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Constitutional FAQ Answer #18

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Q18. "I would like a short list of other countries which have used our Constitution as a blueprint for theirs."

A. I've read that all constitutions since ours was adopted have been influenced by ours in some way. I guess I'd like to see that quantified.

You can see a lot of influence in state constitutions, where a lot of verbiage is pulled right out of the national constitution. I recently read parts of the Alaska Constitution, and some of that is almost direct quote. Vermont's, on the other hand, which was originally written prior to and concurrently with the U.S. version, has very little similarity in wording. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America is also very similar.

I know of no other national constitutions that lift directly from ours, but we have had a hand, direct or indirect, in several. First is Liberia's, founded by American slaves. Their Constitution of 1847 has several similarities with our Constitution, but deviates from it on key points. Next, Japan's Constitution of 1947, which General Douglas MacArthur had a heavy hand in, has many clauses that mirror those in our Constitution, though it set up a parliamentary legislature and executive. Lastly, the Philippines, which established a constitution in 1899 when it became a commonwealth of the U.S., though their constitution has changed several times since then.


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