Download Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens by Scott Gordon PDF

By Scott Gordon

This ebook examines the improvement of the speculation and perform of constitutionalism, outlined as a political method within which the coercive energy of the nation is managed via a pluralistic distribution of political energy. It explores the most venues of constitutional perform in historical Athens, Republican Rome, Renaissance Venice, the Dutch Republic, seventeenth-century England, and eighteenth-century the United States. From its starting in Polybius' interpretation of the classical thought of "mixed government," the writer lines the idea of constitutionalism via its past due medieval visual appeal within the Conciliar circulate of church reform and within the Huguenot safeguard of minority rights. After noting its suppression with the emergence of the countryside and the Bodinian doctrine of "sovereignty," the writer describes how constitutionalism used to be revived within the English clash among king and Parliament within the early Stuart period, and the way it has built on the grounds that then into the fashionable suggestion of constitutional democracy.

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5 He categorized republican Rome as a 5. ‘‘This same power of making and repealing law includes all the other rights and prerogatives of sovereignty, so that strictly speaking we can say that there is only this one prerogative of sovereignty, inasmuch as all the other rights are comprehended in it—such as declaring war or making peace; hearing appeals in last instance from the judgments of any magistrate; instituting and removing the highest officers; imposing taxes and aids on subjects or exempting them; granting pardons and dispensations against the rigor of law; determining the name, value, and measure of the coinage; requiring subjects and liege vassals to swear that they will be loyal without exception to the person to whom their oath is owed.

10. David Parker is perhaps more critical than most: ‘‘Jean Bodin’s Six Books . . has a well established reputation as one of the most confusing works of political theory ever written. Ambiguities and contradictions abound; so much so that even the pivotal thesis that sovereignty is indivisible and absolute, plainly enunciated early in the work, becomes problematic because of the equally clear retention of a framework of natural law and divine law within which a just monarch is morally obligated to operate’’ (1981, 253; see also Allen, 1949).

In the Leviathan and other writings, he employed Galileo’s method of resolution and recomposition (Peters, 1967, 35); he adapted to the social domain Galileo’s principle that motion, not rest, is the natural state of affairs; defined the human passions as ‘‘voluntary motions’’; and in nu16. ‘‘For all its ambiguities, oversights, and obvious defects, Hobbes’s psychology was remarkable, for he attempted to establish it as an objective study untrammeled by theological assumptions. To suggest that man is a machine was a great step forward in thought.

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