THE ROLE OF ROYAL POWER IN THE FORMATION OF AN ANGLO-SAXON STATE, CIRCA 400-900 AD
Goodman, Ryan Thomas
This thesis explores the formation of a state in Anglo-Saxon England from the period of Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early fifth century to the tenth century. It argues that the key factor in the development of the state was the increase in the power of kings during the period. While early kings in England were little more than the leaders of warbands numbering in the dozens rather than armies numbering in the thousands, later kings acquired various forms of power that allowed them to exert greater control over their territories, increase the size of their kingdoms through conquest, and, by the time of Alfred the Great (r. 871-899), claim kingship over all of the Anglo-Saxons. The thesis first examines two theoretical questions: "What is power?" and "What is the state?" Following the direction of sociologist Michael Mann, the thesis posits that there are four types of social power: ideological, military, economic, and political. The thesis then attempts not to define the state precisely, but to provide a series of general characteristics that typify a state level of society. The state is a stratified, hierarchical political system -- usually with three or more levels within its hierarchy -- that breaks up regional and local loyalty and often integrates multi-ethnic (or at least somewhat diverse) populations into a single unified polity. The state also features a system of lasting, impersonal institutions, has the power to tax, and, as Max Weber says, enjoys a monopoly on violence. The remainder of the thesis examines Anglo-Saxon kings' military, economic, and ideological power, and discusses how facets of each of these concepts contributed to the creation of a state in England during the early medieval period.
Goodman, Ryan Thomas. (January 2012). THE ROLE OF ROYAL POWER IN THE FORMATION OF AN ANGLO-SAXON STATE, CIRCA 400-900 AD (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/3853.)
Goodman, Ryan Thomas. THE ROLE OF ROYAL POWER IN THE FORMATION OF AN ANGLO-SAXON STATE, CIRCA 400-900 AD. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2012. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/3853. March 19, 2019.
Goodman, Ryan Thomas, “THE ROLE OF ROYAL POWER IN THE FORMATION OF AN ANGLO-SAXON STATE, CIRCA 400-900 AD” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2012).
Goodman, Ryan Thomas. THE ROLE OF ROYAL POWER IN THE FORMATION OF AN ANGLO-SAXON STATE, CIRCA 400-900 AD [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2012.
East Carolina University