What is in the Constitution


A constitution contains the most important rules for living together in a state. The constitution is the most important law on tasks and rules in a state.

A state is a community of people. The people who belong to the community are called citizens. Every community has to clarify who has which tasks in the community and who is allowed to do what.

The constitution describes
• who has what tasks in the state
• and who is allowed to do what in the state.

A constitution can also say
• what the state and people who work for the state are not allowed to do
• and what important rights people have vis-à-vis the state.
These important rights are called fundamental rights.

The constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany is called the Basic Law (GG).
The Basic Law (& copy bpb)
The Basic Law is divided into smaller parts. These parts are called articles. An article is a section of the Basic Law
All articles have numbers. There are a total of 146 articles in the Basic Law. The first articles of the Basic Law contain fundamental rights. These are Articles 1 to 19 in the Basic Law.

State constitutions
Every federal state in Germany also has its own constitution. The constitutions of the states are called state constitutions. The state constitutions must observe the rules of the Basic Law. For example, the federal states are not allowed to rule any kings or princes.
The Basic Law also says that Germany must be a democracy, a welfare state and a constitutional state. The state constitutions must also observe this. The federal states must therefore also observe the rules that apply to a welfare state, a constitutional state and a democracy.

Drawing: people of different ages stand together under an umbrella on which the federal eagle is depicted. The umbrella symbolizes the basic rights of the Basic Law. So they are literally under the umbrella of the Basic Law. (& copy bpb)

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