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Constitutionalism, Legitimacy, and Power: Nineteenth-Century Experiences

Edited by: Kelly L. Grotke, Markus J. Prutsch

ISBN13: 9780198723059
Published: September 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £70.00



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If one counts the production of constitutional documents alone, the nineteenth century can lay claim to being a 'constitutional age'; one in which the generation and reception of constitutional texts served as a centre of gravity around which law and politics consistently revolved.

This volume critically re-examines the role of constitutionalism in that period, in order to counter established teleological narratives that imply a consistent development from absolutism towards inclusive, participatory democracy. Various aspects of constitutional histories within and outside of Europe are examined from a comparative, transnational, and multidisciplinary historical perspective, organized around five key themes. The first part looks at constitutions as anti-revolutionary devices, and addresses state building, monarchical constitutionalism, and restorations.

The second part takes up constitutions and the justification of new social inequalities, focusing on women's suffrage, human rights, and property. The third part uses individual country studies to take on questions of how constitutions served to promote nationalism. The use of constitutions as instruments of imperialism is covered in the fourth part, and the final part examines the ways that constitutions function simultaneously as legal and political texts. These themes reflect a certain scepticism regarding any easy relationship between stated constitutional ideals and enacted constitutional practices.

Taken together, they also function as a general working hypothesis about the role of constitutions in the establishment and maintenance of a domestically and internationally imbalanced status quo, of which we are the present-day inheritors. More particularly, this volume addresses the question of the extent to which nineteenth-century constitutionalism may have set the stage for new forms of domination and discrimination, rather than inaugurating a period of 'progress' and increasing equality.

Subjects:
Constitutional and Administrative Law, Legal History
Contents:
INTRODUCTION
1. Constitutionalism, Legitimacy, and Power: Nineteenth-Century Experiences

CONSTITUTIONS AS ANTI-REVOLUTIONARY DEVICES
2. A Nineteenth-Century 'Truman Doctrine' avant la lettre? Constitutional Liberty Abroad and the Parliamentary Debate About British Foreign Policy from Castlereagh to Palmerston
3. State Building by Means of Constitution in the Italian Constitutional Monarchy
4. 'Monarchical Constitutionalism' in Post-Napoleonic Europe: Concept and Practice
5. Restorations and Constitutions

CONSTITUTIONS AND THE JUSTIFICATION OF NEW SOCIAL INEQUALITIES
6. Rethinking Women's Suffrage in the Nineteenth Century: Local Government and Entanglements of Property and Gender in the Austrian Half of the Habsburg Monarchy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom
7. Constitution, Ownership, and Human Rights
8. Constitutionalism, Inheritance, and Orders of Property. Land Laws in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Germany

CONSTITUTIONS AS PROMOTERS OF NATIONALISM
9. 'Equality among the Nationalities' and the Peoples (Volksstamme) of the Habsburg Empire
10. 'Long Live Sultan Abdulaziz, Long Live the Nation, Long Live The Constitution...'
11. The Norwegian Constitution of 1814 between European Restoration and Liberal Nationalism
12. Ariadne's Thread: Navigating Postcolonial Spanish America's Labyrinth through Constitution Building in New Granada (1809-1812)

CONSTITUTIONS AS INSTRUMENTS OF IMPERIALISM
13. The Suspension of Constitutionalism in the Heart of Darkness
14. Modernizing Heterogeneous Empire: the Fundamental Laws of 1906 and the Incorporation of the Grand Duchy of Finland
15. Visions of Constitutionalism: The Implementation of Representative Institutions in the British Colonies
16. 'The most decorous veil which legal ingenuity can weave': The British Annexation of New Zealand (1840)

CONSTITUTIONS AS LEGAL AND POLITICAL TEXTS
17. What is a Constitution? What is Constitutional History?
18. Egon Zweig and the Intellectual History of Constituent Power
19. Unintended Democracy: Parliamentary Reform in the UK