The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 474
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
pendent nations of the Western Hemisphere plus that of Canada
are attractively presented in this useful book edited by Dr. Fitz-
gibbon and associates. Although numerous similar collections
have been previously published in at least four languages, this
volume, being as of January 1, 1948, supersedes its predecessor
(Leonardo Pasquel, Las Constituciones de America, 2 vols., Mex-
ico, D. F., 1943) by five years. More important, this work is the
first complete English translation since 1907 (Jos6 I. Rodriguez,
American Constitutions (etc.), 2 vols., Washington, D. C., 1906-
Ample justification for the present cooperative project is that
of the twenty-two constitutions presented, sixteen have been
adopted since the Rodriguez collection and nine have been writ-
ten within the last five years. The United States and Canada
(The British North American Act, 1867) are included in the
collection, but the book is essentially a compilation of the con-
stitutions of the countries of Latin America, a section of the world
in which constitution making has long been a regional pastime.
Of the Latin American fundamental laws the oldest is that of
Argentina, May 25, 1853, and the most recent belongs to Vene-
zuela, July 5, 1947. Doubtful honor of having the longest con-
stitution belongs to Cuba whose code covers sixty-seven pages of
print, while the shortest, that of Paraguay, is reproduced in
The editors state that they have worked for a literal translation
consistent with English clarity, and admit that readability has
suffered in their effort. Some meanings are left obscure through
this practice and the student who seeks exact provisions will
frequently want to consult original texts. Perhaps the most serious
fault of the book is that within the volume there is no way of
determining whether a given provision was originally incorpo-
rated in a constitution or has been recently added. Although
"almost all of these have been amended, sometimes very com-
prehensively," the amendments have been incorporated with the
basic texts whenever possible and the value of the book to stu-
dents of constitutional change and development has been greatly
lessened. Limitation of space is cited in explanation of this
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/483/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.