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The Conquest of DeathViolence and the Birth of the Modern English State$
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Matthew Lockwood

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217063

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217063.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Conquest of Death

Matthew Lockwood

Yale University Press

The introduction outlines previous definitions of the modern state as well as historians’ current explanations of state formation in early modern Europe and England. It demonstrates that earlier scholars have focused almost entirely on the state’s ability to engage in active warfare and have thus neglected an important aspect of the monopoly of violence, the restriction of non-state or illegitimate violence. The introduction also explores the medieval background of the coroner system, the mechanism designed to regulate violence in England and explains why the system had failed to achieve its proposed ends prior to the sixteenth century.

Keywords:   State Formation, Monopoly of Violence, Max Weber, Modernization, Legitimate Violence, Illegitimate Violence, Norbert Elias, Civilizing Process

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