The Second Oldest Constitution In the World


On May 3, 1791, Poland enacted the second oldest constitution in the world and the first modern one in Europe.

The Polish Parliament called the Sejm spent four years drafting this document. The Sejm noticed many problems with their current government system. Susceptible to bribery and other problems, they sought to create a balanced government. For four years they hashed out the document. Then on May 3, 1791, through the Government Act, they implemented it.

This modern constitution allowed equal voting for peasants and nobility. It also separated the government into three equal parts. This forward-thinking document would have changed Europe if it had lasted. Unfortunately, Russia and other countries invaded. They divided the country up and removed the constitution only a year after its implementations. Instead, this document became a symbol of freedom.

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