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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the constitutional state took its origin from a revolution against absolutist rule and feudal inequality. ‘Constitution’ as a revolutionary new concept of law meant as an ideal-type: written, supreme, secular law, decided by the people and regulating all public power. Constitutional monarchy was the dominant type of constitutional state in Europe throughout the nineteenth century. It was marked by a fundamental dualism between monarchical and parliamentary power, which tended towards parliamentarization and came to an end with complete constitutionalization and democratization of European states as an outcome of the First World War. While the post-war years represented the apex of European constitutionalism, the deep European crisis of the 1930s with the rise of dictatorship destroyed the core function of constitutionalism, to legally bind state power, which came to be restored only gradually after 1989 for the whole of Europe.

Keywords: constitution, constitutional monarchy, constitutionalism, state, revolution, parliament, democracy, absolutism, feudal law, dictatorship

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