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Of Liberty And The Upstalsboom: Urban-Rural Alliances And Symbols Of Freedom In Early Modern East Frisia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is about social bases and symbolic structure of territorial representation in early modern East Frisia. It has two main points to make. The first concerns the social foundation of “embodiment” in political representation the idea that when the Estates of a nation or province assembled to deliberate they did not “represent” constituencies external to themselves but personified the polity wholly and in assembling made it “present” again. The second point is about the potential of this system to open up and become more inclusive, not to say “democratic,” during the last century of the early modern period. Essential to Ubbo Emmius’ mythmaking was the assertion of new institutional guarantees for preserving ancient Frisian Liberty, a program easily identified with the institutional autonomy of the Estates themselves. Like the Upstalsboom, Frisian Liberty was old and dying, but a re-assembled body politic would nourish its revival.

Keywords: early modern East Frisia; Frisian Liberty; political representation; Ubbo Emmius; Upstalsboom



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