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The History of Government from the Earliest TimesVolume II: The Intermediate Ages$
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S. E. Finer

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207900

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207900.001.0001

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(p.613) Overview
The History of Government from the Earliest Times

S. E. Finer

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the three main developments in the evolution of political forms during the Middle Ages: the emergence in all civilized areas of what Bellah calls the ‘Historic’ religions; the destruction of the old established state structures and the creation, after a time of troubles, of completely novel ones, in some areas; and the interruption of this same process of state-and-community building by wild incursions of uncivilized hordes from the Eurasian ‘heartland’. It concludes with a discussion of the state system at the close of the Middle Ages.

Keywords:   political forms, Middle Ages, historical religions, state system, invasions

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