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MOST countries' kings practiced "Diplomacy by marriage." Austria stood out by making it work. That's because her kings' marriages seemed to be highly topical, rather than random. For instance, there didn't seem to be much of a point for Maximilian of Austria to marry Marie of Burgundy. Until you realize that Austria is on the southeast edge, and ...


Adam Smith in An inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations noted: [W]hen land was considered as the means, not of subsistence merely, but of power and protection, it was thought better that it should descend undivided to one. In those disorderly times, every great landlord was a sort of petty prince. His tenants were his subjects. He ...

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