Family in Europe.

 This was generally expressed in terms of the father as king over the family. He was the ultimate authority who decided all things and in whose hands the welfare of all rested. However, problems at the state level began to change this dynamic. It was proven again and again that the kings did not necessarily take their paternal duties seriously, allowing many of their ‘children’ to die of disease and starvation. In order to break with these monarchs, it was necessary to break the linkage in people’s minds between the king and the father. This break, once instituted, remained and the political role of the family in terms of defining the operations of the state waned.

The idea that the father was the king of the family led to a natural relationship between the king and the father. Viewed as a king, the King of a nation was often too abstract and distant for common people to fully understand or heed allegiance to. However, thinking of the king as the father made him instantly more accessible as his duties became clear in the minds of the populace. While peasants had a very little conception of what a king was required to do in order to make the state operate efficiently, they were able to envision him as the man taking care of all the top-level orders that would be necessary for the running of an efficient estate as the father normally did. This was true whether the estate was a leased cottage on farmland or a grand collection of homes and properties that each had to be maintained. This connection was reinforced by Biblical connection to the tasks laid upon Adam and the analogy between king and God in that each determined the fates of the flock of ‘children’ under him. Adam was given the rulership over all life on earth, highlighting the need for a supreme ‘decider’ while God was the ultimate father in heaven.&nbsp.

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