Early Modern Europe

1565 Words7 Pages
For understanding entirely the emergence of modern European states in the fifteen and sixteen centuries it is central to study the trend of representative assemblies to disappear at the same time that centralized monarchies gained power. There is extensive literature on parliament and political institutions of the period, explaining the decline but also the role they played in the government. This paper describes the issues that determined the development of these institutions using on secondary sources. For the actual answer for the causes of the decline of the parliament is more complex than a swipe of power, the circumstances of the rise of the modern state will have to be examined. This essay seeks to examine the general patterns in European political developments and at the same time avoid deterring assumptions. The diversity of existing assemblies had aspects as community representation, social class separation and jurisdiction/power of decision that influenced their permanence. It will be shown that broadly speaking, although some institutions were deemed a constrain for monarchical organization, some functions that the parliaments performed were central for the government of the state, such as taxation. And thus, they were maintained and played a vital role later on in the Age of the Revolutions.

Prior to the analysis of the presence of representative institutions and their relevance to the emergence of modern states, lets present briefly what is meant by the term ‘representative institutions’. Michael Graves describes: “As meetings between the ruler and his socio-political elite, representative assemblies were not only political fora, in which he sought advice and his subjects aired grievances, but also occasions on w...

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...appear, around 1600, to be in any danger of withering away. They met frequently, and defended their interests vigorously. Some of their members even produced what sounds remarkably like a doctrine of the Ancient Constitution” It is suggested that in France the constitution of the States General of Tours in the conjunction of bringing together the three estates and the representatives of all the provinces and different princely factions made agreement in the assembly very difficult and nullified their capability of real opposition to central power’s policy-making. France at such did not exist in late medieval times, it was one of the most segregated kingdoms and monarch did not exercise much power, Even if in early modern period the provinces were aggregated, sometimes in form of pays d’etats, the regional differences were aggravated by the religious conflicts.
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