The Middle Ages: Western Europe
The regions of Western Europe developed differently during the Middle Ages. France, for example, became a centralized monarchy under King Philip II’s rule and eventually established a governing body (the Estates General) composed of representatives from each province. Germany had a period between kings in the 13th century, resorting to using different principalities to rule until a new king stepped forward. Italy spent the 13th century as a collection of strong and independent townships. In 1215, noblemen forced King John of England to sign the Magna Carta, which gave feudal rights back to the nobles. Poland had many leaders who tried to unite its various lands ruled by different entities. The nobility preferred an oligarchy to a monarchy and crushed these efforts. Hungary was a feudal state by the beginning of the 14th century.
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Last updated: 01/08/2018
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