Medieval Law and the Foundations of the State by Alan HardingMedieval Law and the Foundations of the State by Alan Harding

Medieval Law and the Foundations of the State

byAlan Harding

Hardcover | January 15, 2002

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The state is the most powerful and contested of political ideas, loved for its promise of order but hated for its threat of coercion. In this broad-ranging new study, Alan Harding challenges the orthodoxy that there was no state in the Middle Ages, arguing instead that it was precisely thenthat the concept acquired its force. He explores how the word 'state' was used by medieval rulers and their ministers and connects the growth of the idea of the state with the development of systems for the administration of justice and the enforcement of peace. He shows how these systems provided new models for government from the centre, successfully in France and England but less so in Germany. The courts and legislation of French and English kings are described establishing public order, defining rights to property and liberty, and structuring commonwealths by 'estates'. In the finalchapters the author reveals how the concept of the state was taken up by political commentators in the wars of the later Middle Ages and the Reformation Period, and how the law-based 'state of the king and the kingdom' was transformed into the politically dynamic 'modern state'.
Alan Harding is an Emeritus Professor of Medieval History and Honorary Fellow of History at the University of Liverpool, and Honorary Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh.
Title:Medieval Law and the Foundations of the StateFormat:HardcoverDimensions:350 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.06 inPublished:January 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019821958X

ISBN - 13:9780198219583

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: State - Word and Concept2. Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Justice3. The Courts of Lords and Townsmen4. The Spread of Organized Peace5. The Judicial Systems of France and England6. New High Courts and Reform of the Regime7. The Legal Ordering of 'the State of the Realm'8. The Monarchical State of the Later Middle Ages9. From Law to Politics10. Conclusion: Law and the State in HistoryBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"[Harding] is particularly adept at uncovering the wheels of medieval administration. The book is the best comparison of medieval French and English legal and governmental institutions in any language."-- The Journal of Interdisciplinary History "The achievement of this book through its broad reach and rich evidentiary detail merits unstinting praise."--American Historical Review "A learned and lucid book is this, rich in historical detail." - - CHOICE