Small Constitution of 1919

The Small Constitution of 1919 was the first constitution of the Second Polish Republic. It was formally called the "Legislative Sejm's ordinance of February 20, 1919, entrusting Józef Piłsudski with the further execution of the office of Chief of State" (Polish: "Uchwała Sejmu Ustawodawczego z dnia 20 lutego 1919 r. w sprawie powierzenia Józefowi Piłsudskiemu dalszego sprawowania urzędu Naczelnika Państwa"). The legislation was published as Dz. Pr. P.P. Nr 19, poz. 226.


The Small Constitution declared that Poland has a parliamentary system, although it didn't define Poland as a republic.[1]

Executive powers were held by the Chief of State. He could name the ministers (with the consent of the Sejm); he and the ministers were responsible before the Sejm. The Chief of State (previously the Provisional Chief of State) no longer had legislative initiative and could not dismiss the Sejm; all his acts required the signature of the relevant minister.

The Small Constitution was adopted and published on February 20, 1919, and went into effect a week later, on the February 27, 1919. It was amended on February 25, 1920, and was supplanted on June 1, 1921, by the March 1921 Constitution.


  1. Ajnenkiel 1983, 228.


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