Power is a driving force in Widows and Orphans: Chapter 5. Associations at all levels of society gave individuals more power than acting alone, from the guilds of the working man through to the organisation of monarchy and finally the beginnings of parliament.
From multiple versions and revisions of the school textbook A History of the Modern World, artist Jamie Shovlin took the underlinings and highlightings from generations of readers as the basis for the chapter scripts. He worked with a group of young people in Lincoln to record the narration. Months were spent editing the visual material of the films to create a multi-layered experience.
Widows and Orphans: Chapter 5 reading script:
Many consequences flowed from the rise of agricultural productivity.
There was no merchant class. The world was still too unsettled for the individual to act alone. Within each town merchants and craftsmen formed associations, or “guilds,” for collective supervision of their affairs. The guilds served a public purpose, for they provided that work should be done by reliable and experienced persons. It was an important function of the guilds to protect their own members.
Meanwhile the kings were busy, each trying to build his kingdom into an organized monarchy that would outlast his life. The kings needed money to pay for their governmental machinery or to carry on war with other kings. The royal demands for money, the royal claims to exercise jurisdiction, were regarded as innovations.
When representatives of the towns began to be normally summoned to the king’s great “talks,” along with lords and clergy, parliaments may be said to have come into being.