This chapter examines the influence of American constitutionalism in Europe during the years 1776–1800, the so-called first peak period, or echo, of American constitutionalism abroad. It first considers two myths that emerged in the United States regarding American constitutionalism and their impact on European experiments in republicanism: the “cult of the constitution” and the “American Dream.” It then turns to the ideas of Thomas Paine, who proclaimed his principles of American constitutionalism first in Common Sense, published in January 1776, as well as the constitutional controversy pitting Paine against Edmund Burke. It also discusses the influence of American constitutionalism on European constitutions during the period 1787–1800, including those of France, and concludes with an analysis of the origins of the American Bill of Rights tradition and the influence of American constitutionalism in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.