Changing ideologies of Medieval state formation: the growing exploitation of land in Gwynedd c.1100–c.1400
Journal of Historical Geography, 26, 4 (2000)
This paper focuses on one of the major ideological shifts associated with the territorialization of power experienced within Medieval European society, namely the growing exploitation of land. Using empirical evidence from the kingdom of Gwynedd in Wales, it explores the difficulties faced by Medieval societal rulers in translating their new ideologies of state rule into administrative practice. Their inability to create a consistent administrative structure to match their ideological ambitions meant that there was often a geography inherent in the territorialization of power in the Middle Ages, ranging from a close relationship between ideology and practice near the political core of the state to one of increasing discontinuity between the two near its periphery. The author suggests that the English conquest of Gwynedd in the late thirteenth century—one which was characterized by a far greater infrastructural co-ordination— led, to a large extent, to the dissolution of the spatial variations in the administrative realities of the Gwynedd state.