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The Making of Polities
Europe, 1300–1500

$117.00 (X)

Part of Cambridge Medieval Textbooks

  • Author: John Watts, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521792325

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About the Authors
  • This major survey of political life in late medieval Europe provides a framework for understanding the developments that shaped this turbulent period. Rather than emphasising crisis, decline, disorder or the birth of the modern state, this account centres on the mixed results of political and governmental growth across the continent. The age of the Hundred Years War, schism and revolt was also a time of rapid growth in jurisdiction, taxation and representation, of spreading literacy and evolving political technique. This mixture of state formation and political convulsion lay at the heart of the 'making of polities'. Offering a full introduction to political events and processes from the fourteenth century to the sixteenth, this book combines a broad, comparative account with discussion of individual regions and states, including eastern and northern Europe alongside the more familiar west and south.

    • The first overview of political life in late medieval Europe for thirty years
    • Provides a new perspective on the age of the Hundred Years War, Peasant's Revolt, Great Schism, Black Death and Renaissance
    • Combines a broad overview with attention to individual regions and states ranging from the British Isles to Poland, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...his sanguine view of the importance of this period is compelling. Highly recommended." -Choice

    "Watts’s book is a remarkable feat. It essays a reinterpretation of late medieval western European history which is far more than a work of synthesis …. It is courageous, original, and thought-provoking. It demonstrates the inadequacies of all the current conventional assumptions, and is to be welcomed for putting politics and ideas back at centre stage. Despite the title of the series in which it is published, this is much more than a text-book." – English Historical Review (2012) (George Garnett).

    "very convincing book … develops a truly superb narrative, thanks to the European perspective" -Historische Zeitschrift (2010) (Karl Ubl)

    "…succeeds with clarity and originality in its declared intention of reinterpreting and reassembling all the pieces of the puzzle in a coherent whole which is greater than the sum of its parts." - Storica (2010) (Isabella Lazzarini)

    "an important new synthesis of late medieval politics and political culture: one that offers a strong and clear argument, both substantive and methodological; one that moves away from a focus on the nation-state and the large Western kingdoms; and one that succeeds in drawing out the parallels and commonalities that give the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries across the entire continent of Europe unity, logic, and direction." – The Medieval Review (2010) (Adam Kosto)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521792325
    • length: 484 pages
    • dimensions: 123 x 143 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Europe in 1300: the political inheritance
    3. The fourteenth century
    4. The fifteenth century
    5. Conclusion
    Bibliographical notes.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Crossing Medieval Boundaries: Atlantic World, 1250-1700
    • History Practicum: The Crusades
    • History of the Middle Ages
    • Introduction to the Renaissnace
    • Late Middle Ages
    • Medieval Europe 1198 - 1500: From the Crusades to the Renaissance,
    • Medieval History
    • Medieval Italian Literature
    • Medieval and Early Modern Europe
    • Modern Western Civilization
    • Premodern Europe
    • Spain and Morocco
    • Survey of Early Modern Europe
    • The Expansion of Medieval Europe
    • The Four Horsemen Ride: Crisis and Change in Europe, 1300-1650
    • The Later Middle Ages
    • The Making of Modern Europe
    • The waning of the Middle Ages
    • Western Civ
    • Western civilization to 1650
  • Author

    John Watts, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
    John Watts is a Fellow and Tutor in History, Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His previous publications include Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (1996) and, as editor, Power and Identity in the Middle Ages (2007).

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