New Hampshire may claim the first written constitution in the United States, adopted in 1776. That constitution was designed for the needs of the time and contained none of the elements one would expect to find in a modern constitution — no independent executive branch, no bill of rights, and no provision for an independent judiciary or separation of powers.
The constitution adopted in 1784 corrected these deficiencies. When the people ratified that constitution, they committed themselves to a republican form of government, with authority separated and divided among three branches of government. The constitution of 1784 has proved a model of stability among the constitutions of the United States.