Central United Methodist Church (Detroit)
The Central United Methodist Church is located at 23 East Adams Street in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1977 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982; the Central United Methodist Church's roots date back to 1804, when the first Methodist circuit riders came to Detroit for a brief visit. On the third visit of the Rev. Nathan Bangs that year, youth of the city put gunpowder in the candlesticks and cut the mane and tail of his horse, he left. After that experience no circuit rider ventured to Detroit until 1809, when the Rev. William Case arrived. Case wrote to Bishop Asbury that he found it difficult to find "any serious people" in Detroit, but did note that there were a few who wanted to form a congregation; when the next circuit rider, the Rev. William Mitchell, came in 1810, the congregation was established as the First Methodist Society of Michigan, thus Central became the first organized Protestant congregation in what was the Michigan Territory.
Its first building, a log church, was built in 1818 outside the city on the banks of the Rouge River in what is now Dearborn. It had met in the territorial council house up until that time; the church was incorporated in 1822. Construction was completed on the congregation's first building within the city of Detroit in 1826, at the corner of Gratiot and Farmer; this building was replaced in 1833 by a building at Woodward and Congress, again in 1849 by a building at Woodward and State. A church for a second congregation spun off by Central, was built at Congress and Randolph in 1846. Central has long been known as a "Justice" church. In 1830 Sheriff Thomas S. Knapp, a member of Central, resigned rather than carry out a hanging on the commons right outside the church. Members joined a throng so horrified by the hanging that they threw the flogging post into the river and demanded an end to capital punishment in Michigan; that was the last execution in Michigan, which became the first English-speaking territory in the world to abolish the death penalty.
In 1934 the Rev. Dr. Dr. Frederick Bohn Fisher, former bishop of India, became pastor of Central, he had been pastor of First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor. He was a personal friend of Gandhi, wrote a book about him, published in 1932. In 1936 Woodward Avenue was widened and the church nave shortened to save the steeple and west wall. Dr. Fisher redesigned the now recessed divided chancel to include a pulpit and reredos of Applachian white oak, a mural of the 12 apostles, he was much criticized for this ostentatious sanctuary, to which Fisher once responded, "I challenge any man or woman who thinks he has found reality because he worships in some crass, unbeautiful church. I believe. Reality is eternal and therefore this beautiful sanctuary is a symbol of the eternity of God." The sanctuary has been little changed since. Dr. Henry Hitt Crane, senior pastor from 1938 to 1958, was a pacifist in both World Wars I and II, he was summoned to both Sen. Joseph McCarthy's committee and the House Unamerican Activities Committee, accused of being a communist.
His successor Dr. James H. Laird was hung in effigy for his opposition to the Vietnam War. Central had a draft counseling center for many years. Central was known as a leader in civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached from Central's pulpit many times, the last just two weeks before his death. Central has been active in the movement against the war in Iraq and Palestine, it is the gathering place for peace rallies and the starting point for many marches. Central has taken a strong stance for the rights of unions to organize and was the headquarters for the strike against both of Detroit's major newspapers in the 1990s. In 2001 it became a Reconciling Congregation, welcoming LGBT people into all aspects of its ministry. Central's Associate Minister in the early part of the 2000s, Rev. DaVita McCallister, was the first avowed gay or lesbian to serve as a United Methodist pastor in Michigan; when she wanted to get married, she had to leave because of United Methodist Church policy.
Central's congregation supported her and is working to change the churchwide policy that forced her to leave. Central is cosponsor of The NOAH Project, which operates a Community Center, serving lunch four times a week, one-on-one social services, volunteer nurses, a Job Readiness Class, an arts program for the homeless. Storefront spaces in the church building house the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery and The Value Shop, a resale shop serving the impoverished people of Detroit. Central houses the National Welfare Rights Organization, a Library of Black Labor History, Westside Mothers, Moratorium Now, an organization working to ban banks from foreclosing on homes for at least two years. Central celebrated its bicentennial in 2010 with many guest speakers and performers throughout the year including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. on Sun. Jan. 24, 2010. When the church at Congress and Randolph burned down in 1863, the two congregations consolidated and decided to build a church at Woodward and Adams.
The cornerstone of Central Church's sanctuary was laid on July 3, 1866. The original church campus included the sanctuary, a chapel, an office building, a parsonage on Adams Street; the smaller buildings were demolished in 1916, a six-story church house was built in their place. In 1936, Woodward Avenue was widened. To reconfigure the church, a thirty-foot section of wa
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city in the U. S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded its population to be 113,934. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan; the university shapes Ann Arbor's economy as it employs about 30,000 workers, including about 12,000 in the medical center. The city's economy is centered on high technology, with several companies drawn to the area by the university's research and development infrastructure. Ann Arbor was founded in 1824, named for wives of the village's founders, both named Ann, the stands of bur oak trees; the University of Michigan moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837, the city grew at a rapid rate in the early to mid-20th century. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as a center for left-wing politics. Ann Arbor became a focal point for political activism, such as opposition to the Vietnam War and support for the legalization of cannabis. In about 1774, the Potawatomi founded two villages in the area of.
Ann Arbor was founded in 1824 by land speculators John Elisha Walker Rumsey. On May 25, 1824, the town plat was registered with Wayne County as "Annarbour", the earliest known use of the town's name. Allen and Rumsey decided to name it for their wives, both named Ann, for the stands of bur oak in the 640 acres of land they purchased for $800 from the federal government at $1.25 per acre. The local Ojibwa named the settlement kaw-goosh-kaw-nick, after the sound of Allen's sawmill. Ann Arbor became the seat of Washtenaw County in 1827, was incorporated as a village in 1833; the Ann Arbor Land Company, a group of speculators, set aside 40 acres of undeveloped land and offered it to the state of Michigan as the site of the state capital, but lost the bid to Lansing. In 1837, the property was accepted instead as the site of the University of Michigan, which moved from Detroit. Since the university's establishment in the city in 1837, the histories of the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor have been linked.
The town became a regional transportation hub in 1839 with the arrival of the Michigan Central Railroad, a north–south railway connecting Ann Arbor to Toledo and other markets to the south was established in 1878. Throughout the 1840s and the 1850s settlers continued to come to Ann Arbor. While the earlier settlers were of British ancestry, the newer settlers consisted of Germans and African-Americans. In 1851, Ann Arbor was chartered as a city, though the city showed a drop in population during the Depression of 1873, it was not until the early 1880s that Ann Arbor again saw robust growth, with new emigrants from Greece, Italy and Poland. Ann Arbor saw increased growth in manufacturing in milling. Ann Arbor's Jewish community grew after the turn of the 20th century, its first and oldest synagogue, Beth Israel Congregation, was established in 1916. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as an important center for liberal politics. Ann Arbor became a locus for left-wing activism and anti-Vietnam War movement, as well as the student movement.
The first major meetings of the national left-wing campus group Students for a Democratic Society took place in Ann Arbor in 1960. S. teach-in against the Vietnam War. During the ensuing 15 years, many countercultural and New Left enterprises sprang up and developed large constituencies within the city; these influences washed into municipal politics during the early and mid-1970s when three members of the Human Rights Party won city council seats on the strength of the student vote. During their time on the council, HRP representatives fought for measures including pioneering antidiscrimination ordinances, measures decriminalizing marijuana possession, a rent-control ordinance. Alongside these liberal and left-wing efforts, a small group of conservative institutions were born in Ann Arbor; these include Word of a charismatic inter-denominational movement. Following a 1956 vote, the city of East Ann Arbor merged with Ann Arbor to encompass the eastern sections of the city. In the past several decades, Ann Arbor has grappled with the effects of rising land values and urban sprawl stretching into outlying countryside.
On November 4, 2003, voters approved a greenbelt plan under which the city government bought development rights on agricultural parcels of land adjacent to Ann Arbor to preserve them from sprawling development. Since a vociferous local debate has hinged on how and whether to accommodate and guide development within city limits. Ann Arbor ranks in the "top places to live" lists published by various mainstream media outlets every year. In 2008, it was ranked by CNNMoney.com 27th out of 100 "America's best small cities". And in 2010, Forbes listed Ann Arbor as one of the most liveable cities in the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.70 square miles, of which, 27.83 square miles of it is land and 0.87 square miles is water, much of, part of the Huron River. Ann Arbor is about 35 miles west of Detroit. Ann Arbor Charter Township adjoins the city's north and east sides. Ann Arbor is situated on the Huron River in a productive fruit-growing region.
The landscape of Ann Arbor consists of hills and valleys, with the terrain becoming steeper near the Huron River. The elevation ranges from about 750 feet along the Huron River to 1,015 feet (309
History of the University of Michigan
The history of the University of Michigan began with its establishment on August 26, 1817 as the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania. The school moved from Detroit on land offered to the university by the city; the first classes were held in 1841, eleven men graduated in the first commencement ceremony in 1845. Although the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan was formed as a new legal entity in 1837, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 1856 that it was continuous with the Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan, formed in 1821, with the Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania, formed in 1817; the University of Michigan has since expanded to become one of the top universities in the United States, with one of the largest research expenditures of any American university as well as one of the largest number of living alumni at 526,000. The university is recognized for its history of student activism and was the first American university to use the seminar method of study.
It was the location chosen by President John F. Kennedy to propose the concept of what became the Peace Corps, an intimate visit by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1962, beautifully photographed, the site of Lyndon B. Johnson's speech outlining his Great Society program. In 2003, the university affirmed before the U. S. Supreme Court that consideration of race as a factor in admissions to universities was constitutional. However, Michigan voters approved restrictions on affirmative action in public universities and governmental hiring in November 2006, forcing Michigan to cease using race and gender as admissions criteria. Shortly after the Territory of Michigan was formed in 1805, several of its leading citizens recognized the need for a public education system; as early as 1806, Father Gabriel Richard, who ran several schools around Detroit, had requested land for a college from the governor and judges appointed by the President to administer the territory. Governor William Hull and Chief Justice Augustus B. Woodward passed an act in 1809 to establish public school districts, but this early attempt came to little.
Woodward harbored a dream of classifying all human knowledge, discussed the subject with his friend and mentor Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in 1814. In 1817, Woodward drafted a territorial act establishing a "Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania," organized into thirteen different professorships, or didaxiim, following the classification system he had published the year before in his A System of Universal Science, he invented names for these using a mix of Greek and Latin so they could be "engrafted, without variation, into every modern language": Anthropoglossica, Physiognostica, Astronomia, Iatrica, Œconomica, Polemitactica, Diëgetica, Ennœica, Catholepistemia. The Didactor of Catholepistemia was to be the President, the Didactor of Ennœica the Vice-President. Under the act, the Didactors exercised control over not only the university itself, but education in the territory in general, with the authority to "establish colleges, schools, museums, botanical gardens and other useful literary and scientific institutions consonant to the laws of the United States and of Michigan, provide for and appoint Directors, Curators, Librarians and Instructrixes among and throughout the various counties, towns, townships, or other geographical divisions of Michigan."
The act was signed into law August 26, 1817, by Woodward, Judge John Griffin, acting governor William Woodbridge. Father Richard was granted six didaxiim, the Rev. John Monteith, who had moved to Detroit a year earlier after graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary, was granted seven; when it came to funding the project, Woodward being a Freemason himself looked to Zion Lodge No. 1 of Detroit for financial support. On September 15, 1817 Zion Lodge met and subscribed the sum of $250 in aid of the university, payable in the sum of $50 per year. Of the total amount subscribed to start the university two-thirds came from Zion Lodge and its members; the cornerstone of the university's first building, near the corner of Bates St. and Congress St. in Detroit, was laid on September 24, 1817, within a year both a primary school and a classical academy were functioning within it. Five days after the laying of the cornerstone, the Treaty of Fort Meigs was signed between the United States and various Native American tribes.
Among its provisions was the ceding of 1,920 acres of land by the Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes to the "college at Detroit" for either use or sale, an equal amount to St. Anne's Church in Detroit, where Father Richard was rector. No college had been created yet, so the next month Monteith and Richard decreed the creation of the "First College of Michigania" at Detroit. Despite this decree, no college was organized, instruction remained limited to the existing primary school and academy; the land granted to the college and the church was of two parts, one consisting of three sections near Macon and one consisting of three sections to be selected with the college and church each having one-half interest in each section. These latter sections were not selected until 1821, the university received legal title to them in 1824. In 1826, the univers
Cumberland is a city in and the county seat of Allegany County, United States. It is the primary city of MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, the metropolitan area had a population of 103,299. Located on the Potomac River, Cumberland is a regional business and commercial center for Western Maryland and the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. Cumberland was known as the "Queen City," as it was once the second largest in the state; because of its strategic location on what became known as the Cumberland Road through the Appalachians, after the American Revolution it served as a historical outfitting and staging point for westward emigrant trail migrations throughout the first half of the 1800s. In this role, it supported the settlement of the Ohio Country and the lands in that latitude of the Louisiana Purchase, it became an industrial center, served by major roads and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which connected Cumberland to Washington, D.
C. and is now a national park. Today, Interstate 68 bisects the town. Industry declined after World War II. Much of the urban and technological development in the state has been concentrated in eastern coastal cities. Today the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area is one of the poorest in the United States, ranking 305th out of 318 metropolitan areas in per capita income. Cumberland was named by English colonists after the son of King George II, Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland, it is built on the site of the mid-18th century Fort Cumberland, the starting point for British General Edward Braddock's ill-fated attack on the French stronghold of Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War between the French and the British. This area had long been settled for thousands of years by indigenous peoples; the fort was developed along the Great Indian Warpath. Cumberland served as an outpost of Colonel George Washington during the French and Indian War, his first military headquarters was built here.
Washington returned as President of the United States in 1794 to Cumberland to review troops assembled to thwart the Whiskey Rebellion. During the 19th century, Cumberland was a key road and canal junction, it became the second-largest city in Maryland after the port city of Baltimore. It was nicknamed "The Queen City". Cumberland was the terminus, namesake, of the Cumberland Road that extended westward to the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia; this was the first portion of what would be constructed as the National Road, which reached Ohio and Illinois. In the 1850s, many black fugitives reached their final stop on the underground railroad beneath the floor of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. A maze of tunnels beneath and an abolitionist pastor above provided refuge before the final five mile trip to freedom in Pennsylvania; the surrounding hillsides were mined for coal and iron ore, harvested for timber that helped supply the Industrial Revolution. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal had its western terminus here.
Construction of railroads superseded use of the canal, as trains were faster and could carry more freight. The city developed as a major manufacturing center, with industries in glass, breweries and tinplate. With the restructuring of heavy industry in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states following World War II, the city lost many jobs; as a result, its population has declined by nearly half, from 39,483 in the 1940 census to fewer than 20,000 today. Cumberland is in the Ridge and Valley physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains at 39°38′52″N 78°45′46″W, at the junction of the North Branch of the Potomac River and Wills Creek; the majority of the land within the city lies in a valley created by the junction of these two streams. Interstate 68 runs through the city in an east/west direction, as does Alternate U. S. 40, the Old National Road. U. S. Highway 220 runs north/south. Parts of Wills Mountain, Haystack Mountain, Shriver Ridge are within the city limits; the abandoned Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is now part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
The canal's towpath is maintained, allowing travel by foot, horse or bicycle between Cumberland and Washington, D. C. a distance of about 185 miles. In recent years a separate trail/path extension, called the Great Allegheny Passage, has been developed that leads to Pittsburgh as its western terminus. Cumberland is the only city of at least 20,000 residents, outside of the Pittsburgh and DC metro areas, that lies on this combined 300+ mile stretch. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.15 square miles, of which 10.08 square miles is land and 0.07 square miles is water. Cumberland is at the eastern entrance to the Cumberland Narrows, a water gap along Wills Creek that crosses the central ridge of the Wills Mountain Anticline at a low elevation between Wills Mountain to the north and Haystack Mountain to the south. Cliffs and talus of the two mountains' Tuscarora quartzite caprock are prominent within the Narrows; these geological features provide Cumberland a western backdrop of the two mountains and the narrow gap between them.
The Cumberland Narrows acts as a western gateway from Cumberland to the Appalachian Plateau and the Ohio River Valley beyond. The Old National Road, now Alternate U. S. 40, passes through the Narrows. The former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's main line b
In Christianity, a minister is a person authorized by a church, or other religious organization, to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs. The term is taken from Latin minister. In the Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox, Nordic Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox churches, the concept of a priesthood is emphasized. In other Christian denominations, such as the Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist and Reformed churches, the term "minister" refers to members of the ordained clergy who leads a congregation or participates in a role in a parachurch ministry. With respect to ecclesiastical address, many ministers are styled as "The Reverend"; the Church of England defines the ministry of priests as follows: Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God's new creation, they are to be messengers and stewards of the Lord. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ's name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins.
With all God's people, they are to tell the story of God's love. They are to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit, to walk with them in the way of Christ, nurturing them in the faith, they are to unfold the Scriptures, to preach the word in season and out of season, to declare the mighty acts of God. They are to preside at the Lord's table and lead his people in worship, offering with them a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, they are to bless the people in God's name. They are to resist evil, support the weak, defend the poor, intercede for all in need, they prepare the dying for their death. Guided by the Spirit, they are to discern and foster the gifts of all God's people, that the whole Church may be built up in unity and faith. Ministers may perform some or all of the following duties: assist in co-ordinating volunteers and church community groups assist in any general administrative service conduct marriage ceremonies and memorial services, participate in the ordination of other clergy, confirming young people as members of a local church encourage local church endeavors engage in welfare and community services activities of communities establish new local churches keep records as required by civil or church law plan and conduct services of public worship preach pray and encourage others to be theocentric preside over sacraments of the church.
Such as: the Lord's Supper known as the Lord's Table, or Holy Communion, the Baptism of adults or children provide leadership to the congregation, parish or church community, this may be done as part of a team with lay people in roles such as elders refer people to community support services, psychologists or doctors research and study religion and theology supervise prayer and discussion groups and seminars, provide religious instruction teach on spiritual and theological subjects train leaders for church and youth leadership work on developing relationships and networks within the religious community provide pastoral care in various contexts provide personal support to people in crises, such as illness and family breakdown visit the sick and elderly to counsel and comfort them and their families administer Last Rites when designated to do so the first style of ministering is the player coach style. In this style, the pastor is a "participant in all the processes that the church uses to reach people and see them transformed the second style of ministering is the delegating style, in which the minister develops members of the church to point that they can be trusted the third style of ministering is the directing style where the minister gives specific instructions and supervises the congregation the last and fourth style of ministering is the combination style, which a minister allows directional ministering from a pastoral staff member mention prayer of salvation to those interested in becoming a believer Depending on the denomination the requirements for ministry vary.
All denominations require. In regards to training, denominations vary in their requirements, from those that emphasize natural gifts to those that require advanced tertiary education qualifications, for example, from a seminary, theological college or university. One of the clearest references is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16, which outlines the requirements of a bishop: This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.
Father Gabriel Richard was a French Roman Catholic priest and founder of the University of Michigan who became a Delegate from Michigan Territory to the U. S. House of Representatives. Gabriel Richard was born in La Ville de Saintes and entered the seminary in Angers in 1784 and was ordained on October 15, 1790. In 1792, he emigrated to Maryland, he taught mathematics at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, until being assigned by Bishop Carroll to do missionary work to the Indians in the Northwest Territory, he was first stationed in what is now Kaskaskia, in Detroit, Michigan. Fr. Richard was a priest of the Society of Saint-Sulpice. Richard arrived in Detroit on the Feast of Corpus Christi in June 1798 to be the assistant pastor at Ste. Anne's Church. In 1804 he opened a school in Detroit, but this was destroyed by the fire that leveled the city in 1805; this is. Gabriel Richard wrote the city of Detroit's motto: Speramus meliora. Fr. Richard organized the shipment of food aid to the city from neighboring ribbon farms in order to alleviate a food crisis following the loss of the city's supply of livestock and grain.
In 1807, he was invited by a Protestant congregation to act as their clergyman. He did so by concentrating on the elements of Christianity where they agreed, he had the first printing press in Detroit and published a periodical in the French language entitled Essais du Michigan, as well as The Michigan Essay, or Impartial Observer, in 1809. He was in favor of the War of 1812 and trading with China. Father Richard ministered among the Indians of the region and was admired by them. During the War of 1812, Richard was imprisoned by the British for refusing to swear an oath of allegiance after their capture of Detroit, saying, "I have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and I cannot take another. Do with me as you please." He was released when the Shawnee chief Tecumseh, in spite of his hatred for the Americans, refused to fight for the British while Richard was imprisoned. Together with Chief Justice Augustus B. Woodward, Richard was a co-founder of the Catholepistemiad of Michigania, authorized by the legislature in 1817.
He served as its Vice-President from 1817 to 1821. Following the reorganization of the University in 1821, he was appointed to its Board of Trustees and served until his death. Father Richard was elected as a nonvoting delegate of the Michigan Territory to the U. S. House of Representatives for the 18th Congress, was the first Catholic priest to be elected to that body, serving a single term, 1823-1825, he secured the first federal appropriation for a road across Michigan's lower peninsula. Richard was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1824, being succeeded by Austin Eli Wing, a member of the Whig Party. In 1832, after assisting cholera victims night and day during an epidemic, Gabriel Richard died of cholera in Detroit. By some accounts, he was said to die of exhaustion, he was buried in a crypt in St. Anne's. A bronze bust of Richard marks his tomb within Ste. Anne Church. A State of Michigan Historical Marker commemorates Fr. Richard outside Ste. Anne Church in Detroit. There are at least four schools near Detroit named after Fr.
Gabriel Richard: Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview, Michigan Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan Gabriel Richard Elementary School in Detroit Père Gabriel Richard Elementary School in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. The motto that he first penned, Speramus meliora. Robert Drinan, the first Roman Catholic priest to serve as a voting member of Congress United States Congress. "Gabriel Richard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; the Political Graveyard Houston, Kay, "Father Gabriel Richard: Detroit's pioneer priest", The Detroit News Pargellis, Stanley McCrory. Father Gabriel Richard.. Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1950; the Detroit Almanac: 300 Years of Life in the Motor City. Ed. Peter Gavrilovich and Bill McGraw. Detroit: Detroit Free Press, 2000. Gabriel Richard at Find a Grave Father Gabriel Richard, First Catholic Priest in Congress
A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, determine how that entity is to be governed. When these principles are written down into a single document or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to embody a written constitution; some constitutions are uncodified, but written in numerous fundamental Acts of a legislature, court cases or treaties. Constitutions concern different levels of organizations, from sovereign countries to companies and unincorporated associations. A treaty which establishes an international organization is its constitution, in that it would define how that organization is constituted. Within states, a constitution defines the principles upon which the state is based, the procedure in which laws are made and by whom; some constitutions codified constitutions act as limiters of state power, by establishing lines which a state's rulers cannot cross, such as fundamental rights.
The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any country in the world, containing 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments, with 146,385 words in its English-language version. The Constitution of Monaco is the shortest written constitution, containing 10 chapters with 97 articles, a total of 3,814 words; the term constitution comes through French from the Latin word constitutio, used for regulations and orders, such as the imperial enactments. The term was used in canon law for an important determination a decree issued by the Pope, now referred to as an apostolic constitution; every modern written constitution confers specific powers to an organization or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abide by the said constitution's limitations. According to Scott Gordon, a political organization is constitutional to the extent that it "contain institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority".
Activities of officials within an organization or polity that fall within the constitutional or statutory authority of those officials are termed "within power". For example, a students' union may be prohibited as an organization from engaging in activities not concerning students. An example from the constitutional law of sovereign states would be a provincial parliament in a federal state trying to legislate in an area that the constitution allocates to the federal parliament, such as ratifying a treaty. Action that appears to be beyond power may be judicially reviewed and, if found to be beyond power, must cease. Legislation, found to be beyond power will be "invalid" and of no force. In this context, "within power", intra vires, "authorized" and "valid" have the same meaning. In most but not all modern states the constitution has supremacy over ordinary statutory law, it was never "law" though, if it had been a statute or statutory provision, it might have been adopted according to the procedures for adopting legislation.
Sometimes the problem is not that a statute is unconstitutional, but the application of it is, on a particular occasion, a court may decide that while there are ways it could be applied that are constitutional, that instance was not allowed or legitimate. In such a case, only the application may be ruled unconstitutional; the remedy for such violations have been petitions for common law writs, such as quo warranto. Excavations in modern-day Iraq by Ernest de Sarzec in 1877 found evidence of the earliest known code of justice, issued by the Sumerian king Urukagina of Lagash ca 2300 BC; the earliest prototype for a law of government, this document itself has not yet been discovered. For example, it is known that it relieved tax for widows and orphans, protected the poor from the usury of the rich. After that, many governments ruled by special codes of written laws; the oldest such document still known to exist seems to be the Code of Ur-Nammu of Ur. Some of the better-known ancient law codes include the code of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin, the code of Hammurabi of Babylonia, the Hittite code, the Assyrian code and Mosaic law.
In 621 BC, a scribe named. In 594 BC, the ruler of Athens, created the new Solonian Constitution, it eased the burden of the workers, determined that membership of the ruling class was to be based on wealth, rather than by birth. Cleisthenes again