Front Page Titles (by Subject) (b) the genesis of the industrial state - The State
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(b) the genesis of the industrial state - Franz Oppenheimer, The State 
The State: Its History and Development viewed Sociologically, authorized translation by John M. Gitterman (New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1922).
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(b) the genesis of the industrial state
Let there be no misunderstanding: we do not maintain that the city comes thus into being, but only the industrial city. There has been in existence the real historical city, to be found in every developed feudal state. Such cities came into being either because of a purely political means, as a stronghold,134 or by the coöperation of the political with economic means, as a market place, or because of some religious need, as the environs of some temple.∗ Wherever such a city in the historical sense exists in the neighborhood, the newly arising industrial city tends to grow up about it; otherwise it develops spontaneously from the existing and matured division of labor. As a rule, it will in its turn grow into a stronghold and have its own places of worship.
These are but accidental historical admixtures. In its strict economic sense “city” means the place of the economic means, or the exchange and interchange for equivalent values between rural production and manufacture. This corresponds to the common use of language, by which a stronghold however great, an agglomeration of temples, cloisters and places of pilgrimage however extensive, were they conceivable without any place for exchange, would be designated after their external characteristics as “like a city” or “resembling a city.”
Although there may have been few changes in the exterior of the historical city, there has taken place an internal revolution on a magnificent scale. The industrial city is directly opposed to the state. As the state is the developed political means, so the industrial city is the developed economic means. The great contest filling universal history, nay its very meaning, henceforth takes place between city and state.
The city as an economic, political body undermines the feudal system with political and economic arms. With the first the city forces, with the second it lures, their power away from the feudal master class.
This process takes place in the field of politics by the interference of the city, now a center of its own powers, in the political mechanism of the developed feudal state, between the central power and the local territorial magnates and their subjects. The cities are the strongholds and the dwelling places of warlike men, as well as depots of material for carrying on war (arms, etc.); and later they become central supply reservoirs for money used in the contests between the central government and the growing territorial princes, or between these in their internecine wars. Thus they are important strategic points or valuable allies; and may by far-sighted policy acquire important rights.
As a rule, the cities take the part of the crown in fights against the feudal nobles, from social reasons, because the landed nobles refuse to recognize the social equality, demanded as of right by their more wealthy citizens; from political reasons, because the central government, thanks to the solidarity between prince and people, is more apt to be influenced by common interests than is the territorial magnate, who serves only his private interests; and finally from economic reasons, because city life can prosper only in peace and safety. The practises of chivalry, such as club law, and private warfare, and the knights’ practise of looting caravans are irreconcilable with the economic means; and therefore, the cities are faithful allies of the guardians of peace and justice, first to the emperor, later on, to the sovereign territorial prince; and when the armed citizenship breaks and pillages some robber baron’s fortress, the tiny drop reflects the identical process happening in the ocean of history.
In order successfully to carry this political rôle the city must attract as many citizens as possible, an endeavor also forced on it by purely economic considerations, since both divisions of labor and wealth increase with increased citizenship. Therefore cities favor immigration with all their powers; and once more show in this the polar contrast of their essential difference from the feudal landlords. The new citizens thus attracted into the cities are withdrawn from the feudal estates, which are thereby weakened in power of taxation and military defense in proportion as the cities are strengthened. The city becomes a mighty competitor at the auction, wherein the serf is knocked down to the highest bidder, to the one, that is to say, who offers the most rights. The city offers the peasant complete liberty, and in some cases house and courtyard. The principle, “city air frees the peasant” is successfully fought out; and the central government, pleased to strengthen the cities and to weaken the turbulent nobles, usually confirms by charter the newly acquired rights.
The third great move in the progress of universal history is to be seen in the discovery of the honor of free labor; or better in its rediscovery, it having been lost sight of since those far-off times in which the free huntsman and the subjugated primitive tiller enjoyed the results of their labor. As yet the peasant bears the mark of the pariah and his rights are little respected. But in the wall-girt, welldefended city, the citizen holds his head high. He is a freeman in every sense of the word, free even at law, since we find in the grants of rights to many early enfranchised cities (Ville-franche) the provision that a serf residing therein “a year and a day” undisturbed by his master’s claim is to be deemed free.
Within the city walls there are still various ranks and grades of political status. At first the old settlers, the men of rank equal with the nobles of the surrounding country, the ancient freemen of the burgh, refuse to the newcomers, usually poor artisans or hucksters, the right of sharing in the government. But, as we saw in the case of the maritime cities, such gradations of rank can not be maintained within a business community. The majority, intelligent, skeptical, closely organized and compact, forces the concession of equal rights. The only difference is that the contest is longer in a developed feudal state, because now the fight concerns not only the parties at interest. The great territorial magnates of the neighborhood and the princes hinder the full development of the forces by their interference. In the maritime states of the ancient world, there was no tertius gaudens who could derive any profit from the contests within the city, since outside the cities there existed no system of powerful feudal lords.
These then, are the political arms of the cities in their contest with the feudal state: alliances with the crown, direct attack, and the enticing away of the serfs of the feudal lords into the enfranchising air of the city. Its economic weapons are no less effective, the change from payments in kind to the system of money as a means of exchange is inseparably connected with civic methods, is the means whereby the method of payment in kind is utterly destroyed, and with it the feudal state.
[∗]“Every place of worship gathers about it dwellings of the priests, schools, and rest-houses for pilgrims.”—Ratzel, l. c. II., p. 575.
[130.]Meitzen, l. c. I, p. 579: “At the time of the compilation of the Lex Salica, the ancient racial nobility had been reduced to common freemen or else had been annihilated. The officials, on the other hand, are rated at threefold wergeld, 600 solidi, and if one be ‘puer regis’ 300 solidi.”