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Iowa Constitution, 1857

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Courtesy of Iowa Secretary of State, "Constitution of the State of Iowa," 1857


The Iowa Constitution is the plan for the state government. The plan tells how the government should be organized and who has certain duties. Iowa's first constitution was written when Iowa entered the Union as a state in 1846. It was different from the rules of government that had been followed when Iowa was a territory, and it was different from the constitutions of other states. It was supposed to fit the needs of people in Iowa.

Unfortunately, there were problems with the first constitution of 1846. The people decided in 1857 that it would be easier to start over again with a new constitution. A new plan of government was written at a meeting in the Old Stone Capitol in Iowa City. This new constitution is the one Iowans live by today. It has been amended 46 times since 1857.

"Iowa's Constitution" Essay in The Goldfinch

Full Transcript of the Iowa Constitution

Transcribed Excerpt from the Iowa Constitution

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Why is there an Iowa Constitution if there is a U.S. Constitution?
  • What are some similarities and differences between the U.S. Constitution and the Iowa Constitution?

Citation Information

"Constitution of the State of Iowa," 1857. Courtesy of Iowa Secretary of State