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Palgrave Macmillan

The Communal Age in Western Europe, c.1100-1800

Towns, Villages and Parishes in Pre-Modern Society

ISBN 9780230536852
Publication Date June 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Studies in European History

The Communal Age in Western Europe, c. 1100-1800 offers a fresh interpretation of the significance of towns, villages and parishes in the medieval and early modern period. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources from numerous regions, Beat Kümin:

• explains how local communities empowered common people through collective agency and a degree of local autonomy
• demonstrates how communal units impacted on key historical developments, from the Reformation to state formation
• provides case studies of the Italian city, the English parish and the village in the Holy Roman Empire
• surveys communal origins, constitutions and cultural representations, as well as contested issues such as gender roles and inner tensions
• evaluates related historiographical debates on communalism and republicanism.


Informed by a genuinely comparative and integrated approach, this original volume offers an excellent introduction to European history 'from below', and to the fundamental building blocks of European society.

Beat Kumin is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Warwick, UK.

List of Figures
Editors' Preface
Preface
Notes on the Text
Introduction
PART I: CASE STUDIES
1. The Italian City
2. The Village in the Holy Roman Empire
3. The English Parish
PART II: LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
4. Communal Cultures
5. Interactions
PART III: ASSESSMENT
6. Perceptions and Debates
Conclusions
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

"Highly recommended." - Choice
"Kümin's book is a welcome survey of an important topic and makes a significant contribution to both scholars and students alike." - Ezra L. Plank, Communal Societies
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