Monday, January 31, 2011

Christian Magnus Falsen

Christian Magnus FalsenNine score and a year ago today, Christian Magnus Falsen passed on from this world.

Update: his date of birth is January 13, not 31.


Kalim Kassam said...

Hadn't heard of him before. Reading that Wikipedia article & the one in Brittanica didn't give me a very good idea of him as a thinker, just as a leader.

I was wondering if he was something other/more than a liberal constitutional monarchist--and if he was more inspired by the French Constitution or the American.

And then I came across this book that suggests he was more in line with developments in British constitutional thought than American or French (pace Wikipedia). It also sounds (e.g. here) like he became less democratic in the years after 1814.

Thoughts? I'm in unfamiliar territory.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Well, sir, he co-authored a constitutional draft, the principal one. That should make him a thinker, as the American Founders are considered thinkers, in addition -- of course -- to being leaders.

At Eidsvold he was amongst the more conservative, wanting a separate, aristocratic upper house, although he supported the abolition of the nobility. Moreover, he worked closely with the Prince.

He did become more conservative in later years.

He goes in Norway by the name "the Father of the Constitution." There is a speech at his grave every May 17. These speeches tend to emphasize his liberal traits, whereas I tend to emphasize his conservative traits, amongst which his regrets about 1814 are particularly interesting.

I will have to get back to him some time in the future with more detail.

Kalim Kassam said...

I look forward to learning even more from you.

I didn't for a moment doubt that he was a thinker--that's why I was disappointed with the Wikipedia article which gave so little attention to what his thoughts were. And why I sought out more.