Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=177088
 


 



The Trial of Charles I: A Sesquitricentennial Reflection


Louis J. Sirico Jr.


Villanova University School of Law


Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 16, P. 51, 1999

Abstract:     
In 1649, Charles I, England's second Stuart king, became the only English ruler to be tried and beheaded. His ordeal illustrates what happens when revolutionaries attempt to use the traditional legal process to overthrow the political order. Charles's opponents--Oliver Cromwell's army and its Puritan allies--believed they could not execute a hereditary monarch unless they attempted to follow acceptable legal proceedings. Therefore, they created a kangaroo court that tried Charles by mimicking a formal trial. Their elaborate impersonation of the rule of law resolutely failed. According to Charles, the court's creators wrongfully claimed the power to alter the kingdom's constitutional structure and consequently threatened all English citizens. The king thus correctly identified the impossible predicament of his opponents: they sought consistency with the existing political system and paradoxically claimed that it was illegitimate. The Framers of America's constitution were familiar with Charles' trial and understood that without a constitution, liberty would be in danger. They tried to create a political order that could deal with the dangers arising from civil disruption.

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: September 6, 1999  

Suggested Citation

Sirico, Louis J., The Trial of Charles I: A Sesquitricentennial Reflection. Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 16, P. 51, 1999. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=177088

Contact Information

Louis J. Sirico Jr. (Contact Author)
Villanova University School of Law ( email )
299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
United States
610-519 7071 (Phone)
610-519 6282 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 574

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 1.375 seconds