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ERIC Number: EJ984417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
Law and Science
Huff, Toby E.
Academic Questions, v25 n1 p54-64 Mar 2012
In terms of political liberation and constitutional democracy, Americans cannot help but think back to 1776 and the Declaration of Independence. For the English, the mind reaches back to the English Declaration of Rights of 1689, and for those with somewhat longer historical memories, to Magna Carta of 1215. But the true origin of political freedom has its roots in the Papal Revolution of 1075-1122. For it was during this period that wrangles between prince and pope resulted in a revolutionary recasting of the design of Western civilization. Some have called it the great "Axial Shift" of Western civilization and it has no counterpart outside of Western Europe. During this era Europeans achieved an enormous set of breakthroughs regarding the structure of law, legality, and self-governance that have proven indispensable for the history of the West and, indeed, the world. To understand the makings of the modern world, the origin of its legal principles, and its commitment to constitutional democracy and modern science, people need to give that era far more attention. The very roots of international law and order, now often put under the tag of globalization, are found in those years. In this article, the author expounds how specific legal developments of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries were unique to the West and led to the promotion of political stability and economic growth as well as to the rise of modern science. As many scholars have pointed out, the unparalleled legal revolution in Europe of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries resulted in the creation of numerous "innovative conditions" in three major spheres of societal development: (1) the emergence of representative democratic politics; (2) the creation of new economic rights and actors (corporate entities of many sorts); and (3) scientific development. Behind all of this was the Papal Revolution of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, which set off a legal reconstruction that radically altered the foundations of virtually all social, political, and economic relationships. (Contains 12 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A