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Why is the U.S. Constitution important?

Imagine you are living in a time when your country is facing serious problems.

The central government is having a difficult time dealing with its far-reaching states; it is also overwhelmed by a failing economy and war debt. Yes, it’s 1787, and riots are breaking out.

In response to these crises, the nation’s most respected leaders travel to Philadelphia to serve as delegates at the Constitutional Convention. Their goal is to improve upon the country’s weak charter document, the Articles of Confederation, which has proven inadequate to deal with the problems the leaders are facing. The document they decide upon, the U.S. Constitution, begins with the words “We, the People, in order to form a more perfect union…”

Let’s focus on two of those words: “more perfect.” At the time, they referred to the delegates’ task of perfecting the framework of their government. Two hundred twenty two years later, they are a vital reminder that perfection is an ever-evolving goal, one that the leaders of the country must constantly strive toward as the world changes, societies grow and those living within them need to adapt.

At the time those words were written, for example, the colonists could still legally own slaves and women could not vote. But starting in 1865, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction, a trio of constitutional amendments abolished slavery and gave rights to former slaves. In 1920, women were granted the right to vote in the 19th Amendment. Amendments are the formal process by which lawmakers and government leaders debate and vote to modify the Constitution, and are part of their mission to continue making our union more perfect.

What does constitutional mean?

The concept of “constitutionality” is the basis of many of the 27 amendments. What exactly does “constitutional” mean? Quite simply, it refers to an act or a right that is permitted under the U.S. Constitution. For instance, once you turn 18, you will be allowed to participate in your next local election. This is because the voting age was lowered to include 18-year-olds when the 26th Amendment passed in 1971; voting is an 18-year-old’s constitutional right. Or look at the office of the president, and how one commander in chief cannot be in office for more than eight years, or two four-year terms. This came about following the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a strong leader of the Depression era who was elected to the White House four times. Congress decided that letting one person hold on to the position ran counter to the political process and, in 1947, approved an amendment to declare prolonged presidencies unconstitutional.

The Constitution and its amendments cover a lot of ground in terms of the operations of government and rules of society. In fact, the main body of the Constitution focuses entirely on how the government runs:

  • Article 1 outlines the duties of the legislature.
  • Article 2 outlines the duties of the executive branch.
  • Article 3 outlines the duties of the judiciary.
  • Article 4 describes the role of the states in relation to the country as a whole.
  • Article 5 allows the Constitution to be amended.
  • Article 6 establishes supremacy of federal law over state law when laws conflict.
  • Article 7 is where the 13 colonies ratified – signed off on – the Constitution.

Since this document focused on a central government and not the people, the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the Constitution – was approved in 1791 to address fears that a strong national government might not respect citizens’ rights.In the two centuries since, as we strive to form a more perfect union, this has been an ongoing process. We have given citizens the freedom of speech, press and religion; we have abolished slavery. We have banned alcohol, and then repealed the ban when it proved to increase crime.

This is why scholars refer to the Constitution as “a living document.” It changes, takes on new life in new eras, takes different shapes over time and continually strives towards the goal set in its preamble: making our union more perfect.

What do you think?

Are there things you think should be added to the Constitution? If so, what are they? Is there anything you think should be repealed from the Constitution, or amendments you disagree with? What is your favorite part of the Constitution? What rights do you consider fundamental? How does the Constitution impact your life?

Consider these questions as you read the Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution; it presents the original text of our nation’s founding document and explains what it means in today’s English. Then join the discussion on our Speak Out page and let us know what you think!

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Comments
4/10/2013
Anchorage AK
vang
Miss.Booker/ Begich
why The Constitution important ..?

12/15/2009

Gina
Litchfield High School, Litchfield
The U.S. Constituitoon is important because it represents on how our counrty is ran. Its also important because it shows every U.S. citizen the duties of the bill of rights. The U.S. consitution also is our freedom.

12/10/2009

Julie D.
Litchfield High, Litchfield, CT
The United States constitution is the basis of how the country is run. The Constitution is the basis of the rules and order, without the Constitution destruction and havoc would be the only thing that would be going on. The Constitution reveals what every U.S citizens civic duties are, and contains the 10 bill of Rights. The Constitution symbolizes the freedom, and three ideas that America stands for. I think in order for discrimination to be fully diminished the constitution should have the slavery act and any other amendments pertaining to racial or ethnicity discrimination should be stricter and have more of a consequence. I think how the Constitution was designed which was to have faults and problems that the people can fix and the rules within it are all well written and executed. My favorite part of the Constitution is the preamble. The preamble states what America is all about which is why the preamble is so important to the rest of the Constitution. I think all the Bill of Rights is important to the Constitution because without the Bill of Rights I think the country would run as well as it has been. The U.S Constitution impacted all of our lives because if the founding father never created the Constitution the order and the way America is run would be unorderly and dismantled.

10/26/2009

Cook F.
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
The United States constution is not just an important document. It is the very foundation in which our country stands. The US Constution protects each and every US citizens rights. The US constition has 27 amendments. However their are a couple amendments that stand out from the rest. For instance the 1st amendment. We have the absolute right to freedom of speech, and religion. And my favorite amendment, the 13th. The amendment that ended a great era in our country. Slavery. These amendments each play a part in our countrys history. Thats why the US Constitution is important.

10/21/2009

Nhan
Northeast High School - Mr Frank - 7th Period , Philadelphia, Pa
The Constitution affect the way everyone live in the United States. It allow us to express ourself and to be able to choose our belief. When we commit a felony, it also protect us from unfair trail and cruel punishment. My favorite point from the Constitution is the first admendment. As a minority, I find this admendment very vaulable because it allow me to express myself and my culture. Our constitution is a very good document that keep our nation in order and protect the people. I feel that another point should be add to appoint those who abuse their rights to from a rebel against the United States. For example, printing books promoting the act of terrorism.

10/12/2009

Sinjin L.
Warren Area High School, Warren/PA
The constitution is very important to all of us as Americans in which it gives us our rights and protects us. Each part of the constitution is there to benefit each of us in a posotive manor. It is here to make our country stronger and more free so we can live our lives the way we want. Each part of it balances the other so it is not weighted down on one subject or taking a side of a topic. The constitution is what makes us be able to say that we live in a free country, The United States of America.

10/8/2009

Casey M.
Warren Area High School, Warren, PA
With the prior purpose of forming a more perfect union, the Constitution reflected the needs of a developing and struggling early national government. Currently, numerous court cases and conflicts have arisen that mostly use the Bill of Rights as justification for outrageous claims or purposes. Restriction of Christianity on a national level is favoring atheism just as restricting atheism would be violation of the First Amendment. Atheism or believing in Nothing is just as much of a religion as believing in Something. The conflict between church and state embodies many of the subsequently mentioned freedoms within the First Amendment. Students are restricted from voicing religous concerns in opposition to evolution, which inhibits the right to free speech. Praying in lare numbers or as a whole is frowned upon, which hinders the right to peacefully assemble. Many parts of this early Amendment should be "modernized" to include religous beliefs as veritable sources of knowledge and truth. Yes, the constitution is a highly important document not only in history, but also as a factor in current events and decisions. Considering changing times, where scrutiny seems to rule, the First Amendment specifically should be more highly defined and described. I agree that the Bill of Rights are fundamental, as they are the very foundation of our country; these rights shaped the method in which our country developed and is developing. Many overlook the impact the Constitution has on their personal lives, beliefs, and values, but each word in this poignant document embodies the very human values that this nation has grown and developed upon. The Constitution was created to form a more perfect union, and so I strongly support the redefining of not only the First Amendment, but other amendments that are becoming sources of growing outrageous claims and conflict.

10/5/2009

Amber H.
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
The Constitution effects my life in every way, because it is the basis of the country I live in. I can see City Hall across the street through my apartment window, and I am reminded of the levels of government that have been created to protect and bring peace to my everyday routine. However, I have always thought and wondered at what kind of rights that I, as “just a kid” have. Interestingly enough, I had wondered these things before my rebellious teen years, as my parents fought for custody of my brother and I in court. I realize that many children do not understand what is best for them, but I also feel strongly that courts cannot fully understand either. Unfair decisions are made, and a child has to live with it until the age of eighteen. However, by the time I was 12, I felt like a toy that two children would bicker over, unwilling to share, and all Mother Government could do was set dates and times. I was an object, and my thoughts and feelings seemed to be completely forgotten. A friend of mine, adopted at the age of a baby, was told she would never be allowed to find her mother until the age of eighteen. She is fifteen now and anxiously awaiting the day when she will finally meet her own blood, having lost contact with her a few years earlier (letters seemed to stop suspiciously after a large fight with her parents about wanting to meet her other family). She had never really been attached to her adoptive parents, and had always been the odd one in the family. However, her parents disliked her desire and mission in life to find where she came from, and just a week ago legally changed the age that she can meet her mother from eighteen to twenty-one. I feel as though teens are seriously misunderstood people. At the age of sixteen, and in some special cases 15 or 14, we can drive, have a job, and go to school, working as hard as any other American, and yet it is not until eighteen that we are recognized as being able to think and choose for ourselves. I understand that a child with an undeveloped mind simply should NOT make big decisions. But I want to see measures taken to recognize those who have felt the injustice of not having rights and not being allowed to have a voice. Of course school is a place of learning, but why completely separate school from the world? Students should also have basic first amendments right here as well. Should there be a limit? Yes, of course, school needs somewhat of a controlled environment. However, sometimes rules and limits are simply and ridiculously unfair. I think back to times in our history when rights were broadened to groups that many people before that time had never thought of (or wanted to think of) as possible, and I wonder if the group of youth will ever have their own amendment. My favorite part of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights, because it lists basic and fundamental right all men and women of all colors (and ages?) should have. It is comforting to know that such a list exists and thrives today.

10/4/2009

Nikki M.
Nimitz , Irving, Texas
I don't think that there should be anything added or taken away from the Constitution. So far it has done fine with keeping our country together. Let's not ruin it. The amendments on the other hand should maybe be a little updated. For example: No quartering of Troops. We really don't do that these days anymore. It could be reworded to say the same thing but also have something new for the present and maybe into the future. Honestly my favorite part of the Constitution is the Preamble. I believe that it is the best beginning of an important document like the Constitution. The Constitution has impacted not only my life but everybody else's life too. It has done nothing but help our country and keep it in order so that it doesn't turn in to chaos.

10/2/2009

Priscilla
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
I feel that the constitution is, while not exactly perfect, is about as good as constitutions can get. Our rights are protected, including my favorite: the right of free speech. As for amendments, although I would be more than happy to see alcohol go away, I would rather not face a rise in organized crime, thank you very much. The constitution impacts every aspect of my life, from church on sunday to the freedom to express my own opinions on the internet.

10/2/2009

tiffany
pittsburg, oklahoma
cool

10/2/2009

Stephen A
GAHS, Greencastle PA
Of all of the accomplishments that America has made, none is greater than the writing of the US Constitution. It is the single greatest document in the world, and is in itself perfect. Many people would disagree with this statement due to the fact that the Constitution, at the time it was written, allowed slavery, forbade women to vote, and tolerated other humanistic injustices. However, what makes the Constitution perfect is not its lack of faults, but the capability it has to overcome them. The Founding Fathers knew before they even put their ideas on paper that the Constitution would not be without faults, but they decided not to accept that. They decided that freedom and equality was a treasure too great to be retained by the flaws of men, and because of this philosophy they made the Constitution a living and breathing document. The Constitution is timeless because freedom in itself is timeless. No matter what the oppression; it is not too great for the Constitution to solve, even if it requires amending the document. The Constitution is freedom on paper. No other document in the history of the world even comes close to the great power that lies in it. There is no need to add, remove, or change the Constitution because the Constitution is change. Change is what makes the Constitution function; amendments are not really changing the Constitution, but simply reinforcing it. The Constitutions always has been, and always will be the same, it will always be a document of “We the People”. Those are the words that start this document and they are the words that summarize the Constitution as a whole. In fact, they are the words that summarize America. America is a country of “We the People” regardless of gender, race, or religion, in America, all men are created equal. That is perfection, and that is America. Because of this timeless flawless document you as a person have the right to become whoever you wish to be. You have the right to pursue happiness and do what you believe is right simply because you believe it is, and that is perfection in action, and that is America in action.

10/2/2009

kaitlin
williumfloyd high school, ny
our constitution is our wolrd

10/1/2009

Christian I.
Nimitz, Irving, TX
I believe that the constitution has an impact on everyone's lives in America, since without it we wouldn't have the rights we have today. I think that there should no change to the constitution whatsoever. My favorite part would have to be the Bill of Rights, being as it lists the rights that no human being should be without. Such as the freedom of speech, because no one should tell you what to say. And the freedom of religion, because people have the right to choose which religion to believe in.

10/1/2009

Marlen
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
I believe that the Constitution is not perfect, but it has come a long way since its beginning. I can't think of anything that should be added to the Constitution because it protects individual rights very well. I am thankful that it includes freedom of religion, because that is very important to me. When I think about other countries that persecute those who express their faith, it makes me more conscious and aware of how our Constitution protects those rights. I think some of the most fundamental rights are freedom of speech, press, and religion, as well as the citizen's right to vote. I believe that it is also fundamental that the Constitution does a pretty good job of keeping the branches balanced through separation of powers and checks and balances, which keeps any branch from abusing their power, ultimately keeping our government safe from tyranny. The Constitution impacts my life everyday by allowing me to exercise my rights as a citizen and it is something we should not take for granted.

10/1/2009

Jose R.
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
I think as underage people the constitution gives us some rights but not all rights. In school we don't really have freedom of speech. But as a whole nation the Constitution has really helped us. It protects us and gives us our rights. Our nation wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for the Constitution. The Bill of Rights protects all off us for our rights and stuff.

10/1/2009

Sandra C.
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
In my opinion I do not believe that there is anything that should be added, currently. In time, with change, I am sure that eventually there must be certain things added to keep peoples rights protected. Also, everything that is already of the the constitution should stay on it. So far, these things have not caused enough strife to be changed. My favorite part of the Constitution would have to be Amendment II, because I always want to feel safe. In today's society, there are a lot of unstable people that wish to do you harm. Whether it is by physically hurting you, or stealing from you. With this amendment, if someone tried to do something of this sort, I would like to be able to protect myself, and my family. Because although I do know how to defend myself, this would mean nothing to someone bigger and stronger than I am. So thanks to this amendment, I would not have to worry about that. Rights that I consider fundamental, would be basically every freedom offered to us by our founding fathers. With that said, the constitution impacts my life by being a reliable source of defense for my rights. Something that no one can take away. In conclusion, the constitution is very important because it embodies the principle that out of many different peoples, one national society can be created. The Founders wanted unity and stability. But they also wanted to safeguard the rights and liberties of states and individuals by balancing power among individuals, states, and the national government. The result is a system of shared functions designed to prevent any one element from gaining too much power.

9/30/2009

Marissa
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
The Constitution impacts all of our lives. If the document didn't exist or we didn't have most of the amendments that we have now, we couldn't even begin to imagine what kind of world we would live in. At the age of 18 we wouldn't be able to vote and even when we do come of age to vote, us women wouldn't be able to. We wouldn't be able to say what we want so t.v, the radio, and newspapers would be completely different. This would be a difficult place to live in and we would eventually end up tearing eachother and our country apart. I think the Constitution is fine just the way it is and I wouldn't take away or add anything. My favorite part of the Constitution would be the Bill of Rights because today we don't realize how lucky we are to have our unalienable rights and things such as freedom of speech, press, and religion.

9/29/2009

Jose M
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
The Constitution is important in a big way to all of us. With this constitution we have alot of good benefits that protects us and gives us rights to speak for ourselves and protect ourselves, we can also decide in what we believe in and they can't do anything about it. Without this constitution this would all be a bad environment, corrupted, but it is not because of this rules.

9/29/2009

Jobin
Nimitz, Irving/Texas
The Constitution is a very important to all of us. It made us who we are, and without it our society would not have evolved to what it is today. With the Constitution, we have become one of the most powerful countries over the centuries. The Constitution has granted the sanctity of US citizens, giving rights to individuals with its amendments and allowing Americans to have a true democratic republic. With the Constitution, the power is more centralized to the government.

9/29/2009

Jonathan
Nimitz, Irving, TX
As the time progresses things should be added to the constitution in order to prevent people from going awry. "A more perfect union.." refers to a government where we all prosper and create from future failures.

9/29/2009

Munira
Nimitz High School, Irving TX
The U.S Constitution is important because it is the "Game Plan" of our government. Without it, we would still be a bunch of little states vying for power. The constitution also keeps the government and its officials from turning on us, the governed (checks and balances). It protects us from ourselves (majority rule and minority rights.) Also, the constitution is the beggining of American political philosophy.

9/29/2009

Cristi W.
Nimitz HS, Irving, Texas
In my opinion, the Constitution is fine as is. It has not always been that way though. Before certain amendments were added, the Constitution gave certain groups of people the advantage. For example, Women and blacks didn't have the right to vote in the beginning. Now, refraining someones right to vote would be completely and totally absurd. I do not disagree with any of the amendments, I feel that they are necessary for the Constitution to be valid. I do, however, disagree with the fact that it took so long to add certain amendments. In the beginning some things were ridiculously unfair. Our founding fathers decided to ban slave trade in 1810, instead of simply banning slavery. I am aware that it would anger many people, but it is extremely wrong to me. My personal favorite part of the Constitution is the beginning. It may sound cliche, but I think it is very well written. I strongly believe in unalienable rights, and I like that it says everyone has the right to pursue happiness. If John Locke's “life, liberty, and property” had not been tweaked before being used for the Constitution it would not have the same effect on me. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are fundamental. If the government could control these things, it would feel as if I was constantly being watched. The Constitution affects me every single day. Every decision is based on the Constitution. If not for the Constitution, I wouldn't be able to have a trial by jury (necessary) or write an article for the local newspaper without someone making sure it said what they wanted it to say.

9/28/2009

Shayla
Nimitz , Irving, TX
The Constitution is what made our government. Without it, our country would be a complete disaster. Thanks to the constitution, we have an organized government and we know who deals with what concern and how laws are made. I believe the constitution is the most important document ever written because it has made the U.S. one of the most powerful countries, and although it was written in the 1700's, we still avide by it today in the 2000's.

9/28/2009

Shayla
Nimitz , Irving, TX
The Constitution is what made our government. Without it, our country would be a complete disaster. Thanks to the constitution, we have an organized government and we know who deals with what concern and how laws are made. I believe the constitution is the most important document ever written because it has made the U.S. one of the most powerful countries, and although it was written in the 1700's, we still avide by it today in the 2000's.

9/28/2009

Rachel
Nimitz HS, SOUTH Irving, TX
I don't think the Constitution is at all perfect, but it is adequate to the main needs of the people. I don't know what exactly I would change about it, but it seems to me that states don't have as much power as they should. For example, if the state and federal governments conflict, I don't see what gives the federal government the automatic right to be above the states when the states are supposed to be representing the people. I have never read about an amendment that I disagreed with. I think we should have freedom of speech, speedy trials, and vote at eighteen. The amendments are my favorite part because I feel that they best represent what the people deserve. The most fundamental rights to me are freedom of speech, press, and religion because freedom is one of the building blocks of our government. The Constitution impacts on a daily basis from being about to go to school for free to being able to vote, as a woman, when I turn eighteen.

9/28/2009

savanna
Nimitz, Irving,Tx
I do not believe there needs to be an addition to the constitution, nor do I believe anything should be taken out. The rights I consider fundamental are the bill of rights because if keeps the government from taking away the right to life, liberty, and property. The U.S. Constitution has impacted my life a great deal because we live in a free country that functions orderly thanks to the constitution.

9/28/2009

Kristina M.
Nimitz, Irving/Tx
I think that the Constitution is good as it is right now, without any changes because it protects the rights of all people. If anything, I think that there should be amendments made to protect the Constitution, therefore there would be no way to change the Constitution; or make laws against the Constitution. Some people and organizations take advantage of the Constitution because they want to put amendments to where it will protect their own biased opinions, and not protect the country as a whole. Under the Constitution, all people are protected, and no one is above the law of the Constitution; meaning “We the people,” are equal, no one is different even though we are separated by race, gender, social class, etc. I think the Constitution is just in all its amendments and public rights; if it protects all races, all kinds of people are protected and joined as one under the Constitution. Rights that are fundamental are the ones like the Bill of Rights. As the people under the U.S. Constitution, we have the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. The Constitution outlines a series of protections from the government to the people, allowing the people to have say and take place in the government roles. My favorite part about the Constitution would have to be its ability to protect my rights as a citizen of the United States of America, allowing me to be free. The Constitution impacts my life by allowing me to be free because other countries do not have the same rights and freedoms that I enjoy in the United States and “we” do as a country.

9/27/2009

Olivia
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The constitution was drafted at a meeting that was meant to fix the Articles of Confederation. The constitution is important because not only did it fix the problems if the 1700's but it has been able to stay relevant into a new millennium.

9/27/2009

Valarie G.
Nimitz HS, Irving/TX
The U.S. Constitution is an important document because it documents this countries inner workings that without we would not be able to function as a whole. It also creates different systems that check on each other and can put one another in line if something goes wrong or is disagreed upon. We would not have the different articles that specify the power that each level of governments should have. It also says that as citizens we have the right to make right all and anything that goes on that we do not approve of.

9/27/2009

Josh R
Nimitz High, Irving, Tx
In my opinion, I think the constitution is important, because its what keeps the government in order. Personally for me I don't think anything should be added on to the document, its good as it is. My favorite part of the constitution is the bill of rights, because it gives individual rights to the people having the ability to have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and so on.

9/25/2009

Jackie F
Nimitz, Irving/TX
The U.S. Constitution is important because it gives everyone the right to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and the right to vote in general election. These rights are what give the citizens a voice and that is critical in achieving and maintaining a successful government.

9/24/2009

Ashlyne
Nimitz, Irving, Tx
The U.S. Constitution is probably the most recognized document in all the United States. It is only too ironic that when the delegates set out to the birthplace of this monumental paper, they had no intentions of writing and implementing this new foundation for a new government. They only wished to correct the flaws in the last government. That is why it is such an important paper. It lays the foundation for a government that, instead of repairing, entirely topples and replaces the existing Articles of Confederations. Without the Constitution, we would not be the democratic-republican that we are today.

9/24/2009

Sergey
Nimitz high School, Irving, TEXAS
The U.S. Constitution is important because it created the government in which we live today. Without the Constitution we would be a disorganized mess and nobody would know who to answer to or who had the most power. The Constitution created a government with equal votes and representatives, it got rid of factions, and it brought equally and unity to all states. The Constitution made a country that is now one of the most powerful, all while keeping the power of the government “for the people”, and “by the people”. Monroe, Washington, Franklin, and all the rest of the delegates created this secret document to make a “more perfect union” and they did not realize it would shape the government in which we all live today, as one nation.

9/21/2009

McKenna
Waynesboro Area Highschool, Waynesboro Pa
The Constitution is very important to be country. It affects everyone that is in the United States. It affects me by the rights I have. It gives everyone knowledge of how we should be treated and what freedom we have that are ancestors fought for so that we could have a better life and more freedom then they did. To me the constitution is perfect there should be nothing added nor removed from it. I think the most and important thing to change is that Americans. We all need to use our freedom wisely to make this country the way our ancestors fought so hard to give us. It affects me by the rights I have. It gives everyone knowledge of how we should be treated and what freedom we have that are ancestors fought for so that we could have a better life and more freedom then they did. To me the constitution is perfect there should be nothing added nor removed from it. I think the most and important thing to change is that Americans. We all need to use our freedom wisely to make this country the way our ancestors fought so hard to give us.

9/18/2009

Nicolette R
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
The U.S. Constitution is important because it was what came of the Constitutional Convention. Our founding fathers, however, did not go to Philadelphia planning on creating this document, and even did so in secret. The Constitution is important because it worked to create a government that the people would not loathe on instinct, and it was one of the first steps to creating a stronger government that would pull the country together. It would create levels of government that would prevent the states from fighting each other and being manipulated by foreign countries also.

9/17/2009

Martha M.
Nimitz H.S., Irving, TX
In my opinion, the Constitution doesn’t have any new matters that should be added. On the contrary, it has many citizens’ rights stated and guaranteed in the document. I believe that since there isn’t something to be added to the Constitution, nor should there be something to be repealed because everything that is stated in the Constitution benefits the people of the United States and it protects their rights. My favorite part of the Constitution would have to be the Bill of Rights because it clearly states the rights that can’t be taken away from a person, like their freedom of speech, religion, and press. The rights I personally consider to be fundamental are those listed in the Bill of Rights, but mainly those I have mentioned previously: freedom of speech, religion, press, and petition as well as the right to a trial by jury. The Constitution has impacted my life significantly because thanks to the Constitution I will be able to vote when I turn 18, something women couldn’t do before the Constitution was made. Also, the Constitution protects not only my personal rights as a person, but it also protects the rights of the other people as well.

9/17/2009

Francisco
Nimitz, Irving
The U.S. Constitution is important because it fixes the problem we had in the articles of confederation and starts U.S. off on a right and better foot. This makes our government better and secure and makes us more stable.

9/17/2009

Jose
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
I think as underage people the constitution gives us some rights but not all rights. In school we don't really have freedom of speech. But as a whole nation the Constitution has really helped us. It protects us and gives us our rights. Our nation wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for the Constitution. The Bill of Rights protects all off us for our rights and stuff.

9/17/2009

Josevin
Nimitz, Irving,Tx
The U.S. Constitution is very important because it has the main laws for us has human beings. On what we are allowed to do and what are rights are. It states the first 10 amendments which is really important to everybody which gives people in our country freedom and independence. It also helps our government so we are not controlled by just one leader who has the right to do anything.

9/17/2009

Jake
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
The constitution has worked for so many years, with the right changes and corrections. I believe in the abolishment of slavery. All people are equal. I believe the constitution is a great document for citizenship and should be followed. It has worked this long, and with the right corrections here and there, will work for a long time to come.

9/17/2009

keri
red lion area, red lion, pa
i didn't know that it was the twenty sixth amendment when it was passed for eighteen year olds to vote

9/17/2009

Chelsea
Red Lion, PA
In my opinion, i think the very beginning of the Constitution should change. Unfortunately, i believe that everything will never be perfect. Due to the way people act and are entitled to stand by their opinions, there will always be disagreements between the people. I wouldn't add or take out any specific part besides the beginning of the Constitution.

9/17/2009

Jessica
Red Lion Area Senior High, Red Lion, PA
I think its incredible that just over two hundred years ago, an informal, almost illegal meeting of men from all over made our constitution and formed our nation. I love that they called the Constitution a living document. It really is. Our country lives by it. For it.

9/17/2009

Mariah H.
Red Lion, New Freedom P.A.
I really would not change anything about the Constitution if given the chance. I personally do not have any problems with it. The Bill of Rights pretty much has all rights covered that I think are important. I really like how it lets you know what you can and cannot do. The constitution impacts everyone life in America. Thanks to it I have the freedom of religion speech and I can vote in two years.

9/17/2009

Brooke
Red Lion, Red Lion, Pa
I think that each of the amendments should be carefully read over, and changed. Obviously something would need to be changed if this was the case. Look at the things that are going wrong, and try to find a way to keep it, but change it up a little. This would be devastating and should be fixed soon as possible.

9/17/2009

Kayla
Red Lion , Red Lion, Pa
The system is good, because it can change but only if every branch agrees. The constitution is the perfect document.

9/17/2009

Lexi
Red Lion High School, Red Lion,PA
I think the constitution is very important because if we didnt have it then there wouldnt be those pacific rules that people need to follow and our world would be crazy. I think the fact that we have the amendments is good to our world.

9/17/2009

Brittany
Red Lion Area Senior High, Red Lin/Pa
I think the constitution is actually very important, because with out it our world be be a disaster because everyone would be doing what they want with out consequence. But i think our world is doing pretty good. The only thing i really wish was different was that they would actually put the people away for good that harm children case there is just no reason they should still be running around in our world planning to harm another.

9/17/2009

Tyler
Red Lion , Red Lion, PA
I believe that in time and in the future, there might be a few things added to the Constitution. During this time, no. I think that all of the amendments are fine. My favorite part of the Constitution is the Preamble. I would consider the Bill of Rights fundamental, because they're the first ten amendments to the Constitution and give every man and women their rights. The Constitution has impacted my life in many ways.

9/17/2009

Katelyn
Red Lion Senior High, Red Lion, PA
The United States wouldn't be where it is now without The Constitution.

9/17/2009

Jess
Red Lion Area Senior HIgh School, Windsor, PA
I believe that the constitution has a lot of benefits for all the citizens of the U.S. and has improved a lot since the late 1700s. It gives we, the people, more freedom and equality. This is why the constitution is important and is great the way it is.

9/17/2009

Emily
Red Lion Area, Red Lion PA
I believe that the Constitution doesn't need any additions. It's what started our nation's government and it has lasted for hundreds of years. As a nation we have a strong government and as individuals we have rights and freedom and that's why i think nothing has to be added.

9/17/2009

Grant
Red Lion, Red lion/pennsylvania
I think that the constitution does not need any changes right now. The rights that I think are fundamental are the rights in the bill of rights.I think that possibly the rights could be more specific but other than that I think that the constitution is a very important document and should be studied properly

9/17/2009

Branden
Red lion area high school, Red Lion pa
The U.S. Constitution is good the way it is. It impacts the way people live in their everyday lives. It gives the citizens rights it is good the way it is in my opinion.

9/17/2009

Alex M.
Red Lion Area Senior High School, Red Lion, PA
I do not think that anything should be added or taken from the constitution. It effects me because when I'm 18, with the rule, I will be able to vote even with being a girl, which most woman could not do. It also outlines the way that we are living today and what we can do that was different from what is was before.

9/17/2009

Jared
Red Lion, Red Lion/PA
In my opinion, the constitution is good. It has many rights stated and guaranteed in the document. It gives power to the people, there are still arguments but it keeps the people something to follow.

9/17/2009

Jessica B.
Red Lion Senior High, Red Lion, PA
In my opinion, nothing should be added to the Constitution. It has benefits for the people of the Untied stats. You could be taking away benefits from the people if new things were added or taken out. The constitution gave a right for women to vote. That is very important. It give rights to the people and myself as well. So i think nothing should be changed.

9/17/2009

Joe
Red Lion Area, York, PA
Because of the circumstances at the time, the Constitution had to be made to fit everyone, not just for the bigger states. This is exactly what was needed at this time because it put a big emphasis on the rights of the individual; freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. This gave relief to the leaders and the people of the different states, as well as their sovierngty, which was most important to each of them. It affects all of us everyday.

9/17/2009

Shari
Red Lion Area High School, Windsor
The Constitution greatly effects every ones lives. For me it allows me to be able to vote when I turn 18 also it allows me to follow a religion that I want to follow. It's very important that we have a say somewhat in what goes on in our government.

9/17/2009

Heather
Red Lion Area Senior High School, Red Lion, PA
In my opinion, the Constitution should not be changed in anyway. Although when they were writing the constitution they had no idea it was going to affect us to this day it is. What they wrote allows us to be free and i don't think that we need to change anything about it. It's fine the way it is and its still working in our country so why change our ways if we don't need to? My favorite part of the Constitution is The Bill of Rights. Without it we wouldn't be able to speak freely or even pick our own religion.

9/17/2009

Evan H.
Red Lion High School, Pensylvania
The U.S. Constitution is probably the most important document in American history. If it wasn't for the Constitution, we wouldn't have all of the laws now that help this country keep from falling apart. But, I think that the most important part of the Constitution would be the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the thing that gives Americans their freedom. And, if anything needs to be added, it could be added just in case something needs to be changed.

9/17/2009

Sam
red lion area, red lion, pa
i don't think anything should be added to the constitution. she's fine just the way she is.

9/17/2009

Jayde
Red Lion Senior High, Re Lion, PA
i think that the constitution is really well written the way it is at the moment. i also believe that things might need to be added in the future but nothing needs added now. My favorite part is probabaly the Bill of Rights because it tell us the people of the us what are rights are.

9/17/2009

Emily
Red Lion, Red Lion, Pa
The one thing that bothers me about the constitution is that it states that all people are created equal yet we struggled so much over slavery.

9/17/2009

Jennifer
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
I like how the constitution will never be set forever. There is always the ability to change it and improve it. As the United States grows, the needs of the country will change. And because we can add amendments we can make our nation better.

9/17/2009

Morgan
Red Lion High, Red Lion
My favorite part of the constitution;; is Anything you say or do will be recorded because then that way they can go back and see what he she said. And i dont think i would add anything they got it all;

9/17/2009

Kirstin
red lion, red lion, pa
I do not think that anything in the constitution should change. My favorite part of it is the bill of rights. the constitution impacts my life a lot in how I live and it impacts my future.

9/17/2009

JoSePH
Red Lion Area Senior High School, York, PA
I think that the constitution is very important. it helps us live our lives the way we do today. Thank you America.

9/17/2009

Angela
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, Pa
Back then there were not as many states as there are today. I give the leaders props for trying. The constitution was most likely well put for back in that time period. But i believe that a new constitution should be made for today's society.

9/17/2009

Sarah K.
Red Lion Area High School, Red Lion, Pa
I don't think the constitution should be changed or nothing should be appealed. I think its fine the way it is. The best part I like about the constitution is the freedom of speech. The Constitution affects my life by giving me the right to speak and the right to have freedom.

9/17/2009

Amber
Red Lion, Windsor Pa
I don't think that there is anything that should be really changed in the constitution. It was written by people that know a lot about what they should be talking about.The only thing that I would change if i could would be the voting age. I think that the voting age should be 16. Just because that's the age you start growing up and caring about the united states. You have more things to worry about.

9/17/2009

David
Red Lion Area High School, Red Lion
I think the constitution is an important thing in an average American's life. I think though that we are not using it to its full extent. The amendment, "The rights to bear arms" was made to give power to the people. If there was something that they didn't like then they would have the power to fight back. Our forefathers predicted this to happen about every ten years or so.

9/17/2009

Pam
Red Lion High School, Red Lion, PA
The Constitution is good the way it is because it has been working out fine for so long. Nothing should be added or repealed. And because it has been around for so long, it affects everyone in America every day.

9/17/2009

Jonathan
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, Pa
I find this article quite interesting...i learned something new from it. so i suppose its not too bad...

9/17/2009

Alisha
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
The Constitution has impacted us everyday in life even though it was written so long ago. It states important rights that we have. The Constitution allows us the choices we have possible every day of our lives. Someday more stuff may be added but it is effective as it is right now.

9/17/2009

Lindsey
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
I personally feel like there is nothing to be added to the constitution. If America can run as well as it has since it was written why change it? My favorite part of the constitution is freedom of speech, this is because we as Americans can say as we please and not get ridiculed for it. And we can dress as we please as well which not every country can do. I think the laws they have set up are pretty basic and good. Don't break them and you are good to go. It protects us and everything we stand for.

9/17/2009

Katelyn
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
For the most part, I think the constitution is great and it covers just about everything. However, I think that there should be more requirements for people to vote. I'm not really sure what they should be, but I don't like to think about how many people vote without even thinking about what their vote could do. Maybe we should go back to having some kind of test that you have to pass.

9/17/2009

Adam
Red Lion Highschool, Red Lion/Pennsylvania
The Constitution, to me protects who am am and who I strive to become and legally says others can't disagree on what has already been federally approved until noted otherwise.

9/17/2009

Lawrence Pacl
Red Lion Area SH, Red Lion Pa
I agree with the constitution and the bill of rights. I do believe that some people walk way to fine of a line when it comes to freedom of speech. For example, in the sixties they burned American flags and spit at the returning Vietnam Vets. I think the constitution and the Government should have a clearer line between freedom of speech and bringing hate to your vets and country.

9/17/2009

Brittany
Red Lion Area Senior High School, Red Lion
This have been added to the Constitution over the years but there is more that could be added still. Dealing with the Technology that we use today and the new technology to come there is most likely many things that Many including my self that would like to be seen put in the constitution. but then again that is why we have the Bill Of Rights. At this time there are no parts that i disagree with and there are no parts i believe should be repealed. My Favorite part of the Constitution would e probably the 5th article because it allows for change and i think that is very important. Of course the most important Rights are the first three. Every day the constitution impacts our lives everyday of our lives.

9/17/2009

Christopher
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
I feel that the Constitution is fine the way it is and should have nothing changed at this time. My favorite part of the Constitution is the freedoms that it allows us to have like freedom of speech and what not because I believe that as a citizen that I should have the right to voice my opinion in any given situation. The Constitution impacts my life a lot I guess because it decides a lot of the ways I live my life because of all its laws and amendments.

9/17/2009

Jeremy
red lion area, red lion, Pa
I think the constitution should say something about deporting illegal immagrants. And my favorite part of the constitution is the freedom of speech.

9/17/2009

Warren
Red Lion Area High School, Red Lion,PA
I believe the constitution is good as it is now so nothing needs to be added to it. I do not disagree with any of the amendments. I don't know much about the constitution so i don't have a favorite part of it but it does impact my life and allows me to live in a free nation.

9/17/2009

Sarah
Red Lion Area High School, Red Lon, PA
I don't think there is anything i would add to the constitution if I had the chance, except maybe ensure that women will earn the same salary for doing the same job because if I remember correctly, that happens still today. But since that isn't a major major issue that causes harm to people, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If I had to pick a favorite part of the constitution I guess it would be the amendments because it shows how they brilliantly set up the constitution so that it could evolve with the world. I'm thankful that we have freedom of speech, press, religion...because our life would be completely different without those.

9/17/2009

Jefferson
Red Lion Area, Red Lion, PA
Although we continually strive to have a perfect union there are many faults even in the constitution. One such fault is that our Bill of Rights protects against harsh retorict under the first amendment, Freedom of Speech, and it doesn't matter how bad the words become they are protected. I believe that there should be a separation of Freedom of speech when the words cause only harm and no good can come of it.

9/17/2009

nurta
beery midle school, columbus ohio
i want to know why is the constitution important?

9/16/2009

Heather
Nimitz HS, Irving, Tx.
At the recent time, I do not think there should be any additions to the Constitution, nor do I disagree with anything in it. My favorite part of this historic document is in the Bill of Rights, because it specifically outlines our rights as human beings, as U.S. citizens. The Constitution strongly impacts my life everyday. For instance, I will be allowed to vote at some point even though I am a girl because of something in the Constitution. This document represents some of the most revolutionary thinking of its' time and is truly amazing because it has withstood the test of time, always easily altered when needed.

9/16/2009

Lilian
Nimitz High School , Irving, Texas
The U.S Constitution makes an impact on our lives every single day. It gives us citizens rights. I feel that the first Amendment is the most important amendment of them all. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to express ourselves. Through religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of press. The Constitution gives order and protects the rights of individuals. It is important that we all become informed about the true meaning of the Constitution, so we citizens can know more about our country, and our individual rights.

9/16/2009

Melvin
Nmitz HS, Irving/TX
The U.S Constitution is is an important document created by our founding fathers. It impacts every single member of the United States of America. Elders, adults, youngsters and kids get beneficial rights. This important document has established a chance for our beautiful country. My favorite part of the Constitution are the Bill of Right, the first 10 amendments. Out of the ten first right, I like the first one because it contains the right to freedom of speech. This gives me the right to express what I want to say in front of people. I also have the right to freedom of religion. This means that I can decide my religion without being force to worship something that I don't want to. The Constitution does not only affect me. It affects everyone in our society. I truly believe that nothings else should be add to the Constitution right now. But may be on the future some things should be add.

9/15/2009

Erick
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
I believe the U.S. Constitution is important for several reasons. Not only has this document established the solidity and permanence of this country, but it has ensured us the rights which we feel are fundamental to our being. This is done particularly in the Bill of Rights, which outlines the rights that have been endowed to us, the people. One thing I find remarkable about the Constitution is the flexibility the writers gave this document, which has kept it in existence till today. Its adaptability has allowed for it to bend to the needs people see fit.

9/15/2009

Joel P
Nimitz, Irving, Tx
The Constitution was created by our founding fathers over two hundred years ago. Though it was created so long ago, it still has an affect on our lives today. Important rights such as due process, freedom of speech, freedom of association, to name a few are all protected under the U.S. Constitution. Our Constitution is an outstanding document that was revolutionary for its time and it is still the banner for the most successful example of human liberty in history. My favorite part of the constitution is the Bill of Rights. Within those first 10 amendments are our freedoms and rights as individuals listed out. The constitution has shaped the United States and our country would just not be the same without this document.

9/15/2009

Vanessa H.
Nimitz High School, Irving,TX
I think The Constitution impacts my life and other people's lives as well everyday. Without The Constitution we wouldn't have the right to free speech or even the freedom of religion. Not only does The Constitution state the people's rights, but it explains how the government should act in order to reach “perfection”. I don't think anything should be added to The Constitution at this moment, because I simply have no problems with it. Of course in the future there will probably be something added to it, because as time changes problems seem to appear. Also later on in the future The Constitution has to adapt to the new concerns of the government and of the people. My favorite part of The Constitution would be The Preamble. It shows the purposes of the document in a very short paragraph and I like that. The writers of The Constitution were serious and straight to the point in this part, without giving all these unnecessary details.

9/15/2009

Valentina
Vargas, Irving,Texas
The U.S. Constitution is very important to us Americans. The U.S constitution is the building of our nation. It states the rules, on how this nation should run. In the beginning when our fore fathers made up the constitution, it established order in our country. It worked effectively, because we still have it today. The constitution gives us rules to follow, but it also gives us rights too. The rules are mostly for order, and protection and the rights of the individuals is for freedom. Isn’t the constitution great? Because without it, there would not be freedom, protection and many more great things people need to be able to live.

9/15/2009

Alwin J
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
The United States Constitution is a significant step that our country went through. With important sections such as the Bill of Rights , the Constitution defines people's right to live a good life in America. The Constitution is the main reason why we are allowed to do many things in society. Without it, we cannot convince the government that we own the right to do a specific task and people would have a hard time coping with the U.S. Government.Therefore, the U.S. Constitution plays an important role in our life.

9/13/2009

Rebecca
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
The U.S Constitution is important in many ways, without it our lifestyles and quality of life would be very different. Whether we realize it or not the Constitution affects each and everyone one of us daily. It outlines specific rules for our nation to live by as well as secures certain rights that U.S citizens have. Because our nation is one of the few that does protect our unalienable rights, my favorite part of the Constitution is The Bill of Rights. Not only does the Bill of Rights protect our rights as citizens but it also gives us many freedoms that citizens of other nations do not have. The Bill of Rights are fundamental but sometimes as U.S citizens we do not realize how blessed we are to have these rights. I feel that our Constitution at this time is complete and I personally agree with the amendments in the Constitution.

9/13/2009

Steven
A. Philip Randolph , New York, NY
I believe that the Constitution is very important because it did what the Articles of Confederation could not, unify the people. The constitution was the force that was able to truly unite the united states. The Constitution resulted in the bicameral system which we have. It also provided a set of amendments which, in theory, would change to fit the will of the people.

9/12/2009

Elizabeth
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
The Constitution affects my life greatly everyday, I can choose my religion, go to church, and even gather in front of the school for “ See You At the Pole”. Also, when I am 18 I will be able to vote despite the fact that I am a girl. My favorite part of the Constitution is probably the Bill of Rights because it lays out what rights we have and even includes the 9th amendment which protects those of our rights that the framers did not specifically name. I think it just goes to show that those who wrote the Constitution really were looking out for future problems and were trying their best to make our new government run smoother. Right now, I don't think there is anything that I would add to the Constitution, but there are a few changes that I would make. For instance, I would like to see a few more restrictions on the right to bear arms. Just recently a fifteen year old boy shot himself because he was messing with a gun in the waistband of his pants. If we had a few more restrictions on who could buy guns and kept better records, maybe we could cut down on accidents like this happening. I also don't quite understand why we still have the 18th amendment attached to the Constitution since it was repealed by the 21st amendment.

9/10/2009

LeAna
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
The Constitution is very important in life. It lists rules for everyone. Without the constitution it would be chaos. It has the separation of governmental powers into three branches that check and balance each other, it is derived from the people for its authority. The rules are very high as in like the government cannot create or destroy the laws on it. Mostly because it was made for the people, which is us of course. It gives us our rights and that's why the Constitution is important.

9/8/2009

Cory
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I believe that in time and in the future, there might be a few things added to the Constitution. During this time, no. I think that all of the amendments are fine. My favorite part of the Constitution is the Preamble. I would consider the Bill of Rights fundamental, because they're the first ten amendments to the Constitution and give every man and women their rights. The Constitution has impacted my life in many ways.

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