124 – Social Mobility:  Getting a Raise in Anglo Saxon Kingdoms

Ok, so stratification… for the most part we’ve been talking about the Royals and how they’re pulling away from the peasants, but there’s another thing that’s occurring on the island with regard to status… because history is rarely black and white… and that thing is an increasing level of social mobility. And right now you might have thought you misheard me, or that I misspoke, but no… you heard right. Despite the increasing concentration of power that’s been occurring as these Dynasties solidify their hold on power, we’re also seeing increasing social mobility. Crazy, right?

And that’s the real focus of what we’re going to talk about today…. and frankly, the three to four hundred year growth of social mobility is one of the most fascinating parts of this era of history and we can see beginnings of many social aspects of British life finding it’s start right here… And to a certain extent, it’s existence is somewhat self-evident. If the story of Anglo Saxon Britain is one that transitions from societies of farmers and slaves being lead by a King, to one where Kings rule over large groups of farmers that are administered by a variety of officials, tended to by men of the cloth, protected by warriors, and served by tradesmen… by definition, you’re going to have a growth of social mobility and class differentiation occurring.

5 Responses to “124 – Social Mobility: Getting a Raise in Anglo Saxon Kingdoms”

  1. Excellent episode Jamie. Really thorough and well worth the wait.

    Passed the time for me as I made a Sunday Fry up for the household and cleaned the kitchen!

  2. My favourite episode so far. I’m currently cycling around the world looking at interesting historical sites as I go and your podcast downloaded onto my iPod is my constant companion on long dark nights camping in odd places. Brilliant stuff.

  3. Love the Bill Gates analogy, very thought provoking. I tend to picture Anglo-Saxon kings as Vito Corleone type figures, from now Don Corleone will have a significantly higher bank balance.

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