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Alternative title:

Håndfæstning of July 29, 1282 and its importance for development of Danish parliamentarism

Subject and Keywords:

håndfæstning   Denmark   system   royal power   Council of the Realm   Council of the State   coronation charter   parliamentary system   absolutism   Hof   Danehof


In 1660, håndfæstning, signed and sworn by Frederick III, was revoked by reason of his assumption of the Danish throne in 1648. The annulment of the provisions of this act was the result of fundamental changes in the political system that led to the formation of absolutism in the Kingdom in the 1660s. These kind of acts used to occur in Denmark since the mid-thirteenth century. Special importance, especially for the development of Danish parliamentarism, was håndfæstning issued by King Eric V Glipping under the pressure of native nobility in 1282. This document, called in historiography Denmark’s first constitution constituted the existence of Danehof, determined by historians by the feudal Danish parliament. This moment consider as the beginning of the history of parliamentarism and representative rule in the Kingdom of Denmark. By issuing this exceptional act, the monarch committed himself the first time in the history of Denmark to convene annually at a fixed time the assembly called Hof - which was a representation of magnates. Including this obligation within the framework of the law obliged the king to rule with the participation of the nobles, which led to a significant weakening of royal power with simultaneously increasing the importance of privileged states. By acquiring a number of new and existing rights and freedoms, which confirmed by the håndfæstning of 1282, they were able to impose their will on the king and participate in the rule of the state to a greater extent than before. To important provisions of this document also include the king's commitment that he will not be imprisoned anyone without a court judgment, and other concessions of the ruler regarding judicial law, fragments regarding so-called king's letters, as well as the limitations of numerous royal regalia, especially regarding tax entitlements. The existing and established new state privileges have also been confirmed in the provisions of this håndfæstning.

Place of publishing:



E-Wydawnictwo. Prawnicza i Ekonomiczna Biblioteka Cyfrowa. Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Date issued:


Detailed Type:



ISBN 978-83-66601-13-0 (druk)   ISBN 978-83-66601-15-4 (druk)   ISBN 978-83-66601-14-7 (online)




pol   eng


(e-Monografie ; nr 166)

Is part of:

Zgromadzenia stanowe i organy przedstawicielskie w dziejach. Księga jubileuszowa dedykowana Profesorowi Marianowi Józefowi Ptakowi

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