Lew Rockwell published – The Age of Centralization

The Age of Centralization

by Thomas Schmidt
by Thomas Schmidt
Recently by Thomas Schmidt: The Market as Router, Writ Large

The 15 years from 1857 to 1872 can be considered the great age of centralization and consolidation. Examples abound from across the globe. For starters, the Mexican constitution of 1857, which centralized jurisprudence by removing a number of separate courts of jurisdiction, led to the civil war from 1857 to 1861. Although the promised constitutional reforms were “liberal” and removed power and assets from the Catholic Church, their implementation was delayed while power was consolidated: the Constituent Congress “became worried over the extraordinary governing powers conferred to the executive. The tenor of events precluded even the observance of constitutional articles regarding individual rights, which was seen as perpetuating instability.” The War of Reform that followed featured further liberalizations imposed on the Catholic Church: “On June 12, 1859 the government nationalized church property… On June 30, a decree declared an end to all clerical involvement with cemeteries and burial grounds. On August 11, holidays were regulated and official attendance at Church functions was prohibited.” The seizure of land had the same predictable effect in Mexico that Belloc noted in Reformation England: a politically-connected group enriched itself at the expense of the Church, and used its wealth to control the state.  cont


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