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What is a Twentieth-Century Constitution?

By Peter E. Quint


At present, almost all of the constitutions in the world are twentieth-century constitutions; indeed, most of them were not adopted until the second half of the twentieth century. Accordingly, the eighteenth-century Constitution of the United States -- which includes the original constitution of 1787-89; the first ten amendments, adopted in 1791; and the Eleventh Amendment, adopted in 1798 -- antedates most other constitutions of the world by at least 150 years. Using the eighteenth-century Constitution of the United States as a form of base-line (a method that may be parochial, but one that I think also has a lot to be said for it), we can examine the characteristics of modern constitutions -- that is, the characteristics of twentieth-century constitutions. This article sketches the most striking differences and contrasts between the eighteenth-century Constitution of the United States and certain of its twentieth-century counterparts

Topics: constitutions, eigtheenth century, twentieth century, Comparative and Foreign Law, Constitutional Law
Publisher: DigitalCommons@UM Carey Law
Year: 2007
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