A Classic Study of Early Constitutional Law. First published in 1914, this is one of the most important studies of early constitutional law. Kern observes that discussions of the state in the ninth, eleventh and thirteenth centuries invariably asked whose rights were paramount. Were they those of the ruler or the people? Kern locates the origins of this debate, which has continued to the twentieth century, in church doctrine and the history of the early German states. He demonstrates that the interaction of "these two sets of influences in conflict and alliance prepared the ground for a new outlook in the relations between the ruler and the ruled, and laid the foundations both of absolutist and of constitutional theory" (4).
"[A] pioneering and classic study." --Norman F. Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages, 106.
Fritz Kern [1884-1950] was a professor, journalist and state official. From 1914 to 1918 he worked for the Foreign Ministry and the General Staff in Berlin. One of the leading medieval historians of his time, his works include Die Anfänge der Französischen Ausdehnungspolitik bis zum Jahr 1308 (1910) and Recht und Verfassung im Mittelalter (1919).