The United States Constitution is a basic framework of government, primarily at the national level but also with requirements or prohibitions at the state level.
The initial premise of the Constitution is that of defining and limiting Federal Government power, that is to say if an act does not fall within the limits of the Constitution, the Federal Government does not possess that power. This is reaffirmed by the Tenth Amendment
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Tenth Amendment in clear and conscience terms layout the Constitution is a limiting document, the power not specifically granted to it are reserved to the two powers who created the Constitution, the States (who created it in the Convention of 1787) and the People (who ratified it causing it to go into effect on March 4, 1789).
The focus here will be on the Constitution as it was in 1788 chiefly. Amendments will be cited when it has changed aspects of the text or provisions of the Constitution and how it has changed those provisions, but the Amendments themselves are not a focus topic in this article.