The Grijzestad Constitution was the first constitution of Brunant, signed at Grijzestad by members of the Convention of Grijzestad (Founding fathers) in 1427. It was in place for 48 years until 1475, when Leuvis Van Damme made himself the king and repealed it.
When the declaration of Independence was proclaimed on 8 July 1427, the convention had not yet decided on a constitution. The delegates argued over every detail and this slowed the writing process. With the progression of the war many delegates left Grijzestad to the areas in conflict and would not return. Finally an agreable constitution was decided on and signed by the 24 remaining delegates on June 25, 1427. Many of the absent delegates protested that it was signed without them and many refused to abide by its provisions.
Thus, its powers greatly curbed and during its use the constitution was used as a guideline. Though it has provisions for establishing the body of president and the Republican Estates, it had no specifics and it was up to the government to decide. Oftentimes the paper was completely ignored by the estates when passing laws.
One of the constitution's most important provisions dealt with taxation. During wartime (The republic was at war during the constitution's drafting) there was a poll tax of 4 livres tournois per adult male (this was necessary to finance the army and its weapons). During peacetime the tax was 2 l. tournois. For a brief period, merchants and tradesmen were charged a 10 percent charge on their profits, but it was repealed in September 1427 in order to get their support for the war effort. After the end of the War of Independence taxes were briefly reduced to 2 l.t. But, with Brasefort taking up arms against the republic in 1428-29, the Estates labeled this as an act of war and rose taxes again. By 1440 the tax was still at wartime rates and people were displeased at having to pay for a war that wasn't really taking place. Brasefort was killed in 1442 and the tax was lowered, but the government had to find other ways to get revenues.
History of the documentEdit
The constitution was located in the Grijzestad Market Hall until 1475; when Van Damme proclaimed the monarchy two republican workers smuggled out the document to save it from destruction. By 1550-60 the constitution was placed in St. Anne's Monastery in the old town and it was lost for many centuries. After WWII nuns discovered the old document, which was later donated to the State Museum of Koningstad in 1951. It is presently located in the Ancient Documents Hall.