EUROPE 1300 - Despite this apparent unity, two political...

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Despite this apparent unity, two political philosophies were contending for dominance. The Church preserved the Roman ideal of a centralized and disciplined state encompassing all of Christendom, while the secular governments had abandoned this ideal. Unlike China, Mesopotamia, and other parts of the Old World that had sustained empires throughout their history, western Europe did not have a central plain or river system upon which such an empire could be based. Instead, there were many states, each following its own path of development: England: constitutional monarchy; Aragon: social contract; Florence: political machine; Milan, military dictatorship; Rome, theocracy; France: absolute monarchy; Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden (Switzerland): pure democracy; London: syndicalism; Venice: oligarchy; Poland: parliamentary government; and so forth. Probably at no time in history or anywhere on Earth had so many different approaches to statecraft existed in such close proximity. The greatest of these states was the Church.
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course HISTORY 170 taught by Professor Romero during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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EUROPE 1300 - Despite this apparent unity, two political...

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