How Did England Become A State

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The most general explanation of the state is given by Simon Roberts. He describes the sovereign state as a social phenomenon that consists of four key elements, namely “a presence of a supreme authority, ruling over a defined territory, who is recognized as having power to make decisions in matters of government and is able to enforce such decisions and generally maintain order within the state” (Hall, 1984, p.1). Before any country can achieve a state consisting of all four elements, a country passes through a number of stages. This paper examines how England became a state and why. How did one king introduce a system of government that formed the basis of the English state? What other events contributed to this? According to Palmer (1995): …show more content…

After defeating king Harold, William I, who had seen feudalism in France, introduced the system in England. He established feudalism as a new political system that was structured in a hierarchal way. It was physically impossible for the king to rule every part of the kingdom himself. Additionally, William I was not popular with the people of England and to be a respected king, it was important to gain complete control of the country. Therefore, a distribution of power was needed. The lord, in this case the king, would choose loyal nobles or lords that he could trust upon to hold land for him. These men were also known as vassals (Bell, 1863, p. 189). This land was not simply granted to his vassals. They had to swear loyalty to the king (William I), collect land taxes from the people who lived in their area and they had to provide the king with soldiers when needed. This assured the king of money and soldiers during wartime (Opello, 1999, p. …show more content…

Different kings, rulers and periods have formed the English state into what is it today: a liberal, Parliamentary state, where the king does not rule by himself and where the commoners as well as the lords contribute to politics. Forming the state of England began with William I in 1066, who brought a new political system to England: feudalism. The English state was ruled under one king. Even though the king could rule the country through his trusted lords, the king never gained absolute power. Many kings followed his lead, but not one of them truly respected the large influence Parliament had and has in England. Efforts have been made by several rulers to overthrow or ignore Parliament, but Parliament remained the victor. The English state is formed by wars and revolutions, but the most important one was the revolution of Parliament from 1688 until 1689. Also known as the Glorious Revolution and meant to fight a king that neglected laws and disregarded promises made. Eventually, by installing the Act of Settlement in 1689 people were granted with individual rights and liberties. Respecting the importance of equality and granting people a voice in politics was the outcome of the Reform Act of 1884. Throughout the years Parliament has been a force to reckon with. Through perseverance and the urge to be respected and recognized, Parliament has always been and it still at the helm. It has claimed its place in

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