Icelandic Commonwealth

The Icelandic Commonwealth refers to the state existing in Iceland between 930 (the establishment of the Althing) and 1262 (the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king).

The state had only two out of the three usual pillars of government; legislation and courts. There was no central executive power. Thus, a farmer might show up at the Althing and have his foe lawfully convicted as an outlaw - but he would himself have to enforce the law; or hire someone to do it.

This state of affairs has fascinated many later libertarian theorists.

This article is a stub.

copyright 2004