The Evolution of the Constitution of the United States
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Having for a long time been convinced that the Constitution is neither an invention nor an imitation, but almost exclusively a native product of slow and gradual growth, I have in this book undertaken to trace back, through previous American documents in colonial times, every material clause of it. These documents are very numerous, and consist of twenty-nine colonial charters and constitutions, seventeen Revolutionary constitutions, and twenty-three plans of union, - in all, sixty-nine different forms of government which were either in actual or in attempted operation in America during a period of about two hundred years, from 1584 to 1787.