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The law is the set of rules that we live by. The Constitution is the highest law. It belongs to the United States. It belongs to all Americans.
The Constitution says how the government works. It creates the Presidency. It creates the Congress. It creates the Supreme Court.
The Constitution was written in 1787. Yes, it is over 200 years old. We actually have old copies of what was created. We have pictures of the Constitution on this site.
After the Framers wrote the Constitution, they asked the states to approve it. It took some time, but all the states did approve it.
Some people did not like the Constitution. Some were afraid because it did not do enough to protect the rights of the people. It had no bill, or list, of rights.
The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is very important. It protects important ideas. It protects your right to say what you want. It lets you think for yourself. It keeps the laws from being too hard. It gives rules for the police.
The Constitution is not perfect. When it was written, they knew that it would have to be improved. The Framers added a way to make changes. This is called "amendment".
The Bill of Rights was actually added as a set of amendments. The Constitution has been changed 18 times since it was written. The amendments added things that the Framers didn't think of.
One amendment says that all black men can vote. Another says that all women can vote. One more says that the President can only be elected twice.
The first amendments, the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791. The last amendment was added in 1992. Lots of people have ideas for new amendments. Adding an amendment is hard — it takes lots of agreement. Maybe you have a good idea for a change to the Constitution.
How it all works
The Constitution sets up the government. It is split into three parts.
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