This chapter seeks to trace the development of the European state and the adoption globally of the European model of the state. The state function first emerged in city-states which acted as centres of political activity, belief system and the coordination and regulation of economic activity. Centres of 'civilization' like these became linked up to form politico-economic alliances with kings, emperors and imperial rule. Such arrangements were however based upon military power and therefore tended to be transitory, depending as they did upon the maintenance of allegiances with local rulers or 'warlords'. By contrast the absolutist kings who emerged in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were able to centralize power much more effectively using combinations of more efficient administration and more effective military force. The ability to concentrate the proceeds of taxation provided finance for the development of military technology and organization. In this can be discerned significant principles on which modem nation-states are based, but their full development depends also upon the onset of modernity with urbanization and industrialization giving rise to forms of emancipation which were absent in earlier forms. Emancipation drew the talents of more people into the enterprise of nation-state building. The modem nation-state, therefore, is based upon the familiar model of government by a liberal-democratic parliamentary system served by bureaucratic administration. The decisions of government are upheld by an independent judiciary and backed up where necessary by what has been described as a monopoly of the legitimate means of violence. This is normally divided into two functions, with a police force for internal order and army, navy and air force for external defence.