Open main menu

Constitutional convention (political meeting)

A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution.[1] Members of a constitutional convention (sometimes referred to as "delegates" to a constitutional convention) are often, though not necessarily or entirely, elected by popular vote. However, a wholly popularly-elected constitutional convention can also be referred to as a constituent assembly.


National ConventionsEdit

Examples of constitutional conventions to form or revise the constitution of a nation include:

Smaller Administrative UnitsEdit

Constitutional conventions have also been used by constituent states of federations — such as the individual states of the United States — to create, replace, or revise their own constitutions. Several U.S. states have held multiple conventions over the years to change their particular state's constitutions.

  • Missouri has held four,[4] in 1820, 1865, 1875 and 1945.
  • Michigan has held four,[5] in 1835,[6] 1850, 1908 and 1963.[7]
  • Massachusetts has held six, in 1778, 1779–80, 1820–21, 1853, 1917–18, and most recently 2016.
  • Virginia Conventions have included six unlimited meetings. Constitutions were promulgated by fiat in 1776, 1864 and 1901–02, and ratified by referendum in 1829-30, 1850, and 1868. Limited Conventions and Constitutional Commissions resulting in revisions were held in 1927, 1945, 1956 and 1968. Subsequently the state legislature proposes amendments that are ratified in popular referendum.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Definition of 'Constitutional Convention' from Black's Law Dictionary".
  2. ^ "The Constitution: How Did it Happen?". United States National Archives and Records Administration. March 30, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Dáil debates Vol.728 No.3 p.5 March 22, 2011
  4. ^ "A Celebration of Two Constitutions". May 29, 2007. Archived from the original on May 29, 2007.
  6. ^ 19th Century Michigan History
  7. ^ "Michigan Legislature - CONSTITUTION OF MICHIGAN OF 1963".
  8. ^ Dinan, John. "The Virginia State Constitution: a reference guide", ISBN 0-313-33208-8, 2006, p. 8-24.