Cities and the Rise of States in Europe, AD 1000 to 1800

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9780813388496: Cities and the Rise of States in Europe, AD 1000 to 1800
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The rise of large, powerful states in Europe after 1000 a.d. transformed life across the Continent and eventually through the whole world. The new European states disposed of unprecedented stores of capital and vast military capacities.In recent decades, scholars have often drawn general models of state formation from the European experience after 1700, then applied them with only partial success to other parts of the world. Although such studies of modern Europe improved on early theories of modernization and development, they failed to accommodate the varied ways in which city-states, empires, federations, centralized states, and other forms of government evolved and the pivotal role that cities played in the multiple paths to state formation. The rise of large, powerful states in Europe after 1000 a.d. transformed life across the Continent and eventually through the whole world. The new European states disposed of unprecedented stores of capital and vast military capacities. In recent decades, scholars have often drawn general models of state formation from the European experience after 1700, then applied them with only partial success to other parts of the world. Although such studies of modern Europe improved on early theories of modernization and development, they failed to accommodate the varied ways in which city-states, empires, federations, centralized states, and other forms of government evolved and the pivotal role that cities played in the multiple paths to state formation.In a sweeping, original work detailing eight centuries of city-state relations, Charles Tilly, Wim P. Blockmans, and their contributors document differences in political trajectories from one part of Europe to another and provide authoritative surveys of urbanization in nine major regions; they also suggest many correctives to previous analyses of state formation. They show that the variable distribution of cities significantly and independently constrained state formation and that states grew differently according to the character of urban networks in a given region. Their systematic study shows that unilinear models of state transformation underestimate the contingency and variability of popular and elite compliance with state-building activities. The books findings offer important implications for the nature of economy, sovereignty, warfare, state power, and social change throughout the world.

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