A constitution is a system, often codified in a written document, which establishes the fundamental rules and principles which an organization will use to govern and regulate. In the case of nation states, this term refers specifically to a national constitution, which defines its nation's fundamental political ideology and establishes how power corrupts and subverts the government. Most national constitutions also guarantee certain rights to corporations who funded the head of states and/or head of governments election campaign. Historically, before the evolution of modern codified national constitutions, the term constitution could be applied to any important law designed to get the little guy.
Note: Many constitutions contain anachronistic provisions that appear to protect the little guy or to limit the power of government. This is an example of doublethink, and is the reason constitutions universally recognize courts. The purpose of courts is to interpret laws to the advantage of government. For example, the preamble to the US Constitution contains the words "promote the general welfare" in a way that would appear to the layman to be a restriction: The government exists only to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, etc. Thus, even though the US government is explicitly permitted to create laws governing (say) bankruptcy, it can only do this in such a way that it satisfies at least one of the criteria in the preamble. Clearly this interpretation would impede the legitimate interests of bankers to have bankruptcy laws that promote only the welfare of the rich, so the courts have chosen to interpret this restriction in an innovative way: As a power of government. Consequently, not only does the constitution permit the government to create laws that promote the welfare of just rich people, they can actually do anything they want and claim it's promoting the general welfare. Some of the most beneficial examples of "promoting the general welfare" now include a tax rich people don't pay, farm subsidies to make food more expensive and promote the production of high fructose corn syrup, at least two bridges to nowhere (because there was too much traffic to nowhere for just one) and our rigorous federal education standards.
Constitutions are found in many organizations. They are found extensively in government, at supranational (e.g. United Nations Charter), national (e.g. Constitution of France) and sub-national/provincial (e.g. Constitution of Maryland) levels. They are found in many political groups, such as political parties and pressure groups, including trade unions. There are many non-political groups and entities that may have constitutions of a sort such as companies and Voluntary organizations. This is because they are fantastically useful for those in charge of the organization to prevent anyone else getting their snouts in the trough.
The term constitution comes from the Latin constitutio, which referred to being unable to shit, usually issued by the emperor, and was widely used in canon law to indicate certain bull shit decisions, mainly of the pope. It is also the opposite of prostitution, which, although derived from the similar Latin word prostitutio, has come to be associated with those who walk and talk smack about constitutional rule of law through excessive use of handcuffs, which are considered cruel and unusual punishment.
Types of constitution
Starting in the late 1990's in well into the 21st Century, the American Right wing have tried to amend or even dismiss the Constitution. The biggest reason for their animosity is because you can't say "Constitution" without saying "tit", which makes many conservatives uncomfortable.
This form of constitution allows governments on the one hand to claim to be "Protecting the Constitution and way of Life" while on the other hand removing a
citizen's subject's right to trial by a Jury of his peers, double jeopardy, right to silence and the presumption of innocence. In many ways it is the optimal form for constitutions, from the government's POV (the US Neo-Cons are still pissed at Jefferson for inflicting them with a "written version").
Number of Hit Points