The three main parts of the U.S. Constitution are the Preamble, the Articles (numbering seven) and the Amendments (numbering 27). The Constitution was drafted by the Founding Fathers in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention.
The Preamble essentially announces the intent of the Founding Fathers in drafting the Constitution, but it does not actually have any legal value in and of itself. There have been attempts by litigants to base legal arguments on the wording of the Preamble, but these attempts have never been successful.
The seven Articles of the Constitution describe the basic legal structures of the United States, including rules and regulations and limitations of powers of the various branches and components.
- Article 1 describes the legislative branch of government, including the House of Representatives and Senate.
- Article 2 outlines the presidency.
- Article 3 describes the judiciary.
- Article 4 outlines the relationships of the individual States.
- Article 5 outlines the process for creating Amendments to the Constitution.
- Article 6 deals with the legal status of the Constitution.
- Article 7 describes the ratification of the Constitution.
The Amendments to the Constitution acknowledge the evolution of the state over time. The first 10 of the 27 Amendments make up what is known as the Bill of Rights. Amendment XIII (13), dating from 1865, enshrines the abolition of slavery.