Outside the Royal Domain: What Else the English Crown Possessed Under the Early Stuarts
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Outside the Royal Domain: What Else the English Crown Possessed Under the Early Stuarts
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Sergey Fyodorov 
Affiliation: Saint-Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
Anastasia Palamarchuk
Affiliation: Saint-Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
The history of the “Great contract” — a program of financial and administrative reform that had been intensively discussed but never done is an indicative episode in formation of the unique British form of “Etat moderne”. Among other issues, this special regional variant was closely connected with the process of estrangement and subsequent centralization of domainial and prerogative finances of the Crown. It caused a gradual elimination of cameral administration and transformation of the royal service into exclusively civil institution. If under the Tudors both immediate revenue from the Royal lands and proceeds from the Crown’s prerogative rights were seen as an integral complex, then under the Stuarts, an attempt to systematize mechanisms of collection and distribution of non-domanial revenues caused their separation and consequent autonomy. Debates over “The Great Contract” demonstrated that the realm of non-domanial revenues might be a self-contained subject for public discussion or administrative manipulation but only while the legitimate rights of the English monarch were still untouched. It is referred to a gradual separation of the income earned within the Royal domain lands from “alienable” part of the royal revenue, i.e. exploitation of the Crown prerogative rights. The authors are trying to analyze two variants of the proposed financial reform. The first one was submitted by King James I himself; the next one by Robert Cecil, his secretary of State. The underlying reasons that led to the failure of the Great Contract are reconstructed. At the same time the very form of the Etat’s modern formation as well as mechanisms of its self-representation are perceived by the authors as even more important than the process on its own accord. During debates on “The Great Contract” the Parliament showed its commitment to traditionally medieval concept of “contract” (perceived as a free gift of the community of the realm to its supreme head).
The Great contract, Etat moderne, royal finance, The Exchequer, Robert Cecil, James I Stuart, England
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