The Constitution of the Irish Free State was the first constitution of the independent Irish state. It was enacted with the adoption of the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act 1922, of which it formed a part. In 1937 it was replaced by the modern Constitution of Ireland.
As originally enacted, the Constitution was firmly shaped by the requirements of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that had been negotiated between the British government and Irish leaders in 1921. However, following a change of government in 1932 a series of amendments progressively removed many of the provisions that were required by the Treaty.
The Constitution established a parliamentary system of government under a form of constitutional monarchy, and contained guarantees of certain fundamental rights. It was originally intended that the Constitution would be a rigid document that, after an initial period, could be amended only by referendum. However, a loophole in the Constitution's amendment procedure meant that all amendments were in fact made by a simple Act of the Oireachtas (parliament).
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“I never did ask more, nor ever was willing to accept less, than for all the States, and the people thereof, to take and hold their places, and their rights, in the Union, under the Constitution of the United States. For this alone have I felt authorized to struggle; and I seek neither more nor less now.”
—Abraham Lincoln (18091865)
“If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.... The flag and the Constitution stand for democracy and not tyranny, for freedom, not subjection.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)
“The Irish say your trouble is their
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—Marianne Moore (18871972)
“A free spirit takes liberties even with liberty itself.”
—Francis Picabia (18781953)
“There is such a thing as caste, even in the West; but it is comparatively faint; it is conservatism here. It says, forsake not your calling, outrage no institution, use no violence, rend no bonds; the State is thy parent. Its virtue or manhood is wholly filial.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)