Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Leges fundamentales
(997 words)

1. Definition and function

In every European country, leges fundamentales (Latin, “fundamental laws”) were the forerunners of the modern constitution; but only in some cases did they perform the same functions. Whereas a constitution organizes the powers of the state, guarantees individual rights, and stands above the general legal order, the plural form of leges fundamentales shows that they were not a planned, uniform constit…

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Mohnhaupt, Heinz, “Leges fundamentales”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023228>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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