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affairs.    The new assemblies took the form of deputations of
estates which the kings summoned, when they saw fit, for the
purpose of asking gifts of them, and they in turn presented
petitions for grievances.    The   estates were three, nobles,
clergy and cities, to which in some countries a fourth, that of
the peasants or free, but not noble, landholders were added.
This estate was instituted in parts of Germany and Scandi-
navia;' and in Sweden it continued to subsist by the side of
the other three until within a few years since, when out of
the four a parliament of two houses was  constituted, the
burghers and farmers forming one house and the two re-
maining estates the other.    The estates had diverse fortunes
in the several countries of Europe.    Spain ought to be men-
tioned because of the relatively greater number of the depu-
ties from the town, the clergy and nobles not being inclined
to attend.     Sometimes  these  three  classes  met  together,
sometimes they met apart, so that the union of the three as
one body in France, just before the outbreak of the revolu-
tion, when they were called together for the first time after the
year 1615  had a precedent.    The power of the king to call
or neglect to convoke the estates generally prevented their
full development into an element of the governing power of
the countries, and the kings still  retained  the  law-making
power in their hands to a considerable extent.    Yet in some
countries the estates were expressly recognized as having a
share in the laws ; and so far did the sovereigns part with
power in their distress that the duke of Lauenburg agreed,
if the estates would pay his debts, to contract no more with-
out their leave, accepting also with other onerous conditions
confirmed by giving them the right to depose him if he should
break his word.


England has had a different course of political development
paSSVpower  ifc resPects parliamentary power.    Not to re-

mEngland.          peat what   has   becn   sa;d   ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^

.               wa        as       ecn   sa        ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^
English constitution ( I7i-i74), we comprise the leading
VOL,  II.  ig