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Burgdorf, Wolfgang (2018): Proto-constitutionalism - The Imperial Constitution in the Electoral Capitulations and Basic Law Guarantees. In: German History, Vol. 36, No. 3: pp. 415-431
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Abstract

The electoral capitulations of the Old German Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, were formulated by the electors and the elected Emperors had to commit themselves to their observance before their coronation. For the constitutional lawyers of the early modern period, they were 'the quintessence of all imperial laws' and the German 'Magna Carta'. Owing to the electoral capitulations, many elements were introduced into the constitution of the Old Empire from 1519 that would later be found in constitutional constitutions, such as a catalogue of fundamental rights. It is therefore justified to speak of proto-constitutionalism with reference to the Old Empire.