The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the process of the political integration of England, by examining the Mercian assemblies and charters issued during the period of the Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons (c. 880‐927). The conventional view of the position of the Mercians at that time is that they were under the control of West Saxon kingship and became an integral part of the new polity together with the West Saxons. The way in which they were actually governed within that polity has, however, yet to be given the proper attention it deserves. Therefore, by focusing on assemblies, which were the main arena of governance in the polities of early medieval Europe, this article attempts to clarify the realities of the control of Mercia and explore the factors which prompted the integration of the two peoples.
The article begins with an examination of the places, times, attendants, business and process of the Mercian assemblies. While reflecting on such political changes as the invasion of the Vikings and the subordination to Wessex, the assemblies functioned generally in the same way as they did under the previous kingdom of the Mercians.
Next, the author turns to the expansion of West Saxon kingship to include Mercia, in the context of the assemblies. The West Saxon kings became involved in the Mercian assemblies only when their commercial rights, territorial ambition to the Oxford and London areas, and claims of the affinity to the Mercian royal family were concerned. By letting the Mercians convene their own assemblies and taking part in them intermittently, the West Saxon kings succeeded in securing control over Mercia, while at the same time injecting their kingship into its politics. The Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons differed from the assemblies of the Kingdom of the English (927‐), where both secular and ecclesiastical orders from all over England gathered,in that the assemblies of the Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons were normally convened separately by the two peoples, and thus never provided the opportunity for West Saxon and Mercian aristocrats to interact and never contributed to full political integration.
Finally, the author takes up the charters which contained the names and titles of the West Saxon kings as a medium to infuse their influence into the consciousness of the Mercians. Church councils, military campaigns and the West-Saxon court are also reviewed. It was within these spheres that the Mercians built up relationships with the West Saxons and acquired interests which embraced both Wessex and Mercia. The Mercians and their West Saxon counterparts who benefited from these new circumstances were the true driving force in the political integration of England.
This article focuses on the “discourse on peace” arising from the writing of Navy Captain Mizuno Hironori, a well-known Japanese “pacifist” during the war interim period. Mizuno's pacifism has been highly appreciated as one of the building blocks of Japan's postwar constitution, although there are serious difficulties in linking his pacifist views directly with postwar Japanese thought without an in-depth investigation of how his “discourse on peace” was in fact articulated. Moreover, there is the question of how his positive views concerning the right of national self-defense and total wartime mobilization fits in with his pacifism. After a thorough examination of Mizuno's writing, the author argues that he should be characterized as a “rational pacifist”, in that his ideas were based on a kind of rationalism that saw no benefit in war, while at the same time demanding the cultivation of “national strength”.
Mizuno's discourse was based upon a complementary relationship between pacifism and the idea of total war mobilization. However, since this reasoning largely stemmed from “general world trends” of the 1920s, its underlying basis was destroyed within the changing situation after the Manchurian Incident of 1931, which was used as a justification for armaments expansion. Nevertheless, Mizuno did develop in his discourse a view of international relations decrying such social problems as racial discrimination and chauvinism, and ultimately advocating national self-determination. It in this sense, the author argues, that the study of Mizuno's ideas helps us understand pacifism during the war interim period with its two dimensions of international cooperation and anti-colonialism.