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The scale and scope of citizenship in early modern Europe: Preliminary estimates

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Duration: 0:46:04 | Added: 27 Jul 2015
Chris Minns, London School of Economics, gives a talk for the Arrival Cities COMPAS Seminar Series.

This paper develops a simple methodology to estimate the stock of citizens and citizenship rates for over 30 European towns and cities between 1550 and 1800. We find substantial variation in individual urban citizenship rates, from less than five percent to over twenty percent, even within the borders of present-day Western European nations. Estimates of the share of households with citizens suggest that many early modern cities were relatively inclusive, when compared to the extent of the franchise in mid to late 19th century European nation states. We also find compelling evidence that population growth and urban expansion was associated with a decline in the importance of urban citizenship.

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