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5 Notre Dame Law. 55 (1929)


The average American who thinks of our Federal Document only in terms of the Philadelphia Convention may not have fully appreciated the fact that before the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, every American State had already achieved its constitutional independence and had established its own organic law, by which it should not only remain free from the foreign dominion of Great Britain, but should also remain an indestructible unit in The American Federal System. He must remember that the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" which leagued the alleged sovereign and independent States, were in force at the time of the convention and that many of the men delegated to attend that convention understood that these Articles were to be amended, not superseded. The instructions that they had received limited their authority to the revision of the Articles of Confederation and the proposing to Congress and the State legislatures, such improvements as were required therein. It will be my purpose in what follows to show how largely the Constitution was an emanation of the existing State Constitutions as also of the Articles of Confederation.



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