Gierke (Breslau, 1878, seq.); G.
Gierke, in his book Johannes Althusius and die Entwickelung der naturrechtlichen Staatstheorie, shows (p. 76) that the conception of a treaty or agreement as the basis of the state was in the middle ages a dogma which passed almost unchallenged, and that this theory was maintained up to a late period.
Sovereignty is also used in a wider sense, as the equivalent of the power, actual or potential, of the whole nation or society (Gierke, 3.568).
(See also Gierke, Genossenschaftsrecht, 3.8.) Even in medieval writers, such as Bracton, is found the notion that the king is subject to the laws: "Bracton knows of no sovereign in the Austinian sense, and distinctly denies to the royal authority the attribute of being incapable of legal limitation" (J.
The idea of a state which exists only in the law and for the law, and whose life is but by a legal order regulating public and private relationship (Gierke iii., x.).
C. Bluntschli, Allgemeine Staatslehre (Munich, 1852); Otto Gierke, Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht (Berlin, 1863-1881); J.
Gierke, Johannes Althusius (Breslau, 1880); G.