Chapters in Western Civilization - Vol. 1

By Columbia College | Go to book overview

XII
CONSTITUTIONALISM AND THE SOVEREIGN STATE IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

Maurice Ashley

The concept of indivisible sovereignty, as it was to be expounded by Jeremy Bentham and John Austin in the Victorian Age, was not known to early Europe. In theory, this was because secular rulers were regarded as subject to many limitations imposed by a Christian view of human society; men were required to render unto Caesar the things that were Caesar's, but to God the things that were God's. Kings were expected to obey God's laws, the moral law, or the "natural" law. In practice, rulers were not only at times actually in vassalage to the pope as God's representative on earth, as was King John of England to Pope Innocent III, but they might hold at least some of their possessions of an earthly overlord, as the kings of Scotland did for centuries from the kings of England or as the kings of England held Gascony from the king of France. Early kings promised by their coronation oaths or by charters to accept the immemorial customs of the land; and decisions made both locally and nationally could, and sometimes were, overruled as being contrary to baronial, manorial, or other ancient customs. A whole complicated network of legal relationships permeated English society, and only the strongest of kings could assert authority over all his subjects. Even then he was compelled to recognize practical and traditional limitations upon his rights. Bracton, writing in the thirteenth century, said that the king was subject to the law. Even statute laws, made by the king in parliaments, were known to have been held by judges to conflict with the immemorial customs of the realm and therefore to be invalid.

Above all, however, the difficulty in evolving a theory of absolute sovereignty in the so-called Middle Ages was the doctrine of dual obedience to

-438-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Chapters in Western Civilization - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 598

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.