A comparative survey of the emergence and development of Parliaments in Catholic Christendom from the thirteenth century, the chief focus of this work is the period between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries,when Europe was dramatically changed by the Renaissance, the Reformation and the growth of composite monarchies which brought together diverse territories under their rule. European Parliaments experienced a variety of challenges, fortunes and fates: some survived, even flourished, but others succumbed to powerful monarchies. By investigating the powers and privileges and responsibilities of these institutions, Graves illuminates the whole business of government - the nature of executive power, the relations of ruler and ruled, the restraints of consent, and the realities of the tension between central authority and local custom.
Introduction PART ONE THE PARLIAMENTARY STORY 1. The Origin and Growth of European Parliaments until the Fifteenth Century 2. Parliaments in a Time of Change: Europe in the Fifteenth Century 3. Religious Reformation and Political Change, War and Rebellion: Their impact on Parliaments in the Sixteenth Century: I 4. Religious Reformation and Political Change, War and Rebellion: Their impact on Parliaments in the Sixteenth Century: II 5. Mixed Fortunes of Seventeenth-century Parliaments: Eclipse, Survivla and Triumph PART TWO THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EARLY MODERN PARLIAMENTS 6. Representation and Membership 7. Business and the Manner of its Transaction 8. Reflections on Counsel and Consent Index