Monarchical Sovereignty and the Legacy of the Revolution: Constitutionalism in Post-Napoleonic Germany


  • Markus J. Prutsch European Parliament


Palabras clave:

Monarchy, legitimacy, (monarchical) sovereignty, Germany, France, Bavaria, Baden


Could monarchical claims for personal government be realistically reconciled with the legacy of the Revolution? This dilemma of the post-Napoleonic age gave rise to the concept of a genuinely ‘monarchical’ form of constitutional rule in Europe, which distinguished itself not only from absolutism and revolutionary constitutionalism, but also British parliamentarianism. Focusing on Germany and the states of Bavaria and Baden in particular, this article examines constitutional debates after 1814, and especially the role of the French Charte constitutionnelle as the prototype of ‘constitutional monarchism’. Its role in the making of post-1814 German constitutions is highlighted with a view to assessing the Charte’s actual significance vis-à-vis other potential models, and identifying parallels as well as dissimilarities between the constitutional systems in France and the German states. In result, the paradigmatic role of the Charte for (Southern) German constitutionalism is confirmed; yet at the same time, fundamental differences are discernible with regard not only to the role monarchical-constitutional orders played in different national contexts, but also their status within long-term political developments in different countries.

Fecha de envío / Submission Date: 23/12/2014
Fecha de aceptación / Acceptance Date: 4/02/2015

Biografía del autor/a

Markus J. Prutsch, European Parliament

Markus J. Prutsch holds degrees in History and Political Science. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the European University Institute Florence, specializing in political history and theory with main focus on post-Napoleonic constitutional transfer processes. Fellow at the University of Helsinki between 2009 and 2012, funded by the European Research Council, he is now senior investigator and research administrator at the European Parliament.






España, Alemania e Italia