France is a country of numerous and rich constitutional experiments. All the modern political regimes of different types have been tried one after another in France. Through the nineteenth century they all were ephemeral, none lasting more than one or two generations (at least until the advent of the Third Republic in 1870–1875). Since the Revolution of 1789, the country displays a long and erratic history of monarchies, empires, and republics. For that “performance,” France certainly deserves the surname of a constitutional and political laboratory. Not only did...
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