American Constitution-Making: The Neglected State Constitutional Sources
46 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2008
Date Written: Winter 2000
"American Constitution-Making: The Neglected State Constitutional Sources" looks at a frequently overlooked genre of literature pertinent to American constitution-making: comprehensive compilations of state constitutions that made their appearance from the first wave of constitution-making preceding (and following) the Federal constitution. Routinely issued in pocket-sized editions, the authors demonstrate the presence of these compilations in constitutional conventions and their use by constitution-makers from the Revolutionary period through the late 19th century. The significance of the process of "borrowing" provisions from other state constitutions is placed in a new and different light that raises intriguing questions about the level of American awareness, understanding, and interest in written constitutions in the 18th and 19th centuries. The article contains a Bibliographic Appendix of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Compilations of American State Constitutions.
Keywords: American Constitutionalism, Written Constitutions, Constitution-Making, Constitutional Compilations, Constitutional Borrowing, Constitutional Conventions
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