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The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600Hinterland, Territory, Region$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274604.001.0001

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City-states at the crossroads, 1300–1450

City-states at the crossroads, 1300–1450

The north

(p.129) 5 City-states at the crossroads, 1300–1450
The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600

Tom Scott

Oxford University Press

City‐states north of the Alps are distinguished by their relatively late formation and by expansion as a collective civic endeavour, not driven by factional interests. These cities often formed leagues (Hansa, Swiss Confederation), though their purposes varied. Northern city‐states also used rural citizenship (outburghership) alongside landholding and protective treaties to buttress territorial expansion. Hansa cities in particular acquired territories by mortgage, and in general northern cities were more concerned with axial expansion along trade routes than with radial control of a market hinterland. Several city‐states (Cologne, Augsburg, St Gallen) used putting‐out to dominate their hinterlands’ economies without ever acquiring sovereign territories. In general, initial economic/commercial or political/jurisdictional motives for expansion were superseded in the fifteenth century by fiscal and military needs.

Keywords:   leagues, Hansa, Swiss Confederation, outburghership, axial versus radial control, putting‐out, Flanders, ‘quarters’, city‐states without territory

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