HomeBrowseAdvanced SearchAboutHelpContact

Guide to the 1964-1969 Rhode Island Constitutional Convention

Historical note

Scholars interested in the process of state constitution making have a number of case studies available from the 1960's. During this era several states such as Michigan, New York, Maryland, Connecticut and Hawaii under went this process to update their states' constitution. In 1964 Rhode Island, which possessed one of the most antiquated basic laws in the nation, also attempted to rewrite its fundamental charter.

The State's Constitutional Convention lasted over four years, and its product was soundly defeated by the electorate. But the issues raised at that long-standing assembly and the political power struggles which took place there offer the student of politics a unique glimpse into the processes of our American brand of democracy.