Constitutional law and states 2 –

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Basic information to constitutional law, for example wherewithal constitutional law occupies with or which systems of government exist.


Functions of the state

There are many different political, religious, philosophical and other theories to give reasons why there are states and which functions they have.

An important theorie means that states are emergency and protective associations of humans, who offer each other order and security as well as social security.

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Origin and decline of states


The question of the origin of states is connected closely with the justification of states. There is the opinion that states developed gradually from smaller groups such as families, kinships or tribes.

Another opinion finds that state power (the right of the most powerful) plays a main role in the origin of states.

States also can result from agreements between already existing states, for example the agreement about the union of several existing states to a new state.

It is not necessary for the origin of a state that it is accepted by other states or by the UN. However a state does not stand alone, but always in a connection with other states and here good relations, which are expressed also by an acknowledgement, are advantageous.

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States decline, if at least one of the characteristics of a state specified above is omitted.

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Systems of government

In their constitutional structure states can be subdivided. Here are the most important subdivisions in constitutional law:

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According to the owners of the authority of the state

that means according to the criterion, how many persons are owners of the authority of the state:

Monocracy one person
Aristocracy A privileged group, for example nobility
Democracy the people (today the most frequent type of state)

Monocracies and aristocracies are called dictatorships in title.

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According to the head of state

that means who represents the state according to international law

Monarchy Head of state takes his office lifelong, usually by succession, for example Great Britain

There are different types of monarchies:

  • Absolute monarchy
    only the monarch has the government authority
  • constitutional monarchy
    the government authority of the monarch is limited by a constitution
  • parliamentary monarchy
    the people has the government authority, the main function of the monarch is to represent the state 
Republic Head of state takes his office by election and can be replaced if necessary by another person with the next election, for example Germany, France

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According to the national organization

Unity state Centralization of the government authority at one level, for example France
Federal State Government authority is divided between the whole state and federal states, for example Germany

From the Federal State differs the confederation of states:

In a confederation of states only the individual states have state character, not the entire thing (for example German Federation, 1815). In the Federal State both, the federal states and the whole state have state character.

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