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§ 5. State in medieval Europe (textbook)


§ 5. State in Medieval Europe


You know

1. Who are the kings, as they have appeared in Europe?

2. Why are there parliaments?

3. How we did justice to the Middle Ages?


1. Medieval kingdom

Beginning of the Middle Ages was characterized by the fact that in Europe facing fundamentally new form of state that differed from previous ones. Its they are beginning to unions Germanic tribes that moved into western border Roman Empire. Destroyed an empire and conquering its territory and population (by recent estimates of scientists conquerors constituted about 5% of the Surrendered population), tribal leaders face a problem of management of these territories. The existing system of power was of little use, and Roman was actually destroyed and could not be revived. In addition, the leaders met resistance sopleminnykiv, who could not understand why rushatsya old traditions and tribal authorities.


Frankish historian Gregory Turskiy on case valuable in a bowl Suasoni

During conquest of Gaul army Clovis Franks captured in a church along with other gems in large bowl of magnificent beauty. Bishop that church turned to Clovis asking return at least the cup. King heard the request and replied: "Come with us to SuasonaWhere is the distribution of captured prey. If I get a draw while a bushel, is asking the bishop, then I will carry his request ".

King arrived Suasona and when the middle of the field was compiled all the spoil, said: "Brave soldiers, I ask you not to refuse and give out of my share and this is zban ". In response intelligent audience responded with: "All that we see here, the great King belongs to you, as we are amenable to your authority. Doing so, as you think necessary, because no one can resist your power ". When they answered yes, a silly, jealous and fiery warrior, crying, raised his ax, rozrubav cup and said: "None of this will not get you, except what is yours by lot ". All were impressed, but the king took offense patiently and humbly.

Per year Cloviscommanded to gather his forces with weapons on Mars field to check in the state held a weapon. When he went ranks, he went to Soldier who rozrubav cup and said: "No one keeps weapons in the worst condition, than you. Thy spear, sword and ax - everything nowhere sake ". And, snatching his ax and threw it on the ground. When he leaned on his ax, King rozrubav his head his ax and said: "Yes you did with Chalice in Suasoni ". When a soldier died Clovis commanded to return home, the act vselyvshy in them great fear.


1. Why Clovis simply not taken the necessary his bowl?

2. Can you explain just the act of a warrior and nerozvazhlyvistyu temper?


Finally, leaders managed to tame some resistance to change, that occurred, and strengthen their power so that it is niktocould not deny. At first, as before, this mighty power rested on force (military wives) and the authority. Most vividly seen in Chief Franks Clovis. But as you already know it found for its power and other support: laws, money (treasury). Staff management and church, which claimed that "power of God. Actually Clovis created state. In this state it was not just the leader of the tribe, and monarch, KingWho reigns alone and transmits his power by inheritance. It should be noted that the word appeared in `King later comes from the name of Charlemagne. The father of Charlemagne Pypina Short was an established tradition, which turned the king in the sacred person. - anointing of the kingdom.


Development of the monarchy Europe


Something similar happened in other barbaric kingdoms. Although the established political system was flawed, shaky, weak, dependent on the personality of the monarch, it nevertheless laid the first foundations medieval kingdoms.


In the kingdom of the Visigoths, which existed in Spain is King handed over his power by inheritance, and was elected. At first the members of one family by cry and slam. Then some families really launched armed struggle for crown. As a result, none of the Gothic dynasty no more than three generations. Finally in 633 р. ToledskyyChurch makes a decision on ordering the election, and in 672 was introduces first coronation as confirmation equity choice. Electoral system monarch Franks called "the disease Goths " and believed that the monarch has the authority to transfer an inheritance.


State created its creators had been thinking about it fate. In their eyes it was the same property, like everything else. And with property in their view, should act justly - divided between the children (descendants). That was done. However, such hostility revolved justice, fight for power between generations. As a result - lost most barbarian kingdoms. Generally, this disastrous tradition for a long time will ruin the medieval state until awareness comes integrity and indivisibility of the state.

In early medieval accounts for the emergence of another form state, which claimed to totality and universality. So the power of Charlemagne, who was proclaimed Emperor, was merged most of the land West Christian world. There was revival "of the Roman Empire. But it was already and not Empire. Unlike its predecessor, it was not hard power and extensive management systems, unified system of taxation. As barbarian kingdoms, it skriplyuvalasya principle of personal devotion. A powerful ruler - given subject, a weak ruler - all equally dedicated servants. In the Middle Ages "Rome Empire was rather dream, ghosts, rather than a reality to which no one wanted the ruler of Europe.

Thus, no barbarian kingdoms, nor an empire Charlemagne, has not created a stable system of government.


2. Feudal fragmentation

After the collapse of the empire of Charlemagne's throne decline. It was strictly related to many factors. So successors were bezdaramy, that Western Europe has experienced a new invasion: the Normans, Magyars (Hungarians) Saracens. But the main reason was that in the previous century formed raids. Their chief lords besides wealth Middle - earth, have dominion over it and its inhabitants. "No land without host "- was said then. This would enable them to feel free in relations with the king, whom they were connected only vassal oath. Possession of these great feudal ownership sometimes exceeded the king himself. In fact, King is more or less freely could only feel in our own domain - ancestral land holdings. The most telling example of this situation is France. Where royal domain stretches thin stripfrom Paris to Orleans, on all sides zazhatyy holdings of other feudal lords. In fact, the power in the country did not exist, and rela between feudal lords built vasalitetu on the system. No control of state apparatus, the single tax, unified army and so did not exist. The boundaries of the conventional and were often changed. Such a procedure called feudal fragmentation. Each in their feudal estates felt himself king. Kings were the only "first among equal ".


From a letter from King Henry (middle XI.)

Every day new troubles. Nobody wants to think about the poor France anyone believes that first time all he needs to increase their possession. So again, Earl Raul stolen from Verdun Bishop 18 cows and does not want them to return. I King was forced to comply with the request and sent a bishop to say RaulThat is unacceptable to insult the church pastors, even demanded that he returned the cattle. Graf said trustees are not afraid of no King, nor the thunder of the church. This pig knows that I did not have enough forces pokoryty All violators of God and human laws, but by this royal name suffers humiliation.

1.      How can we explain this brazen behavior graph Raul?

2.      Which means the impact King had on their subjects during the disintegration?

Somewhat different was the situation in the German (East Frankish) kingdom. German kingdom in this time consisted of four tribal duchy - Swabia, Bavaria Franconia and Saxony. Here there was an elected monarch: King was elected the higher nobility. Along with this a little force so-called "Right of origin. The new king was to be a relative of the former, while history Germany this principle is often violated. Capitals in the King was not. He ruled the state razezzhaya their estates. There was no national taxes, the king lived primarily on the income from their estates. Authority came to the king immediately. Only when it came to use of military force or through skillful political alliances King could earn a tribute Dukes. It Could not often.

Between feudal appeared with an important feature of power in Europe. The authorities clearly divided on the central (Carried out by the monarch) and local (Carried out by the land owners). Also at the level of independence of local authorities in its implementation have made the city and certain social groups.


French historian Mark Bloc   noted that King often betrayed vassals, sometimes taking them into   hostage. But in the XI-XIII. only three kings were killed. He believed this   fact very important.


3. Stanovoye monarchy

This state of affairs could not last forever, society needed stability, and stability based on strong leadership. In those under conditions of strong-man government understood the power of the monarch. European Kings began the struggle for strengthening their power and unite their colonies. This struggle with varying degrees of success lasted several centuries and not always was completed in favor of royal authority.

At the beginning of this struggle the king was only a few advantages over all other feudal lords. He was on top of the feudal hierarchy and actually arbiter. The legality of its power provided by its constancy transmission by the dynastic principle, which was accompanied by the coronation ceremony and anointing of the kingdom, the awarding of royal characters, tumultuous welcome from of the scrolls and vows to protect the Church, to ensure peace and justice to administer justice. Important for the royal power was that some Kings were canonized by the Church as holy.

In the struggle to assert its authority kings found allies. These were cities that were interested in the development of handicrafts and trade, petty feudal lords, who suffered great persecution, the villagers and the church.

Backed by such powerful support in the XIII-XIV centuries. Kings considerably strengthened its authority. Especially this one in France. Kings began to issue national laws, taxes, King became a real highest national judiciary. In appeared ramified state apparatus, which is usually not recruited for the distinction of origin, and for business properties.

Chronicle... nightmare of Henry and English

At first he saw a crowd of armed peasants that surrounded his bed. They they ground their teeth and threatening the king, shouted their complaints. Then many knights in armor and helmets. Armed with spears, arrows and spears. Threatened kill him. And in the end. Crowd archbishops, bishops, abbot, dean and PRIOR surrounded his bed, having got him his staff.


1. What nightmares vvyzhalysya King?

2. What they witnessed?

3. Who zazihavsya the power of kings?


But for completeness of the monarch needed considerable resources. Where monarchs failed to immediately seize the entire country, not giving rivals consolidate (the Byzantine Empire, Sicily Kingdom etc.), the monarch could not reckon with the interests of others. But usually monarchs had to engage in dialogue cities, leading social status. It led to a new government - birthrepresentative bodies (in different countries, they had different names) ParliamentsAnd local government. In some countries, these bodies were collected regularly and played an important role in the solution of the binding complex public issues, in addition to and not in favor of the King. But often these bodies became an obedient tool in the hands royal power.


Living in Iceland is still proud that they formed "the oldest parliament in Europe. This happened after the settlement of the island and Dane Norwegians. Settlers island divided into four parts. In each of the parts had its meeting to deal with all cases - NADRA. For address common cases was 930 Althing was established - joint meeting representatives of all four parts of the island. At the Althing adopted first in country legislation that created the position of immigrants detector laws. He was preserving the legal customs, never recorded. During the annual meeting Althing he ascended to the law and told the Rock Assembly of laws and customs, which should sue Icelanders. Althing 1000 announced Icelanders adoption of Christianity.

Of course, it was not a real parliament, an elected body of government, that adopts laws, because the Icelanders at that time was not even the state, but it appearance - an interesting event in the history of European nations.


Stanovoye-representative bodies in European countries


Time formation


Spain (Castile)








General States





XV century.




Henralni states


The end of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.



So in Europe there state of monarchy - a form of government in which King based its authority in consultation with ground state of society through a class-representative bodies.


4. Law and court

Whether that time is always arise between people disputes that need solving. During this pre-state times cared tribal notables, the leader who brought out their decision, following the ancient unwritten laws. With the rise of the administration of justice is an important feature of power.

After the conquest of the barbarians of the Western Roman Empire, they continued to maintain its common law and Roman population of Roman laws. But this situation is not helped unite society. Already the first Kings try to create written laws, which would combine various rules of law strata of society, to eliminate those practices that are devastating for him (especially blood feud), and strengthen the power of rulers. The most famous such document is "Salic Pravda. But at the lawyers of the Middle Ages not stopped. They have created many laws. Especially rapid development acquired legal science in the XII century. for the second time when Europeans discovered a Roman law, which claimed: "Justice - this constant desire to give and unremittingly each with their rights ". Since medieval society shared on states, then justice it is.

Church had a separate trial. Only farmers were judged own superior.

Another problem for the medieval jurists was that that there was a clear division of criminal law (crimes that pereymalosya) Civil (solution yazuvalo misunderstanding between people), etc., it added even more confusion.

Gradually, the supreme judicial power was fixed by kings, for royalty considered the only fair and judge had to true and fair. But in reality it was much harder. In fact, King could not learn all court cases. Intended for consideration special judge. The courts of lower instance, like France, solution yazuvaly cases to 60, for instance, higher - for serious crimes and penalties. What exceed 60 sou. But King could make a decision on any matter, may also be pardoned if sentenced admitted his guilt.

Often between church and secular authorities there were conflicts on the basis of justice. For a long time the church did not yield to their judicial rights, especially priests and jurisdiction in the area of family and marriage relations.


If the case was too complicated, and the participants were people aristocratic origin, he defined justice "of God Court "When both sides gathered in combat fight. It was believed that God did not fight dopustys defeat innocent. On match instead you can put a good fighter.

Thus the judicial system in Middle Ages was not perfect and confusing. Despite that she provided stability society.



Check how to remember

  1. What is the name of the rulers were barbaric kingdoms?
  2. Who is king? Why is there a royalty?
  3. What is feudal fragmentation, why it occurs?
  4. Where in Europe for the first time there was a class-representative body?
  5. Is there justice in the Middle Ages the same for everyone?
  6. He executed justice in the Middle Ages?


Think and answer

  1. A Tradition of tribal government found its mark in the power of barbaric      Kingdoms?
  2. Whether it is logical feudal fragmentation? What are the causes?
  3. What's new in the organization of power in the feudal period      disintegration?
  4. What are the advantages over other king had feudal? Why in the feudal period      disintegration of kings called the "first among equal "?
  5. Why are there a class-representative bodies? What role do they perform?
  6. Explain that justice means stanovist.


Perform the task

  1. Identify differences between Roman Empire and the empire of Charlemagne?
  2. Prepare a narrative on the theme: "Justice in the Middle forever ".
  3. Make plans replies: "Royal Power in the Europe.


For the curious

As in European countries in management system found reflection principle: "What touches all must be approved all "?