Social Origins of Democracy: Shift of power from feudal lords to the monarch

The first stepping stone to the emergence of democracy was the destruction of feudalism and the stabilization of monarchical authority. The old hierarchic social order did not dissolve completely, but it became more elastic and adjusted itself to the new conditions. The stabilization of monarchical authority and the growth of nation-state lessened the importance of feudalism. Till the 15th century, England was a cluster of counties divided among various feudal lords with a monarch dependent on them for military and financial support. The growth of the nation-state diminished the importance of feudal lords. Agreements were made with the feudal barons to serve for pay, with a stipulated retinue of mercenary soldiers.The use of such agreements and of pay changed the complexion of the army and undermined the territorial basis of feudal service. This helped break down the rigidity of feudal hierarchy.

Source: MSS Research

Seyoum T.