By John Kekes
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Extra resources for Against Liberalism
Accordingly, the legitimacy of the Constitution derived from the king’s authority and not the other way round. The rights of parliament had been substantially restricted and the Senate, termed as the ‘Chamber of Peers’ (Chambre des Pairs), was subordinate to the crown, while the privileges of Article Six of the Senatorial Constitution were disregarded completely. Moreover, by changing the election procedure the crown aimed at gaining influence over the second chamber too, henceforth to be known as the ‘Chamber of the Deputies of the Departments’ (Chambre des Députés des Départements).
21 However, it was not Seidel’s work which in the following years determined discourse in Germany on the political and constitutional system of the United States, but a highly critical and somewhat malicious study by Dietrich Heinrich Freiherr von Bülow on the Freistaat von Nordamerika in seinem neuesten Zustand. In these two volumes, the author disparaged the Federal Constitution of 1787 wholesale as a ‘blunder’ and the result of a lack of virtue. He went on to say that the Constitution was anarchic and unrepublican, and criticised in particular the new, and obviously misunderstood, federal system: The power legislating the whole must very soon overwhelm those powers which grant laws to its constituent parts or, in the event of the latter resisting, the state body will be dissolved or a civil war will ensue.
Nevertheless, while the preamble suggested the spirit of the ‘old’ France, the regulations that followed portrayed a modern understanding of constitution, granting both political and civil rights. 92 Though there was no direct reference to the Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen of 26 August 1789, the articles of the Charte were undoubtedly in the tradition of this declaration. Among those rights granted were: equality before the law (Art. 1), equal treatment in fiscal affairs (Art.
Against Liberalism by John Kekes