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Contesting the CityThe Politics of Citizenship in English Towns, 1250 - 1530$
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Christian D. Liddy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198705208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198705208.001.0001

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Written Constitutions

Written Constitutions

Text and Object

(p.165) 6 Written Constitutions
Contesting the City

Christian D. Liddy

Oxford University Press

This chapter is about urban constitutional politics. There was, in a concrete sense, a politics of the constitution. The appearance of formal, written constitutions was an expression of a peculiarly urban identity in late medieval Europe. The chapter explores how, why, and with what consequences written constitutions were produced. The main argument is that written constitutions were an attempt to resolve the inherent tensions within a tradition of urban citizenship. Ultimately, urban politics were about the town constitution as a material object, in the same way that, as previous chapters have shown, they involved struggles over space, time, and communication.

Keywords:   constitutions, texts, bills, charters, images, contract

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