Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
The Republic of Ireland currently has 35 amendments to its Constitution.
That's close to 50% more than the US Constitution (27, which includes
Prohibition and Repeal, so it's more like 25), and we've been at it
for 150 more years than Ireland -- and our first ten (the Bill of Rights)
are barely additions, since their inclusion was a condition on the
ratification of the Constitution by a number of the state legislatures
Yes, but Ireland isn't a federal republic, so its government has
competency in many more matters than the US federal government
(theoretically) does. A better comparison would be state
constitutions, but the practice among most states is to restate their
constitutions, giving effect to amendments as they are enacted, rather
than appending them to the original text, as is done with the federal
constitution. California's constitution (1849) has been amended
several hundred times, but you won't easily find a list of those
hundred amendments -- some of which were merely to prune deadwood and
resolve conflicts created by hundreds of previous amendments. Most of
the other states I checked were similar, although a few states, like
New Jersey, have a habit of just adopting new constitutions. New
Hampshire has the opportunity for a constitutional convention every
seven years that can propose wholesale revisions or batches of
amendments, but lately has voted not to hold it.
The Massachusetts Constitution (1780, so slightly older than the
federal) has 120 amendments, and uses the ledger style so there
actually is an "Amendment CXX" at the very end of the text. Rhode
Island was governed by royal charter from 1663 to 1842, when the state
enacted its first formal constitution; that document was replaced
wholesale in 1984.
According to Wikipedia, the Constitution of Alabama (1901) is the
longest, with over 310,000 words and 926 amendments. The Constitution
of Vermont (1793) is the shortest, 8,295 words -- because Vermont is
one of the few states not to have adopted citizens' initiative, the
process for amendment is quite onerous and very few amendments have
ever been enacted.
 One of what have become known as "the Progressive Era reforms",
along with referendum and recall, which were supposed to make state
governments more responsive to the purported wishes of the people.
It's an interesting contrast, because Vermont practices a very strong
form of direct democracy at the local level, but the state government
operates exclusively on the representative principle.
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)