What forms of government does Kerbouchard experience in The Walking Drum?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kerbouchard experiences a wide variety of government and social structures, especially considering the novel's 12th century setting. What is interesting is that the author, Louis L'Amour did extensive historical research for this novel, which is a departure from his typical American Western and in doing so could not help but overlook the stark contrast between Europe's Medieval oppressive society and, at that time, the more forward-thinking structure of the Moores (in Constantinople).  England was ruled by the kings during this time (a monarchy) and still enforced a strict class society.  "Commoners" can be sold into slavery at the whim of their lords and land is for the taking--but only for the aristocrats.

In contrast, the Middle East was experiencing what we would consider a more modern way of life; it was as if Constantinople had entered into the Renaissance before the rest of Europe. While the area that Kerbouchard travels through is still part of an empire, he experiences relative freedom, even though he would not have done so in Britain.  Life is more democratic in the Moorish Middle East during the book's setting, and differing opinions are encouraged.  This is partly true because of its central location and the global culture of an empire versus a monarchy.

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The Walking Drum

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