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Why Is the U.S. Constitution Important?

Published: September 14, 2016 | Updated: November 18, 2019

Constitution Day is September 17th! Are you going to celebrate?

Before you dismiss the idea of celebrating a piece of paper that’s almost 230 years old, you might want to consider just how important it is. The U.S. Constitution is at the foundation of every single law in America. It’s at the heart of how we think, act, and govern as Americans.

History of the Constitution

Once the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, they had to get down to the business of running their own country. The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in 1777, which was later ratified by the 13 original colonies. But it soon became clear that in their effort not to be dominated by a strong central government like the one ruled by King George III, they’d made their new government too weak.

In 1789, a new constitution was adopted that created a stronger centralized government that shared power among three branches: executive (President), legislative (Congress), and judicial (Supreme Court). That document remains at the bedrock of the way our entire country is run and has an impact on all of our citizens –even you.

10 Ways the Constitution Affects Your Life

1.       You get to vote in the upcoming election (if you’re 18 and registered)

2.       You can go to any church you choose

3.       You can say (and write) what you want

4.       You can own a firearm

5.       You can gather in a group and participate in a protest

6.       Your property can’t be searched without a warrant

7.       You can’t be forced to testify against yourself

8.       You can’t be discriminated against

9.       You’re required to pay income tax

10.   You can have an alcoholic beverage (if you’re of age)