Cities and Urban Patriciates

Alexander Cowan

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:
Cities and Urban Patriciates

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Urban centers had an influence on the development of Renaissance Europe disproportionate to their overall demographic importance. Most of the population continued to live and work in the countryside, but towns and cities functioned as key centers of production, consumption and exchange, political control, ecclesiastical organization, and cultural influence. Historians still debate the relative roles of urban and rural areas in facilitating the development of capitalism in the long term. Writing on urban history has a very long pedigree dating back to the 16th century, but as an academic discipline it began to flourish in the late 19th century. Since the 1960s, the range of approaches to the field has widened considerably from concerns with political and economic organization to take in issues of governance, social structure, and, most recently, overlapping urban cultures. The role of religious belief, particularly in the context of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, runs as a thread throughout the history of the urban experience.

Article.  12426 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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