To what extent was pre-conquest England, a civilised and sophisticated state? Consider:
a. Will/law enforcement
b. Land organisation?
c. Society organisation?
d. Taxation collection?
e. Sources (e.g. the Recitudines)
In this essay I will outline the state of pre-conquest England under Edward the Confessor’s government. I will consider how the King’s will was enforced, who he trusted with keeping the peace and his law enforcement. I will also cover how the land was organised and how this differed to other countries, as well as the organisation of society and its efficiency. The last and one of the most important points regarding the sophistication of the state is the taxation system which Edward formed and actually applied, this was in fact very advance in comparison to Europe at the time. So, when William the Conqueror took over as King of England did he inherit a civilised and sophisticated state or was it in great need of a Norman revamp? Body:
What was England before the conquest? By 1066, it was a defined state wwith borders, administrative units, laws and taxation records, a unique blend of cultures melded together yet continually evolving. By the 11th century the contemporary idea of society was that of three levels; those who fought, those who prayed, and those who worked. The aristocratic class of landowners did not dirty their hands; they served the king in battle and in administration. The churchman had their hierarchy stretching from the pope in Rome, to the bishops, abbots, monks and the village priests. To further exacerbate the point, there where merchants, craftsmen and sailors. As we can see, society was well structured and developed.
To determine whether pre-conquest England was a sophisticated state we must examine and explore the organisation of finances. What emerged in England in the 10th and 11th centuries was an efficient system of taxation based upon sound currency. The minting of coins...
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