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History – Origins of Democratic State in Europe.docx

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University of Calgary
Political Science
POLI 359
Mark Baron

History – Origins of Democratic State in Europe  Feudal structure  Based on an agrarian mode of production. Suggesting that ones access to political power is based on their relationship to land and agricultural production. Direct link from social status to land and agriculture.  Basically a political economy of land holding. Based on what is known as vassalage. o 1. Vassalage is hierarchical  superordinate (superior) and a group that is subordinate. (vassal) o 2. Based on process of enfeoffment (the deed by which a person was given land in exchange for a pledge of service )  2 sides  political economic (Emperor, nobility, serfs/peasanty) and ecclesiastical (religious): The political-economic structure gives political and economic support to the ecclesiastical structure, in exchange for religious/ideological legitimacy from the ecclesiastical to the political-economic. Manor is center of economic and political authority within the fief. This is where nobility resides.  Enfeoffment requires fealty. In exchange for oath of loyalty, they get a tract of land. Requires them to do a lot of things: maintain law and order in the fiefs in behalf of the upper noble and the emperor. Responsible for collecting taxes and transmitting share to upper officials. Provide military service to senior nobles.  Reciprocity – in exchange for services they will gain access to a trait of land that they can maintain and use to maintain power and prestige in the feudal based society. Increase quality of life and standard living.  Investiture  Peasantry obligated to provide taxes through the agricultural surplus they produce. Pay rents and tides.  Demesneland  within fiefs, farmed in order to pay rent and taxes  Tenement land  permitted to farm for our personal gain as long as they meet obligations.  Hereditary  Primogeniture  pass through generations. Means has to be passed from male ere to male ere. Properties now become owned.  Mercenaries become employed by nobles leading hereditary fiefs  30 years war o About the war fought between the individuals who wanted to preserve the system and those who wanted to eradicate it. o Ultimately, the disposition of Europe at the end of the war is ultimately decided by the Peace of Westphalia. (1648) Product of Munster and Obstenburg.  Does a number of things: 1. Formalizes the existence of the state as the primary locus of identity, political authority, economic interaction, cultural affinity within Europe. At the end of this, Europe is parceled into a number of territorially discrete states that are differentiated by geographical boundaries that are mutually understood. 2. Emergence of an international European system, state as key component. 3. The States that emerge out of this result are in their form absolutist and these are the absolutist states in which the democratic state emerges in Europe. Characteristics of Autocratic States:  Sovereignty centralized in the monarch/monarchy  Centralized bureaucracy subordinate to monarch o As feudalism began to decline, the more powerful monarchs ultimately at the end of the day imitated the process of state-formation. Once you take over a fiefdom, you had to ensure that you sub-ordinate the people of the conquered territory. o The way in which you quell the discontent of these
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