|Patriot Constitution (FL State Library & Archives)|
Recent scholarship has begun to explore the international dimensions of American constitutions. This article is the first study of the Patriot Constitution of 1812, a document unknown to legal historians of Early Republic constitutionalism. The Patriot Constitution was drafted in 1812 by leaders of the Patriots, a group of Anglo-American adventurers from Georgia who sought to invade the Spanish province of East Florida and annex it to the United States. In the process of their military and political efforts, the Patriots promulgated this unusual document to bolster the chances of their international recognition by the United States. Divided into three sections, this article discusses the pretext surrounding the Patriots' actions, the text of the Patriot Constitution itself, and the context of the constitution within recent scholarship on international constitution-making and “constitutional portfolios.”
In appendices, the article provides the first scholarly transcription of the text of the Patriot Constitution based on its two known manuscripts and the text of the Patriot Articles of Cession.