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 Conventions

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

Smaller Administrative Units

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 also


  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.
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