Konstitucionalizmo priešistorė: šaltiniai ar pirmavaizdis?
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The following categories can be found in the analysis of the prehistory of constitutionalism: the early constitutionalism, the ancient constitutionalism, the medieval or canonical constitutionalism. The usage of these categories raises the question: is constitutionalism the product of the Age of Enlightenment or is it an older phenomenon? The author of the article approaches this problem from another point of view: maybe the usage of the mentioned categories is an anachronism? In this case the elements taken form different contexts are combined into a single unit typical to recent reality. This conjunction, when neither the single entirety nor the alterations of contexts are taken into consideration, distorts the understanding of the past, fits the past to the Procrustian bed straining it to the present standards. The existence of separate elements does not allow the consideration of the phenomenon as a whole. It also suits the category of constitutionalism. In author’s opinion, it is necessary to differentiate between: a) the prehistory of constitutionalism; b) the era of written constitutions as the legal acts of supreme power, the essence of which is expressed by the category of constitutionalism and which began in XVIII century. The research is concentrated only on the prehistory of constitutionalism, i.e. only the entrance into to the era of constitutionalism and written constitutions is investigated. The idea of the constitution is the creation of Western civilization. The author analyzes the thought of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and modern times until the end of XVIII century. He seeks to find the roots of the idea of the constitutional regulation in the ancient Greek civilization, which taught us faith in reason and freedom. Ancient Greece and Rome are the cradle of Western civilization. The Middle Ages gave Magna Charta and the Bull of Gold; the new times are marked by the idea of the limitation of power by the written Constitution. The Anglo-Saxon, French and German doctrines influenced the movement for the Constitution. In author’s opinion, in all these cases it is purposeful to use the category of the rise of constitutionalism. History does not confirm the archetype of constitutionalism. The historic insight allows to notice the integration of various ideas into a coherent doctrine. According to this doctrine, the Constitution must limit the official power and, therefore, ensure the protection of human rights. The society, directed by this idea, can establish a new social order. The supremacy of human rights, the division of powers, democracy, the rule of law are the components of the constitutional order. The XX century is marked by the universality of written constitutions.
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