I would like to create a steampunk world which society has the following base structure:
- Power is pretty decentralized to cities or small areas containing some cities
- There should be no great wars (small conflicts between areas might be possible, but nothing that would deserve the name war)
I am trying to figure out, why the world stays (for at least some hundred years in that state). I am not a sociologist (or historian), but my real world assumption are the following:
People tend to build larger groups (than just cities or small areas) as countries or similar. I guess, they try to cover enough area to be able to do as much living requirements (husbandry, etc.) within their own border without the need to exchange with other countries?
Also at the borders of these areas people often tend to fight against each other (over ground or whatever [silly] reason).
What reasons could the people in my world have not to build that large power groups, but a way more decentralized world? It would still be okay if larger formal groups exist, as long as the real power is decentralized.
And what reason could prevent them from fighting each others at the border for a longer time.
Could you give me some plausible long term view on that society that has let to that stable situation or are my basic assumptions about what happens in the "real world" wrong?