How Different Are the Early Versions of the United States Constitution? An Examination

20 Green Bag 2d 163 (2017)

12 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2015 Last revised: 19 Jan 2018

Date Written: March 13, 2017

Abstract

This paper compares the parchment version of the United States Constitution with the printed version of the text forwarded by the Confederation Congress to the states. Outside of typographical errors the texts are verbally identical, but their subtle differences in punctuation and orthography sometimes have interesting (if legally insignificant) effects on how the text is read.

A second section discusses the earlier printed version of John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole and the 1789 session-laws text of Francis Childs and John Swaine.

Keywords: Constitution, Parchment, Congress, Akhil Amar, Denys P. Myers

Suggested Citation

Huff, Philip, How Different Are the Early Versions of the United States Constitution? An Examination (March 13, 2017). 20 Green Bag 2d 163 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2626538 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2626538
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