Welcome to the State Constitutions web site, a portal to the texts of the state constitutions
of the United States. There have been almost 150 state constitutions, they have been amended
roughly 12,000 times, and the text of the constitutions and their amendments comprises about
15,000 pages of text.
To go straight to the constitution texts, click here
Earlier collections of constitutions by Poore, Thorpe, and Swindler are available in printed
sources. Our texts have several advantages over these compilations:
1) They are much more complete and accurate. We have made strenuous efforts to get
accurate original texts for each constitution and complete sets of amendments.
2) They provide coverage through 2000. With a few exceptions, constitutional
amendments are taken up through 2000.
3) Amendments to constitutions are associated with the article and section of text they
amend. Unlike the printed sources where amendments typically appear in a list at the end of the
constitution, amendments in our texts appear immediately after the text they amend.
4) Constitutional texts can be reconstructed at any point in time, using the "as of" search
method. The original constitutional and all amendments up to the date specified can be retrieved
as a whole document.
5) Text can be accessed by article, section, or part of a constitution.
6) Texts can be searched by keyword. Searches can be conducted on the entire set of
texts (not recommended), for individual states or for pieces of constitutions. The search engine
returns links to individual articles and sections of constitutions.
7) The constitutional texts are entered into a database. Each piece of text is assigned a
unique identifier: state, year of constitution, article number, sub-article number, section number,
sub-section number, and part number. Amendments, in general, are associated with the piece of
the constitution they amend. In some cases, amendments "float," that is they do not amend an
existing part of the constitution nor do they create a new numbered part of the constitution. This
web site is the interface with the database.
8) Copies of the text files inputted into the data base are now available directly.
We are close to finishing the project. We hope to have complete texts of all the
constitutions (with the possible exception of Georgia) available on the web site sometime in 2006.
The web site design has changed. We are no longer posting the Thorpe constitutions, as
they have been superseded by our texts.
To work with the database of constitutional texts click here
To download ASCII files containing the coded texts click here
Download coded texts
Our methodology is discussed and explained here
This research is being carried out by Professor John Wallis of the Economics Department
of the University of Maryland. It is supported by a series of National Science Foundation grant
SBR-9709490 American State Constitutions: A historical Series. The Office of Academic and
Computing Services at the University of Maryland, Marie Gates, Aaron Safford, Dirk Walter,
and Adam Singh have designed and maintained the web site.
If you have any questions or information, please e-mail Professor Wallis at
Trisha Posey, Heather Jacobsen, Doug Campbell, Chris Esh, Mike Peterson, John Allison,
Erik Christiansen, Tom Castillo, Marcy Wilson, Kate Keane, Jim DeAngelis, Mark Levengood,
and David Darlington have all provided excellent research assistance gathering and verify
constitutional texts and amendments. Steve Snyder helped coordinate the original gathering of
19th century constitutions. Vickie Fletcher kept everything straight and was a rock over the last
The preferred form of citation to the data base is:
John Joseph Wallis, NBER/University of Maryland State Constitution Project,