Good constitution: between bold new instrument and myth of the constitution. Remarks of legal historian

The panellist would like to propose a comparative excursion into the past, to the origins of modern constitutionalism. We associate them with the revolutions in the British colonies and France, but this perspective somewhat neglects other systemic processes of the era. Constitutions as a new systemic tool were greeted with great hopes. The Polish Constitution of 1791, for example, was supposed to 'save the homeland' and 'consolidate freedom' in the face of the Russian threat. Less attention was paid to its very interesting normative layer – after all, it established the principles of the supremacy of the Constitution and the separation of powers, as well as procedures for government accountability that were ahead of the times. The mythologised constitutions were supposed to provide a special bound connecting rulers with “constitutional nations” and to secure the future. Therefore, it was assumed that if a constitution appeared at all, it must be inherently good.