chapter  2
73 Pages

The foundation and development of European monarchy

WithSverre Håkon Bagge

This chapter deals with the various means of a military, legal, administrative, religious and cultural character, by which the European states were built. Medieval and early modern Europe differs from its predecessor, the Roman Empire, as well as from its neighbouring civilization, Byzantium, in practising dynastic succession to the throne; which suggests that the origins of this practice should be sought in the Germanic tribes. An important source of income for the states of southern Europe, France, the Spanish kingdoms and the Italian urban communes, was the tax on salt. European states did make war and war was also important for their development but in a way that conforms neither to Tilly’s nor to Morris’ picture. With the development of standing armies from the late seventeenth century onwards, the difference between periods of war and peace in this respect was reduced; military expenditure was high even in peacetime.