Modern Europe History
Charles Tilly was determined to explain the way European states have evolved during the ancient times. In his explanation, he came up with three distinct types of states in Europe. These include “tribute-taking-empires; systems of fragmented sovereignty such as city-states, and urban federations, and national states” (Tilly, 21). In his descriptions, Tilly came up with terminologies such as capital-rich” and coercion-rich” in reference to the creation of political units. He looked at coercion, capital and European states in the same perspective to explain the city-states that existed in Europe. He noted that, after the 10th century, Europe experienced a two dimensional development characterized by either “capital-rich” or “coercion-rich” characteristics (Tilly, 30).
According to Tilly, “capital-rich” referred to those parts of Europe that established urban governments that were meant to serve the interests of capitalists. This led to the development of capital-intensive development patterns across the affected cities in Europe. This form of development was common in cities within Italy, Germany and Holland. Cities such as Genoa and Florence were clear examples of capital rich political development (Tilly, 30). On the other hand, the “coercion-rich” regions of Europe referred to those areas where “rulers squeezed the means of war from their own populations and others they conquered, building massive structures of extraction in the process” (Tilly, 30). This form of political development led to the emergence of empires that were characterized by poor capital and extreme coercion. The example of this political development in Europe is presented by the case in Russia and Brandenburg (Tilly, 30).
The other form of government that Tilly talks about is the capitalized coercion. In this regard, elements of “capital-rich” and “coercion-rich” were merged. This led to the development of national states in Europe. This form of government was adopted by France and England (Tilly, 30).
Tilly describes the European states as having been formed due to war making and preparation for war. However, it can be noted that these states became involved in other numerous activities. Notably, the states were involved in other activities such as extraction, adjudication, distribution, and production. This just added to the core functions of the state that included state making, war making, and protection. In the case of state making, the focus was on attacking and checking anyone challenging the territories conquered by the state. War making centered on attack of rivals from outside the territory that is occupied by the state. Finally, in protection, the state checked and attacked rivals of the allies in conquered territories (Tilly, 96-97).
Tilly observed that state activities such as adjudication, production, and distribution experienced a faster growth than other activities including state making, extraction, war making, and protection. The investment in war making and state making among the European states experienced irregular growth during the 20th century. However, “adjudication, production, and distribution went from trivial to tremendous” (Tilly, 97). It has been observed that an expansion in extraction and protection generated the need for adjudication of disagreements among the citizens. In addition, as the leaders extracted resources from the citizens to run the state affairs, people demanded increased “state intervention outside the realm of coercion and war” (Tilly, 97). This led to many states investing in the production and distribution of essential services. Tilly noted that even those states that did not subscribe to socialist tendencies were forced to invest in certain sectors of the economy that had been dominated by private enterprises (Tilly, 97). Nonetheless, it has been observed that, during the millennium under review, coercive activities of the state dominated.
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