To a great extent these critiques were motivated by a rejection of the conservative slant of the draft Constitution, which was generally poorly received in the press. Il a abusé de ses pouvoirs pour dépouiller de leurs droits les neuf dixièmes de la nation. Very few radicals were elected to the Congress, since most of their sympathisers did not have botox paris 18 vente vote.
Radicals took their cue from Rousseau in arguing that the sovereignty needed to be shared by the whole nation, which they identified as the physical people.
It, too, predicted the outbreak of a new revolution and more bloodshed in order to establish a Constitution based on the true principles of the Belgian Revolution. Since the end of the nineteenth century it is a commonplace in Belgian constitutional manuals to remark that whereas the terms of the Constitution are fixed, their meaning changes over time. Due to its longevity, the Belgian Constitution has shored up a succession of political systems, each of which caries spinal cord been shaped by the needs and expectations of an evolving society.
Although the political mechanism has for a long time been made up of the same fixed set of components, the mutual relations between the components and the impact of each component on the whole have undergone remarkable evolutions.
Some of these changes have been formalised via constitutional revisions the first two of which, made in andmainly concerned electoral lawbut considerable parts of the Constitution survive until this day, although their meaning for political practice has changed dramatically.
Despite the historical consciousness displayed by some authors of constitutional manuals, debate over the exact meaning of national sovereignty as intended by the creators of the Constitution in — has been scarce.
Moreover, diverse ideological readings have post factum been projected on the term. This chapter has attempted to restore article 25 to its proper historical context within the genesis of the Belgian Constitution. Terms and concepts associated with thinkers like Montesquieu, Constant, Rousseau or De Lamennais, carrying diverging theoretical and ideological implications, can be distinguished. The language used by a minority of republican delegates, like Seron and De Robaulx, probably stands out most for its consistency.
In fact, many terms and concepts, although often central to the debates, lacked a generally accepted definition. The confusion over words like republic, democracy and monarchy was at times complete. Different terms were used for the same concept, whereas different concepts could hide under the same term.
The interpenetrability of the languages used in the Congress was reflected by the sometimes very slight minorities by which key elements of the new state system, like the Senate, were decided upon. While the Constitutional Commission concluded its work on the draft Constitution in 6—10 days, the Congress needed a little over 2 months for debating and approving the final Constitution.
In this context it may be easier to understand why a central concept like the nation did not have an unambiguous meaning, not even for the creators of the Constitution. The interpretation of the term was not fought out in bouts of abstract theorisation even article 25 was passed with very little discussion but in very practical debates over the division of and access to power, most notably in o que é regime alimentar questions of census suffrage, the powers of the monarch and bicameralism.
What can be ascertained beyond a doubt is that article 25 was meant to enshrine a system where sovereignty came from below. Since the mandate of the Congress originated in a revolt directed against irresponsible royal government, its members were logically concerned with safely vesting the key to state power in the hands of the nation. This is made abundantly clear by the stipulations on ministerial responsibility with countersignature and royal inviolabilitythe limitation imposed on royal power, the yearly vote of the budget and the election of both chambers.
At the same time, the Congress was a socially conservative body elected by and composed of members of the aristocracy and the upper bourgeoisie.
National or popular sovereignty was therefore perfectly compatible, in its view, with the limitation of suffrage to the propertied classes. In the press, the meaning of article 25 was a cause of heated and sometimes bitter debate. Whereas all newspapers agreed that it enshrined popular sovereignty, opinions diverged over the desirability and the possibility of constructing a functional political system on its basis, and on the conditions for doing so.
Whereas moderate liberal and Catholic journals generally backed the interpretation of the Congress in these matters, their counterparts on the far right and the far left loudly protested against it.
For them, national or popular sovereignty was indissolubly linked to universal suffrage. Its realisation was a source of apprehension for some, a source of frustrated craving for others.
Both camps, being underrepresented in the Congress, reacted by calling into question the legitimacy of the constituent assembly. Their efforts remained without effect, however, just as their bleak auspices of imminent state collapse or popular revolution remained unfulfilled. Pourtant la Constitution reste silencieuse sur ce que recouvre le concept de Nation. En conséquence, la définition de la souveraineté nationale proclamée dans la Constitution de reste indécise.
Alors que cette dernière notion aurait été presque automatiquement associée à la démocratie directe et au suffrage universel, la première fournirait la justification théorique pour limiter la participation politique aux seules couches sociales supérieures. Ce dernier but a sans aucun doute été poursuivi par le Congrès national belge. Dans la discussion sur la souveraineté, les deux étaient considérés comme como hacerse botox en casa. Dans le contexte de la Révolution belge, dirigée contre le gouvernement autocrate du roi Guillaume I, cela est à peine surprenant.
Elle limitait expressément le pouvoir royal à une liste de domaines spécifiques. Tous les pouvoirs résiduels étaient désormais du ressort du parlement. Dans la pratique, le régime parlementaire a failli se réaliser pendant les premières décennies après la promulgation de la Constitution. Les débats menés dans les journaux confirment cette analyse. Vu les évènements révolutionnaires précédents, ils considéraient ce principe comme une évidence. Néanmoins, sa pertinence était vivement débattue par cette même presse.
De son côté, la presse radicale et démocratique était critique. Cette critique les a poussés à remettre en cause la légitimité du mandat du Congrès national et du Gouvernement Provisoire. Souveraineté nationale et souveraineté populaire étant pour eux synonymes, les deux concepts ne pouvaient pas, dans ce cas-ci, être considérés comme contraires. Artikel 25 van de Belgische Grondwet van bepaalt dat alle machten uitgaan van de Natie.
Over wie of wat de Natie precies is, zwijgt de Grondwet echter. Opvallend genoeg werd er in het Belgisch Nationaal Congres ook nauwelijks debat gevoerd over de kwestie, waardoor de precieze betekenis van de geproclameerde nationale soevereiniteit allesbehalve eenduidig is.
Hedendaagse handboeken grondwettelijk recht interpreteren haar onomwonden als tegenpool van de volkssoevereiniteit, waarbij ze zich laten inspireren door een invloedrijke traditie die beide concepten terugleidt tot twee elkaar uitsluitende politiek-theoretische stromingen.
Terwijl het laatste concept automatisch associaties met directe democratie en universeel stemrecht zou hebben opgeroepen, zou het eerste een vrijgeleide zijn geweest voor de beperking van de politieke participatie tot de maatschappelijke toplaag. Dit laatste doel werd ongetwijfeld nagestreefd door het Belgisch Nationaal Congres. Geen enkele afgevaardigde deed een oproep tot de invoering van het algemeen stemrecht of tot een andere aanzienlijke verruiming van de politieke participatie. Eerdere auteurs wezen er al op dat de precieze betekenis van deze termen in de politieke theorie aan het einde van de achttiende en het begin van de negentiende eeuw nog niet vastlag.
Ook in de debatten van het Nationaal Congres bleken ze in grote mate inwisselbaar: wanneer ze voorkwamen in combinatie met soevereiniteit, deden beide termen dienst als synoniem.
Meer nog, de politieke leiders van het moment aarzelden niet om artikel 25 uit te leggen als de proclamatie van de volkssoevereiniteit. De Congresleden en het Voorlopig Bewind beriepen zich uitdrukkelijk op hun door het volk verleende mandaat. In de context van de Belgische Revolutie, die gericht was tegen het als autocratisch ervaren bewind van koning Willem I, verbaast dit nauwelijks.
De Grondwet van kan gelezen worden als de antithese van Willems op het monarchale principe gestoelde regeersysteem. De koninklijke macht werd uitdrukkelijk beperkt tot de door de Grondwet vastgelegde domeinen. Alle residuele bevoegdheden waren voortaan het terrein van de volksvertegenwoordiging. Hoewel het zwaartepunt van de macht in de eerste decennia na de afkondiging van de Grondwet in de praktijk nog niet verschoof naar het parlement, kwam de soevereiniteit volgens deze regeling voortaan ondubbelzinnig van onderuit.
In die zin proclameerde het Congres met artikel 25 dus inderdaad de volkssoevereiniteit. De gelijktijdige beperking van de politieke participatie tot de elite via het cijnskiesrecht werd door de betrokkenen meestal niet als een contradictie ervaren.
Dit blijkt ook uit een analyse van de krantendebatten. Alle onderzochte kranten interpreteerden artikel 25 uitdrukkelijk als de proclamatie van de volkssoevereiniteit die ze, gezien de revolutionaire gebeurtenissen, als vanzelfsprekend beschouwden. Toch was het principe de inzet van verhitte debatten.
Een reactionair katholiek blad zoals de Luikse Courrier de le Meuse verwierp de volkssoevereiniteit omdat het haar beschouwde als een gevaarlijk en niet te realiseren principe, dat bovendien inging tegen de goddelijke soevereiniteit. Vooral in de radicale, democratisch gezinde pers klonk de kritiek echter hard. De manier waarop het in artikel 25 geproclameerde principe werd omgezet naar een kiesreglement, stootte bij hen op grote weerstand.
Terwijl de gematigde katholieke en liberale bladen het Congres steunden bij de invoering van het cijnskiesrecht, beschouwde de radicale pers deze als een onrechtmatige aantasting van de volkssoevereiniteit.
Deze kritiek leidde hen er zelfs toe om de legitimiteit van het mandaat van het Nationaal Congres en het Voorlopig Bewind in vraag te stellen.
Aangezien de radicale standpunten nauwelijks in het Congres waren vertegenwoordigd, vonden ze echter weinig weerklank. Als conclusie kan gelden dat, hoewel de nationale soevereiniteit in de Belgische Grondwet van geen eenduidige politiek-theoretische betekenis had, de opstellers ervan wél een duidelijk politiek systeem voor ogen stond.
Aangezien nationale soevereiniteit en volkssoevereiniteit voor de betrokkenen synoniem waren, kunnen beide concepten in dit geval niet worden beschouwd als elkaars tegendeel. Latere interpretaties hebben er een invulling aan gegeven die ze op het moment zelf nog niet hadden.
Zeker is echter dat, hoewel de oorsprong van de soevereiniteit door de grondwetgever overduidelijk in het volk werd gevestigd, er geen sprake van was om haar ook door het volk te laten uitoefenen. De inderhaast bijeengeroepen Congresleden hadden minder aandacht voor abstracte politiek-theoretische debatten dan voor het vestigen van de staatsmacht in handen van het antihollands gezinde deel van de sociaal-economische elite.
Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie oktober—november : tekst van haar notulen en ontstaan van de Belgische grondwet Bulletin des arrêtés et actes du Gouvernement Provisoire de la Belgique no. Huyttens, Discussions, vol. Magits, De Volksraad en de opstelling van de Belgische grondwet, ; Nothomb, Essai historique et politique sur la révolution belge We now know that every tempered monarchy is an almost continuous conflict between the two elements of supreme power.
Grenier, Examen du projet de constitution de la Belgique et idées sur une nouvelle forme de gouvernement. Demoulin attributes this motto to De Lamennais. Taking for granted that the powers are nothing without her, it is she who is entitled to instate them. National sovereignty must remain superior to ordinary power; but the Constitution must define what the nation is.
It is important to know which individuals make up the nation. Terms without a fixed meaning obscure the ideas and produce aberrations. Article 80 states that the delegates represent the nation, suggesting that the Senate does not. See also: Magits, De Volksraad, 8.
Descamps, La mosaïque constitutionnelle. Essai sur les sources du texte de la Constitution belge. Descamps, La mosaïque constitutionnelle51; Van den Steene, De grondwetscommissie When the institutions of a country are concerned, adventures are out of place. Huyttens, Discussionsvol. Gilissen, Die belgische Verfassung von Ihr Ursprung und ihr Einfluss, Idem, 59; Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie.
De Smaele, Eclectisch en toch nieuw. Tempels, Droit constitutionnel, Principe et droit positif Lefebvre, The Belgian Constitution of the Citizen Burgher90; Roels, Le concept de représentation politique au dix-huitième siècle français Alen, Treatise on Belgian Constitutional Law Defoort, Particularisme en eenheidsstreven. De Verenigde Nederlandse Staten. De Smaele, Eclectisch en toch nieuw; Stevens, Een belangrijke faze in de wordingsgeschiedenis van de Belgische grondwet: de optie voor een tweekamerstelsel.
En France Charte, art. Koll, Belgien, Lefebvre, The Belgian Constitution Ainsi en est-il en Belgique. Errera, Traité du droit public belge Alen, Treatise on Belgian Constitutional Law4. Alen, Treatise on Belgian Constitutional Law9.
Een blik op de intellectuele wortels van het Belgisch nationalisme; Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie Vile, Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers Of the 46, citizens who had the right to vote, 28, participated in the elections for the Congress: Magits, De Volksraad, See also: Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie, See also: Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie The nation has delegated the exercise of its full powers to the Congress.
All that emanates from the Congress must be considered to emanate from the nation itself. Its decision will therefore be obligatory for everyone. Le Courrier no. The Congress constitutes itself and it does so of its own accord.
Gilissen, Le caractère collégial, ; Huyttens, Discussions, vol. Gilissen, Le régime représentatif, Gilissen, Le régime représentatif79; Witte, De constructie, Nothomb, Essai historique For De Potter, see: De Potter et. The people has declared it via us. Interpreter of its wishes, the Provisional Government has called upon you, the men chosen by the Belgian Nation, to constitute this independence and to consolidate it forever.
But, in anticipation of your being able to come and fulfil this task, a centre of action was needed to foresee in the first, the most urgent needs of state. A Provisional Government has been created to temporarily make up for the absence of all power.
Especially De Potter feared that this move would thwart his plans for the foundation of a Belgian Republic, with himself as its first president. De Mulder, De republikeinse beweging, Firstly, in ordinary times, by the freely expressed approval of nations.
Secondly, in extraordinary times, by their tacit approval. I call extraordinary times those violent transitions when states pass from one form of existence to another, and during which nations take recourse to the imperious law of necessity for establishing order and security, for safeguarding states against the horrors of anarchy. All the publicists admit this law of necessity as the provisionally constitutive principle of home remedy for pigmentation around lips states.
The jurists categorise it under the causes of legal exemptions, and the moralists accept it as a sufficient reason to consider one exempted from the obligations imposed by human laws.
But this law of necessity has its rules and its limits, as all will agree. It is generally accepted that this law, originating from necessity, is nullified as soon as this necessity ceases to exist. It is an uncontested truth that our Provisional Government has been established under this law of necessity. It is equally true that it has received its mandate from the tacit approval of the Belgian Nation.
Livre minceur durable
But I consider it no less evident that this law has ceased to exist by the disappearance of its cause and that, since the moment of the verification of the powers of the members of the National Congress, the tacit approval by which the Belgian Nation had conferred the administration of its common caries dental definicion y clasificacion to the Provisional Government, is now void.
Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie Delegate François Pirson made a similar proposal in the discussion over national independence, Huyttens, Discussionsvol. In addition, several draft constitutions submitted to the Congress, by authors of diverging political persuasions, proposed to submit the Constitution to popular referendum. See: National Archives of Belgium, Gouv.
I, no. Den Antwerpenaer no. Den Antwerpenaer was a popular, democratic oppositional journal from Antwerp, expressing a liberal Catholic point of view. De Borger, Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van de Antwerpse pers. Repertorium, —, —; Witte, Het natiebegrip in het Zuidelijk krantendiscours aan de vooravond van de Belgische opstand augustus juni Leconte, La Réunion Centrale, club patriotique, révolutionnaire et républicain; WitteDe Belgische radicalen: brugfiguren in de democratische beweging — Geldhof, Een orangistisch rivaal van Alexander Rodenbach.
To it exclusively must the legislative power belong; all the particular wills must religiously obey the general will in whose name it speaks; and the law must be the object of a sacred cult. Gilissen, Le régime représentatif ; Magits, De Volksraad ; Nandrin, Le bicaméralisme belge et le Sénat en — fondements doctrinaux. See also: De Smaele, Omdat we uwe vrienden zijn.
Religie en partij-identificatie, — Opposite these fictions appears, ever menacing, the sovereignty of the people which, in extreme cases, comes and destroys them. Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie, On the absence of this principle in the Belgian Constitution: Errera, Traité du droit public It is true that a contract is established between him and the nation, but the Constitution is not the subject matter of that contract, it is the acceptance of the mandate conferred to him by the nation.
The mandator here is the collective being of the constituted nation. The acceptance cannot call into question the parts of the contract. Courrier de la Meuse no. The reactionary Courrier de la Meuse deplored this arrangement because the Courrier favored a strong position for the monarch. The newspaper represented the conservative, Catholic opposition in Liège. Among its collaborators was Etienne-Constantin de Gerlache. See: Capitaine, Bibliographie liégeoise.
Bivort, Constitution Belge expliquée et interprétée par les discussions du Pouvoir Législatif, les arrêts des cours supérieures de Belgique et les opinions des jurisconsultes14; Errera, Traité du droit public belge; Senelle, La Constitution belge commentée; Tempels, Droit constitutionnel, But it is possible that an election results in men being called to them who are of a party and not of the people which elects them.
In that case, the course of the head of state will be hindered, or else he will be obliged to act in a sense contrary to the general interest.
Ce veto est suspensif. Errera, Traité du droit public belge, Tempels plays down the importance of the absolute veto since its persistent use could only lead to anarchy. Lefebvre, The Belgian Constitution of Only one member of the Commission, Tielemans, voted for the republic. Tielemans was an ally of the republican revolutionary leader Louis de Potter. When his colleagues voted for the monarchy, he resigned from the Commission.
Two others members, Van Meenen and Nothomb, voted with the majority although they were of the opinion that the choice between a monarch and a republic should on principle be left to the Congress.
Gilissen, Le caractère collégial88; Nothomb, Essai De Dijn, In overeenstemming met onze zeden en gewoonten. De intellectuele context van de eerste Belgische constitutie — Banning, Histoire parlementaire depuis Lebeau, Observations sur le pouvoir royal ou examen de quelques questions relatives aux droits de la couronne dans les Pays Bas9.
I reject the republic, that dream of generous minds, because I think it is impracticable. Men elected by all the citizens whose social position gives them an interest in the maintenance and the progress of order and in general prosperity; men who represent all interests, and by these the nation; men who are bound by the principles consecrated by the Constitution.
A hereditary chief, it is true, and this chief may be vicious; but think of all the barriers that will surround his vices! Especially so when, by a pact consecrating the sovereignty of the people, the latter finds the guarantee of the contract not in the oath taken by the hereditary chief, but in the imperious line of duties which the monarch must follow, and in the ever prompt and active energy of the citizens to make him respect it.
Magits, De Volksraadxxxii; Witte, De constructie, Fishman, Diplomacy and Revolution. Except the legislative and constituent powers and the competence to appoint the head of state, which remained in the hands of the Congress. I hold my powers from the Congress and I have only received them to execute its laws. Wigny, Droit constitutionnel, See also Le Courrier de la Meuse no. Molitor, Réflexions sur la fonction royale In him, it takes form.
Moniteur belge no. The Moniteur was created as official newspaper on 16 June Els Witte, De Moniteur belge, de regering en het parlement tijdens het unionisme, — Le Belge no. Le Belge was a liberal oppositional newspaper with radical tendencies, based in Brussels.
Its editor, Adolphe Levae, was a sympathizer of Louis de Potter, who also published in it. Constant, Principes de politique, Sovereignty is composed of will and action.
The will is placed in the national representation, the execution in the ministry. The permanent power influences the will through the initiative and the veto, and through the dissolution of the elected Chamber; the execution through the choice of the ministers and the right of pardon.
How can one say that it has power, when its every faculty of action is forbidden without the approval of someone else? It imposes its exclusions and its choices on the King; so that in reality it elects the whole ministry, be it indirectly. Articles 63 and 64 stipulated the juridical responsibility of ministers, but not their political responsibility to Parliament.
Theorie en praktijk, — This fact tends to be overlooked in accounts that attribute a pivotal position to the Belgian Constitution in the turn from constitutional to parliamentary government. For examples of such accounts, see: Böckenförde, Der Verfassungstyp der deutschen konstitutionellen Monarchie im Jahrhundert; Fusilier, Les monarchies parlementaires.
Gilissen, Le régime représentatif Witte, De evolutie van de rol der partijen in het Belgische parlementaire regeringssysteem, Kirsch, Monarch und Parlament im Jahrhundert: der monarchische Konstitutionalismus als europäischer Verfassungstyp - Frankreich im Vergleich, Parliamentarism developed over time, resting on political custom as much as on constitutional provisions.
Senelle judges that Leopold, despite faithfully respecting the letter of the Constitution, manifestly overstepped the limits of the role intended for him by the Congress. Senelle, Le monarque constitutionnel en Belgique, Van den Wijngaert et al.
De Smaele, Omdat we uwe vrienden zijn Grenier, Examen du projet de constitution. Alen, Treatise on Belgian Constitutional Law, Le Progrès belge no. The people, being the sovereign, is the source of all powers of state. Stecher, Onpartydige volkshistorie des Belgische grondwet Sovereignty is divided between the King, the representatives of the people and the tribunals, in the way fixed by the Constitution.
Masson and Wiliquet, Manuel de droit constitutionnel Roels too, despite his otherwise faithful adherence to Carré de Malberg, recognises that the latter exaggerated this distinction. Roels, Le concept de représentation Space does not allow to do justice to this complicated subject matter here. Recueil des décrets du Congrès national de la Belgique et des arrêtés du pouvoir exécutif4th series, vol.
De Smaele, Politieke partijen in de Kamer, ; Witte, De evolutie van de rol der partijen in het Belgische parlementaire regeringssysteem; Van den Wijngaert, België en zijn koningen In the debates of the Dutch Estates General, the opposite was true.
Huygebaert, Les quatres libertés cardinales. De iconologie van pers, onderwijs, vereniging en geloof in België, als uitdrukking van een populariserende grondwetscultus vanaf ; Janssens, De Belgische natie viert.
Brunet, Vouloir pour la nation Idem, 31; Gilissen, Die belgische Verfassung von59; Marteel, Polemieken over natievorming, Hoogers, De verbeelding van het souvereine. Een onderzoek naar de theoretische grondslagen van politieke representatie It exercises this sovereignty by way of its representatives. Courrier de la Sambre no. The Courrier de la Sambre was the mouthpiece of the liberal, constitutional opposition in Namur.
Its editors were involved in the radical club Réunion patriotique de Namur, the reports of which it published. See: Doyen, Bibliographie namuroise, no. Courrier des Pays-Bas no.
The Courrier des Pays-Basbased in Brussels, was one of the leading liberal and anticlerical newspapers of the opposition against the regime of William I. On 1 Januarythe title of the newspaper changed into Le Courrier. Its existence is the most solemn, the most brilliant proof of the sovereignty of the people, the source and origin of all social power. Who will, in the presence of the Belgian Congress, persuade us that kings hold their powers directly from God, and not from the will of peoples?
Its contributors moved in the circles of radical thinkers and revolutionaries such as Buonarroti and De Potter. Its principle editor was the republican delegate to the National Congress De Robaulx.
Kuypers, Les égalitaires en Belgique. It will be the seed of its death, and consequently the cause of new upheavals. Le Vrai Patriote no. It systematically criticised the Provisional Government and favoured the return of the Nassau dynasty. Wouters, De Brusselse radikale pers, But sovereignty is not in the powers, it is in the nation. The powers, far from being sovereign, are bound by the Constitution, which is the veritable act of sovereignty.
Quoted in: Courrier de la Sambre no. We are now outside of the legal order. The principle which has triumphed in September is that of consented association. The people elects them by not overthrowing them. But from whom do they take these rights? From us, the electors. But from whom do we, electors, take ours rights? From the Provisional Government. Dujardin further expounded his opinion in a separately published brochure: Dujardin, La Belgique au 16 octobre See also: Magits, De Volksraad Magits, De Volksraad; Nothomb, Essai It has abused its powers so as to rob nine tenths of the nation of its powers.
With Els Witte, we count as radicals those who contested the social inequality upon which the power position of the bourgeoisie was based. This heterogeneous group of people shared the common goal of striving for the introduction of democratic and social reforms, usually via parliamentary action. For the radical press, which was often of a republican persuasion, see: Vermeersch, De structuur van de Belgische pers, —, — and Wouters, De Brusselse radikale pers.
For Tielemans, see: Freson, J. Tielemans; Van den Steene, De Belgische grondwetscommissie18— Witte, De Belgische radicalen, When a state is being reconstructed, every citizen has the right to contribute to the formation of the Constitution which is going to govern him. If he is being denied this right, he preserves the right to protest against the anti-popular piece of work which a failed representation may produce, as well as the right to express his wishes and to declare his will by another means than the one from which he has illegally been excluded.
III, no. See also: Leconte, La Réunion Centrale, Descamps, La mosaïque. De Smaele highlights the resulting eclecticism of the Constitution, calling it a mixture of elements from the liberal and republican traditions.
Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. National Sovereignty in the Belgian Constitution of On the Meaning s of Article Open Access. First Online: 19 August Download chapter PDF. Introduction On 27 October the Constitutional Commission, instated by the Belgian Provisional Government, finished its activities. Grenier, an otherwise unknown author, was only one of many Belgian citizens who took to the press to express his views on the draft Constitution. The nation no longer wished to share sovereignty with a monarchial power, he contended, because the perpetual combat between the two elements undermined the order of the state.
Therefore, only the delegates of the sovereign nation, united in the Chamber of Representatives, were to make laws under the new Constitution.
Grenier criticised the draft Constitution for being ambiguous on this point, and for including a Senate which, being composed of hereditary members, would infringe on the free exercise of power by the sovereign nation. Parliament as the Sole Representative of the Nation Like most of the articles of the Belgian Constitution, article 25 was not newly invented. The Congress members were fully aware of their quality of representatives of the people, in whose name they spoke and acted.
The newspaper Le Courrier wrote: … la décision du congrès constituera pour tous une loi souveraine, un arrêt sans appel. The Congress jealously guarded its position as the only legitimate authority on the grounds of its direct election by the people. The Congress followed this reasoning.
The eldest member, the journalist and revolutionary hero Louis de Potter, delivered a speech in which he justified the coming to power of the Provisional Government by its endeavours to protect the Belgian Revolution as well as by the consent of the people. However, the question of legitimacy continued to produce bouts of distrust towards the Provisional Government on the part of the National Congress.
Tellingly, it refused to accept the draft Constitution drawn up by the Constitutional Commission. Out of the same concern of safeguarding its position as the sole representative of the nation, the Congress rejected the idea of submitting the new Constitution, or parts of it, to popular referendum.
In the republican political club Reunion Centrale77 a speech against the Senate and the royal veto was delivered by Joseph-Ferdinand Toussaint, a clerk of the Provisional Government with Saint-Simonian sympathies. Within the Congress too, the proposed Senate met with fierce resistance. Unicameralism was one of the most conspicuous elements of the counterproposal launched by Joseph Forgeur and his associates. The debates of the Congress time and again pointed at a conception of sovereignty where the nation governs itself through its representatives.
The question of sovereignty most explicitly surfaced in the debate over the form of state. Both were treated as mutually exclusive entities. The citation indicates that only the chambers were considered to represent the nation, and that the latter was conceptually different from the head of state. Also, it confirms the interpretation of the nation as a last resort, since the chambers were, by their control over the budget, able to block any unwanted initiative of the executive, even when it stemmed from the royal prerogatives.
Article 80 stated that the King only takes function after having sworn loyalty to the Constitution in the presence of the united chambers. Since the King was only vested with his constitutional powers on the moment of taking the oath, periods of interregnum occurred every time between the death of the reigning monarch and the taking of the oath by his successor. However, this interpretation seems to be invalidated by the establishment of the absolute royal veto. Article 69 stated that the King sanctions and promulgates the laws.
Since he cannot be forced to sign the laws presented to him by the chambers, this arrangement amounts to the absolute royal veto in legislative matters. The Congress debates shed a different light on the question. The veto was not being discussed as a reinforcement of royal power, but as a safeguard of the will of the nation.
Clearly, the majority in Congress was satisfied with the reasoning developed by Raikem in the report of the Central Section on the powers of the head of state. By making the veto suspensive, the monarch would in effect be deprived of his share in the legislative power, thus turning it into the exclusive terrain of the chambers. The republican priest Désiré de Haerne admonished his fellow delegates that a constitutional monarchy was nothing but a republic in disguise.
It would prove unstable, since a monarch would not sit easy with the sovereignty of the people upon which the system was based. Whereas the republican delegates warned against the struggle for power that was to result from the cohabitation of popular sovereignty and monarchy, the majority believed that the two could coexist in harmony.
As Wyvekens put it A republican system, it was feared, would entail continual power struggles between parties and ambitious individuals.
Presidential elections especially were dreaded. Monarchist delegates depicted them as recurring moments of profound crisis. The passions and rivalries they unleashed threatened to undermine the state in its very existence. The choice for a hereditary head of state would prevent these disorders, on the condition that its powers were clearly circumscribed by the Constitution. The proof of the republican foundations was that the monarch received his mandate from the people via its representatives in Congress.
According to the monarchist delegate Leclercq, the essence of the system consisted in the people making its own laws, and in the power of the monarch as the head of the executive being clearly circumscribed by the Constitution and being subject to ministerial responsibility: Qui fait les lois dans une monarchie constitutionnelle représentative?
Even when the head of state proved vicious, his vices were safely surrounded by unshakeable constitutional barriers. Another description of the system was provided by Viscount Hippolyte Vilain XIIII in a brochure he published shortly before the meeting of the Congress, to which he was subsequently elected. For Vilain XIIII, constitutional monarchies were characterised by their combination of republican customs and monarchical calm.
The vigilance of the Belgian people would make sure to remind the future monarch of his duties laid down in the Constitution.
The function of head of state was entrusted to a Regent in the person of Baron Erasme-Louis Surlet de Chokier, who had until that time acted as president of the Congress. Thus, the Constitution was fully operative several months before Leopold of Saxe-Coburg was elected King. His candidature was agreed to on the condition of his full acceptance of the Constitution drawn up by the Congress.
Leopold indeed only grudgingly accepted the Constitution. Le Belge wrote: … il faut aussi que le prince, que le choix du congrès appela à régner sur nous, se pénètre de la grande vérité si souvent répétée et presque toujours inutilement: les rois sont faits pour les peuples, et non les peuples pour les rois. For him to be able to do so, the heredity principle was considered an essential prerequisite.
It was often repeated that, in order to survive, every state organisation must contain elements of both movement and stability. The permanent character of royal power was necessary to counterbalance the volatility and changeability of the elected chambers, since instability was harmful to the State. Thus, the monarch was granted a share in sovereignty, but exclusively by delegation, and on the conditions stipulated by the nation and listed in the Constitution.
The same idea underlies the intervention of De Theux de Meylandt, who spoke of It was however impossible for the monarch to use these powers autonomously. Lebeau went on to say that the Council of Ministers itself was controlled by the Parliament. Even if few speakers went as far as Lebeau, it is clear from the debates that the King was expected to act in accordance with the will of Parliament.
Lebeau for example used the argument to cut down the discussion over the royal prerogatives. A False Opposition In spite of its underdetermined formulation, article 25 can thus safely be said to proclaim national sovereignty in the sense of sovereignty from below. Although it may have been clear to all that the nation was the ultimate source of legitimacy and that the members of Parliament represented it at the exclusion of the Kingthe article did not specify of whom the sovereign nation was composed, nor who was entitled to membership.
The oldest constitutional manual, the Manuel constitutionnel de la Belgique published in Aprilproclaimed The same stance was taken in a liberally inspired article published in the Catholic Journal historique et littéraire in Docquier defined the Nation as Later in the century, a very different sound was heard in the work of Masson and Wiliquet : Le gouvernement de la Belgique est essentiellement démocratique, la Constitution le déclare nettement: tous les pouvoirs émanent de la nation Const.
De Gerlache was not just anybody.
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He had been president of both the Constitutional Commission and the National Congress. His brochure was aimed against the new tendency of one party governments that put an end to almost two decades of unionism in Belgian politics. Most Catholics deplored this evolution.
They saw parliamentarism as a threat to national unity and to the preservation of conservatism. In the National Congress there was no trace of a theoretical distinction between both kinds of sovereignty. Along with Montesquieu, the political scientist most cited in its midst was Benjamin Constant, who himself was influenced by Sieyès. In other words, in the language of political theory of the day, and contrary to later interpretations, popular sovereignty did not equate to universal suffrage.
The same is evidently true for the Belgian National Congress. It seems logical to assume that the lack of debate over the theoretical nature of sovereignty in the Congress reflected, among other things, a tacit common opinion over its practical manifestation. After all, article 25 merely indicated the nation as the source of sovereignty, leaving open every option as to the modalities of political participation.
It is true that all its talk of popular sovereignty did not prevent the Congress from carefully restricting political rights. Not a single call for universal suffrage was heard in the assembly room. Much as the National Congress recognised the people as the source of all legitimate authority, it had no intentions of letting the voice of the people dictate politics.
The Congress was a socially conservative body. The delegates held clear views on who was to represent the nation and who was not. The Constitutional Commission had proposed to fix the property requirements for the franchise by ordinary law. Delegate Eugène Defacqz, however, successfully proposed to include these requirements in the Constitution itself, so as to ensure their permanent character.
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Defacqz even motivated his proposal by a concern to stave off calls for universal suffrage in the future. By the introduction of direct election, the nation would finally have real representatives as opposed to the indirectly elected members of the Estates General under the Dutch regime. Regardless of their political inclination, they interpreted it as the proclamation of popular sovereignty. The radical Courrier de la Sambre defined nation as However, the exact meaning of popular sovereignty was a source of controversy.
The concept was explicitly discussed by journalists and led to sharp disputes between rival newspapers. The Courrier de la Meusewhile supporting the Revolution, deplored the course taken by the Congress.
While it recognised that the Revolution had been driven by the popular principle, it fiercely opposed turning it into a principle of government. What the newspaper feared above all was the reign of the populace: … la souveraineté des rues, souveraineté terrible, brusque, aveugle, sourde, cruelle et inexorable.
Following the newspaper, the principle of popular sovereignty was not only dangerous, but also impracticable. Whichever political regime would be instated by the Constitution, it would never fully conform to the implications of article The newspaper arrived at this conclusion by its identification of sovereignty with the actual exercise of power.
While it did approve of the idea that every power needed to rest on the consent of popular opinion, it rejected as impossible the idea of entrusting the exercise of power to the entire people. This would require a distribution of power among all citizens, which meant its annihilation altogether. In every society, power is held by a limited group of people who command, while the rest of the population obeys. The newspaper went on to observe that even the National Congress, by its own composition, contravened the popular principle it so proudly proclaimed.
Far from taking its mandate from the hands of the entire people, it took it from the infinitesimal minority that had been allowed to vote. Le Vrai Patriote accused it of confusing the origin and the exercise of power. It considered popular sovereignty to be self-evident because a government only exists where a people exists, and a people always has the power to change its mandataries. However, this by no means implied the establishment of pure democracy.
The Courrier de la Meuse could not be convinced. Its fears were made worse by the composition of the National Congress, which it judged to be all too democratic.
Already sovereignty was fatally divided among so many electors and so many Congress delegates. Furthermore, the new Constitution accorded a far too preponderant position to the Chamber of Representatives, at the expense of the monarch. Soon afterwards, however, a new legitimation was needed.
Violent actions in the streets of Brussels led to the creation of new forms of authority alongside the official ones. As the Belgian protests started to resemble a proper rebellion, the government denounced them as illegal. Towards the end of September, Dutch troops violently clashed with an improvised army of insurrectionists on the streets of Brussels, sparking general rebellion against the Dutch government.
The killing of Belgian citizens by the Dutch troops was presented as a final attack on the Belgian Nation by which the Dutch government forfeited its remaining claims to legitimate authority. As Dutch authority was eroded, the Provisional Government filled the void. The Provisional Government could not by right claim to represent the nation. They did however show a measure of distrust towards this non-elected authority. The mandate of the Constitutional Commission in particular was a matter of debate in the press, just as it was in the Congress.
The most radical protest was indeed heard on the left side of the ideological spectrum. The Courrier de la Sambre put into doubt the mandate of the Congress on the same grounds. La souveraineté de la Nation dans la Constitution belge de Nationale soevereiniteit in de Belgische Grondwet van Over de betekenis sen van artikel 25 Artikel 25 van de Belgische Grondwet van bepaalt dat alle machten uitgaan van de Natie. Harris, European Liberalism in the Nineteenth Century, Ganshof Van der Meersch and Vanwelkenhuyzen, La constitution belge, Gilissen, Le caractère collégial, Magits, De Volksraad.
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Paris: Eymery. Cordewiener, André. Etude de la presse liégeoise de à et répertoire général. De Borchgrave, Emile. Nothomb Jean-Baptiste, baron. In Biographie nationalevol. De Borger, Henri. Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van de Antwerpse pers. Repertorium, — De Dijn, Annelien.
In overeenstemming met onze zeden en gewoonten. Bijdragen en Mededelingen tot de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden 1 : 25— In French : before-meal drink, not necessary followed by a meal. Cornerstone of French sociability. In French, also fishbone; edge of a polyhedron or graph; bridge of the nose. Often redundantly formulated, as in 'Open-faced steak sandwich, served with au jus. Occasionally corrupted to Bookoo, typically in the context of French influenced by Vietnamese culture.
Common uses of this word are in the phrases the belle of the ball the most beautiful woman or girl present at a function and southern belle a beautiful woman from the southern states of the US belles-lettres literally "fine letters"; literature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content; also, light, stylish writings, usually on literary or intellectual subjects bien fait!
Commonly implies willful blindness to dangers or suffering faced by others. The noun form bien-pensance is rarely seen in English. The word used to refer to shopkeepers living in towns in the Middle Ages. Now the term is derogatory, and it applies to a person whose beliefs, attitudes, and practices are conventionally middle-class. For brown-haired man, French uses brun and for a woman brune. Also means "desk" in French.
Ceux qui rient le vendredi, pleureront le dimanche Those who laugh on Friday will cry on Sunday. Often referred as simply "les Champs". In French, chapeau is also an expression of congratulations similar to the English "hats off to No known etymology, though it was already used in the 13th century in the Roman de la rose.
In French, always spelt cinq. In France, used for an airline pilot le commandant de bordin the Army as appellative for a chef de bataillon or a chef d'escadron roughly equivalent to a major or in the Navy for any officer from capitaine de corvette to capitaine de vaisseau equivalent to the Army's majors, lieutenant-colonels and colonels or for any officer heading a ship.
In French, usu. Frequently pronounced without the final "s" sound by English speakers who believe that any such sound at the end of a French word is supposed to be silent. It appears on a scroll beneath the shield of the coat of arms of the United Kingdom. A person responsible for the operation of a cycling team during a road bicycle race. In French, it means any kind of sports director. The actual French term for this hypothetical custom is droit de cuissage from cuisse 'thigh'.
Conspicuous success. More literally, a side dish that can be served between the courses of a meal. Often used in connection with a military force. French for "study". Je m'appelle your nameEt toi? A done deal. Used to describe an attractive woman with whom a relationship is likely to result, or has already resulted, in pain and sorrow feuilleton "little leaf of paper" : a periodical, or part of a periodical, consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the latest fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles.
Also used colloquially in reference to something on fire or burned. Guignol can be used in French to describe a ridiculous person, in the same way that clown might be used in English.
I love to the full extent. From adouber, to dub the action of knighting someone Jacques Bonhomme a name given to a French peasant as tamely submissive to taxation.
Also the pseudonym of the 14th century peasant leader Guillaume Caillet je m'appelle my name is Implies "I like you" too. In order to differentiate the two, one would say simply "je t'aime" to one's love whereas one would say "je t'aime bien" lit.
I love you well to a friend. Today used for any offspring living an affluent lifestyle. In France, where the concept originated, it means an absence of religious interference in government affairs and government interference in religious affairs.
But the concept is often assimilated and changed by other countries. For example, in Belgium, it usually means the secular-humanist movement and school of thought.
The phrase is the shortcut of Laissez faire, laissez passer, a doctrine first supported by the Physiocrats in the 18th century. The motto was invented by Vincent de Gournay, and it became popular among supporters of free-trade and economic liberalism. It is also used to describe a parental style in developmental psychology, where the parent s does not apply rules nor guiding. Also the namesake of the winner of the Preakness. Often used as a sarcastic reply in French, in order to close the debate by feigning to agree.
Also used as a title, equivalent to Mr. Originally an English phrase, now also used in France nouveau new nouveau riche newly rich, used in English to refer particularly to those living a garish lifestyle with their newfound wealth.
Used for stating a new way or a new trend of something. Originally marked a new style of French filmmaking in the late s and early s, reacting against films seen as too literary whereas the phrase "new wave" is used in French to qualify some '80's music, such as Depeche Mode.
The meaning is broader in French, it means by plane in general. It's actually the phonetic form of the French word "parcours", which means "route".
Quatorze juillet "14th July" Bastille Day. The beginning of the French Revolution in ; used to refer to the Revolution itself and its ideals. It is the French National Day.
What a horrible thing! RSVP Please reply. The term was later used about other royalty who had been made powerless, also in other countries, but lost its meaning when parliamentarism made all royals powerless.
Very dated in France and rarely heard. Also pejorative in the phrase meurtre de sang-froid "cold-blooded murder". In modern use: holding strong republican views. Used as a pragmatic response to an accident. Equivalent to the English "every man for himself". A typical phrase using this concept would translate directly to "Thanks to System D, I managed to fix this cupboard without the missing part. The meaning is broader in French : all type of board chalkboard, whiteboard, notice board Refers also to a painting see tableau vivant, below or a table chart.
Also refers in French, when plural "les toilettes"to the toilet room. Unique is considered a paradigmatic absolute and therefore something cannot be very unique.
Go Ahead! Used to encourage someone pronounced vah-zee va-t'en! Roughly equivalent to idiomatic English get lost or get out. From "vis" conjugated form of "voir", to see.
In French, it's also a real estate vocabulary word meaning that your windows and your neighbours' are within sighting distance more precisely, that you can see inside of their home. Unlike "viva" or "vivat", it cannot be used as such, it needs a complement. In French, it is a rude and cheesy pick-up line "coucher" is vulgar in French. There is an album by Frank Zappa titled Zoot Allures. Jean, played by Kenan Thompson. Also, there are those which, even though they are grammatically correct, are not used as such in French or do not have the same meaning.
In French, means a funny or ridiculous clothing; often a weird disguise or a getup, though it can be said also for people with bad taste in clothing. In French it has both a broader and more specific meaning.
In French : an artist. Can be used ironically for a person demonstrating little professional skills or passion. The English connotation derives from French film theory.