Constitutional Development in the South Atlantic States. 1776-1860

By Fletcher M. Green | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
REACTION AND READJUSTMENT

THE SOUTHERN STATES exhibited a remarkable degree of variability in the fidelity with which they sustained their organic laws established in 1776. In the period from 1776 to 1860 the five states held a total of thirteen conventions for amending or revising their constitutions, and adopted a large number of amendments by legislative enactment. The constitution of Georgia underwent greater change than that of any of the other states. Georgia held no less than seven conventions called for the sole purpose of amending or revising the constitution, and adopted fourteen amendments by legislative enactment. It should be noted, however, that three of the conventions were called to act upon one and the same revision. The legislature called a convention in 1788 which proposed a new constitution. This proposed constitution was submitted to a second convention, January 4, 1789, which drew up a number of amendments, and these amendments together with the proposed constitution were submitted to a third convention which met May 4, 1789. The third convention ratified the constitution proposed in 1788 with the amendments of 1789. The amendments proposed by the conventions of 1833 and 1839 were rejected by the voters of the state. South Carolina held two conventions for revising her constitution and adopted seven separate amendments by legislative enactment. In addition to the above noted changes the legislature of South Carolina, acting as a constitutional convention in October, 1776, drew up a revised constitution which for some unknown

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