Development of the State Concept

Breanne Chausse and Tanya Kiatsuranon

Ancient States

City-states were the first states to evolve in Mesopotamia. City-states are known as a sovereign state that includes a town surrounded by countryside. The boundaries of the city were separated by walls. Meanwhile in the countryside, agriculture was controlled by the city to produce food for the inhabitants. In case of attacks from other city-states, the countryside also acted as a protection barrier for the city.

Early European States

The Roman Empire controlled most of Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia. The Roman Empire protected itself with massive walls that were put in place to defend the empire's frontiers. The collapse of the empire came in the 5th century after attacks by those living on the empire's frontiers. After the collapse, the European area was changed into a large number of estates. The estates were controlled by competing kings, dukes, barons, and other nobles. Over large numbers of estates, handful of powerful kings emerged as rulers in about the year 1100. Neighboring estates under the king's rule formed the basis for the development of modern Western European states.