The Constitution Introduced

Understanding the Constitution is vital to learning more about Constitutional Law and the legislative process. In this article, we provide a brief overview of each Article in the Constitution. This information is not comprehensive but should provide a basic understanding needed to continue learning about the Constitution. After reading this article, take some time to read the full text of the Constitution. Click here for access to the full text.

The United States Constitution is a governing document that provides and denies federal and state governments certain power. Additionally, this document protects individuals from being harmed by federal and local governments.

The original document consisted of seven Articles. The first three articles organized the federal government into three branches; the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Article IV discusses the several states. Finally, the fifth through seventh article discusses the process for amendments and ratification.

Further, there are 27 Amendments to the Constitution that serve two purposes:

  1. Protect the people from government overreach.
  2. Change the organization of the government.

Importantly, the Constitution is considered the “Supreme Law of the Land.” If any proposed law violates the Constitution, the proposed law is considered illegal.

Article I

Article I of the Constitution contains 10 sections and focuses on the legislative branch. In this article, the Constitution calls for a Congress which is comprised of two separate governing bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Sections 2-4 prescribe the requirements for each member of Congress, states how many members there are to be, and how the elections are to be held. Additionally, these sections explain the process of impeachment.

The article also describes the legislative process (how a bill is proposed then becomes a law). Here, the Constitution tells who must propose a law, how it is voted first in the House of Representatives, then in the Senate, before being presented to the President to accept or veto the law.

Further, the article discusses the powers of Congress including the power to borrow money, maintain a navy, regulate commerce, and more. The next section (9) limits those same powers.

Finally, the article concludes by discussing what powers are denied to the states.

Article II

Article II explains the powers provided to the executive branch. There are 4 sections. Section 1 establishes the requirements to be the President. It also sets forth the election process.

Section 2 discusses the power given to the President. This includes military power, setting treaties, and appointing ambassadors and judges. 

Section 3 requires the President to provide a report on the state of the Union from time to time.

Section 4 establishes the crimes a President can be impeached for.

Article III

In 3 sections, Article III establishes the responsibilities of the Judicial branch.

In this article, the largest takeaway is that there are several courts; a supreme Court and several lesser courts. The Constitution lists the kinds of cases in which the supreme court has original jurisdiction (the case goes straight to the Supreme Court). All other cases by the Supreme Court arrive by appellate jurisdiction (the court was asked to evaluate the decision in a lessor court).

Article IV

Article IV of the US Constitution establishes the rights granted to the people in each state. This article describes how states are added to the Union. Finally, the article explains that each state is to be governed as a republic.

Article V

The process of adding amendments to the US Constitution is described in article V. There are two methods an amendment to the Constitution.

  1. The Amendment must pass with 2/3rds vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Then, the Amendment must be ratified by 3/4ths of the states.
  2. 3/4ths of the states hold and ratify proposed Amendments.

Article VI

This article certifies that the Constitution is the “Supreme Law of the Land,” all debts continue to exist, and all representatives should be held under oath to support the Consitution.

Article VII

Finally, this article says that the ratification (approval) of 9 of the 13 states was enough to make the Constitution official.


Shortly after the ratification of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was proposed and passed to protect the rights of the people from the federal government. Several states refused to ratify the Constitution until these Bill of Rights were ratified. Since then, several Amendments have been passed which alter minor governing details. However, these amendments also outlawed slavery, provided all people with equal protection, and more.

Will’s Snippet

The United States Constitution has guided our country through several difficult challenges. From the beginning, it solved issues relating to the amount of power a federal government should be given. The Constitution has also been altered several times throughout history to provide people more protection from the government. Without this document, the United States would likely fall into tyranny. The founding fathers provided checks and balances for each branch of government, including the states. We should always strive to protect those checks and balances.

A Quick Note

This article is a continuation of a series about the United States Constitution. To read our post on the Constitutional Convention, click here.