California Constitution
The document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government
Government of California
The government of California operates in the context of a democratic republic with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of California and the other elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the California State Legislature which...

 of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. The original constitution, adopted in November 1849 in advance of California attaining U.S. statehood in 1850, was superseded by the current constitution, which was ratified on May 7, 1879. The result of Progressive
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

 mistrust of elected officials, the 1879 constitution is the third longest in the world (behind the constitutions of Alabama
Alabama Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Alabama is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had....

 and of India
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

), and has been described as "the perfect example of what a constitution ought not to be".
The constitution has undergone numerous changes since its original drafting.