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The City-State In The German-Speaking Lands

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Chapter Summary

Tom Brady, who has done so much to further our understanding of the role of the cities within the framework of the imperial constitution, concludes his analysis of the south German-Swiss zone of the central European ‘urban belt’ by affirming: ‘One of their distinguishing marks was their formation, based on nearby lands and subjects they acquired through purchase, conquest, grant, and mortgage, of genuine city-states.’ This discrepancy between theoretical deficiency and empirical achievement should encourage us to look afresh at the city-state in Germany. For despite the welter of local studies and some comparative surveys a comprehensive analysis of German cities and their territories is still lacking. This chapter examines each city and its territory in turn, and offers some general reflections and broach questions which still await further investigation.

Keywords: central European; city-states; Germany



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