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An Historical Introduction to Western Constitutional Law - R. C. van Caenegem

An Historical Introduction to Western Constitutional Law

Paperback Published: 22nd May 1995
ISBN: 9780521476935
Number Of Pages: 348

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  • Hardcover View Product Published: 17th November 2004

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.

Industry Reviews

"...this well-written work provides a grand perspective and judicious abalysis of issues for its intended audience of undergraduates and law students, those 'who want to place their own constitution, which is part of their curriculum, in an international and historical perspective, but who lack the time and the languages to read the relevant national legal histories." Albert J. Schmidt, Law and History Review

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
An 'intelligible field of study'p. 1
Main themesp. 10
Tribal kingship: from the fall of Rome to the end of the Merovingiansp. 34
The First Europe: the Carolingian empirep. 43
The political frameworkp. 43
Fundamental characteristicsp. 44
The public lawp. 45
Decline of the First Europep. 50
Europe divided: the post-Carolingian erap. 54
The disintegration of the Frankish empirep. 54
Feudalismp. 56
The seignioryp. 61
The empirep. 63
The Churchp. 67
The foundation of the modern statep. 72
General outlinep. 72
The new structuresp. 74
Half-way between feudalism and the modern statep. 76
The legal limitations of the late medieval monarchyp. 78
An oppressive or a democratic state?p. 88
The classic absolutism of the Ancient Regimep. 91
General characteristicsp. 91
Analysis of the public law in two countriesp. 98
The absolute state no lasting modelp. 108
General considerationsp. 108
The transformation of English kingshipp. 109
Enlightened absolutismp. 125
The Republic of the United Netherlandsp. 142
The United States of Americap. 150
The French Revolution and the Napoleonic regimep. 174
The bourgeois nation statep. 194
General outlinep. 194
Great Britainp. 196
France after Napoleonp. 200
Germany from Napoleon to Wilhelm IIp. 217
Belgium and the Netherlandsp. 230
Switzerlandp. 241
The liberal model transformed or rejectedp. 244
The liberal state transformedp. 244
The liberal state rejectedp. 247
The Bolshevik Revolution and the Constitution of the Soviet Unionp. 249
Germany and the Third Reichp. 270
Epiloguep. 292
Select bibliographyp. 296
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521476935
ISBN-10: 0521476933
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 348
Published: 22nd May 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.5

Earn 166 Qantas Points
on this Book