A Symphony of Government Design: Imitation in State Constitutions on the Southern Frontier, 1812-1845

169 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2010 Last revised: 7 Jul 2010

Stephanie D. Moussalli

University of Mississippi-Patterson School of Accountancy

Date Written: 1995

Abstract

The original constitutions of six Southern frontier states are compared: Louisiana's (1812), Mississippi's (1817), Alabama's (1819), Arkansas's (1836), Florida's (1839), and Texas's (1845). Identical or similar elements are examined, and the historical circumstances leading each constitutional convention to adopt this group of provisions are recounted. The duplicated elements include some of the structures of the three branches of government, some individual rights, the methods of choosing seats of government, adaptations to epidemic disease, and means of enforcing fiscal accountability. Primary sources are the constitutions, the constitutional convention journals, territorial papers, and some legislative records, letters, and newspapers. This historical study of constitutional convergence conveniently summarizes parts of antebellum Southern frontier history and also examines the diffusion of a constitutional core of techniques of self-government.

Keywords: state constitutions, Southern frontier, government designs, Louisana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, statehood, territorial history

JEL Classification: E62, H11, N41, H70

Suggested Citation

Moussalli, Stephanie D., A Symphony of Government Design: Imitation in State Constitutions on the Southern Frontier, 1812-1845 (1995). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1631371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1631371

Stephanie D. Moussalli (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi-Patterson School of Accountancy ( email )

PO Box 1848
School of Accountancy, Univ. Mississippi
University, MS 38677
United States

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