The Constitution of the Irish Free State was the first constitution of the independent Irish state. It was enacted with the adoption of the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act 1922, of which it formed a part. In 1937 it was replaced by the modern Constitution of Ireland.
As originally enacted, the Constitution was firmly shaped by the requirements of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that had been negotiated between the British government and Irish leaders in 1921. However, following a change of government in 1932 a series of amendments progressively removed many of the provisions that were required by the Treaty.
The Constitution established a parliamentary system of government under a form of constitutional monarchy, and contained guarantees of certain fundamental rights. It was originally intended that the Constitution would be a rigid document that, after an initial period, could be amended only by referendum. However, a loophole in the Constitution's amendment procedure meant that all amendments were in fact made by a simple Act of the Oireachtas (parliament).
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