Political Cultures and the Emergence of the State in Europe 1300-1900
Includes the studies that treat many parts of Europe and deal with different phases in the period between the late middle ages and the nineteenth century. This collection provides a platform to reconsider the relationships between top-down and bottom-up processes in the history of the European state.
The emergence of the state in Europe is a topic that has engaged historians since the establishment of the discipline of history. Yet the primary focus of has nearly always been to take a top-down approach, whereby the formation and consolidation of public institutions is viewed as the outcome of activities by princes and other social elites. Yet, as the essays in this collection show, such an approach does not provide a complete picture. By investigating the importance of local and individual initiatives that contributed to state building from the late middle ages through to the nineteenth century, this volume shows how popular pressure could influence those in power to develop new institutional structures. By not privileging the role of warfare and of elite coercion for state building, it is possible to question the traditional top-down model and explore the degree to which central agencies might have been more important for state representation than for state practice. The studies included in this collection treat many parts of Europe and deal with different phases in the period between the late middle ages and the nineteenth century.; Beginning with a critical review of state historiography, the introduction then sets out the concept of 'empowering interactions' which is then explored in the subsequent case studies and a number of historiographical, methodological and theoretical essays. Taken as a whole this collection provides a fascinating platform to reconsider the relationships between top-down and bottom-up processes in the history of the European state.
Preface; Introduction: empowering interactions: looking at statebuilding from below, Andre Holenstein. Southern Europe: The construction of local political identity in lake and river communities in North-West Italy, 12th to 14th centuries, Roberto Leggero; Models of government 'from below' in quattrocento Lombardy. The 'capitoli di dedizione' to Francesco Sforza, 1447-1450, Giogio Chittolini; Local conflicts and political authorities in the Papal State in the second half of the 17th century, Bertrand Forclaz; The politics of mercy: village petitions and a noblewoman's justice in the Roman countryside in the 18th century, Caroline Castiglione; The dynamics of law formation in Italian legal science during the early modern period: the function of custom, Roy Garre. Central and Eastern Europe: Threats from above on request from below: dynamics of the territorial administration of Berne, 1420-1450, Simon Teuscher; Modes of reading, community practice and the constitution of textual authority in Thurgau and Graubunden, 1520-1660, Randolph C. Head; 'God is high up, the Tsar is far away'. The nature of polity and political culture in 17th-century Russia. A comparative view, Endre Sashalmi; Communication between authorities and subjects in Bohenia, Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire, 1650-1800: a comparison of 3 case studies, Stefan Barkensiek; Corporate property, collective resources and statebuilding in older Swiss history, Daniel Schlappi; Local demand for order and government intervention: social group conflicts as statebuilding factors in villages of the Rhine Palatinate, c. 1760-1810, Niels Grune; Joseph-Samuel Farinet and the 'modern' state: banditry, patronage and resistance in 19th-century Valais, Sandro Guzzi-Heeb. Northern and Western Europe - and Beyond: Political topos or community principle? Res Publica as a source of legitimacy in the French peasants' revolts of the late Middle Ages, Vincent Challet; Statebuilding in Portugal during the Middle Ages: a royal endeavour in partnership with the local powers?, Adelaide Millan da Costa; Informing the council. Central institutions and local knowledge in the Spanish empire, Arndt Brendecke; Peasants and tax-farmers in 17th-century Sweden: local conflict and institutional change, Mats Hallenberg; Statebuilding with the participation of the Estates? East Frisia between territorial legislation and communalist ritual, 1611-1744, Reemda Tieben. Historiographical and Conceptual Debates: Citizens and their rulers, Wim Blockmans; Concepts and approaches in recent scholarship on statebuilding - a critical scholarly review, Peter Blickle; No statebuilding from below! A critical commentary, Wolfgang Reinhard; Statebuilding from below - towards a balanced view, Jon Mathieu; The impact of communication theory on the analysis of the early modern statebuilding processes, Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger; Empowering interactions and intertwining jurisdictions, Angelo Torre; Index.