The Constitution summarized and explained. To read the actual section of the Constitution click on the title of the specific topic. For a more in-depth summary click “read more.”
Sections of the Constitution
The first part of the Constitution, which lays the general, foundational principles upon which the rest of the document was written.
Describes the powers of the Judicial branch, composed of the Supreme Court of the United States and “such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”
Read MoreArticle IV
Section 1: “Full Faith and Credit” clause. Section 2: “Privileges and Immunities” clause. Section 3: Future division and addition of States and Territories. Section 4: Guarantee of “a Republican Form of Government,” protection from invasion, and (only at the state’s request) protection from “domestic Violence.”
Describes the Constitutional Amendment process
Provision dealing with Colonial debts. “Supremacy clause:” The Constitution, and laws and treaties made in accordance with it, are the “supreme Law of the Land:” all state judges and laws must comply.
Read MoreBill of Rights
Several states thought that the Constitution didn’t provide enough protection for individual and state rights, and made adoption of a “Bill of Rights” a condition of their ratification of the Constitution.
Read MoreGeneral Welfare Clause
Found in the Preamble and in Article I, Section 8. This is one of the so-called “elastic clauses” that have been used to justify massive expansion of the federal government over the years.
Read MoreLimited Government
A limited government is one that has specific constraints on what it can and cannot do.
This term means different things to different people. Learn about different types of rights, some truly guaranteed by the Constitution, others definitely not.
Read MoreSeparation of Powers
The Constitution divided government power in multiple ways, including three separate branches of the federal government.
Read MoreSeparation of Church and State
The Constitution states in the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”