is, regrettably, not an academic discussion, but rather a group of volunteers bound by the rules of Wikipedia to seek consensus and to work together as a group, and to limit our discussions in ways that we would not in academia.

I can not accept the idea “consensus first and most important” it is illogical because it does not lead to knowledge and true. It is easy to perceive, is not it?

I regret that we cannot continue this discussion as we would in academia.

Do not regret! This is only you choice. I do not resign with talking with you. I will always give you answer for you question and looking for answer from you. We do not agree until know, since I price democracy as first, and you have some other, looks like more important believes. I really do not know what the believes can be, I just had to guess. Finally I conclude you price the group-editor-friend solidarity more than search and slow improvement as I do.

PS. This is a definition from US encyclopedic text found on CD provided with my computer in year 1995: PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION The Philadelphia Convention of 1787 (also known as the Federal Convention or the Constitutional Convention) was a landmark in American and world history. Both its handiwork, the Constitution of the United States, and its example of a people's representatives using reason and experience to decide how to govern themselves had profound influence on subsequent experiments in government. Regards --Cleaghyre (talk) 16:09, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Why set of people and why agree upon?

I see illogical the fragment: "…that a set of people have made and agreed upon…" Many of the cods like Hammurabi’s, etc. were not creation of set of peoples or if they were unnecessary were accepted by the same group of peoples.

My proposals are: 1) remove the fragment "…that a set of people have made and agreed upon…"

or 2) repair the text adequately - I mean do not overuse name "Constitution" --Cleaghyre (talk) 19:09, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Attn Cleaghyre: What is a constitution?

Cleaghyre, the word "constitution" in its simplest sense means "What something is made up of". For example, what are you made of? The answer is including, but not limited to, blood, bones, skin, hair, etc. so therefore we may say that these things are part of your "constitution" because they are what "constitute" your body. In political science, it's used to mean a body of laws that make up the overriding system that runs a country or its government. The word "constitution" in itself makes no implications as to whether these laws are written or unwritten, democratic or undemocratic. They can be completely unwritten and still be called "Constitution", and likewise they can be completely undemocratic and still it is that country's constitution in the literal sense. I think some people have acquired romantic ideals about narrowing the basic definition in order to claim a priority for the age of this or that constitution as the "world's first", when in fact the idea of having an overriding system of rules for governing a given nation is quite ancient. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 19:47, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

You fixed the logic error, and it is better. I hope you finally started to cooperate, so we will soon or later make the article 'Constitution' consistent and logical. Regarding the "world's first'- better to say 'world's first democratic...' - democratic constitution is the huge people achievement. I hope you will understand me. History of law codification is important, but for what reason the codification is done and what results provides is for human civilization absolutely most essential.--Cleaghyre (talk) 19:43, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Laughable article

Religious citations and philosophic herritages are not constitutions.

Constitutions were invented by Western Civilization (Catholic Protestant Europe) in the centuries of high middle ages.

Basic requirements: 1. existence of parliamental system. Parliament is not a council or advisor of the monarch. Parliament has at least equal or more rights than the monarch of the country. second: constitution has top-importance in the hierarchy of the legislation system of the country, the highest legal norm. Monarch couldn't modify it, only the parliament has the right of modification.

First constitution was in Iceland the second was magna charta the third was the Hungarian Golden Bull of 1222 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.0.61.6 (talk) 16:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Forms of Govt infobox??

While I see problems with Template:Forms_of_governmen, I was wondering if others think this article could benefit from it since it does make an effort to categorize the forms that might expand readers' understanding. (Don't have time to figure out how it might be better structured). CarolMooreDC 11:26, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Japan???

I have remove section on Japan since 6th century Prince Shōtoku's Buddhist code wasn't even constitution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.81.18.30 (talk) 05:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

moving away from listcruft

This is an important article, and it is a pity it still suffers from the Wikipedia disease of heaped up lists where there should be a coherent summary. The problem is limited to the section I have now called Constitution#Pre-modern_constitutions. These are not so much "constitutions" in the modern sense, and the dwelling on a list of what are really predecessors of the type of document the article should be discussing, the list should really be exported and replaced by a short paragraph about the early history of the concept. I am not disputing that these "are" constitutions, that depends entirely on your definition of the word. But I insist that they are of marginal interest here and should not clutter up the page as they do. After all, and for good reason, the "Modern" section also does not consist of an alphabetical list of the 190 constitutions of the current-day sovereign states of the world. --dab (𒁳) 14:47, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

It's important to discuss what the earliest predecessors were and they are not "cruft". Should we not set the record straight and tell what the predecessors were? There are still people who think there were no predecessors other than the Magna Carta because that's what they have been taught. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:56, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism

It seems like someone has vandalized part of this article

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution#ka7wq8eic098wrbcu0q93webv790w3e8nb8

ka7wq8eic098wrbcu0q93webv790w3e8nb8 does not seem like a legitimate title for an article dealing with Constitutions. Might want to have a look into this. Given that I have never read this article, I do not know what was previously in place of ka7wq8eic098wrbcu0q93webv790w3e8nb8 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.50.38.110 (talk) 02:59, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

I can't believe that they have left that there and have not fixed it after this amount of time 24.255.182.209 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:39, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Aristotle's constitution diagram

He said Democracy was less perverse than Tyranny, not the other way round. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.101.253.236 (talk) 23:14, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Longest

The pargraph in the opening about the longest an shortest text seems oddly out of place. Imo it has no added value and would be more suitable in a trivia section. Or be deleted entirely. 92.69.206.13 (talk) 07:35, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Protection?

This article seems to be subject to recurrent vandalism - not frequent enough to need semi-protection, but persistent. Let me ask the regular watchers of this page: Do you think it would be helpful to have Pending Changes protection here? If you do think so, I will apply it. --MelanieN (talk) 17:46, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified

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Constitution State

I thought Connecticut was the "Constitution State" because it was the first to SIGN the Constitution of the United States. The alternative claim in the text is unsourced.John Chamberlain (talk) 21:20, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Should it be merged into Constitutional law?

Should it be merged into Constitutional law? --Osteology (talk) 14:39, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

I donot think so, because UK has no constitutional law.--AtagoKohun (talk) 12:51, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

I also oppose it. The subjects are significantly different: one explains what a constitution is, from a political/historical perspective, while the other is about a particular field of law. --MelanieN (talk) 15:27, 19 June 2016 (UTC)