The Full Wiki

More info on Liberum veto

Liberum veto: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberum veto (Latin for I freely forbid) was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It allowed any member of the Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify all legislation already passed at it by shouting Nie pozwalam! (Polish: I do not allow!).

From the mid-sixteenth to the late eighteenth century, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth utilized the liberum veto, a form of unanimity voting rule, in its parliamentary deliberations. The "principle of liberum veto played an important role in [the] emergence of the unique Polish form of constitutionalism." This constraint on the powers of the monarch were significant in making the "rule of law, religious tolerance and limited constitutional government ... the norm in Poland in times when the rest of Europe was being devastated by religious hatred and despotism."[1]

Contents

History

This rule evolved from a unanimity principle (unanimous consent), and the latter from the federative character of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was essentially a federation of countries. Each deputy to a Sejm was elected at a local regional sejm (sejmik) and represented the entire region. He thus assumed responsibility to his sejmik for all decisions taken at the Sejm. A decision taken by a majority against the will of a minority (even if only a single sejmik) was considered a violation of the principle of political equality.

It is commonly, and erroneously, believed that a Sejm was first disrupted by means of liberum veto by a Trakai deputy, Władysław Siciński, in 1652.[2] In reality, however, he only vetoed the continuation of the Sejm's deliberations beyond the statutory time limit. It was only in 1669, in Kraków, that a Sejm was prematurely disrupted on the strength of the liberum veto, by the Kiev deputy, Adam Olizar.

In the first half of the 18th century, it became increasingly common for Sejm sessions to be broken up by liberum veto, as the Commonwealth's neighbours — chiefly Russia and Prussia — found this a useful tool to frustrate attempts at reforming and strengthening the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth deteriorated from a European power into a state of anarchy.[3]

Many historians hold that a major cause of the Commonwealth's downfall was the principle of liberum veto[4]. Thus deputies bribed by magnates or foreign powers, or simply content to believe they were living in some kind of "Golden Age", for over a century paralysed the Commonwealth's government, stemming any attempts at reform. Other historians, primarily Norman Davies, argue that the effective end of the veto, in 1764, allowed for a rebirth of proper governance; he argues that the country had ascended from the veto's anarchy and had organically developed the desire for a new course in politics. He further argues that the anarchy of the veto fed a rebirth of culture that led to the development of the constitution of the 3rd of May. In all, these historians argue that the liberum veto did not bring about the end of the nation but did bring acceptance of the need for a new, modern, constitution.

1764

After 1764 the liberum veto practically went out of use: the principle of unanimity did not bind "confederated sejms," and so deputies formed a "confederation" (Polish: konfederacja) at the beginning of a session in order to prevent its disruption by liberum veto.

The liberum veto was abolished by the May 3rd, 1791, Constitution (adopted by a confederated sejm), which permanently established the principle of majority rule.

The achievements of that constitution, however — claimed to be Europe's first modern codified constitution — were undone by another confederated sejm, meeting at Grodno in 1793. That Sejm, under duress from Russia and Prussia, ratified the penultimate, Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, anticipating the final disappearance of the Polish-Lithuanian state two years later.

References

  1. ^ Rohac, Dalibor (June 2008). "The unanimity rule and religious fractionalisation in the Polish-Lithuanian Republic". Constitutional Political Economy (Springer) 19 (2): 111–128. doi:10.1007/s10602-008-9037-5. https://commerce.metapress.com/content/40r31j160tm4403t/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=rf15cu2v1gi4k355lirb0dyn&sh=www.springerlink.com. Retrieved 2009-05-18.  
  2. ^ Paweł Jasienica, Polska anarchia, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków 1988. ISBN 83-08-1970-6
  3. ^ Barbara Markiewicz, "Liberum veto albo o granicach społeczeństwa obywatelskiego" [w:] Obywatel: odrodzenie pojęcia, Warszawa 1993.
  4. ^ Paweł Jasienica, "Polska anarchia", Wydawnictwo Literackie 1988

See also

Advertisements

The liberum veto (Latin for "I freely forbid") was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It allowed any member of the Sejm (legislature) to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify any legislation that had already been passed at the session by shouting Nie pozwalam! (Polish: "I do not allow!").

From the mid-sixteenth to the late eighteenth century, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth utilized the liberum veto, a form of unanimity voting rule, in its parliamentary deliberations. The "principle of liberum veto played an important role in [the] emergence of the unique Polish form of constitutionalism." This constraint on the powers of the monarch were significant in making the "rule of law, religious tolerance and limited constitutional government ... the norm in Poland in times when the rest of Europe was being devastated by religious hatred and despotism."[1]

Contents

History

This rule evolved from a unanimity principle (unanimous consent), and the latter from the federative character of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was essentially a federation of countries. Each deputy to a Sejm was elected at a local regional sejm (sejmik) and represented the entire region. He thus assumed responsibility to his sejmik for all decisions taken at the Sejm. A decision taken by a majority against the will of a minority (even if only a single sejmik) was considered a violation of the principle of political equality.

It is commonly, and erroneously, believed that a Sejm was first disrupted by means of liberum veto by a Trakai deputy, Władysław Siciński, in 1652.[2] In reality, however, he only vetoed the continuation of the Sejm's deliberations beyond the statutory time limit. It was only in 1669, in Kraków, that a Sejm was prematurely disrupted on the strength of the liberum veto, by the Kiev deputy, Adam Olizar.

In the first half of the 18th century, it became increasingly common for Sejm sessions to be broken up by liberum veto, as the Commonwealth's neighbours — chiefly Russia and Prussia — found this a useful tool to frustrate attempts at reforming and strengthening the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth deteriorated from a European power into a state of anarchy.[3]

Many historians hold that a major cause of the Commonwealth's downfall was the principle of liberum veto.[2] Thus deputies bribed by magnates or foreign powers, or simply content to believe they were living in some kind of "Golden Age", for over a century paralysed the Commonwealth's government, stemming any attempts at reform.[citation needed] Other historians, primarily Norman Davies,[citation needed] argue that the effective end of the veto, in 1764, allowed for a rebirth of proper governance; he argues that the country had ascended from the veto's anarchy and had organically developed the desire for a new course in politics. He further argues that the anarchy of the veto fed a rebirth of culture that led to the development of the constitution of the 3rd of May.[citation needed] In all, these historians argue that the liberum veto did not bring about the end of the nation but did bring acceptance of the need for a new, modern, constitution.

1764

After 1764 the liberum veto practically went out of use: the principle of unanimity did not bind "confederated sejms," and so deputies formed a "confederation" (Polish: konfederacja) at the beginning of a session in order to prevent its disruption by liberum veto.[citation needed]

The liberum veto was abolished by the May 3rd, 1791, Constitution (adopted by a confederated sejm), which permanently established the principle of majority rule.

The achievements of that constitution, however — claimed to be Europe's first modern codified constitution — were undone by another confederated sejm, meeting at Grodno in 1793. That Sejm, under duress from Russia and Prussia, ratified the penultimate, Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, anticipating the final disappearance of the Polish-Lithuanian state two years later.

References

  1. ^ Roháč, Dalibor (June 2008). "The unanimity rule and religious fractionalisation in the Polish-Lithuanian Republic". Constitutional Political Economy (Springer) 19 (2): 111–128. doi:10.1007/s10602-008-9037-5. http://www.springerlink.com/content/40r31j160tm4403t/fulltext.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  2. ^ a b Jasienica, Paweł (1988) (in Polish). Polska anarchia. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. ISBN 83-08-01970-6. 
  3. ^ Barbara Markiewicz, "Liberum veto albo o granicach społeczeństwa obywatelskiego" [w:] Obywatel: odrodzenie pojęcia, Warszawa 1993.

See also


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message