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The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124–1290$
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Alice Taylor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749202.001.0001

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The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland

(p.438) Conclusion
The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124–1290

Alice Taylor

Oxford University Press

The conclusion outlines how Scottish royal government developed over the longue durée, and suggests reasons why the late twelfth century has emerged as a particularly key period of governmental change. It then sets these findings within the context of wider scholarship, particularly the relationship between Carolingian kings and their aristocracies, and the role of violence in defining aristocratic power in the central and later Middle Ages. The example of Scotland demonstrates that aristocrats and kings were not in a zero-sum game; aristocratic power was a key part of the state in Scotland. Finally, it puts forward that the fundamental dynamic to be considered when comparing medieval states in the central Middle Ages is that between local and central structures of governance. This helps to explain the variety of royal governmental forms of the European central Middle Ages, and the relative intensity of their institutional power in this period.

Keywords:   gift-giving, violence, states, aristocracies, bureaucracy, medieval Scotland, government, charters, state formation

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