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Emergence of the modern state system thrusday september 27th lecture.docx

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York University
Political Science
POLS 2940
Elizabeth Dauphinee

Emergence of the modern state system Feudalism- characterized by a series of overlapping personal ties. Individuals pledge loyalty to nobles of various ranks. Those nobles would pledge loyalty to higher ranked nobles. These ties are not permanent. At the top is the king. Initially kings were just lords with a lot of land and nobles pledged to them. And the claim to kingship is an individual claim. If local lords and nobles accepted it, you are king. Lords and kings did not necessarily hold contiguous lands. Many times the land the king owned was in the middle of another person’s land (had to cross other peoples land). Land of nobility. Roman Catholic Church. Holy roman emperor was the hand of the pope. The roman church was organized parallel to nobility. Kings, nobles(land owners), ecclesiastical(church), authority, the pope(s). Ecclesiastical authorities: Priests, deacons, bishops, archbishops, cardinals Many people thought they were popes at the same times! Loosly organized, not very permanent, a lot of competition for your loyalty. You could live on a lords manor and never see him. The church was everywhere! Varying levels of effectiveness(church). Closer to rome the more obedient. Military force is controlled by nobles who have men pledged to them. Kings didn’t nesessarily have more military force then other nobles. Nobles were afraid if king controlled to many forces. In order to wage war a king would need to get his nobles agree to go to war(military was private). No taxes. All income was based on rents. Rents- income was based on a proportion of what your land was worth(i.e how much grain you sold percentage) If a king tried to income rent, he would likely face a rebellion from nobles who had armies. Magna carta- document forced by the nobles to lesser the power of the king over them. Church would collect tithes- like a tax, just not collected by state. Forced to pay! Most tithes inclined (eggs wool, chickens, resources etc.) Tithes based on ecclesiastical boundaries. Churches have their own boundaries. Anyone living in it pays the tithes to whatever church. This looks a lot like modern day territories. Feudal Europe. 1648. Feudal economy. Based on the extraction of wealth from land. That wealth was located in the argricultural products of the land, hunting, mineral extraction. Very little technological development, more wealth=more land(only way). Intelecual developments of renascence and capitalism, becomes possible to extract more wealth from same amount of land. Pressure for greater centralization, but also opposition for centralization Opposition- resistance from others in the system who didn’t want more of their wealth extracted from them Sheer practical difficulty controlling vast amounts of land. Only way of travel was riding, boat or walking. Communication was done through travel. Control is through messengers and soldiers. These people collect the rent. Drive to centralization is Very slow without technology. as slow as it was, centralization still took place and a king was born. Most consolidated king authority, England, france and spain. (looks the same to this day territorily) Rest of Europe it was less complete. 200-300 individual political units in Europe, Germany divided into many different groups. Consolidation of land was important in a number of ways, it enabled much greater knowledge, therefore control over territories
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