Birth of the Leviathan: Building States and Regimes in by Thomas Ertman

By Thomas Ertman

For a few years students have sought to give an explanation for why the eu states that emerged within the interval prior to the French Revolution constructed alongside such diverse traces. Why did a few states turn into absolutist and others constitutionalist? What enabled a few to improve bureaucratic administrative platforms, whereas others remained established upon patrimonial practices?

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Additional info for Birth of the Leviathan: Building States and Regimes in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

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52 As mentioned earlier, sustained geopolitical competition came to affect England very early, during the course of the 1100s. As a result, that country was among the first to begin to construct a sophisticated state apparatus in order to meet a foreign military threat, in this case one from France. Just as the timing argument outlined above would predict, that apparatus exhibited strong patrimonial tendencies right from the start. However, with the appearance in the late 1200s of Parliament as the representative of the participatory county and borough communities, patrimonial practices like proprietary officeholding and tax farming came under intense criticism.

Pp. , pp. 140-185. Only the last of these is contained in the Gilbert volume (pp. ), Rethinking Leviathan: The British and German States of the Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). , he did not mean to claim that all of the real world assemblies which he assigned to the first category actually possessed two chambers. In fact, as Hintze explicitly states, the division into two chambers was a later development that never came to pass in either Scotland or in medieval Sweden and Denmark.

In sketching the outlines of just such a theory below, I first address the problem of political regimes, then infrastructures, and finally examine the independent influence of representative assemblies on infrastructural development. Political Regimes Explaining variations in political regime at the end of the early modern period means accounting for the strength or weakness of particular representative institutions, since it was the powers still held by such institutions which determined whether a given government was headed by a ruler who was relatively constrained (constitutionalism) or unconstrained (absolutism) in his behavior.

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