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Re: Lawyers and Absolutism

Lord Yaakov writes:

> Greetings fromn Leifer.

Perhaps that was "Greeting Leifr" ?  It got a little confusing to see that
I posted a message I'd forgotten I wrote ;-).
> Regarding the premise quoted prior to the Yorkist/Lancastrian business (who
> cares which Frankish chieftan sits on the throne in some barberous island at
> the far end of the world?), 

Barberous Island?  I swear, the infidels are just getting too uppity 
these days.

> I find it unlikely that lawyers "created"
> absolutism.  Certainly not in England, were lawyers opposed it as utter
> nonesense and a Papist (read, civil law) plot.
Well, I was quoting a writer who suggested lawyer wanted to assert the 
dominance of the law, and thus their profession as the interpreters, 
during the fifteenth century.  What the lawyers were doing to stop the 
Stewarts during the seventeenth century (OOP, by the way) 
doesn't really contradict that writer's premise.

> The root of absolutism may stem from legal theory, but not from lawyers.  In
> this, it seems to me, we have a clear break between civil and common law.
>  Civil Law begins with the Roman texts, which state as a basic principle "The
> will of the Prince is the force of law."  Roman legal theory sees the central
> government as the source of law, and that law is the primary *responsibility*
> of government.  (Consider that Justinian is remebered for his codex as well
> as his conquests.)

The idea that legal theory doesn't stem from lawyers seems rather odd.
> Common law legal theory, when it develops, focuses much more on the
> reciprocity of of the feudal relationship as the basis of legal theory.
>  Consider that the seminal texts, Litleton, Brachton, etc. were written after
> Magna Charter (which sets limits on the monarchy in favor of the aristocracy.
>  However, even by Littleton's time, the idea that MAgna Carter protected the
> *people* rather than the aristocracy was beginning to gain credibility).
Let's see, Magna Charter, John, after Henry and Richard I.  1100's, 
1200's?  Stewarts, 1600's.  Littleton, Brachton?

> If nothing else, consider how the English lawyers resisted the Stewarts'
> attempts to impose absolutism.
Well, I remember Thomas Moore's lame resistance to Henry VIII's 
introducing protestantism to England, but not Cromwell's, nor Richard 
Rich's.  Even Cardinal Wolsey was working hard to get Henry everything he 
wanted.  It seems to me that practical absolutism is created by lawyers 
and bureaucrats building a state apperatus, and then the King seizing 
control of it.  For an example, consider France under Louis XIII.  A weak 
king, whose state is controlled by Cardinal Richeleau, and later Cardinal 
Maziran during Louis XIV minority.  But King Louis XIII was still 
considered a check and balance on Cardinal Richeleau.  But when Louis XIV 
decides to seize control of his own government, that check and balance 
disappears, because Louis XIV has both the royal and state power in his 
own hand.  Now that's absolutism, and because he could, Louis XIV bled 
France dry fighting his wars.  Sad, but by then the great nobility of 
France was in no position to constrain the King.  One more push of 
financing the American Revolution, and BOOM, choas, the French Republics, 
and the terror.

Boy, a serious conversation, what fun ;-).

In Service
Leifr Johansson