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Republican Feudalism: Heritage Or Fracture?

Posted on:2006-12-18Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:H ChangFull Text:PDF
GTID:2206360155466625Subject:Subject community and the international communist movement
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Many scholars of both Marxists and Non-Marxists held a viewpoint on politics evolution of Western Europe, that European history since Middle Ages had undergone three phases, in terms of politics viewpoint, including feudalism, despotism and democracy; that despotism and feudalism are opposed; that interim from Middle Ages to modern times is the period that Middle class and monarch combined against feudalism and that despotism in modern times came into being; that Republicanism is the requirement of bourgeoisie in modern times after despotism came into being and is also the result of capitalism development. Whether feudalism is positive element to the establishment of democratic polity is a question on which there is no clear discussion in China. This paper will examine the role of feudalism in the process of the formation of democratic polity in modern times.The history of feudalism in Western Europe began with the perdition of Western Roman Empire and ended with Renaissance in Western Europe and Reformation, which continued about ten centuries. Homager System is the characteristic of land ownership in Western Europe. It became the special relationship between the Seigneur and the Aristocrat on the basis of land ownership. It settled the foundation that the Aristocracy set up a separatist regime by force of arms. A space was offered for the growing of Democratic elements in feudalism circumstance and the conditions were provided by Feudalism regime for the formation of elements of republic polity.Parliament is the core of republic polity. As the mother of all parliaments, the Britain Parliament has representative significance. Its naissance was in early period of fourteenth century. At the beginning it was a tool that the Aristocracy used to restrict the power of monarch. Later because of the development of the commodity economy and the declination of the Aristocracy, the main power of Britain Parliament transferred from the Aristocracy to the Bourgeoisie as the main approach to protect their interests. With the power of Britain Parliament growing stronger and stronger, it gradually predominated legislative power, imposure power, supervision and impeachment power. It avoided infinite expanding of despotism and played an active role on the selection of constitutional monarchy.Jurisdiction independence is one important part of republic polity. It is a marked characteristic in Western Europe that Common jurisdiction and Church Jurisdiction were appearing at the same time. Roman Law and German Law are the main sources of Western nomocracy tradition in Modern times. The judicial power was an important component of landlords' power which was related closely to feudal ownership of land, and an important privilege on the manor of feudal nobles. Because of the deep economic reasons, the battle contesting judicial power between the monarch and feudal nobles was prolonged through the history of feudal society. Similarly, the judicial power held by Church was a important power of Church, so it was unavoidable to wage the fight for sharing the judicial power between Church and Monarch. The history of the judicial power indicates clearly that the feudal judicature mechanism of Western Europe and judicial environment have laid down the foundation for the judicial independence in modern republicanism.From the history of formation and development of republic polity in West Europe, we can find out that long tradition of power-sharing in Middle Ages is an important factor for forming republic polity in Western Europe countries. Comparing European history with Chinese history, we can't move western political system into Chinese society because both Western countries and China don't share the same tradition as well as other social conditions. The democratic polity of China must have Chinese characteristics.
Keywords/Search Tags:Western Europe, Feudalism, Despotism, Republic Polity
PDF Full Text Request
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