This chapter discusses the three main developments in the evolution of political forms during the Middle Ages: the emergence in all civilized areas of what Bellah calls the ‘Historic’ religions; the destruction of the old established state structures and the creation, after a time of troubles, of completely novel ones, in some areas; and the interruption of this same process of state-and-community building by wild incursions of uncivilized hordes from the Eurasian ‘heartland’. It concludes with a discussion of the state system at the close of the Middle Ages.
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