Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The origin of the State, my take on it.

I think that the State as we know it came from the Absolutist State that rose out of the remains of feudalism in the 15th century. This entity was formed through a fundamental alteration in the rules governing feudal society, which before had put many intervening layers between serfs and monarchs. One of the maxims of the feudal period was that "The vassal of my vassal is not my vassal", but as time went on, because the kings ultimately controlled things, that lack of direct connection between monarch and subject was eroded, and along with it went the power of the lesser nobility, and correspondingly the power of the monarchies were inflated. This lead to a centralization of power in the hands of the court around the kings and a greater control of the country by the State itself---taken as what the power of the King and his court consisted of.

It should be noted that government doesn't automatically equal a State, and when it does, that State isn't necessarily what we think of as the State, since forms like the Roman Empire had many differences to the Absolutist states of the past.

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