Which country has the world’s shortest written constitution? - HISTORY

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The planet’s second-smallest nation by area (after Vatican City), has the world’s shortest constitution. Adopted in 1962 during the reign of Prince Rainier III, the governing document of Monaco currently clocks in at 3,814 words, according to the Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP). The diminutive principality, which today is famous as a playground for the rich, was granted its first constitution in 1911 by Prince Albert I. Meanwhile, India’s 146,385-word constitution is the world’s longest, according to CCP. It went into effect in January 1950, less than three years after India gained its independence from Britain, in August 1947.

The 7,762-word U.S. Constitution is generally considered the world’s oldest written national constitution still in use. It was drafted during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, which convened on May 25, 1787, and concluded with the document’s signing on September 17 of that year. (Of the 39 delegates who put their signatures on the document, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest while 26-year-old Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.) In June 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth and final of the 13 states needed to ratify the Constitution. The U.S. government started operating under the Constitution on March 4, 1789. More than a year later, in May 1790, Rhode Island became the last state to ratify it.

As of December 2014, more than 11,600 proposals to amend the Constitution had been introduced in Congress since 1789. To date, 33 constitutional amendments have been approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification; six of these amendments failed. The 27th Amendment, which deals with congressional pay, was the most recent amendment to be ratified, in 1992.

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