Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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CIVIL LIST. This expression, by which is meant the sum allotted for the annual expenses of the crown, is of English origin, and goes back to the reign of Charles II., when parliament assigned him a revenue of £1,200,000. The civil list exists only in constitutional states, where financial measures are submitted to the vote and control of the people's representatives. An absolute sovereign has no civil list, and needs none, since he disposes of the public revenues at will. But even absolute governments, when they permit the publication of a budget, have to include a special provision for the private expenses of the prince. The civil list is usually a fixed amount for the whole duration of the reign; and if it is voted every year, this is simply a formality. The prince is not obliged to render any account of the use he makes of his civil list.


—The amount of the civil list, or the allowance for the prince, is naturally in proportion to the importance of the state. The relative proportion is, however, not always the same, because, on the one hand, more or less account is taken of the revenues of the national domains or of the crown, which are at the disposal of the sovereign, and on the other, because all countries are not equally rich.


—According to calculations made for 19 countries the proportion of the amount of the civil list to the net amount of the budget varies from 0.86 to 18 per cent. For great nations, such as England, Austria, France, Prussia, the Netherlands and Belgium, the proportion does not reach 3 per cent.


—The first civil list in France dates from the time of Louis XVI., and was fixed, in 1790, at 25,000,000 francs, this sum being confirmed by decree of May 26, of the following year. Under Louis XIV. the expenses of the court had reached 45,000,000 francs. Nevertheless, Versailles, together with Trianon and Marly, constructed for the pleasure of the king, had cost fully 157,000,000 francs, from 1674 to 1690. Article 10, of the constitution of Sept. 3, 1791, (part III., chap. ii., sec 1) which contains the principle of a fixed civil list, is couched in the following terms: "The nation provides for the becoming maintenance of the throne by a civil list, whose dimensions shall be determined at each change of reign for the whole duration of such reign by the legislative body." Napoleon, as life consul, had only 500,000 francs per year to defray the cost of representation. When emperor, he received 25,000,000 francs, the sum paid Louis XVI., plus 3,000,000 francs for the appanage of his family. These sums do not include the summer residences and other domains of the crown. To the civil list maintained at 25,000,000 francs under the restoration, there were added 8,000,000 francs for the royal family. The law of March 2, 1832, gave Louis Philippe only 12,000,000 francs. The duke of Orleans, heir apparent, obtained an annual allowance of 1,000,000 francs, which was doubled after his marriage. Besides, the law stipulated that in case the private list was insufficient, the allowances of the sons and daughters of the king should be regulated by special laws. In this manner a portion of 1,000,000 francs was given the queen of the Belgians. The civil list of Napoleon III. reached the old figure of 25,000,000 francs, in virtue of a senatus-consultum, Dec. 11, 1852. As under the first empire, certain expenses of the civil list may be met by special funds.


—Upon the £1,200,000 of England's first civil list, in 1660, the sovereign was obliged to maintain the army both by land and sea, so that there remained to him but £462,115, the amount in 1676. The same system was pursued, with more or less modification, under the following reigns. Since 1831 the civil list, however, has only to provide pensions and relief outside of the regular expenses of the crown. Its receipts during 1855-6 were £396,457 plus the patrimonial revenues of Lancaster and Cornwall, estimated to be £50,000. The allowance of the late Prince Albert, husband of the queen, was £30,000. "It is established by 1-2 Vict., c. 2, that during queen Victoria's reign, all the revenues of the crown shall be a part of the consolidated fund, but that a civil list shall be assigned to the queen. In virtue of this act, which received the royal sanction Dec. 23, 1837, the queen has granted to her an annual allowance of £385,000 'for the support of her majesty's household, and of the honor and dignity of the crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.' By the same statute the application of this allowance is limited in a prescribed form. The lords of the treasury are directed to pay yearly £60,000 into her majesty's privy purse; to set aside £231,206 for the salaries of the royal household; £44,240 for retiring allowances and pensions to servants, and £13,200 for royal bounty, alms and special services. This leaves an unappropriated surplus of £36,300, which may be applied in aid of the general expenditure of her majesty's court. It is provided that whenever the civil list charges in any year exceed the total sum of £400,000, an account of the expenditure, with full particulars, shall be laid before parliament within 30 days. The queen has also paid to her the revenues of the duchy of Lancaster, which in the year 1879 amounted to £76,186, being £498 less than in the preceding year. The salaries, law charges, taxes, charities and other disbursements in 1879, amounted to £30,900, and the payment made to her majesty for the year was £41,000, or £3,000 less than in the preceding year. The payment to her majesty in 1867, amounted to £29,000; in 1869-71 to £31,000; in 1872 to £40,000; in 1873 to £41,000; in 1874 to £42,000; in 1875 to £41,000; in 1876 to £43,000; in 1877 to £45,000; and in 1878 to £47,657.


—The annual grant of £385,000 to her majesty is paid out of the consolidated fund, on which are charged likewise the following sums allowed to members of the royal family; £25,000 a year to the duke of Edinburgh; £25,000 to the duke of Connaught; £8,000 to Prince Leopold, £8,000 to princes Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia; £6,000 to princes Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; £6,000 to princes Louise, marchioness of Lorne; £6,000 to the duchess of Cambridge, £3,000 to the grand-duchess of Mecklenburg Strelitz; £5,000 to princes Teck, formerly princess Mary of Cambridge; and £12,000 to duke George of Cambridge.


—The heir-apparent of the crown has, by 26 Vict., c. 1, settled upon him an annuity of £40,000. The prince of Wales has, besides, as income, the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall. Previous to the year 1840 these revenues amounted to between £11,000 and £16,000 per annum; but since that period they have greatly risen. The income of the duchy of Cornwall in the year 1879 was £96,781, the salaries and other expenses came to £28,054, and the sum of £65,258 was paid over for the use of the prince of Wales. In 1867 the sum paid over amounted to £54,927; in 1870 to £62,547; in 1871 to £62,484; in 1873 to £62,515; in 1874 to £65,901; in 1875 to £67,141; in 1876 to £70,375; and in 1877 to £96,860. The princess of Wales has settled upon her, by 26 Vict., cap. 1, the annual sum of £10,000, to be increased to £30,000 in case of widowhood. Both the parliamentary grants of the prince and princes of Wales are paid out of the consolidated fund, which bears a total yearly charge of £156,000 for annuities to members of the royal family."*59


—In the German states, where the feudal system took deepest root, the expenses of sovereigns and their families were chiefly defrayed by the income from allodial estates. These amount to considerable sums, in certain countries, even to-day. In Austria a wealthy nobility, surrounding the sovereign, compose for him a brilliant court at small cost to himself. His civil list is 7,300,000 florins. In 1862 it was 6,127,200 florins, and before 1856, 6,420 623 florins. 1,500,000 florins of the present amount (1872) are for the allowance of the royal family, and nearly 500,000 florins for unforeseen expenses.


—In Prussia, as in Bavaria, Wurtemburg and a few duchies, the amount for the civil list is raised almost entirely from the income of domainal estates In the first of these kingdoms it is 4,495,278 thalers. Any real property that the king may acquire returns to the crown, as in France. Frederic II. himself fixed his civil list at 220,000 thalers, not only for his private expenses, but also for whatever presents he might have to make. In consequence of the creation of the German empire and the annexations of 1866, the allowance of the king of Prussia has been increased by a million since 1871, but for the German emperor no provision is made on this score.


—In Bavaria, a law of July 1, 1834, fixed the civil list permanently at 2,350,580 florins. But there are appanages, allowances and dowries, regulated by the family statute of Aug. 5, 1819. The civil list and appanages amount to 3,156,807 florins in the budget of 1873. In Wurtemburg the civil list is 913,059 florins per year (1872). In the kingdom of Saxony the domains of the crown constitute a trust committed by the king to the government in return for a civil list amounting, in 1862, to 864,000 thalers or 23 per cent. more than in 1831; 570,000 thalers constitute the civil list properly so called, and the surplus is composed of 30,000 thalers for the queen's private purse, 235,000 for appanages of the royal family, and 29,000 for the expense of maintaining public collections. In the budget of 1872-3 we find the figures to be only 675,000 thalers.


—In the grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar the domain assigned to the crown and directly maintaining it gives the sovereign a civil list of 250,000 thalers, nearly half the budget of the state. The duchies of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg have respectively civil lists of 115,892 and 100,700 thalers. As in the case of the grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar, the grand duke of Oldenburg and the duke of Brunswick are supported by the domains of the crown.


—In the budget of 1857 for the grand duchy of Baden, the civil list amounted to 985,419 florins, and in the following year to 1,085,226 florins, whereas we find it reduced to 838,204 florins in 1872. The grand duke of Hess has a civil list of 777,057 florins (1872). As for the two Mecklenburgs, since there are no budgets in these states there can of course be no civil list.


—The civil list of the king of Sardinia was 4,000,000 lire (francs) in 1856, not including appanages and royal residences. After Italy became a kingdom, a law of June 24, 1860, made the king's allowance 10,500,000 lire, augmented to 16,254,000 life by the law of Aug. 10, 1862, in consequence of the incorporation of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It amounted to 12,250,000 lire in 1872, or to 13,850,000 lire, including appanages. The specification of the crown's domain includes, among other things, some 20 royal palaces at Milan, Monaz, Cremona, Modena, Reggio, Parma, Coloruo, Florence, Pisa, Arezzo, Lehorn, Siena, Lucca, Naples, Caserta, Palermo, and Messina.


—Spain's civil list, budget of 1853, was 47,350,000 reals ($2,377,917). King Amadeus', in 1872, was 6,000,000 pesetas ($1,205,280). That of Portugal is placed at 590,000 milreis, (1854—5,) and at 612,000 milreis, budget of 1871—2, but with a contingent fund of 87,400 milreis.


—In Russia the annual revenue of the crown is derived from vast domains, and from patrimonial estates. Conformably to a family law of Paul I., 1797, always in force, a tax, which weighs upon the peasants of the crown, serves to support the widows, princes and princesses of the imperial family. In the accounts for 1870, the household expenses of the emperor figures for 10,317,000 rubles, and in the budget of 1872, for 8,953,000 rubles.


—In Turkey the sultan has a civil list of nearly 18,000,000 francs, besides his private treasure, composed of sums amassed, and objects of great value left by his predecessors. He alone provides for all the expenses of his court, of which the personnel has been greatly diminished. The total allowance presented in the budget of 1873 is 383,353 purses, of 112½ francs each, or more than 43,000,000 francs.


—The civil list of Otto, of the house of Bavaria, first king of Greece, was fixed, conformably to article 35 of the constitution, at 1,000,000 drachmas per year, (one drachma equals $0 16¾), for a term of 10 years, and without the appanages. The civil list of the second king (George, of the house of Denmark,) was fixed, in 1864, by the national assembly, at 1,125,000 drachmas, not including: 1, £10,000 per year, which was to be paid by the Ionian isles after their reunion with Greece; 2 £12,000 per year, the sum guaranteed by France, England and Russia, to be deducted from the interest of the Greek loan due these three protective powers, all in conformity with protocol No. 3 of the conference held in London, June 5, 1863.


—The two civil lists of the king of Norway and Sweden amount to the following sums, voted in 1860: 630,000 rixdalers for Sweden and 64,000 for Norway, plus the appanages of the members of the royal family (respectively 400,000 and 33,000 rixdalers), the maintenance of the palaces (203,400 and 9,000 rixdalers), and the royal stables (45,000 rixdalers) in Sweden; total, 694,000 rixdalers of the civil list proper, 433,000 in appanages and 257,400 for palaces and horses. The grand total, 1,384,400 rixdalers, shows an increase of 83,000 rixdalers over that of 1857. The figures in 1872 were 1,417,000 dalers riksmynt, ($0 26 each).


—In Denmark the civil list in 1872 was 713,524 rixdalers ($0.52 each). Besides, the king has at his disposal, for his private use, all the palaces and royal dwellings belonging to the state. The appanage of the princes and princesses of the royal family is regulated by law, and paid from the state treasure.


—The civil list of the reigning king of the Netherlands, fixed by the law of Aug. 10, 1849, is 600,000 florins ($0.39 each), plus 50,000 florins for the maintenance of the summer and winter palaces. The allowance of the hereditary prince amount to 100,000 florins and to 200,000 florins when he marries. The queen-dowager receives 150,000 florins per year.


—The civil list of the king of Belgium and the allowances of the princes, his sons, have already been indicated elsewhere (See BELGIUM.) At the marriage of the princess, daughter of the king, to a prince of the imperial family of Austria, the legislature voted her a wedding portion of 258,000 francs.


—In Brazil the emperor's allowance (law of Aug. 28, 1840,) is 800 contos de reis (2,400,000 francs); with the allowances of the imperial family, the civil list reaches a grand total of 1,083 contos de reis (3,249,000 francs).


Notes for this chapter

Statesman's Manual, 1881.


End of Notes

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