Poland became the 2nd independent nation after the United States to adopt a comprehensively formulated constitution to define its government structure in 1791. The authors’ of Poland’s constitution found great inspiration from the philosophy and text of the United States constitution that had been adopted four years before. Similarity between the two constitutions is therefore very conspicuous.
In both constitutions, citizens are given almost the same nature of rights including the basic rights. The US and the Polish constitution guarantee the upholding of all civil rights and freedoms including political, social, personal, economical and cultural. Additionally, all citizens of the two countries are guaranteed equality irrespective of race, religion, sex, profession, education and origin. Freedoms and rights of ownership, inheritance, association, security and speech are examples some of the essential rights that both constitutions uphold maximally.
The constitutions of Poland and the United States recognize the necessity to promote the “general welfare” of its citizens. However, while the US constitution essentially seeks for the government to “cater for the common security and defense of its citizens”, the Polish constitution strives to “preserve the country and its borders”.
The Polish constitution stipulates that the head of state is the supreme representative of the entire nation and the guarantor of state authority continuity. He is supposed to oversee the continued observance of the constitution as well as safeguarding the country’s sovereignty. The President is elected by the country’s citizens to serve for a 5 year term after which he can only contest for one more term. He commands the Polish military, appoints the general Chief of Staff and confers several military ranks.
In the United States constitution, the President, the president is similarly charged with the execution of the constitution. The President is also the commander in chief of all forces and some of his other duties and powers include granting state pardons, making treaties with foreign nations, appointing Supreme Court judges and ambassadors and adjourning the Congress. The president is elected for a one year term of four and can only serve a maximum of two terms.
The above comparison therefore shows that the US Constitution grants more powers to the head of state than the Polish constitution.
One prominent similarity between the US and the Polish constitution is that both adopt the separation of power and authority amongst the three branches of government including the judiciary. Just the United States, the Polish constitution categorizes the arms of government into three separate and independent factions that is the legislature, the judiciary and the executive so as to ensure that “the integrity of the country’s social order and liberty remains in equal balance forever.
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/konst/angielski/kon1.htm