Timeline - Chronology of Sovereignty

1380, 1400
Around c. 1380–1400, the issue of feminine sovereignty was addressed in Geoffrey Chaucer's Middle English collection of Canterbury Tales, specifically in The Wife of Bath's Tale.

1400, 1499, 1500, 1599
The classification of these modes originally derived from Roman property law and from the 15th and 16th century with the development of international law.

A later English Arthurian romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell (c. 1450), uses many of the same elements of the Wife of Bath's tale, yet changes the setting to the court of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

1500, 1599
Sovereignty reemerged as a concept in the late 16th century, a time when civil wars had created a craving for stronger central authority, when monarchs had begun to gather power onto their own hands at the expense of the nobility, and the modern nation state was emerging.

In his 1576 treatise Les Six Livres de la République ("Six Books of the Republic") Bodin argued that it is inherent in the nature of the state that sovereignty must be:

In 1607 its Grand masters were also made Reichsfürst (princes of the Holy Roman Empire) by the Holy Roman Emperor, granting them seats in the Reichstag, at the time the closest permanent equivalent to a UN-type general assembly; confirmed 1620).

Sovereignty in years

Sovereignty in years

Following the Thirty Years' War, a European religious conflict that embroiled much of the continent, the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 established the notion of territorial sovereignty as a norm of noninterference in the affairs of other nations, so-called Westphalian sovereignty, even though the actual treaty itself reaffirmed the multiple levels of sovereignty of the Holy Roman Empire.

Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan (1651) arrived a conception of sovereignty similar to Bodin's, which had just achieved legal status in the "Peace of Westphalia", but for different reasons.

1712, 1778
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (1712–1778) definition of popular sovereignty (with early antecedents in Francisco Suárez's theory of the origin of power), provides that the people are the legitimate sovereign.

The second book of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Du Contrat Social, ou Principes du droit politique (1762) deals with sovereignty and its rights.

1790, 1859
Within the modern governmental system, internal sovereignty is usually found in states that have public sovereignty and rarely found within a state controlled by an internal sovereign. A form of government that is a little different from both is the UK parliament system. From 1790 to 1859 it was argued that sovereignty in the UK was vested neither in the Crown nor in the people but in the "Monarch in Parliament". This is the origin of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and is usually seen as the fundamental principle of the British constitution. With these principles of parliamentary sovereignty majority control can gain access to unlimited constitutional authority, creating what has been called "elective dictatorship" or "modern autocracy". Public sovereignty in modern governments is a lot more common with examples like the USA, Canada, Australia and India where government is divided into different levels.

Sovereignty in decades

Sovereignty in decades

In particular, the "Social contract" as a mechanism for establishing sovereignty was suggested and, by 1800, widely accepted, especially in the new United States and France, though also in Great Britain to a lesser extent.

Fearing that slavery would be threatened by results of the 1860 presidential election, eleven slave states declared their independence from the federal Union and formed a new confederation.

1870, 1929
The Holy See was in this position between the annexation in 1870 of the Papal States by Italy and the signing of the Lateran Treaties in 1929, a 59-year period during which it was recognised as sovereign by many (mostly Roman Catholic) states despite possessing no territory – a situation resolved when the Lateran Treaties granted the Holy See sovereignty over the Vatican City.

1911, 1949, 1971, 1990, 1991
The government of Kuwait was in a similar situation vis-à-vis the Iraqi occupation of its country during 1990–1991. The government of Republic of China was recognized as sovereign over China from 1911 to 1971 despite that its mainland China territory became occupied by Communist Chinese forces since 1949.

1939, 1989
The post-1989 Polish state claims direct continuity from the Second Polish Republic which ended in 1939.

Sovereignty in centuries

Sovereignty in centuries

1945, 1989
In the case of Poland, the People's Republic of Poland which governed Poland from 1945 to 1989 is now seen to have been an illegal entity by the modern Polish administration.

In 1971 it lost UN recognition to Chinese Communist-led People's Republic of China and its sovereign and political status as a state became disputed and it lost its ability to use "China" as its name and therefore became commonly known as Taiwan.

When in 1991 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia re-enacted independence, it was done so on the basis of continuity directly from the pre-Soviet republics.

Additionally, independence can also be suspended when an entire region becomes subject to an occupation such as when Iraq had been overrun by the forces to take part in the Iraq War of 2003, Iraq had not been annexed by any country, so its sovereignty during this period was not contested by any state including those present on the territory.

In 2012, the Scottish Government, created in 1998 through devolution in the United Kingdom, negotiated terms with the Government of the United Kingdom for the Scottish independence referendum, 2014 which resulted in the people of Scotland deciding to continue the pooling of its sovereignty with the rest of the United Kingdom.

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

Reproduced from WIKI

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes