Feudal Government

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


The usual fate of both the vast universal empires and the more specific systems of oriental despotism was to fall apart, though perhaps only after many centuries, through foreign invasion or by provincial governors or royal princes setting up as kings on their own. Such highly systematised and centralised governments could never devolve power without breaking up the whole structure; they could only splinter or break up, and sometimes vanish under the desert when central management of the canals and aqueducts broke down. They never evolved like the former Roman lands of the West into highly pluralistic and locally based power-system of feudalism, except perhaps in Japan. Feudalism was a distinct growth, certainly in Europe, a fusion of primitive Germanic government with Roman administrative, legal and religious (meaning by then Christian) remains.


Provincial Governor Foreign Invasion Usual Fate Republican Concept Vassal State 
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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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