The institutions of the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons during this period are those of their ancestors of the "Germaina" with those changes, which migration and conquest naturally made. Long continued warfare created the King. Nothing approaching the modern conception of a King was to be found while the tribes dwelt in Germany. The highest power was that of the Dux, chosen by the voice of his associates and intrusted with a carefully limited power, for a carefully limited period. The long continuation of the power necessarily intrusted to the chief of each petty expedition had the result of making such power permanent. Kingly power over minute districts led the way through gradual conquest and survival of the fittest, to Kingdoms and Kings on a large scale, until at last there appeared as a final culmination the King and Kingdom of England. The kingly power, however, was for life only and not inheritable. The successor of the dead king was elected by the people, or by the Wittenage-mote, although the choice in general was confined to the members of the royal family.

Together with the King there appeared a new nobility and a new system of land ownership. The comites of the Dux rose with the advance of their leader. The new nobility was apparently composed of a union between part of the old nobles and these new comites, and it is probable that of the two classes the personal followers of the Dux fared the better. Nobility now came to mean something more than a mere status. It denoted the position of a large landholder. Private ownership of land existed from the beginning of the conquest of Britain. Very large estates fell to the Dux, large ones to the nobility, and small estates to each follower. In addition there still remained large tracts of unallotted and untilled land belonging to the public. The systems both of rank and land ownership was still crude; or, it might perhaps be better said that no system had as yet, been worked out. This work was left for the great Teutonic law givers of a somewhat later age - for Offa, Ine, Aelfred, Dunstan, and Canute.