The rise of the modern territorial state in early modern western Europe was a spatially skewed process. An endogenous model of the uneven pattern of 16th-century state information is presented. It holds that the geographical distribution of the first modern state structures was largely determined by preexisting regional differences of social and economic organization, differences emanating from the 12th century if not earlier. The model specifies that three distinct regional modes of production existed in 12th century western Europe. These postulated forms of social organization are designated as the sedentary pastoral, petty commodity, and feudal modes of production.