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Commercial law

(2,220 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. DefinitionCommercial law (Latin,  ius mercatorum), as part of private law, consists of all law related to the merchant class in the early modern period. Commercial law includes both rules pertaining to the professional organizations of merchants, their privileges, commercial jurisdiction, and the law of bankruptcy, as well as commercial police law and international law. Private commercial law, however, including for example exchange law (Bill of exchange), corporate law, and insurance, has stood at the forefront of the European commercial law tradition.Louis Pahlow2. T…
Date: 2019-03-20

Citizenship

(1,589 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. Definition Citizenship designates membership in a state and thus is related to the early modern state-building process. The roots of citizenship, however, lie in the subject-ruler relationship of the early modern period.The term “nationality” in some cases is synonymous with citizenship; in others, until about 1850, it designated a somewhat reduced form of citizenship (see below, 2.). While English and French both use the word “nationality” (French,  nationalité) to indicate citizenship (cf. nation, nationalism), the German term Nationalität (and similarly  Nation) me…
Date: 2019-03-20

Independence, judicial

(836 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. DefinitionA distinction must be drawn between the objective and personal independence of a judge. While a judge is bound to observe only the law and statutes (Law [statute]) in arriving at his objective rulings, his personal independence guarantees the integrity of his official position. In an extended sense, both aspects are prerequisites of a just, fair judgment.Louis Pahlow2. The early modern periodJudges can be found as dependent officials in many territories at the beginning of the early modern period. In keeping with the theory of sovereignty dev…
Date: 2019-03-20

Instantia austraegalis

(835 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
The legal institution of  instantia austraegalis comprised courts of arbitration that existed alongside the traditional judiciary (Jurisdiction) or were set above it so as to resolve disputes between specific noble rulers and later the individual states of the German Confederation.1. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation Instantia austraegalis derived from the desire for a peaceful means of resolving conflicts between equal-ranking members of imperial estates, which arose in the medieval era of feuds. Despite the fact that the instantia austraegalis had to apply both  i…
Date: 2019-03-20

Corporate law

(1,109 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
commercial lawtrading companies  Early modern European corporate law predominantly concerned companies in which commercially active merchants or shareholders were personally liable. We can distinguish two primary types of trading company in the 16th and 17th centuries: the commenda, which derived from maritime trade, was normally dedicated to carrying out a single commercial transaction, such as a trading voyage overseas (Trade, Long-distance). The company was much more significant: it emerged from the need or desire that a manufacturing or merchant busin…
Date: 2019-03-20

Felicity

(893 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
Felicity (German, Glückseligkeit) as the purpose of a state (State, purpose of) is one of the key concepts of the German political theory of enlightened absolutism in the latter half of the 18th century. The felicity of the state and its subjects gave the state its purpose for existing and acting. Whereas in a medieval theological context felicity was viewed primarily as a positive goal to be achieved in the afterlife (Latin, beatitudo), it became the subject of philosophical-ethical and political-theoretical discussion in the early modern period, coming to be…
Date: 2019-03-20

Administrative judiciary

(762 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
An administrative judiciary ( Administrativjustiz) is the court-like review of measures taken by the police or the government outside the ordinary judiciary in the 19th century. Its roots lie in the  gute Policey (“good public order”) of the 18th century, whereby Policey cases were decided by Policey-Collegien, the so-called cameral judiciary (see Kameralprozess) After the administrative reforms at the beginning of the 19th century, the duties of gute Policey were assumed by the government. The administrative judiciary now consisted of court-like judicial i…
Date: 2019-03-20

Freedom of trade

(997 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. DefinitionToday, the concept of freedom of trade is usually mentioned in connection with free enterprise (Industrial policy). In the 18th and 19th centuries, however, freedom of trade had its own distinct meaning: in Europe, it encompassed both the traditional rights of merchants and the liberal and pre-liberal understanding of the freedom of domestic and foreign trade (Trade, external).Louis Pahlow2. The absolutist-mercantilist stateAlthough calls for freedom of trade can be found already in political works of the 16th and 17th centuries, the concept …
Date: 2019-03-20

Iura maiestatis

(892 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
Iura maiestatis (“rights of majesty”) is an early modern term for the sovereign rights of a ruler. Across Europe, in the 17th century, they became the focus of the philosophical and legal discussion concerning the state (State, general theory of); they were highly important as the organization of the early modern state took shape.Beginning in the 16th century, different kinds of iura maiestatis emerged across Europe from a comprehensive philosophical discourse of the state. The starting point was maiestas, which in the early modern period indicated not only the exalte…
Date: 2019-03-20

Land rights

(991 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. IntroductionThe origins, transfer, and lapse of land rights in early modern Europe, that is rights pertaining to real estate – such as ownership (Property), easements, and mortgages – were shaped by Roman legal models (Ius commune). With respect to their formal nature, however, early modern influences can be increasingly identified. Two groups of rights, which may be summarized as rights of use and rights of exploitation, were the most important land rights across Europe.Louis Pahlow2. Rights of useUnder ius commune, so-called servitudes (Latin, servitutes, easements),…
Date: 2019-03-20

Allgemeines Landrecht für die preußischen Staaten (ALR)

(1,091 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. Origin and scope The Prussian ALR of 1794 was the result of efforts commencing also in other German territories around 1750 to modernize the legal system according to the ideas of enlightened absolutism ( Allgemeines Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch = ABGB; Codex Maximilianeus Bavaricus Civilis). The ALR is one of the most prominent codifications of the Early Modern Period. A start was made under Frederick William I and was succeeded by works especially during the reign of Frederick II. After a first version by the Grand Chancellor Samuel von…
Date: 2019-03-20

Intellectual property

(2,180 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. DefinitionIntellectual property is a natural law concept that since the late 18th century has been understood to protect the rights of authors and inventors along the same lines as property rights. The theory of intellectual property (German geistiges Eigentum) met with considerable resistance in 19th-century Germany, which lives on today widely in German jurisprudence. In France ( propriété intellectuelle) and the anglophone legal world, the view of intellectual property as similar to property rights has prevailed.Louis Pahlow2. The era of privilegesThe legal prote…
Date: 2019-03-20

Insurance

(3,370 words)

Author(s): Denzel, Markus A. | Pahlow, Louis | Mittag, Jürgen
1. Commercial history 1.1. Definition and historical originsInsurance is the elimination of individual financial risk by distributing it to a community with similar risk. This is done by the payment of individual contributions or premiums into a common fund, the total sum of which is determined by the amount of risk to be covered. The commercial insurance industry facilitates the creation of risk communities, the collection of premiums, and the disbursal of insurance benefits as services. Together with…
Date: 2019-03-20