This chapter identifies, without any pretention of historical preciseness, some stages in the process of centralization of power, and then relates them to the development of urbanity as a civic and economic culture. It discusses the chaotic stage of post-Carolingian, feudal Europe in which decentralization of power was predominant. At all stages, there was an uneasy alliance between city and state, between urbanity and national culture. Prior to the tenth century, when cities began to emerge as centers of socioeconomic and political power, feudal houses were very busy fighting about territory and competing for dominance. This competition eventually led to the concentration of power within a few dominant houses. This concentration of power culminated in the dominance of one family exerting royal absolutist power in a nation-state with borders which had to be defended and preferably extended. The chapter also analyzes the wider political context of the developments in European cities and their urbanity.