Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers , whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative , consisting of the bicameral Congress Article I ; the executive , consisting of the president and subordinate officers Article II ; and the judicial , consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts Article III. Article IV , Article V and Article VI embody concepts of federalism , describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments , the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article VII establishes the procedure subsequently used by the 13 States to ratify it. It is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in , it has been amended 27 times, including one amendment that repealed a previous one,  in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the 18th century.
Madison , Who was the most influential American of the founding era of the United States: George Washington, due to his military and political achievements? James Madison, for his "writing" of the Constitution and subsequent service in the House of Representatives, as Secretary of State, and President? Supreme Court for 34 years, longer than any other Chief Justice, and whose ground-breaking decisions still affect the lives of every American?
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