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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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Seventh Echo

Seventh Echo

American Constitutionalism and Democratization, 1974–1989

(p.320) 11 Seventh Echo
American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989

George Athan Billias

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the seventh and last “echo” of American constitutionalism: the period between 1974 and 1989. It begins with a discussion of the four major developments that characterized the seventh “echo”: the dramatic surge of democracy that started sweeping the globe; the important role of American constitutionalism in that surge; the forces of democracy exceeded those of autocracy around the globe for the first time in world history; and the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989 that signaled the end of the Cold War and left the United States as the world's only superpower. The chapter then surveys countries that were democratized from 1974 to 1989 to show how they were influenced by American constitutionalism. These include East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Soviet Union, and Israel as well as countries in southern Europe, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Keywords:   democracy, American constitutionalism, Soviet Union, Israel, southern Europe, Latin America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Middle East

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