The revivale of the law
The return of the laic law
England was the first country to
tolerate the participation and representation of business people in the political sphere. Parallely in the XI century, the
King instore of a tribunal and establish a juridical system 700 years after its collapse with the western roman empire.
The redicovery of the law and the reconstruction of a legal structure
was the major political phenomenom of the last part of the middle age. England
was the first to initiate a resureaction of the law under the King Henry II.
From wikipedia.org: Common Law
Before the Norman conquest in 1066, justice was administered primarily by county courts, presided by the diocesan bishop and the sheriff, exercising both ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction. Trial by jury began in these courts.
In 1154, Henry II became the first Plantagenet king. Among many achievements, Henry institutionalized common law by creating a unified system of law "common" to the country
through incorporating and elevating local custom to the national, ending local control and peculiarities, eliminating arbitrary
remedies and reinstating a jury system – citizens sworn on oath to investigate reliable criminal accusations and civil claims. The jury reached its
verdict through evaluating common local knowledge, not necessarily through the presentation of evidence, a distinguishing factor from today's civil and criminal court systems.
Henry II developed the practice of sending
judges from his own central court to hear the various disputes throughout the country. His judges would resolve disputes on
an ad hoc basis according to what they interpreted the customs to be. The king's judges would then return to London and often
discuss their cases and the decisions they made with the other judges. These decisions would be recorded and filed. In time,
a rule, known as stare decisis (also commonly known as precedent) developed, which is where a judge would be bound to follow the decision of an earlier
judge; he was required to adopt the earlier judge's interpretation of the law and apply the same principles promulgated by
that earlier judge if the two cases had similar facts to one another. By this system of precedent, decisions 'stuck' and became
ossified, and so the pre-Norman system of disparate local customs was replaced by an elaborate and consistent system of laws
that was common throughout the whole country, hence the name, "common law."
Henry II's creation of a powerful and
unified court system, which curbed somewhat the power of canonical (church) courts, brought him (and England) into conflict with the church, most famously with Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Eventually, Becket was murdered inside Canterbury Cathedral by four knights who believed themselves to be acting on Henry's
behalf. Whether Henry actually intended to bring about the assassination of Becket is doubtful, but there is no question that
at the time of the murder, the two men were embroiled in a bitter dispute regarding the power of Royal Courts to exercise
jurisdiction over former clergymen. The murder of the Archbishop, who was immediately venerated as a martyr and later as a
saint, gave rise to a wave of popular outrage against the King. Henry was forced to repeal the disputed laws and to abandon
his efforts to hold church members accountable for secular crimes (see also Constitutions of Clarendon).
In spite of this setback, judge-made
common law endured for centuries as the primary source of criminal and civil laws throughout the realm. Later, after Parliament acquired legislative powers, statutory law began to limit the scope of the common law in some areas. Even today, however, common law retains its status as an essential
element of the British legal system.
The fact, having separated the legal structure from the Church structure was
a major improvement “private property” was again guaranteed. A business could safely develop again.
Continental European countries follow the same development.
From wikipedia.org: Roman Law
The Code and the Institutes themselves
were known in Western Europe (though they had little influence on legal practice in the early Middle Ages), but the Digest
was largely ignored for several centuries. Around 1070, a manuscript of the Digest was rediscovered in Italy. This was done mainly through the works of glossars who wrote their
comments between lines (glossa interlinearis), or in the form of marginal notes (glossa marginalis). From that
time, scholars began to study the ancient Roman legal texts, and to teach others what they learned from their studies. The
center of these studies was Bologna. The law school there gradually developed into one of Europe’s first universities.
The students, who were taught Roman
law in Bologna (and later in many other places) found that many rules of Roman law were better suited to regulate complex
economic transactions than the customary rules, which were applicable throughout Europe. For this reason, Roman law, or at
least some provisions borrowed from it, began to be re-introduced into legal practice, centuries after the end of the Roman
empire. This process was actively supported by many kings and princes who employed university-trained jurists as counselors
and court officials and sought to benefit from rules like the famous Princeps legibus solutus est ("The sovereign is
not bound by the laws", a phrase initially coined by Ulpian, a Roman jurist).
There have been several reasons why
Roman law was favored in the Middle Ages. It was because Roman law regulated the legal protection of property and the equality
of legal subjects and their wills, and because it prescribed the possibility that the legal subjects could dispose their property
By the middle of the 16th century, the
rediscovered Roman law dominated the legal practice in most European countries. A legal system, in which Roman law was mixed
with elements of canon law and of Germanic custom, especially feudal law, had emerged. This legal system, which was common to all of continental Europe (and Scotland) was known as Ius Commune. This Ius Commune and the legal systems based on it are usually referred to as civil law in English-speaking countries.
The lost of the jugement competence from
the Church to a civil institution diminushes the capability of the Church to get richer against the other member of the society.
Using some powerful parable of the gospel, the church could abuse of his juridical power and arbitrary confiscate propert
to save Souls from the devil of money and improve their chance to acceed to the paradice.
Parabole of the Rich Man.
In such environment, there is no point
to enrich oneself by developping a business. The new law order will give its chance
to the productive class to gather and transmit by heritage the property creates.
Peasant revolt and the rise of the producing class
If the end of the middle age shows a relatively low number of war due probably to diplomatic activity of the catholic church, the number of peasant revolt
is on the increase.
The Peasant revolt in Flanders 1323-1328. Beginning as a series of scattered rural riots in late 1323, peasant insurrection escalated into a full-scale
rebellion that dominated public affairs in Flanders for nearly five years.
The Jacquerie was a peasant revolt that took place in northern France in 1356-1358, during the Hundred Years' War.
In 1381, the peasant revolt against an increase of taxation needed
to finance the hundred year war in France. The peasant larger in a large number and enter in London where they proceed with
the execution of notable and tax collector. The chief rebellious obtain an audience with the King where he was arrested and
executed. The rebellion was broken down by the King army but ultimately lead to the constitution of a parliament and the participation
of the commercants in the establishment of the Kingdom budget. The revolt marks the end of the feudalism in England and the
rise of the Serf.
The revolt was jointed by rebellion inside the catholic Church. The
priest John Ball preached said "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was
then the gentleman?". In other words, "gentleman" are nobles, all men are equal before God. It was a cry for a leveling of
society where no man is above anyother.
The revolt was just a precursor of a larger one: the protestant reformation
where the centralisation of the Catholic Church completely break down. Religious war broke down all over the North of Europe.
The transfer of juridical power from the catholic Church to independent institution or institution dependent to the Monarchy
is not a small lost. The Church is not anymore considered to be the holder of the truth and so the only institution cappable
to pronounce a jugement. The truth is not believed to be coming from god througth the holy bible but rather from the common
sens of the Noble class.
The rennaisance, the printing
machine and the emergence of the new christian faith
The high level of competition inside the rank of the christian made
it little probability that the level of faith of the Pope should be high. In fact in order to sustain the head/body structural
organisation of the catholic world, we should expect the head (the pope) to be free from faith in order to be free in his
initiative. In contrast, the common people should be under the fear of Satan and permenently on attentive to hold their faith
in order to keep their right to the paradice. The establishment of an independent
legal system is an indicative of a reduction to the faith among the upper class of the christian world, I call “lost
of faith” not the fact that christians consciously realise that they are not christian anymore but that some of the belief does not work and so can not be true and so it is due to an error of the Church from
the true teaching of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Christ teaches that leaving the herd will be the way to hell and eternal fire,
there is no point for Christian to leave it. But, to be Christian will not mean anymore to obey to the Church, it means to
follow “Jesus Christ”. And, the rule of the game will be reinterprete the gospel in a radically new manner to
order to fit the reality, a word that Christian will employ more and more in context that they previously rather employ the
The breakdown will be catalysed by the alrady mention “pagan”
pope Leo X, by far the most controversial but dynamic pope that the christianity ever has.
Leo's lively interest in art and literature,
to say nothing of his natural liberality, his alleged nepotism, his political ambitions and necessities, and his immoderate
personal luxury, exhausted within two years the hard savings of Julius II, and precipitated a financial crisis from which
he never emerged and which was a direct cause of most of what, from a papal point of view, were calamities of his pontificate.
He created many new offices and sold them, a move seen by later Catholics as being "shameless". He sold cardinals' hats. He
sold membership in the "Knights of Peter". He borrowed large sums from bankers, curials, princes and Jews. The Venetian ambassador Gradenigo estimated the paying
number of offices on Leo's death at 2,150, with a capital value of nearly 3,000,000 ducats and a yearly income of 328,000
ducats. Marino Giorgi reckoned the ordinary income of the pope for the year 1517 at about 580,000 ducats, of which 420,000 came from the States
of the Church, 100,000 from annates, and 60,000 from the composition tax instituted by Sixtus IV. These sums, together with the considerable amounts accruing
from indulgences, jubilees, and special fees, vanished as quickly as they were received. Then the pope resorted to pawning
palace furniture, table plate, jewels, even statues of the apostles. Several banking firms and many individual creditors were
ruined by the death of the pope.
From the original idea to due an act of penitence in order to have
a sin forgiven and raising the sens of God in our mind. The concept of indulgence creates by the catholic church evolves during
all the middle age due mainly to its capacity to collect fund
At time of Leo X, it has become the right to do “venial”
sins for a limited period of time (40 days to 1000 years) against the paiement
of a sum of money. The church differentietes a venial sins to a mortal sins by the fact that it is forgivable and done unconsciously.
The financement of the cathedrale “St Peter” leads to the emession of extermely large number of indulgences thourgh
aggressive marketing pratique.
In Germany, Johann Tetzel build up a price list in order to price the
indulgence according to nature of Sins to be forgiven. It was too much for the german christian extremely pressure by the
financial extravagante of the Pope. Martin Luther starts the rebellion by publishing “The 95 Theses” in 1517 and
to many church practices as the practice of the indulgences. The rebellion might be stayed a local event if the development
of printing did not occurs during the end of the XV century. Martin Luther seizes the opportunity and publishes his controversial
“95 Theses”. With the miracle of the printing machine, the theses will spread all over Germany in two weeks and Europe in 2 months.
Let analyse the significance of the change. With the take over of Constantine
the Great on the catholic church, most of writing publication belongs to Church who copied them in the monastry and the noble
who can afford to buy them. The common christian was largely illeterate and could not afford to buy a gospel or a bible. Christianity
was a civilisation of the writing law where does still live according to the oral law. In order to avoid to create illegal
oral custom, christian attends and listen every Sunday to mess. The priest divides the mess into three parts: a lecture a
the holy gospel and another of the jewist bible, a interpretation of the text through a sermon. The Sermon is done according
to the directive that the priest receive from the Vatican in order to adjust the interpretation to the need of the time and
to the knowledge of the mind of his people. The catholic priest practices, celibates and so share a large part of his life
with his follower. He has the opportunity to listen to their view during villager dinner where he is frequently invited. He
so knows how to find the argument who might covince them and how to move them to the vatican views.
After, the Sermon, one should expect a collective debate about the Sermon. It fact, the debate is limited to “Amen” and
instead of the debate, which will be the norm in a oral law civilisation, christians follow a strange probably pagan
ritual called “eucharisty” remanding the last supper of the gospel. The ritual consists of eating a bread supposed
to be the part of the Christ. The ritual is interpretated as accepting the entrance
of the Christ in our soul. This ritual has to be compared to another canibalistic ritual in Papua New Guinea: the eating of
the brain of the dead familly member in order to get his will power. This ritual
leads to the Creutzfeldt-Jakod known as the mad cow disease. The purpose of the eucharisty in his position after the Sermon
means acceptance of the Christian to have his body following the command of the brain: the Church. Those command had been
inculcated to him by the form of a sermon, presentated as an interpretation of a selected holy scripture.
The printing machine changes the rule of the game. Soon, each christian
will have his own bible available and the possibility to have his own concurrent interpretation. The priest will not be able
to enforce his sermon on the fact that only priests knows the scripture. The protestants proclaim that true christian built
his faith by his own study of the Bible and not listen blindly to the Church dogma. The protestant predicator like Martin
Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and John Lockes writes their own interpretation of the gospel and publishes them. Their
purpose were to reform the decadend and corrupt catholic Church and to go back to the true christianity of their orgine. Each
of this writer become in himself a religieux reference and starts the foundation of a new Church. The beauty of the printing
machine is that it spread a large volume of new doctrines without letting the time to the catholic to react. The catholic
doctrine was an inter class doctrine with the noble (military class) and the peasant and business man (productive class) listening
to the clerical class (the political class). The new protestants churches will generally gather inside a specific social groups
belonging to the productive class. Many of them will revive the message of Jesus towards the poors and recruits belong the
porest. Others like John Calvin will develop a theology which would happen to appeal to the first industrialist: This group
will become the most powerful social group of the western world. They will outpast the priest and the lords. They will be
called by their opponents: the capitalist.
From the John Calvin reformation to the capitalism economical system
The idea to link the capitalism economical system towards the John
Calvin moral revolution came lately in 1904 from Max Weber and his book “The Protestant Ethic and And Spirit of Capitalism”.
I believe that the initial purpose of this work was to react against “The Capital” of Karl Marx published also
in German language from 1867 to 1894. Karl Marx describes a world where the entrepreneur
are roboted who are programmed by their devotion to their god “Money”. Karl Marx sees the capitalist class as
robot and so highly predictable, which makes him claim that future revolution can be predicted from their mechanic behaviors.
Max Weber has an opposite point of view: the capitalist class has a strong moral code which came mainly from “John Calvin”
reformation doctrine. Their action are drived mainly by their religious belief and the desire to secure a place in the after
The French John Calvin (1509-1564) studied theology at 14 years old
but on the pressure of his father fired from his attorney job at the cathedrale of Noyon in France, studied a Doctorats of
Law degree at Orleans. By his education and father, John Calvin should be seen as a devote of christianity with a brain structured
by the logic and the order of the medieval laic law. If you remember the thesis that I develop at the beginning of the book:
politics is balance between the centralisation of power on a man or on the law text. Chritian Orthodoxe was to end the roman
law to the devotion of the emperor Constantin the Great. Islam can be seen as a reaction of eastern christian to restore the
law “of god”. John Calvin is the man built up to understand the benefit of the law for the western world and so
he will have tend to the political ambition than Mohammed in the eastern part of the mediterranean world. He will transform
christianity from a pope (or king or emperor) based religious system toward a
law based religious system. He will create a “fundamentalist” christianity based on the fundamental moral of the
bible. By the emigration of his followers, his influence will spread all over Europe and become one of the morale pillar of
One other point is that John Calvin was instrumental into developing
a silk industry in Geneva which many Genevans reaped monetary benefits.
Behing Business oriented is quite uncommon in the Christian world, the tendacy of the catholic is to see the accumulation
of wealth is a sin that can be forgiven by buying indulgences and giving back your wealth to the Church at your death.
Now, let look a little bit to the belief system of Calvin follower.
The nature of God has been a critical issue at the fundation of Christian. During the first century, the montanist believes
that there are two gods: Christ, the god of love and the demiurge of Platon, the god of the bible or the creator of the reality.
The gospel “god news” is that Christ came to save us from the current reality and creates the new reality of love.
Christ prove it us by the miracle of his resurection. Then, proto-Catholic rejects the idea of two opposing god: Christ and
the reality and creates the doctrine of the trinity (god three into one): the creator of the reality(god of the bible), the
loving Christ, the holy spirit. As the holy spirit is ciment of the body/brain relation. The holy spirit makes us the body
of our mind the Christ whom the order are transmit to us through the Church. So, it should never be forgotten and took the
third position in the trinity.
So, for a catholic, it means that the reality is now love but for John
Calvin, it does not make anysense. As we can expect from a lawyer and logician, God is indiferent to us as every juge should
be and the reality is a set of programmed rule which has built us. One of the strange doctrine develops by him is the predestination.
. He also doubts that God is good for us. God might be indiferent or even bad for us. John Calvin believes in the double predistination.
First, God has predestinated the faith of the universe at the creation and secondly God has predistinated each soul from heaven
or hell. According to Max Weber, the second predestination plays a fundamental role in the enterprenorship spirit of calvinist.
To know if our Soul is a choosen one, one should achieve something in the present life. Achievement is a sign that we have
been choosen by God for heaven. Max Weber theorizes that this doctrine pushes Calvinist into business entreprenorship to test
themeselves in order to know their future.
John Calvin should be considered as a intermediary link towards the
coming belief of darwinism but it has to structure his belief in a christian
culture and so the oddest of his doctrine. Like every intermediary animals of the evolution, John Calvin doctrine looks extremely
unconvincing but by the success of his follower, happens to be socially efficient. The idea of predestination of the world
has been reinforced by the present belief that life is spreaded in many world in the universe. If there are billions of world
like us, it might mean that many world might go to self destruction and others to achieve god will. The second predestination
is the pass to the belief of genetic predestination and genes selection. Evolution means that many of our genes should be
selected. In order to do so, the one with better genes should have achiement in order to reproduce more of his genes than
individuals with no achievement. This concept supposes that the society does not equilize the right or chance of reproduction
like the unique child in China, or welfare allocation in France.
From the huguenots diaspora to the american puritanism
To avoid persecution from the French forces, John Calvin emigrates
in Geneva(Switzerland) in 1536 with many of his followers. The whole French protestant named
Huguenots will soon follow massively the same fate. By 1562, the French
huguenots were more than 1 millions against 16 millions of catholics and might have peaked 2 millions before the diaspora.
Those entreprenorial believer did attrack the loath of the catholic majority on the same ground that jewist will latter be.
Huguenots creates most of the new industry and so possess it. Catholic royal crowd saw their weilth as the thread and counter
attack by the Saint Bartholomew Day massacre where thousands of huguenots were killed in Paris and perhaps 110000 death in
all over France. The war last from February 1574 to the Edict of Nantes of 1598. Then, the persecution resumes with Louis
XIV with the inflicted dragonnades in 1681. The french hughenots population droped to 660000 in 1680 and than to 1000. The
French economy lost the industry of silk-weaving, clock-making and optometry whick fled with the Huguenots to England, Switzerland
and the North of Europe.
Then, the Netherland Hughenots made a large part of the South African
emigration as the England based Hughenots emigrates to America.
A large part of the British Huguenots locates east the east part of
London, where they develop new silk-weaving industry. So, this population influence the tone of the reformation of Edward
VI anglican church.
Under the command of Jean Ribault in 1562, the Huguenots were the first
to establish a colony of nothern european in the United State in Charlesforst and then in Fort Caroline in Florida. The Fort
would be destroyed by the Spanish in 1568. Rename puritan, the descendant of England and Netherland based hughenot keep immigrate
massively to the United State in the colony of New Netherland and New York. It is estimated that 35 % of the American President
including George Washington and Franklin Roosevelt are from Huguenots descent, which has to be compared to the figure of 25
% are from British descent.
The huguenots spirit for free enterprise will mark the nature anti
statism of the american idealist, a country with no upper class in charge of exploiting or managing the producing class. The united state will become the country founded exclusevely by orginal member of
the producing excaping the political dominace of the political and military class of the clergy and the nobles.
In France in return, the catholic extreme right will turn its hatred
against the huguenots to an hatred against american entreprenorship up to our day. After the humiliation of the liberation
of 1945, the new political class of the gaullist and socialist will constently
The birth of capitalism