An Historical Introduction to Western Constitutional Law

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 23, 1995 - Law - 338 pages
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The constitutional question is of paramount importance in the political and nationalist agenda of late twentieth-century Europe. Professor van Caenegem's new book addresses fundamental questions of constitutional organisation: democracy versus autocracy, unitary versus federal organisation, pluralism versus intolerance, by analysing different models of constitutional government through an historical perspective. The approach is chronological: constitutionalism is explained as the result of many centuries of trial and error through a narrative which begins in the early Middle Ages and concludes with contemporary debates, focusing on Europe, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Special attention is devoted to the rise of the rule of law, and of constitutional, parliamentary, and federal forms of government. The epilogue discusses the future of liberal democracy as a universal model.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
MAIN THEMES
10
Tribal kingship from the fall of Rome to the end of the Merovingians
34
The First Europe the Carolingian empire
43
FUNDAMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS
44
THE PUBLIC LAW
45
DECLINE OF THE FIRST EUROPE
50
Europe divided the postCarolingian era
54
THE TRANSFORMATION OF ENGLISH KINGSHIP
109
ENLIGHTENED ABSOLUTISM
125
THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED NETHERLANDS
142
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
150
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE NAPOLEONIC REGIME
174
The bourgeois nation state
194
GREAT BRITAIN
196
FRANCE AFTER NAPOLEON
200

FEUDALISM
56
THE SEIGNIORY
61
THE EMPIRE
63
THE CHURCH
67
The foundation of the modern state
72
THE NEW STRUCTURES
74
HALFWAY BETWEEN FEUDALISM AND THE MODERN STATE
76
THE LEGAL LIMITATIONS OF THE LATE MEDIEVAL MONARCHY
78
AN OPPRESSIVE OR A DEMOCRATIC STATE?
88
The classic absolutism of the Ancient Regime
91
ANALYSIS OF THE PUBLIC LAW IN TWO COUNTRIES
98
The absolute state no lasting model
108
GERMANY FROM NAPOLEON TO WILHELM II
217
BELGIUM AND THE NETHERLANDS
230
SWITZERLAND
241
The liberal model transformed or rejected
244
THE LIBERAL STATE REJECTED
247
THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE SOVIET UNION
249
GERMANY AND THE THIRD REICH
270
Epilogue
292
Select bibliography
296
Index
319
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Daniele Caramani
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