Thursday, May 19, 2016
The Cortes of León 26.9.1988
The stamp on this FDC shows the effigy and stamp of Alfonso IX, King of Léon.
The Cortes of León from year 1188 was a parliamentary body in the medieval Kingdom of León. According to UNESCO was the first sample of modern parliamentarism in the history of Western Europe.
After coming to power, King Alfonso IX, facing an attack by his two neighbors, Castile and Portugal, decided to summon the "Royal Curia". This was a medieval organisation composed of aristocrats and bishops but because of the seriousness of the situation and the need to maximize political support, Alfonso IX took the decision to also call the representatives of the urban middle class from the most important cities of the kingdom to the assembly.
León's Cortes dealt with matters like the right to private property, the inviolability of domicile, the right to appeal to justice opposite the King and the obligation of the King to consult the Cortes before entering a war.
When the Founding Fathers of the United States of America elaborated the American constitution, one of the juridical models they studied were the laws that arose from the Cortes of León. John Adams knew the text of the Fuero of León from his journey to Spain.