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European City in Comparative Perspective: Seventh International Conference on Urban History  

Τίτλος:Social control and urban government: the case of Goerlitz, 15th and 16th centuries
Κύρια Υπευθυνότητα:Behrisch, Lars
Θέματα:Social control -- Germany -- Görlitz (Dresden) –- History, 15th century
Social control -- Germany -- Görlitz (Dresden) -- History, 16th century
Görlitz (Dresden, Germany) -- Politics and government, 15th century
Görlitz (Dresden, Germany) -- Politics and government, 16th century
Κοινωνικός έλεγχος -- Γερμανία -- Görlitz (Dresden) -- Ιστορία, 15ος αιώνας
Κοινωνικός έλεγχος -- Γερμανία -- Görlitz (Dresden) -- Ιστορία, 16ος αιώνας
Görlitz (Dresden, Germany) -- Πολιτική και διακυβέρνηση, 15ος αιώνας
Görlitz (Dresden, Germany) -- Πολιτική και διακυβέρνηση, 16ος αιώνας
Ημερομηνία Έκδοσης:2007-12-19
Abstract:The imperial cities in the south and west of early modern Germany have been carefully studied both in their political history and in their specific profiles of crime and criminal justice. Cities in the north and east of the German Empire have not received the same degree of attention. However, as they developed under different political and legal circumstances, they do offer some potential for new insights into the relationship between the form of urban government and the pattern of social control. This can be shown in the case of Goerlitz, a place nowadays forgotten but prominent in medieval and early modern Germany. Due to its specific relationship to the territorial lord, a tiny elitist city council managed to govern the town without any kind of guild participation. As shown by the protests articulated during various unsuccessful uprisings, the vast majority of the urban population did not accept this kind of government.However, it is interesting to see that as a result social control took on different forms from what we know about imperial cities in the south and west of the Empire. Although the citizens of Goerlitz made use of the penal institutions provided by the city government, the latter did not turn these institutions and their legal norms into the kind of flexible instruments characteristic in the context of imperial cities. Here, the norms were carefully adapted to the status of delinquents and to the perceived functions of the sanctions. In Goerlitz, however, the archaic and inflexible Saxon law was kept intact. The city council simply did not – and needed not – conceive of crime control as a measure of generating wider consensus. The insufficient penal instruments provided by the Saxon law in turn had consequences for the urban inhabitants: As the criminal records show, conflicts among them were more openly violent and less ritualized than those observed in other cities.
Βιβλιογραφική Παραπομπή:Paper presented at Seventh International Conference on Urban History: European City in Comparative Perspective, Panteion University, Athens - Piraeus, Greece, 27-30 October 2004, Session: Urban stability and civic liberties: two fundamental concepts and the practice of crime control in early modern european cities (1400-1800)
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