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How has the Constitution been able to endure more than 200 years of extraordinary change and growth in the United States?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Constitution has survived for so long largely for two reasons. First and foremost, it is incredibly difficult to amend. As a previous educator has pointed out, the Constitution has only been amended 27 times in all. This is no accident. The framers of the Constitution feared radical change and so wanted to make it as difficult as possible to make amendments. They worried that if the Constitution could be tinkered with too easily then its whole nature would change, leaving the American system of government with a much weaker foundation.

That explains why the bar for the ratification process is set so high. Each proposed amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives and three-fourths of the states. By anyone's standards, these are very difficult hurdles to surmount, as supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment have found to their cost.

The second main reason for the Constitution's endurance is its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. For...

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