Where is Great Britain's constitution located?
Unlike the United States, which came into being with the ratification of the Constitution, an actual document, Great Britain has no single written constitution. Rather, the British constitution is a collection of traditions, legal decisions, acts of Parliament, and royal decrees that establish precedents to be followed by posterity. Documents like Magna Carta (1215) and the English Bill of Rights (1689) form the backbone of the "constitution." Over time, the constitution has changed to give most political power to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister. Their powers have come at the expense of the monarch and to some extent the House of Lords, whose powers have been limited over centuries of political crises and compromises. Whereas in the United States, voting rights have been extended by written changes to the Constitution, they have expanded in Great Britain by the passage of laws like the Reform Act of 1832. These laws serve as precedents for future laws but must also conform to the general spirit of previous laws. So Great Britain, unlike most nations, has no single written constitution.