Land of the Brave

State Constitutions

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

State Constitutions

On April 18, 1775 the American War of Independence began. The 13 original Colonies asked Congress to take charge of the Continental army and the conduct of the war. Congress began to act as advisor as the Colonies changed into States.

On May 15, 1776 Congress advised all the colonies to form governments for themselves. Legislative assemblies in the formerly British colonies began writing and adopting new constitutions to become sovereign and independent states.

The New State Constitutions
Eleven of the original 13 colonies drafted at least one State Constitution as part of the process of changing into states. Connecticut and Rhode Island initially opted to continue to use their colonial Charters as "State Constitutions". By 1780, every state had a written constitution. The new State Constitutions reflected the mood of the times. The Americans had travelled down a long Road to Revolution with Great Britain as their ruler controlling the laws and taxes of the colonies enacted by the British Parliament outside of America effecting life and trade in the 13 colonies leading to the .

State Constitutions - Summary
The State Constitutions took heed from history, the flaws in British laws and the aspirations of the Declaration of Independence. These led to a number of new ideas that Americans, across the newly established states, included in their State Constitutions. A summary of the most important inclusions are as follows:

  • Each of the State Constitutions should be written down
  • The Basic rights of the people should be constitutionally protected
  • All men are created equal
  • Power comes from the people
  • A Separation of powers

Many of the 'framers of State Constitutions were to play important roles in the 'Birth of the Nation' and were later honored in history with the titles of Founding Fathers.

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