The Modern Nation State

  • Bernard Crick
Part of the Studies in Comparative Politics book series (STCP)


So ‘the state’, strictly speaking, is a unique form of government unknown in Europe before the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and reaching its full development in the seventeenth century. It is this form of state which Max Weber’s famous definition — the monopolist of the legitimate means of violence — alone fits.48 As the concept developed, it became associated with an attendant philosophy — that of sovereignty, and an attendant form of society — that of a nation. From a world that had known such varying and sometimes coexisting forms of government as would-be universal empires, city-states, the great hybrid of Rome, despotism and feudalism, there eventually emerged with the age of discovery and the brief period of European global imperialism, a world entirely constituted of nation states all claiming sovereignty.


French Revolution Political Tradition Autocratic Government Attendant Form Henry VIII 
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Copyright information

© Government and Opposition 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Crick
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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