Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, procedures and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, the duties of citizens, it is the longest written constitution of any country on earth. B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, is considered to be its chief architect, it imparts constitutional supremacy and was adopted by its people with a declaration in its preamble. Parliament cannot override the constitution, it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950. The constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document, the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. To ensure constitutional autochthony, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395. India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as Republic Day.
The constitution declares India a sovereign, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice and liberty, endeavours to promote fraternity. The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi; the words "secular" and "socialist" were added to the preamble in 1976 during the emergency. Most of the Indian subcontinent was under British rule from 1857 to 1947. From 1947 to 1950, the same legislation continued to be implemented as India was a dominion of Britain for these three years, as each princely state was convinced by Sardar Patel and V. P. Menon to sign the articles of integration with India, the British government continued to be responsible for the external security of the country. Thus, the constitution of India repealed the Indian Independence Act 1947 and Government of India Act, 1935 when it became effective on 26 January 1950. India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown and became a sovereign democratic republic with the constitution.
Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394 of the constitution came into force on 26 November 1949, the remaining articles became effective on 26 January 1950. The constitution was drawn from a number of sources. Mindful of India's needs and conditions, its framers borrowed features of previous legislation such as the Government of India Act 1858, the Indian Councils Acts of 1861, 1892 and 1909, the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935, the Indian Independence Act 1947; the latter, which led to the creation of India and Pakistan, divided the former Constituent Assembly in two. Each new assembly had sovereign power to enact a new constitution for the separate states; the constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, elected by elected members of the provincial assemblies. The 389-member assembly took three years to draft the constitution holding eleven sessions over a 165-day period. B. R. Ambedkar was a wise constitutional expert, he had studied the constitutions of about 60 countries.
Ambedkar is recognised as the "Father of the Constitution of India". In the constitution assembly, a member of the drafting committee, T. T. Krishnamachari said: "Mr. President, Sir, I am one of those in the House who have listened to Dr. Ambedkar carefully. I am aware of the amount of work and enthusiasm that he has brought to bear on the work of drafting this Constitution. At the same time, I do realise that that amount of attention, necessary for the purpose of drafting a constitution so important to us at this moment has not been given to it by the Drafting Committee; the House is aware that of the seven members nominated by you, one had resigned from the House and was replaced. One was not replaced. One was away in America and his place was not filled up and another person was engaged in State affairs, there was a void to that extent. One or two people were far away from Delhi and reasons of health did not permit them to attend. So it happened that the burden of drafting this constitution fell on Dr. Ambedkar and I have no doubt that we are grateful to him for having achieved this task in a manner, undoubtedly commendable."
B. R. Ambedkar, Sanjay Phakey, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad, Vallabhbhai Patel, Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, Sandipkumar Patel, Abul Kalam Azad, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Nalini Ranjan Ghosh, Balwantrai Mehta were key figures in the assembly, which had over 30 representatives of the scheduled classes. Frank Anthony represented the Anglo-Indian community, the Parsis were represented by H. P. Modi. Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a Christian assembly vice-president, chaired the minorities committee and represented non-Anglo-Indian Christians. Ari Bahadur Gurung represented the Gorkha community. Judges, such as Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Benegal Narsing Rau, K. M. Munshi and Ganesh Mavlankar were members of the assembly. Female members included Sarojini Naidu, Hansa Mehta, Durgabai Deshmukh, Amrit Kaur and Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit; the first, two-day president of the assembly was Sachchidananda Sinha. It met for the first time on 9 December 1946. Benegal Narsing Rau, a civil servant who became the first Indian judge in the International Court of Justice and was president of the United Nations Security Council, was appointed as the assembly's constitutional adviser in 1946.
Responsible for the constitution's general structure, Rau prepared its initial draft in February 1948. At 14 August 1947 meeting of the assemb
In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. A modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries; the term is similar to the idea of a senate, synod or congress, is used in countries that are current or former monarchies, a form of government with a monarch as the head. Some contexts restrict the use of the word parliament to parliamentary systems, although it is used to describe the legislature in some presidential systems where it is not in the official name. Parliaments included various kinds of deliberative and judicial assemblies, e.g. mediaeval parlements. The English term is derived from Anglo-Norman and dates to the 14th century, coming from the 11th century Old French parlement, from parler, meaning "to talk"; the meaning evolved over time referring to any discussion, conversation, or negotiation through various kinds of deliberative or judicial groups summoned by a monarch.
By the 15th century, in Britain, it had come to mean the legislature. Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders; this is called tribalism. Some scholars suggest that in ancient Mesopotamia there was a primitive democratic government where the kings were assessed by council; the same has been said about ancient India, where some form of deliberative assemblies existed, therefore there was some form of democracy. However, these claims are not accepted by most scholars, who see these forms of government as oligarchies. Ancient Athens was the cradle of democracy; the Athenian assembly was the most important institution, every free male citizen could take part in the discussions. Slaves and women could not. However, Athenian democracy was not representative, but rather direct, therefore the ekklesia was different from the parliamentary system; the Roman Republic had legislative assemblies, who had the final say regarding the election of magistrates, the enactment of new statutes, the carrying out of capital punishment, the declaration of war and peace, the creation of alliances.
The Roman Senate controlled money and the details of foreign policy. Some Muslim scholars argue. However, others highlight what they consider fundamental differences between the shura system and the parliamentary system. Although there are documented councils held in 873, 1020, 1050 and 1063, there was no representation of commoners. What is considered to be the first parliament, the Cortes of León, was held in the Kingdom of León in 1188. According to the UNESCO, the Decreta of Leon of 1188 is the oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system. In addition, UNESCO granted the 1188 Cortes of Alfonso IX the title of "Memory of the World" and the city of Leon has been recognized as the "Cradle of Parliamentarism". After coming to power, King Alfonso IX, facing an attack by his two neighbors and Portugal, decided to summon the "Royal Curia"; this was a medieval organisation composed of aristocrats and bishops but because of the seriousness of the situation and the need to maximise political support, Alfonso IX took the decision to call the representatives of the urban middle class from the most important cities of the kingdom to the assembly.
León's Cortes dealt with matters like the right to private property, the inviolability of domicile, the right to appeal to justice opposite the King and the obligation of the King to consult the Cortes before entering a war. Prelates and commoners met separately in the three estates of the Cortes. In this meeting new laws were approved to protect commoners against the arbitrarities of nobles and the king; this important set of laws is known as the Carta Magna Leonesa. Following this event, new Cortes would appear in the other different territories that would make up Spain: Principality of Catalonia in 1192, the Kingdom of Castile in 1250, Kingdom of Aragon in 1274, Kingdom of Valencia in 1283 and Kingdom of Navarre in 1300. After the union of the Kingdoms of Leon and Castile under the Crown of Castile, their Cortes were united as well in 1258; the Castilian Cortes had representatives from Burgos, Toledo, León, Seville, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, Segovia, Ávila, Cuenca, Valladolid, Madrid and Granada.
The Cortes' assent was required to pass new taxes, could advise the king on other matters. The comunero rebels intended a stronger role for the Cortes, but were defeated by the forces of Habsburg Emperor Charles V in 1521; the Cortes maintained some power, though it became more of a consultative entity. However, by the time of King Philip II, Charles's son, the Castilian Cortes had come under functionally complete royal control, with its delegates dependent on the Crown for their income; the Cortes of the Crown of Aragon kingdoms retained their power to control the king's spending with regard to the finances of those kingdoms. But after the War of the Spanish Succession and the victory of another royal house – the Bourbons – and King Philip V, their Cortes were suppressed. Claims that Spain was united under the Catholic Monarchs in the late 15th century are belied by these facts.
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India; the region under British control was called British India or India in contemporaneous usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, called the princely states. The whole was informally called the Indian Empire; as India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, 1936, a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria, it lasted until 1947, when it was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was a part of British India. The British Raj extended over all present-day India and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry; this area is diverse, containing the Himalayan mountains, fertile floodplains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, a long coastline, tropical dry forests, arid uplands, the Thar Desert. In addition, at various times, it included Aden, Lower Burma, Upper Burma, British Somaliland, Singapore. Burma was separated from India and directly administered by the British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948; the Trucial States of the Persian Gulf and the states under the Persian Gulf Residency were theoretically princely states as well as presidencies and provinces of British India until 1947 and used the rupee as their unit of currency. Among other countries in the region, Ceylon was ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. Ceylon was part of Madras Presidency between 1793 and 1798.
The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, having fought wars with the British, subsequently signed treaties with them and were recognised by the British as independent states. The Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861; the Maldive Islands were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965, but not part of British India. India during the British Raj was made up of two types of territory: British India and the Native States. In its Interpretation Act 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions in Section 18: The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India; the expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India.
In general, the term "British India" had been used to refer to the regions under the rule of the British East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858. The term has been used to refer to the "British in India"; the terms "Indian Empire" and "Empire of India" were not used in legislation. The monarch was known as Empress or Emperor of India and the term was used in Queen Victoria's Queen's Speeches and Prorogation Speeches; the passports issued by the British Indian government had the words "Indian Empire" on the cover and "Empire of India" on the inside. In addition, an order of knighthood, the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, was set up in 1878. Suzerainty over 175 princely states, some of the largest and most important, was exercised by the central government of British India under the Viceroy. A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local.
At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a governor or a lieutenant-governor. During the partition of Bengal, the new provinces of Assam and East Bengal were created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, the new provinces in the east becam
Danish Constituent Assembly
The Danish Constituent Assembly is the name given to the 1848 Constitional assembly at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, that voted the Danish Constitution and formalized the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional democracy. It consisted of members of which 114 were elected by the people, 38 were appointed by the king and the rest were government ministers; the Danish Constituent Assembly first met on 23 October 1848. Martin Hammerich and educator Hans Peter Hansen, Bank of Denmark director Anders Sandøe Ørsted, jurist Tage Algreen-Ussing, procurator-general William Frederik Duntzfelt and ciuncilman Carl Holger Visby, parish priest Johannes Ephraim Larsen, professor Harald Hartvig Kayser, master carpenter Peter Pedersen, professor Lauritz Nicolai Hvidt, merchant Nicolai Elias Tuxen, military officer Frederiksberg: Carl Christian Hall, chief auditor Kongens Lyngby: Christian Flor, educator Roskilde Kro: Carl Wilhelm Thalbitzer, landowner Køge: Andreas Frederik Krieger, professor Roskilde: Lorents Lorck, parish priest Blæsenborg: Peder Hansen, farmer Helsingør: Jacob Baden Olrik, town bailiff Esrum: Johan Christian Drewsen, industrialist Ramløse: Edouard Buntzen, attorney Frederikssund: Rasmus Nielsen Møller, crofter Slangerup: Hans Johansen and parish bailiff Hillerød: Johannes Andreas Ostermann, teacher Holbæk: Niels Ludvig Westergaard, professor Tvede Kro: Jens Gregersen, copyholder Vedby Kro: Asmund Gleerup, teacher Kalundborg: Niels Frederik Jespersen, captain Faurbo Kro: N.
H. Nielsen, farmer Nykøbing Sjælland: Nicolai Andreasen, miller Ringsted: Lars Andersen Hækkerup, copyholder Sorø: Carl Emil Mundt, scholar Holløse: Frederik Frølund, theologian Skælskør: Christen Christensen Møller, institution manager Slagelse: Carl de Neergaard, landowner Korsør: Frederik Engelhardt Boisen, parish priest Store Heddinge: Lars Hansen, farmer Rønnede: Frederik Johannsen, miller Vallø: Hans Egede Schack, jurist Præstø: Hans Hansen, weaver Vordingborg: Christian Schroll, farmer Næstved: Mikkel Rasmussen and parish bailiff Stege: Frederik Barfod, student Odense: Caspar Paludan-Müller, teacher Højby: Cornelius Petersen, farmer Vissenbjerg: Niels Madsen, farmer Assens: Hans Dinesen, farmer Middelfart: Albert Leth, parish priest Bogense: Frederik Jespersen, prokurator Søndersø: Hans Christian Johansen, farmer Kerteminde: Christen Larsen, copyholder Rudkøbing: Jens Andersen Hansen, teacher Tranekær: Jens Rasmussen Jacobsen, farmer Svendborg: Jens Christian Colding, medical doctor Nyborg: Frederik Schiern, educator Kværndrup: Hans Christensen, farmer Korinth Kro: Jens Rasmussen, farmer Sønder Bråby: Knud Christian Høier, copyholder Nakskov: Balthazar Christensen, lawyer Juellinge: Christen Blach, farmer Maribo: Georg Aagaard, prokurator Sakskøbing: Hans Olesen, farmer Nykøbing Falster: Mouritz Mørk Hansen Stubbekøbing: Hans Rasmussen, farmer Rønne: A.
S. Stender, jurist Aakirkeby: Johan Nicolai Madvig, professor Nørresundby: Anders Jensen Hjort, estate manager# Aalborg: Jens Christopher Schurmann, sognepræst Bælum: Anders Jungersen, teacher Brorstrup: Christen Eriksen, farmer Nibe: Christian Magdalus Jespersen, landsoverretsprokurator Frederikshavn: Severin Hastrup, farmer Sæby: Hans Peter Theilmann, estate manqager Hjørring: Johannes Christopher Nyholm, landowner Jerslev: Hans Christian Pape, landowner Vrejlev: Ludvig Christian Brinck-Seidelin, landowner Halvrimmen: Johan Nicolai Frederik Hasselbalch, farmer Bjerget: Ulrik Christian Frederik Aagaard, county manager Thisted: Hans Ditlev Lützhøft, agent Vestervig: Frederik Christian von Haven, parish priest Nykøbing Mors: Christian Erhard Bagger, parish priest Skive: Bertel Nørgaard, farmer Viborg: Laurids Nørgaard Bregendahl, overretsassessor Levring: Mads Pagh Bruun, industrialist Søndervinge: Henrik Wellejus Jacobæus, farmer Løvel: Werner Jaspar Andreas Ussing, overretsassessor Odder: Geert Winther, magister Aarhus: Christian Rasmus Otterstrøm, bank teller Skjoldelev: Torkild Christian Dahl, overretsprokurator and landowner Horsens: Ditlev Ræder, mayor Skanderborg: Frederik Vilhelm Schytte, oil miller Bræstrup: Niels Hunderup, bailiff Linå: Michael Drewsen, industrialist Mariager: Joakim Frederik Schouw, professor Randers: Ingvard Henrik Linnemann, teacher Estrup: Carl Emil Dahlerup, auditor Grenaa: Peter Christian la Cour, priest Ebeltoft: Peter Daniel Bruun, Supreme Court justice Voldum: Bernhard Rée, editor and merchant Fredericia: Peter Georg Bang, amtmand Kolding: Carl Ploug, editor Vejle: William Walker Stockfleth, beiliff Give: Anders Hermansen, farmer Konstantia: Jens Jørgensen, politician Bjerre: Jesper Peter With, bailiff Ringkøbing: Andreas Evald Meinert Tang, landowner Lemvig: Ole Kirk, farmer Holstebro: Carl Nicolai Petersen, bailiff Herning: Jens Fløe, stiftslandinspektør Skjern: Jens Petersen, teacher Varde: Christopher Leberecht Tobiesen, provost Hjerting: Hans Christian Nielsen, farmer Ribe: Peter Hansen Tvede, prokurator Steensvanggård: Niels Hansen, teacher Bredebro: Caspar Frederik Gram, priest Carl Christopher Georg Andræ, military officer Hans Peter Bergmann, veterinarian Vilhelm Bjerring, professor Hans Brøchner Bruun, merchant Preben Lihme Brandt, textile manufacturer S.
A. M. Buchwald, merchant Christian Cederfeld de Simonsen, stamhusbesidder Georg Christensen, gunsmith Jens Christensen, farmer Henrik Nicolai Clausen, professor Christian Georg Nathan David, professor Carl Edvard van Dockum, navel officer Jacob Scavenius Fibiger, militar
Constituent Assembly of India
The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India. Following India's independence from Great Britain in 1947, its members served as the nation's first Parliament. An idea for a Constituent Assembly was proposed in 1934 by M. N. Roy, a pioneer of the Communist movement in India and an advocate of radical democracy, it became an official demand of the Indian National Congress in 1935, C. Rajagopalachari voiced the demand for a Constituent Assembly on 15 November 1939 based on adult franchise, was accepted by the British in August 1940. On 8 August 1940, a statement was made by Viceroy Lord Linlithgow about the expansion of the Governor-General's Executive Council and the establishment of a War Advisory Council; this offer, known as the August Offer, included giving full weight to minority opinions and allowing Indians to draft their own constitution. Under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946, elections were held for the first time for the Constituent Assembly; the Constitution of India was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, it was implemented under the Cabinet Mission Plan on 16 May 1946.
The members of the Constituent Assembly were elected by the provincial assemblies by a single, transferable-vote system of proportional representation. The total membership of the Constituent Assembly was 389: 292 were representatives of the states, 93 represented the princely states and four were from the chief commissioner provinces of Delhi, Ajmer-Merwara and British Baluchistan; the elections for the 296 seats assigned to the British Indian provinces were completed by August 1946. Congress won 208 seats, the Muslim League 73. After this election, the Muslim League refused to cooperate with the Congress, the political situation deteriorated. Hindu-Muslim riots began, the Muslim League demanded a separate constituent assembly for Muslims in India. On 3 June 1947 Lord Mountbatten, the last British Governor-General of India, announced his intention to scrap the Cabinet Mission Plan; the Indian Independence Act was passed on 18 July 1947 and, although it was earlier declared that India would become independent in June 1948, this event led to independence on 15 August 1947.
The Constituent Assembly met for the first time on 9 December 1946, reassembling on 14 August 1947 as a sovereign body and successor to the British parliament's authority in India. As a result of the partition, under the Mountbatten plan, a separate Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was established on 3 June 1947; the representatives of the areas incorporated into Pakistan ceased to be members of the Constituent Assembly of India. New elections were held for the West East Bengal; the Constituent Assembly, consisting of indirectly elected representatives, was established to draft a constitution for India. It existed for three years, the first parliament of India after independence in 1947; the Assembly was not elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage, Muslims and Sikhs received special representation as minorities. The Muslim League boycotted the Assembly after failing to prevent its creation. Although a large part of the Constituent Assembly was drawn from the Congress Party in a one-party environment, the Congress Party included a wide diversity of opinions—from conservative industrialists to radical Marxists, to Hindu revivalists.
The Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on 9 December 1946, its last session was held on 24 January 1950. The hope of the Assembly was expressed by Jawaharlal Nehru: The first task of this Assembly is to free India through a new constitution, to feed the starving people, to clothe the naked masses, to give every Indian the fullest opportunity to develop himself according to his capacity; this is a great task. Look at India today. We, are sitting here and there in despair in many places, unrest in many cities; the atmosphere is surcharged with these quarrels and feuds which are called communal disturbances, we sometimes cannot avoid them. But at present the greatest and most important question in India is how to solve the problem of the poor and the starving. Wherever we turn, we are confronted with this problem. If we cannot solve this problem soon, all our paper constitutions will become useless and purposeless. Keeping this aspect in view, who could suggest to us to postpone and wait?
India was still under British rule when the Constituent Assembly was established following negotiations between Indian leaders and members of the 1946 Cabinet Mission to India from the United Kingdom. Provincial assembly elections were held early in 1946. Constituent Assembly members were elected indirectly by members of the newly elected provincial assemblies, included representatives for those provinces that formed part of Pakistan; the Constituent Assembly had 299 representatives, including fifteen women. The Interim Government of India was formed on 2 September 1946 from the newly elected Constituent Assembly; the Congress Party held a large majority in the Assembly, the Muslim League held nearly all the seats reserved in the Assembly for Muslims. There were members of smaller parties, such as the Scheduled Caste Federation, the Communist Party of India and the Unionist Party. In June 1947 delegations from Sindh, East Bengal, West Punjab and the North West Frontier Province w
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. It was approved, after much debate, by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, sent to the states for ratification; the Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the sovereignty of the states; the weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament. The Articles formed a war-time confederation of states, with an limited central government. While unratified, the document was used by the Congress to conduct business, direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with foreign nations, deal with territorial issues and Native American relations; the adoption of the Articles made few perceptible changes in the federal government, because it did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing.
That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation. As the Confederation Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central government rendered it ineffective at doing so; as the government's weaknesses became apparent after Shays' Rebellion, some prominent political thinkers in the fledgling US began asking for changes to the Articles. Their hope was to create a stronger national government; some states met to deal with their trade and economic problems. However, as more states became interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787; this became the Constitutional Convention. It was agreed that changes would not work, instead the entire Articles needed to be replaced. On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution; the new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government by establishing a chief executive and taxing powers.
The political push to increase cooperation among the then-loyal colonies began with the Albany Congress in 1754 and Benjamin Franklin's proposed Albany Plan, an inter-colonial collaboration to help solve mutual local problems. Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen. With civil disobedience resulting in coercive and quelling measures, the passage of what the colonials referred to as the intolerable acts in the English Parliament, armed skirmishes which resulted in dissidents being proclaimed rebels; these actions eroded the number of Crown Loyalists (aka Tories amongst the colonials and together with the effective propaganda campaign of the Patriot leaders, they caused an increasing number of colonists to begin agitating for independence from the mother country. In 1775, with events outpacing communications, the Second Continental Congress began acting as the provisional government that would run the American Revolutionary War and gain the colonies their collective independence.
It was an era of constitution writing—most states were busy at the task—and leaders felt the new nation must have a written constitution. During the war, Congress exercised an unprecedented level of political, diplomatic and economic authority, it adopted trade restrictions and maintained an army, issued fiat money, created a military code and negotiated with foreign governments. To transform themselves from outlaws into a legitimate nation, the colonists needed international recognition for their cause and foreign allies to support it. In early 1776, Thomas Paine argued in the closing pages of the first edition of Common Sense that the "custom of nations" demanded a formal declaration of American independence if any European power were to mediate a peace between the Americans and Great Britain; the monarchies of France and Spain in particular could not be expected to aid those they considered rebels against another legitimate monarch. Foreign courts needed to have American grievances laid before them persuasively in a "manifesto" which could reassure them that the Americans would be reliable trading partners.
Without such a declaration, Paine concluded, "he custom of all courts is against us, will be so, until, by an independence, we take rank with other nations."Beyond improving their existing association, the records of the Second Continental Congress show that the need for a declaration of independence was intimately linked with the demands of international relations. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution before the Continental Congress declaring the colonies independent. Congress created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international system. On June 12, 1776
Constitution of Denmark
The Constitutional Act of the Kingdom of Denmark, or the Constitution, is the constitution of the Kingdom of Denmark, applying in Denmark proper and the Faroe Islands. In its present form, the Constitutional Act is from 1953, but the principal features of the Act go back to 1849, making it one of the oldest constitutions; as defined in the Constitution, Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, governed under a parliamentary system. The constitution lays down the framework for governance and establishes the structure, procedures and duties of the Folketing and the government, as well as other institutions. Sections set out fundamental rights and the duties of citizens, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and compulsory military service, its adoption in 1849 introduced democracy. Denmark celebrates the adoption of the Constitution on 5 June—the date in which the first Constitution was ratified—every year as Constitution Day; the Danish Parliament cannot make any laws which may be repugnant or contrary to the Constitutional Act.
While Denmark has no constitutional court, laws can be declared unconstitutional and rendered void by the Supreme Court of Denmark. Changes to the Act must be confirmed by a majority in two consecutive parliamentary terms and approval of the electorate through a national referendum; the Danish Constitution differs from all other Danish laws by virtue of its superseding status. As such, these laws are not permitted to contravene the provisions of the Constitution Act; the main principle of the Constitutional Act was to limit the King's power. It creates a comparatively weak constitutional monarch, dependent on Ministers for advice and Parliament to draft and pass legislation; the Constitution of 1849 established a bicameral parliament, the Rigsdag, consisting of the Landsting and the Folketing. The most significant change in the Constitution of 1953 was the abolishment of the Landsting, leaving the unicameral Folketing, it enshrined fundamental civil rights, which remain in the current constitution: such as habeas corpus, private property rights and freedom of speech.
The Constitutional Act has been changed few times, but always with the consent of Danish citizens. The wording in the Act is so general that it can still be applied today, despite major changes in society and political life in the intervening years. However, since Denmark lacks a Constitutional Court, scrutiny of legislation for compatibility with the Constitution is a matter for ordinary courts the Supreme Court; this means that the actual testing of compatibility can only be instigated by a citizen or company, affected by the question. During the late middle ages and the renaissance, the power of the king was tempered by a håndfæstning, a coronation charter each king had to sign before being accepted as king by the nobility; this tradition was abandoned in 1665 when King Frederick III of Denmark managed to establish a hereditary absolute monarchy by Lex Regia. This was Europe's only formal absolutist constitution. Under Lex Regia, absolute power was inherited for 200 years. In the beginning of the 19th century, there were a growing democratic movement in Denmark and King Frederick VI only made some small concessions, such as creation of Consultative Estate Assemblies in 1834.
But these only served to help the political movements, of which the National Liberals and the Friends of Peasants were the forerunners. When Christian VIII became king in 1839, he continued the political line of only making small democratic concessions, while upholding the absolute monarchy. At this time Denmark was in a personal union between kingdom of Denmark and the duchies of Schleswig and Lauenburg called The Unitary State, but the Schleswig-Holstein question was causing tension. Under the slogan Denmark to the Eider, the National Liberals campaigned for Schleswig to become an integral part of Denmark, while separating Holstein and Lauenburg from Denmark. Holstein and Lauenburg were part of the German Confederation, while Schleswig was not. On the other side, German nationalists in Schleswig were keen to keep Schleswig and Holstein together, wanted Schleswig to join the German Confederation. Christian VIII had reached the conclusion that, should the Unitary State survive, a constitution covering both Denmark and Holstein was necessary.
Before his death in January 1848, he advised his heir Frederick VII to create such a constitution. In March 1848 following a series of European revolutions, the Schleswig-Holstein question became tense. Following an ultimatum from Schleswig and Holstein, political pressure from the National Liberals intensified, Frederick VII replaced the sitting government with the March Cabinet, where four leaders of the Friends of Peasants and the National Liberals served, among those D. G. Monrad and Orla Lehmann, both National Liberals; the ultimatum from Schleswig and Holstein was rejected, the First Schleswig War started. Monrad, drafted the first draft of the Constitution, edited by Lehmann. Sources of inspiration included the Constitution of the Constitution of Belgium; the draft was laid before the Constitutional Assembly of the Realm. This assembly, who consisted of 114 members directly elected in October 1848, 38 members appointed by Frederick VII, was overall split in three different groupings: the National Liberals, the Friends of Peasants, the conservative.
A key topic for discus