Monarchy and Kingship in Medieval Period (1)

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  • Monarchy and Kingship in Medieval Period (1)
    • In one region of Europe, Monarchy did not exist - Italian peninsula
      • All independent kingdoms in their own right
      • Did fall in remit of Holy Roman Empire
      • Republic of Florence, Siena, Venice
        • Ruled by Oligarchy
          • Leading citizens or merchants
          • Worked well in Italy because Italian city states were so powerful
          • Very difficult for single ruler to centralise and bring these states together
          • Defended their independence
    • 3 categories of Monarchy
      • Notional Kingship
        • Holy Roman Empire
          • Why Holy?
          • Why Empire?
          • Consequences
      • Feudal Kingship
        • France
      • Sovereign Kingship
        • England
    • Monarchical system widely accepted to be best system to rule by
      • Creates harmony between leading nobles of that kingdom
      • Contemporaries favour monarchy for offering focus for common interest
      • Through King taxation can be raised and other things that are of common interest
    • What made the Monarchy?
      • Medieval Kings should not be compared to C20th despots
      • King had to rule according to certain standards and expectations
      • Rule and position defined by certain, clearly expressed parameters
      • First expectation of king
        • he would have royal blood
          • Tended to legitimise and strengthen king's position
      • Second expectation of King
        • A Christian prince
          • Good morals
          • Supporter and defender of church
          • Monarch swears to defend Holy Church
          • Doesn't automatically mean a successful king
            • e.g. the highly pious Henry VI (who was usurped due to being a poor ruler)
      • Third expectation of King
        • King should be a peacemaker
          • Leadership counts greatly here
          • Peacemaking exists on two levels
            • Kings making peace with other kings
          • Law and Justice
            • Peace within a King's own kingdom
            • Has to ensure legal system works - otherwise anarchy will ensue
      • Fourthly, King has to be a hero
        • Henry V
          • Considered by many to be best King ever - was a great warrior
        • Chivalry
          • people aspire to this ideal
      • When Kings do not live up to these ideals]
        • What extent did  subjects have the power to intervene when Monarch fails to follow these ideals?
        • Vital man on the throne has qualities to rule properly


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