US drafted constitutions?
October 30, 2005 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Besides Japan and Iraq, what other countries have constitutions that were drafted either by or under the direction or assistance of the U.S. (or allied occupation made up of at least the U.S.)?

I'm curious in light of Japan revising Article 9 of their constitution which "bars the use of military force in settling international disputes," and the drafting or Iraq's interrim constitution. Has the U.S. been responsible for helping any other countries draft their constitutions especially in circumstances like present-day Iraq and circa 1947 Japan?
posted by sublivious to Law & Government (13 answers total)
I don't know of any other cases.
posted by delmoi at 3:09 PM on October 30, 2005

posted by Count Ziggurat at 3:23 PM on October 30, 2005

And Panama.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 3:27 PM on October 30, 2005

A few possibles, depending on your frame of reference:

Cuba after the Spanish-American War of 1898
South Korea

Of course, you might also include nations that later became states, such as Hawaii.
posted by fatbobsmith at 3:28 PM on October 30, 2005

greece? (only 50% sure)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:10 PM on October 30, 2005

(after googling around). no, not really, although they had an american sponsored regime for some time. maybe i'm thinking of italy? i'm sure i've heard someone argue that a southern european state has frequent elections because the americans, post-war (II), fixed the constitution so that communists (and everyone else) couldn't have a large majority.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:23 PM on October 30, 2005

I know that many eastern european and former soviet countries had help from American law professors in drafting constitutions. Does that constitute U.S. help or are you looking for direct governmental assistance?
posted by gyc at 4:33 PM on October 30, 2005

You might also want to check U.S. influence on The Philippines during the period following the War with Spain (1898) up until independence in 1946.
posted by bright cold day at 4:58 PM on October 30, 2005

What about the former US Trust Territories of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands? They all gained independence in the 1980s, and I'm sure that the US would have had a hand in drafting their constitutions.
posted by Tawita at 5:06 PM on October 30, 2005

fatbob has some obvious ones; a few more are

Dominican Republic

Austria would be another one to look at; it was under 4-power occupation as well, although for a shorter period of time than Germany.

Note that neither Italy nor Greece were occupied by the US after the war.

For counterexamples, the Former Soviet Republics, the Warsaw Pact nations, and the parts of former Yugoslavia have all had extensive international assistance with their constitutions, in some cases under the auspices of the UN. So have places like Cambodia and most recently Somalia. Afghanistan, too -- though the US undoubtedly had heavy influence, the process was open and international by comparison with the Iraqi constitution.
posted by dhartung at 1:54 AM on October 31, 2005

andrew cooke, I may have heard something similar about Italy in a documentary on the assassination of Aldo Moro. I can't remember any specifics though...
posted by Chuckles at 3:19 AM on October 31, 2005

The OSS/CIA and right-wing elements in Europe certainly conspired in that regard, but it's by no means the same thing as a constitution written by an occupying power.
posted by dhartung at 2:03 AM on November 1, 2005

dhartung - the question said "under the direction or assistance" so i'm not sure where you get "written by an occupying power" from.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:48 AM on November 1, 2005

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