Virginians are aware of the significant contributions made by their forebears to the drafting of the Federal Constitution. They are less mindful of the early history and development of the Virginia constitution. Yet, more than a decade prior to final adoption of our federal charter, a Virginia convention, meeting in Williamsburg in May of 1776, authorized preparation of a Declaration of Rights for Virginia concurrently with enactment of a resolution of independence from Great Britain. This document of self- government, drafted primarily by George Mason and rooted in Magna Carta and the Virginia Charter of 1606, was Virginia's constitution for over fifty years. In 1830, Virginia adopted a new constitution with little sub- stantive change' and has enacted five subsequent constitutions, the latest adopted by popular vote in 1970.
William B. Spong Jr.,
Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia- By A.E. Dick Howard,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol10/iss2/20