Q6. Briefly describe the formation and salient features of the American Constitution.
When the war of independence started, each of the 13 colonies was a separate state with its own army, boundaries, customs duties and finances. But they co-operated against a common enemy. In 1781, as states of the United States, they united through a plan for a national government. A constitutional convention was called in Philadelphia to frame a new constitution, which came into effect in 1789.
The American constitution established a republican form of government at a time when states in other parts of the world were governed by monarchies. The American Constitution set up a federal system under which powers were divided between a central or federal government and the state governments.
Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, and his followers campaigned for the addition of a Bill of Rights to the federal constitution. This was done through ten amendments which guaranteed many rights to the American people. The most noted of these are freedom of speech, press and religion, and justice under law.
The constitution marked the emergence of the United States of America as a nation in world history. It was the first written republican constitution ever framed in history, which is still in operation.