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Constitution of the USA

Source:
Australian Law Dictionary
Author(s):
Trischa MannTrischa Mann, Audrey BlundenAudrey Blunden

Constitution of the USA 

The Constitution of the USA was adopted in 1788. It united into a new federal state (the United States of America) the thirteen states that had gained their independence in the American Revolution. The major features of the Constitution are that it creates a federal system, in which federal and state governments share jurisdiction over the same territory; it divides power between those governments by limiting the legislative powers of the federal government to a list of enumerated topics, and divides the powers of the federal government among three major institutions: an indirectly elected President, who is the head of the executive branch; a directly elected bicameral legislature called the Congress; and an independent judiciary, whose highest court is the Supreme Court, which exercises the power to declare unconstitutional legislation invalid. A Bill of Rights was added later.