Aspects "progressistes" de la constitution sicilienne de 1812 dans le cadre du liberalisme européen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[automatically translated] The research, by studying the memoirs, journals, archival documents and manuscripts kept in the Public Library of Palermo, the Central Library of the Sicilian Region and private archives, is to explore innovative aspects of liberalism Sicilian in the European context by highlighting the trial that took place in Sicily on the Constitution of Cadiz and the reasons that led the Sicilian aristocracy choosing the bicameral constitutional British model rather than the more democratic constitution of the Spanish period . Much attention will be devoted to the two phases of the activity of the Sicilian constituent. The first - from 18 June to 19 July 1812 - is the year in which the foundations of the constitution are discussed and approved. In the second - July 20 to 3 November - was prepared and approved the text of the Constitution written by Paul Balsamo in three months. Parliament was divided, according to the British model, in two chambers: the House of Lords (Upper) with the nobility and the clergy, and the House of Commons (elected). The myth of the British Constitution was actually an image that was used in the fight against Napoleon and the ambition of a Mediterranean commonwealth of England. The need to address the Napoleonic despotism and expansion has pushed the British institutional action in Sicily. To revitalize the role of Parliament, he had a body that was able to exercise strict control over the despotic tendencies of the Bourbon kings. In fact, the comparative analysis between the Sicilian constitution of 1812 and the constitutions of the Napoleonic Italy wants to emphasize the difference Sicilian institutions the British model. The exact division of powers, for example, would be of French origin, but with mediation of the Constitution of Cadiz Would the guarantees of individual freedom, the responsibility of ministers and officials responsible to Parliament. As in the text of Cadiz, the Sicilian Constitution has no statement of principle of natural rights, but the constituents, with echoes of the English and North American constitutionalism gave guarantees of individual rights. The research will focus on the "progressive" aspects of the Sicilian constitution, developing - through the study of parliamentary debates and news Palermo - the reasons that led, for example, to include public education and vaccination against smallpox among the duties of fathers towards their children, qualifications for active and passive electorate and to be part of the same councils. And therefore the duty of all citizens to know the constitution. The choice of English model, commonly attributed to William Bentinck, was also wanted by Ferdinand IV and his son Francis, interested in the British model that seemed to better ensure the rights of the Crown. Consider, for example, the principle of the King in Parliament, that is to say, the involvement of the sovereign in the legislative function, as a principle which does has never been implemented by the Sicilian model, which will have a weak executive and hostage Parliamentary initiative, inability to present a budget proposal, or to propose mediation rules eg on primogeniture. Moreover, unlike the British constitutionalism, the Chamber of Pairs is not able to intervene on the law with amendments or alternative proposals to the House of Commons. Search through the literary and bibliographical sources indicated above, will also examine the real matric unlike the British constitutionalism, the Chamber of Pairs is not able to intervene on the law with amendments or alternati
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationLas Cortes de Cadiz y la Historia Parlamentaria
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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