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How did the nature of kingship evolve during the 14th and 15th centuries?

During the 14th and 15th centuries, the nature of kingship evolved from feudal lords to centralised monarchies.

In the early 14th century, the nature of kingship was largely defined by the feudal system, where power was decentralised and kings were often seen as first among equals among their nobles. Kingship was not absolute and kings often had to negotiate with their nobles for support and resources. This was a period marked by a balance of power between the king and his vassals, with the king's authority often being challenged.

However, the nature of kingship began to change in the late 14th and throughout the 15th century. This was a period of significant political, social and economic changes that led to the centralisation of power in the hands of the king. The Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Peasants' Revolt all contributed to this shift. These events weakened the nobility and strengthened the position of the king, leading to the emergence of more centralised monarchies.

The Hundred Years War, for example, required kings to raise large armies and collect taxes on an unprecedented scale. This led to the development of more efficient administrative systems and the growth of a professional bureaucracy, both of which increased the power of the king. The Black Death, on the other hand, led to a shortage of labour and an increase in wages, which undermined the economic power of the nobility and further strengthened the position of the king.

The Peasants' Revolt was another significant event that influenced the nature of kingship. The revolt was a reaction to the social and economic changes brought about by the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. It was brutally suppressed by the king, which demonstrated his power and authority.

By the end of the 15th century, the nature of kingship had evolved significantly. Kings were no longer just feudal lords, but centralised monarchs with significant power and authority. They had a professional bureaucracy at their disposal and were able to raise large armies and collect taxes on a large scale. This marked the beginning of the modern state and the end of the feudal system.

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