Some Facts About the Golden State’s Constitution

According to the State Archives:

At 65,000 words, California’s current constitution is one of the longest in the world. 

One reason is that the constitution has been amended 503 times from 1880 to 2000.

By contrast, the state’s first constitution — approved by the delegates of California’s first constitutional convention on October 13, 1849 after 37 days of debate in Monterey — was amended only three times in 30 years: 1856, 1862 and 1871. 

The current constitution, enacted by voters on May 7, 1879 was the product of a constitutional convention that convened in Sacramento on September 28, 1878. It was amended 52 times in its first 30 years. 



Filed under: News


  1. Other facts from the 1849 document include 1 year terms for Assemblymembers, and two year terms for Governors, and Senators. And the Secretary of State was appointed by the Governor.

    The only state or local tax was the property tax.

    Comment by Bill Leonard — 11.17.2009 @ 7:25 pm

  2. ¿Por qué no derogamos todas las enmiendas a la constitución que no fueron escritas en su idioma inicial? [Why don’t we repeal all amendments to the constitution that weren’t written in its initial language?]

    Comment by Joaquin Murrieta — 11.17.2009 @ 8:19 pm

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