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How Far, and Why, was Military Strength an Essential Ingredi

            How Far, and Why, was Military Strength an Essential Ingredient For Successful Statecraft for the Mercian and Frankish Kings. .
             Any definition of statecraft must incorporate three basic elements. These are the ability to maintain internal cohesion within the kingdom's borders, the ability to defend the integrity of those borders and finally, if necessary, the ability to expand successfully. So what are the mechanisms that a king may utilise in order to satisfy these needs? Internal cohesion is a complex matter which involves a host of different processes and mechanisms. These may include a sense of shared identity, institutions, religion, law, interdependence and so on. Opposing these are a number of centrifugal forces which tend to break up the state such as rivalries, ambitions and conflicting ideologies and ideas. These are all considerations that a state must address, to build for itself a sustainable machinery of governance. Military force is undoubtedly an important lever in any such machine. The ability to protect the boundaries of the state will depend on a number of factors. Issues of geography and infrastructure and the strength, willingness and ability of your enemies to attack you must all be considered. Security is achieved by making your enemies either unwilling or unable to attack you. This will require diplomacy and ultimately military strength. The flip side of this is a state's desire to expand. Expansion can occur on a number of different levels involving creating zones of influence, subjugating or assimilating a people. This paper will attempt to illustrate the importance of the interplay between these three factors in Mercia and Francia. The system of statecraft in this period had a strong internal logic, which when all was working well, was able to create a strong military power through its own processes of coherence.
             It is important for us to develop a good understanding of what the state actually consisted of during the Mercian and Frankish period.

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