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American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989A Global Perspective$
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George Athan Billias

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814791073

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814791073.001.0001

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Sixth Echo

Sixth Echo

American Crescendo, 1945–1974

(p.276) 10 Sixth Echo
American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989

George Athan Billias

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the sixth “echo” of American constitutionalism: the period between 1945 and 1974. The United States became a superpower after World War II, its constitutionalism intact, when the sixth “echo” produced a crescendo. From 1945 to 1974, American constitutionalism enjoyed its highest peak abroad, spurred by the decolonization movement that gave rise to many of the constitutions of emerging new nations. The decolonization movement after 1950 also gave a new lease on life to the American Declaration of Independence. This chapter examines the influence of American constitutionalism on Western constitutionalism and on the constitutions of various countries including West Germany, Japan, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, South Korea, India, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines as well as Latin American and the Caribbean countries. Finally, the chapter discusses violations of American constitutional tenets during the Cold War.

Keywords:   constitutions, American constitutionalism, United States, decolonization movement, Western constitutionalism, Japan, Philippines, Latin America, Caribbean, Cold War

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