US and AZ Constitutions

US Constitution

US and AZ Constitutions

The United State Constitution

The first Constitution in the US was called The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Drafted between 1776 – 1777 and approved by all 13 states by 1781. The Articles of Confederation was problematic lacking the ability to raise money.

Congress could print money but it quickly became worthless. Borrowing money was a solution, repaying the loan was a problem. The states didn’t pay all of their taxes. Interest was not paid on debt owed to foreign governments and the US defaulted on its debts by 1786.

This meant the United States could not meet the duties and defend sovereignty. Needing the approval of at least nine states and sometimes all thirteen Congress could do nothing. The Articles Congress called for a convention of state delegates in 1778 which became the Constitutional Convention.

Deliberations of the Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787. Eventually the resulting new Constitution of the United States was ratified by all thirteen states by May 1790.

The delegates were influenced by two traditions of thought. One called the Virginia Plan and the other was called the New Jersey Plan.

The Virginia Plan was influenced by John Locke, Montesquieu, and Edward Coke. This plan highlighted the consent of the governed, division of government, and civil liberties. It favored the states with large populations.

The Virginia Plan of Government

In favor of the states with smaller populations the New Jersey Plan drew on the ideas of Edmund Burke and William Blackstone. This plan stressed a reliance on received procedure and sovereignty of the legislature.

The New Jersey Plan of Government

Besides the philosophies of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans the US Constitution drew on other ideas. The ideas behind the Constitution’s due process clause was partly based on Common Law and the Magna Carta.

Native Americans also influenced the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. The Iroquois Nation had a political confederacy and democratic government under the Great Law of Peace. In the 1750s John Rutledge from South Carolina quoted Iroquoian law to the Constitutional Convention, “We, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity, and order…”


Threats to the United States Constitution – Robert Graham, AZGOP


Make Your Own US Constitution Booklet

Constitution Booklet Instructions

AZ Constitution

The Arizona Constitution

“We the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.”Arizona Constitution Preamble.

In 1910 Arizona was still a Territory of the United States. During that year Arizona held a Constitutional Convention and drafted the state constitution we have today. Vetoed by President Taft because the original draft allowed for the recall of judges. The choice to recall judges was removed and the document given back to President Taft. Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912 after it’s constitution was approved. The state legislature restored the language to recall judges after becoming a state.


Arizona Centennial: Arizona’s Progressive Constitution

Arizona Constitution

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