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Public Expulsion Rituals And Early Modern Authority

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Chapter Summary

The examination of banishment cases provided in this chapter illustrates that the local authorities-lacking the resources to police its borders effectively-proved incapable of keeping the most defiant or desperate of the offenders they banished from drifting back into the territory. A new paradigm based upon mediation and negotiation between rulers and subjects has emerged among scholars who study early modern social control. Analysis of the town council's banishment practices contributes to the current shift away from vertical explanations of social control by highlighting the chronic inability of sixteenth-century authorities to enforce their statutes effectively, their reliance on popular support in carrying out their judicial functions, and the role of punishment rituals in bridging this gap between authorities' absolutist pretensions and the actual policing power at their disposal.

Keywords:banishment; early modern authority; local authorities; public expulsion rituals; town council; Ulm's new patrician rulers



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