Cat. 18

Illinois Constitution of 1818

Curator Commentary

Like Thomas Jefferson, most Americans assumed that the constitutions they wrote would eventually need to be updated or even completely rewritten. They adopted procedures by which changes could be made whenever a significant majority of citizens believed they were necessary.

In 1818, Article VII of the Illinois constitution provided a path for calling a convention that would either amend the current frame of government or write an entirely new one. Most states have had more than one constitution, and many states have held numerous constitutional conventions.

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