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Letter to the Editor – Goss

Dear Editor:
On page A-2 and again on B-2 of the Sept. 19, 2013 paper, there is a note claiming that the U.S. Constitution is the longest-enduring of any in the world. This is incorrect.
The oldest constitution stilll in effect is that of the San Marino Republic (1630), a tiny independent nation-state on the Italian peninsula.
Up until 1993 the world’s longest-enduring constitution was that of Andorra, written in 1278 A.D.
Best regards,
Jeffery Goss
Springfield

Editor’s response:
Mr. Goss appears to be correct.
Occupying just 24 square miles, San Marino is the world’s smallest republic and, having enacted a constitution in 1600, is perhaps Europe’s oldest existing republic.
The official date of the founding of the Republic is Sept. 3, 301. In 1631, its independence was recognized by the Papacy.
The “notes” referred to from the Sept. 19 Douglas County Herald were excerpts regarding Constitution Day. These articles were from information posted by Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and other independent patriotic organizations.
While it may arguably not be the oldest constitution, the Constitution of the United States was the first constitution of its kind, and has influenced the constitutions of many other nations.
According to the general definition of constitution, San Marino has the oldest enduring constitution. The only cautionary note is that the word ‘statute’ is used instead of ‘constitution’.

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