American Constitutionalism Abroad: Selected Essays in Comparative Constitutional History

American Constitutionalism Abroad: Selected Essays in Comparative Constitutional History

American Constitutionalism Abroad: Selected Essays in Comparative Constitutional History

American Constitutionalism Abroad: Selected Essays in Comparative Constitutional History

Synopsis

American constitutionalism remains this country's greatest contribution to human freedom. In American Constitutionalism Abroad, six distinguished historians, political scientists, and international law experts, discuss American constitutionalism in various regions of the world at different times and within different contexts. By tracing the influence of the documents, procedures, and institutions that came into being within the United States during the founding period from 1776 to 1791, and by analyzing how they were received and perceived by constitutionmakers in other countries, it is possible to follow the spread of American constitutionalism through various parts of the world over time.

Excerpt

American constitutionalism remains this country's greatest contribution to human freedom, the legitimation of slavery in the Constitution notwithstanding. It represents one of the most remarkable milestones in the history of Western constitutionalism. the ideas, ideals, and institutions of American constitutionalism have influenced different peoples in different lands over the past two hundred years. Foreign constitutionmakers turned to features of American constitutionalism for models and examples, or were influenced by them in other ways when drafting their own instruments of government. American constitutionalism deserves to be ranked, therefore, alongside the other two major traditions of Western constitutionalism--those of Britain and France.

The definitive history of American constitutionalism abroad, however, remains to be written. To produce such a work would require legions of scholars, research over decades, and the mastery of the histories, languages, and customs of many countries throughout the globe. It would require also a discussion of the important contributions to American constitutionalism of British and French constitutionalism, as well as the impact of European Enlightenment ideas. This volume has a much more modest aim. It represents a pioneering effort in a largely unexplored field in the hope that these selected essays might stimulate other scholars to take up the more formidable task.

The best way to begin, perhaps, is to define two key terms employed . . .

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