What are the earliest five constitutions of independent countries? [UPDATE: Why limit ourselves to five? Let’s just go no further than 1799. Also, I forgot the most important part: they must be written. Every country has a constitution, but most old ones are unwritten!]
A bit of definitions and clarifications to start us off:
- The countries may or may not still exist.
- The constitutions may or may not still be in force.
- The constitution must self-consciously be a constitution; i.e., the Magna Carta doesn’t count. [UPDATE: Perhaps this point might be said to imply the “written” point that I’ve also clarified above. Note that most early codes are just law codes, not “constitutions” in the modern sense. To qualify here, a constitution should, at a minimum, purport to establish the state, define its officers, etc.]
- The country involved must consider itself independent; if there’s debate over whether the country really exists (like if many countries don’t recognize it), I resolve the doubt in favor of independence.
- There might be some debate over the status of the earliest U.S. state constitutions, e.g. the South Carolina constitution of early 1776. Therefore, exclude the original 13 states from the answers.