Title
Metropolis and hinterland? A comment on the role of rural economy and society in the urban heart of the medieval Low Countries Metropolis and hinterland? A comment on the role of rural economy and society in the urban heart of the medieval Low Countries
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. History
Publication type
article
Publication
's-Gravenhage :Nederlands Historisch Genootschap ,
Subject
History
Source (journal)
BMGN : the Low Countries historical review
BMGN : the Low Countries historical review. - 's-Gravenhage
Volume/pages
127(2012) :2 , p. 82-88
ISSN
0165-0505
ISI
000307196100006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Urbanity was a distinguishing feature of the medieval Low Countries, but even in its most urbanised core a majority of the population continued to live outside the city walls. In his new and encompassing synthesis of the history of the Low Countries in the later Middle Ages, Wim Blockmans emphasises the fundamental intertwining of urban and rural societies in this region, but also the existing historiographical gap between urban and rural historians. This contribution pleads for a reconsideration of the impact of urbanisation and urbanity on rural society as a whole, exemplified for instance, by the role of urban demand as a driving force in the rural economy or by the spread of an 'urban-modelled' civic life beyond the city walls. Although every village community was in one way or another connected to the urban world, villages were not entirely shaped by the latter and striking regional differences in both economic development, social cohesion and political organisation persisted well beyond the medieval period. In order to explain these differences the endogenous dynamics of rural societies have to be taken into account.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/3b1327/b836da5a.pdf
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