September 3, 2014

Translations of the United States Constitution

Christina Mulligan, Brooklyn Law School, Michael Douma, James Madison University, Hans Lind, Yale University, and Brian Patrick Quinn, Independent Scholar, have published Founding-Era Translations of the United States Constitution. 

Before its ratification, the United States Constitution was translated into German and Dutch for the German- and Dutch-speaking populations of Pennsylvania and New York. Although copies of both the German- and Dutch-language translations have been preserved, they have largely escaped analysis — and public awareness — until now. This paper provides historical context for these translations and analyzes how they might aid our interpretation of the U.S. Constitution in the present day.
Supplemental to this article is an appendix containing the German and Dutch translations, as well as extensive commentary on the translations, available at

Download the paper from SSRN at the link. 

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