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The Growth Of Civil Society: The Emergence Of Guilds Of Lawyers In The Southern Low Countries In Its European Context (The Sixteenth And Seventeenth Century)

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Chapter Summary

In the late medieval and early modern Netherlandish cities, economic and professional life was mainly organized in crafts and guilds. In confraternities townspeople could devote themselves to religious activities and charity; the shooting guilds provided the necessary training for the urban militia; townspeople with literary interests found their way to chambers of rhetoric. All these associations had common structures and ritualized devotional activities. In the professional- cultural sector, guilds of librarians and of artists were active in the larger cities. From the fifteenth century onwards, but mainly in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one sees the emergence of associations (confraternities, guilds, colleges) of schoolmasters, and of legal and medical professionals. These types of associations are scarcely researched and never in the context of civil society. This chapter concentrates only on the lawyers' associations.

Keywords: civil society; lawyers' associations; Netherlandish cities



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