University 18 Yrs + | Constitutional Change
What are Constitutions for?
They basically do two things:-
- Limit the powers of Government and define the rights of the citizen
- Set the rules that govern the different parts of the political system and how they relate to each other (Parliament, Head of State, Regions, Courts etc.)
In most countries they resulted from a period of major internal political conflict such as the French Revolution or the American War of Independence or after foreign occupation, such as during the Second World War, or after a dictatorship.
In Britain the last comparable period to this was the civil war of the 1650s when the idea of constitutions was barely developed, although Parliament did pass a statement of principles, abandoned when the Monarchy was restored in 1660.
The Constitution Unit at University College London provides a more detailed discussion of what constitutions are on their website with links to an interesting project comparing constitutions:- www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/whatis/Constitution