Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 June 2021
This chapter traces foundations for the organizing framework of the modern nation-state to post-Conquest England. Feudalism was essential, as institutionalized in the royal prerogative, administrative kingship, and covenantal social bonds. I focus on the historical factors that made England distinctive, in this period, both in the intensity of its feudal structures and in the strength of royal, prerogative powers. I argue that a unique combination of Anglo-Saxon legal legacies with the Norman Conquest's imposition of powerful rulership facilitated the coalescence of a regime involving new levels of social power. Roman law, canon law, and English common law each played vital roles in this coalescence, with new levels of economic growth fueled by new types of legal privileges. Development of new technologies, for example the windmill, was one result.