American Constitution-Making: The Neglected State Constitutional Sources

46 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2008  

Marsha Baum

University of New Mexico - School of Law

Christian G. Fritz

University of New Mexico School of Law

Date Written: Winter 2000

Abstract

"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

Suggested Citation

Baum, Marsha and Fritz, Christian G., American Constitution-Making: The Neglected State Constitutional Sources (Winter 2000). Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1311968

Marsha L. Baum

University of New Mexico - School of Law ( email )

1117 Stanford, N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Christian G. Fritz (Contact Author)

University of New Mexico School of Law ( email )

1117 Stanford, N.E.
MSC11 6070
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

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