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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the political climate at the state level had been devoid of the characteristic features of feudalism. Social and political instability owing to external and internal factors, or incomplete control by the state, were the prime causes of feudalism in medieval Europe and elsewhere. The dwindling power of the house of Dege brought about by a complex of co-wife and fraternal rivalries and intrigues in the house, repeated Chinese ruses, and the general political environment, cast Dege into an almost anarchic situation. This political hiatus offered an unprecedented opportunity for the local nobility to achieve their own individual ends. In 1957, the Chinese Communists who had occupied Kham began to liberate" people in and adjacent to Zilphukhog. This liberation" consisted, among other things, of confiscating all types of arms and ammunition as well as the landed properties of the well-to-do.

Keywords: Dege kingdom; medieval Europe; political climate

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