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American Constitution-Making: The Neglected State Constitutional Sources

Christian G. Fritz, University of New Mexico - Main Campus
Marsha L. Baum, University of New Mexico-Main Campus

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43 p.; Previously published by Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


“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.

Suggested Citation

Christian G. Fritz and Marsha L. Baum. "American Constitution-Making: The Neglected State Constitutional Sources" Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 27.2 (2000): 199-242.
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