Moravské stavovství a zemské sněmy ve druhé polovině 17. století
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THE MORAVIAN ESTATES AND PROVINCIAL DIETS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 17TH CENTURY
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The subject of the 17th and 18th century estates was not a frequent issue in the past. Most of the essays stemmed from a deeply theoretical framework (i.e. inter-pretation of the Renewed Land Ordinance). The situation has only changed over the past few years, when several valuable works on comparison of the estates’ repre-sentations of Bohemian and Austrian Lands appeared. The study presents an analysis of the Moravian estate diet, captures politically active components of the resident estate society and outlines its internal heterogeneity on an example of several inter-estate conflicts. Moravian estate councils performed significant tasks in the land’s administration even in the post-1628 period. Due to the Renewed Land Ordinance, the Bohemian and Moravian estates lost their status of a powerful organ, which they had occupied in the former dualist monarchy. On the other hand, absence of a functional lower-level royal administration structure turned the diets into unsubstitutable organs integrally embedded in the overall administration system of the monarchy. Numerous transformations in the estate diets’ operations suggest a transition from opposing political institutions to administrative elements: i.e. the regularity of sessions, their increased duration and orientation to factual administrative issues. However, the partnership between estates and the sovereign ruler did not turn provincial diets into passive institutions without their own standpoints. This fact is well documented by increased duration of councils prompted by the estates’ resistance to the ruler’s requirements. What remains an issue for further research is the consecutive activity of estate organisations, which were derived from the diets (i.e. commissions, committees, etc.) in a large variety of elements, and the form of their interaction with the ruling establishment. Although interest in regular participation in the prolonged councils dropped sharply, it did not utterly corrode the benefits of the estates’ policies, which only affected the top levels of the Moravian society (the princedom). Despite the dictate of the Renewed Land Ordinance, the inwardly much differentiated estates, dominated by their counts’ members, managed to maintain the principal word in the country. Career in Moravian estate offices represented an adequate life path for Moravian counts and barons. However, their permanent occupancy presented a severe problem. The estates’ ecclesiastical representation was formed by several traditional subjects – despite the political and property advancement of the clerics, the personal composition of the order remained largely unchanged. Participation of politically 165 active knights was, however, restricted to lower estate offices; after 1620, the influence of burghers was entirely marginalized. Conflicts between individual estates, which occurred throughout the 17th century, bear witness to the internal heterogeneity of the estates and symbolize an unbroken continuation of internal political controversy of estates from previous periods. The method of solving these conflicts, in which court institutions only rarely interfered, is evident in maintaining the estates’ decision-taking autonomy within the centralised “absolute” monarchy.
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