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To Take or to Make? Contracting for Legitimacy in the Emerging States of Twelfth-Century Britain

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  • Leigh A. Gardner

    (Jesus College, University of Oxford)

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    Abstract

    The early twelfth century was notable for the centralization and consolidation of royal governance in the centre as well as the periphery of Europe. This paper presents a model of medieval kingship in which consent for the king’s rule is founded upon a network of bargains and agreements between the king and magnates who hold local power. The model is applied to the administration of Scotland under King David I (1124–1153). David I consolidated and expanded his authority by providing magnates who held local power with incentives to cooperate through the strategic distribution of revenue and provision of protection services, including the enforcement of property rights, dispute resolution and the facilitation of exchange. This theory is also used to explain Scotland’s appropriation of land in northern England following the death of Henry I of England in 1135, and its loss of the same territory after David I died in 1153.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/3459/73gardner.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Oxford University Economic and Social History Series with number _073.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 02 Nov 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_073

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    Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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    Cited by:
    1. Paul David & S. Ryan Johansson and Andrea Pozzi, 2010. "The Demography of an Early Mortality Transition: Life Expectancy, Survival and Mortality Rates for Britain's Royals, 1500-1799," Economics Series Working Papers Number 83, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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