State - Making of Leviathan, Nelson.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Bruce Morrison

CHAPTER 5 – THE MAKING OF THE LEVIATHAN  Medieval thinker what was important were the immediate problems they confronted: the relationship between regnum and sacerdotium, the supremacy of pope or emperor  Corporation theory, while also derived from Roman law, reflected at a deeper level the growing organicism of society beginning to articulate itself into guilds and other corporate structures  Most importantly for the theory of the modern state was the development of republican conceptions of government, particularly in the Italian city states  The late medieval towns spawned a new class system that would come to constitute the sociological basis of the modern state  Machiavelli’s focus was entirely upon pragmatic and amoral considerations about the nature of rulership, whether in a monarchical or republican system  Machiavelli argues that successful political leadership requires the raw ability to acquire and maintain power, which includes violence, deception and chicanery  Machiavelli provides us with the first glimpse of the new science of politics that would ultimately define the modern state – a purely secular science of a purely secular institution  There are times, however in which a new word or a novel usage creates the possibility of genuinely innovative theoretical insights  What is certain is that the necessary preconditions for its appearance, the existence of the state, were already in place, if only in rudimentary form  What was required in the first instance, however was the centralization of political authority within unambiguous territorial lines, and this required the kind of power only an absolute theocratic monarchy could impose  The process of centralization they engendered created that common economic and legal system required for a viable system of manufacturing and trade  The basis for thinking of the state as a supreme legal structure, the necessary precondition for a formal theory of impersonal sovereignty  In its early stages, the Reformation aided the process of state formation by legitimizing the emerging absolute monarchs break from church and papacy  But the reformation also encouraged state formation by intensifying the centralization of political power  Matters of faith now became a source of political control  There is no question of the political value of Reformation presented to the centralizing monarchs of the emerging national states  Reformation is best understood as a political struggle in the guide of a religious movement  Religious issues became state issues and the political crisis that ensued produced radically new forms of political thinking  Despite a theology that emphasized the direct relationship of the individual to god without the intermediary of the priesthood, they could not yet conceive of that same relationship of the individual to the state  The most important consequence of the 30 years war was its conclusion in the treaty of Westphalia. This marks, if you will, the formal recognition of the modern European state system  Territorial sovereignty was now officially recognized. The modern state, in short, was now understood to be the legitimate form of polity in the modern world  Sovereignty is now understood to exist territorially, and the individual is increasingly seen to exist apart from the corporate communities to which he belongs  The concept of natural law was in itself, of course, nothing new  Grotius went much further than others in recognizing the legitimacy of state sovereignty  Natural law is derived from the innate drive of humankind for security  That the principle of utility would work just as well without God and ultimately without reference to natural law at all  Pufendorf denies that natural law is inherent within the human mind, but are rathe
More Less

Related notes for Political Science 1020E

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.