What I mean is, how did tribal leaders evolve from being just the strongest men in the room to being complete rulers over large societies?
Well the strongest men in one room decided that they were stronger than the strongest in the next room and invaded and conquered, then they set their eyes to the next and the next and pretty soon they were a big enough group that there was little chance the smaller tribes could stand up to them. This continued until pretty soon the stronger men of a single tribe ruled a country then another and pretty soon a continent. Once they ruled a continent, and even to a limited degree before that, they gave conquered land to their buddies, for services rendered or to subdue some rebelious tendencies of others, who then became nobles, imo.What I mean is, how did tribal leaders evolve from being just the strongest men in the room to being complete rulers over large societies?
In zillion different ways, giving rise to quadrillion different types of kingship and nobility.What I mean is, how did tribal leaders evolve from being just the strongest men in the room to being complete rulers over large societies?
I read that the Black plague had a lot to do with it. The gaps in society created opportunity for lower class commoners to move up the chain, own land, go into business.How did the western world manage to wrest itself out of the grip of the nobles, a feat that is practically unprecedented within similarly highly organized societies?
Hmm. Going up the chain doesn't mean that the topmost layer will be any more solidaric towards those remaining behind.I read that the Black plague had a lot to do with it. The gaps in society created opportunity for lower class commoners to move up the chain, own land, go into business.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequences_of_the_Black_Death#Social_and_economic_effectsThe plague did more than just devastate the medieval population; it caused a substantial change in economy and society in all areas of the world. Economic historians like Fernand Braudel have concluded that Black Death exacerbated a recession in the European economy that had been under way since the beginning of the century. As a consequence, social and economic change greatly accelerated during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The church's power was weakened and, in some cases, the social roles it had played were taken over by secular groups. Also the plague led to peasant uprisings in many parts of Europe, such as France (the Jacquerie rebellion), Italy (the Ciompi rebellion, which swept the city of Florence), and in England (the English Peasant Revolt).
Europe had been overpopulated before the plague, and a reduction of 30% to 50% of the population could have resulted in higher wages and more available land and food for peasants because of less competition for resources. However, for reasons that are still debated, population levels declined after the Black Death's first outbreak until around 1420 and did not begin to rise again until 1470, so the initial Black Death event on its own does not entirely provide a satisfactory explanation to this extended period of decline in prosperity. See Medieval demography for a more complete treatment of this issue and current theories on why improvements in living standards took longer to evolve.
The great population loss brought economic changes based on increased social mobility, as depopulation further eroded the peasants' already weakened obligations to remain on their traditional holdings. In the wake of the drastic population decline brought on by the plague, authorities in Western Europe worked to maintain social order through instituting wage controls. These governmental controls were set in place to ensure that workers received the same salary post-plague as they had before the onslaught of the Black Death. Within England, for example, the Ordinance of Labourers, created in 1349, and the Statute of Labourers, created in 1351, restricted both wage increases and the relocation of workers. If workers attempted to leave their current post, employers were given the right to have them imprisoned. The Statute was strictly enforced in some areas. For example, 7,556 people in the county of Essex were fined for deviating from the Statute in 1352. However, despite examples such as Essex, the Statute quickly proved to be difficult to enforce due to the scarcity of labour.
In Western Europe, the sudden shortage of cheap labour provided an incentive for landlords to compete for peasants with wages and freedoms, an innovation that, some argue[weasel words], represents the roots of capitalism, and the resulting social upheaval "caused" the Renaissance, and even the Reformation. In many ways the Black Death and its aftermath improved the situation of surviving peasants, notably by the end of the 15th century. In Western Europe, labourers gained more power and were more in demand because of the shortage of labour. In gaining more power, workers following the Black Death often moved away from annual contracts in favour of taking on successive temporary jobs that offered higher wages. Workers such as servants now had the opportunity to leave their current employment to seek better-paying, more attractive positions in areas previously off limits to them. Another positive aspect of the period was that there was more fertile land available to the population; however, the benefits would not be fully realized until 1470, nearly 120 years later, when overall population levels finally began to rise again.
Unless nobles were restricted in their capacity to fire those who didn't please them, I do not see that a higher mobility of the labourers is to their unambiguous advantage.In many ways the Black Death and its aftermath improved the situation of surviving peasants, notably by the end of the 15th century. In Western Europe, labourers gained more power and were more in demand because of the shortage of labour. In gaining more power, workers following the Black Death often moved away from annual contracts in favour of taking on successive temporary jobs that offered higher wages. Workers such as servants now had the opportunity to leave their current employment to seek better-paying, more attractive positions in areas previously off limits to them.
What is it in the character of make-up of a leader that gains him dominance over other leaders?
there is much one could say:but no one has answered the OP!
--have I missed it?
What is it in the character of make-up of a leader that gains him dominance over other leaders?
Should we focus on this period then? Sounds good to me.I'd favor the middle of the 17th century as the tipping point, where effective royal absolutism at the expense of noble power by means of civilian bureaucracy had its heyday.
The bureaucrat was in no position to build up a gang of followers or a landbase to start a feudal fragmentation of power, as had been the perennial head-ache for kings for centuries.
(The Norman monarchs of Britain had sought to prevent such fragmentation by splitting up the lands each noble had, the Germans uder the Ottonians had tried to make celibate bishops into competing potentates (and with less ability to feudalize for the benefit of their..progeny).)
But once the nobility's power had been curbed by the absolute monarch (with bloody rebellions like the Fronde), the civilian bureaucratic society had no use for the monarch either. His head might as well be lopped off...
That period is, at the very least, closely related to the time when the nobility lost their local position as judge,jury&executor of punishment for misdemeanors and other crimes committed by "their" small-folk.Should we focus on this period then? Sounds good to me.
Fascinating. I came up with maybe two out of your four. Is there a rise to dominance of any particular historical figure that most catches your interest, and how it came about?there is much one could say:
1. As direct descendants of the core lineage.
2. As interpreters of the god's Will
3. Accrual of prestige at critical times.
4. Accrual of dominance in a slightly asymmetric tit-for-tat subsistence economy.
On the last one, think of a peasant village with little more than subsistence existence.
Social relations will naturally build up around smoothening individual members' periods of bad luck vs. good luck, i.e, communal sharing (this doesn't mean that cheaters and parasites who never contribute will be tolerated. on the contrary..)
However, if one member systematically is materially superior than the others, he'll never be on the receiving end, but only on the giving end.
that is, unless he is given compensation for that, for example a heavier "word" in the village council, the rest of the community will, in practice, be parasites on his perennial good fortune.
And thereby, such individuals will grow into a position of local dominance that the others, however grumblingly, will see the moral justification of.
1. Roman dominance of Germany had ended back in the 3rd century. Those piss-poor provinces never paid off much, either (Neither did Britain). When the imperial chaos with soldier emperors worsened as the 3rd century progressed, Germany slipped out of Rome's grasp. But Rome's wealth did, of course, remain in the minds of the Germanic tribes..Do you have a particular part of Middle Ages Europe you are most fond of? England, the German states, France? I think of the middle ages as the interrarium following the break-down of Roman imperial rule by force with the emergence of a Papal dominance, initially weak, still out of Rome.
In hardcover, perhaps?Egads, the book costs $220.00.
I own most of the history books I've read, yes. I have to spend my money on something besides cigarettesarildno your knowledge is just amazing. Do you own a vast library?
I rather liked hordes of barbarian invaders.In hardcover, perhaps?
I bought mine, in paperback, from amazon.com for just under 50$
The book takes a panoramic view of the whole Mediterranean region, plus developments on the fringes of the previous Roman Empire, like Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany (but not the Slavonic regions).
The time frame is roughly 400-800AD.
I own most of the history books I've read, yes. I have to spend my money on something besides cigarettes
then you should definitely invest in Peter Heather's "The Fall of The Roman Empire", a mere 12 bucks read:I rather liked hordes of barbarian invaders.
I'd love to read your collection,
Most of it. With some German works as well.is much of it in English?