This chapter focuses on limiting sovereignty. If unlimited sovereignty once looked plausible, even inviting, as a strategy for securing social order, the chapter reveals how the acts of the Stuart monarchs had made it look repellent. Strictly speaking, no European state ever attained full sovereignty as described by the classic theories. But efforts by some state actors to pursue such sovereignty inspired their opponents not just to rethink the theory, but also to engineer actual limits on political authority. In addition, the chapter turns to the American example—particularly on its applications of constitutional limits and restraints to sovereignty, and how these bear upon the classic theory.
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