what is the specific foreign name of urban autonomy?
is a big problem if it refers to the special legal status of cities compared with rural areas. We may start with the origin of Western European cities in the middle ages.
historians have long believed that the birth of medieval cities in the 11th century was the result of commercial development and the settlement of distant merchants. The most famous representative in this regard is pirana’s medieval city published in 1927. The “grey feet” who went on a long journey to do business came to settle near the center of the old city (usually the remains of the Roman Empire), or lived in the suburbs, or concentrated in some kind of business district, such as Portus, which is the main traffic road. So the city revived.
but this argument has now been abandoned. Of course, with the construction of roads and bridges connecting new residents, facilitating the circulation of goods and personnel, and the increase of money circulation, commercial trade has developed. But it must have been driven by production in advance. But commerce is not the first and only activity originated from the city. Handicraft industry is also developing there, and cities have other functions, first of all religious, military and administrative functions. In addition, handicraft industry is not unique to cities, but also in rural areas. Therefore, it is difficult to separate the various aspects, which support each other, including small cities in large agricultural areas, such as the Loire Valley studied by D. Barthelemy.
in the recovery of cities, individual efforts have played a very important role, whether it is joint action or personal decision-making of Lords. Joint operations are usually supported by the concept of peace, or because of the cohesion of local saints’ worship, they reunite participants into citizens to form organizations such as confreries and amities, that is, fraternity and mutual aid, or guilds if they have the same occupation. This reunion ensures mutual assistance among members and excludes outsiders. They tried to gain legal status and privileges to expand the city.
the joint action mentioned above is generally believed to be the earliest in Le Mans in 1070, which produced communes (it can be considered that this is a city with strong autonomy). When the Lord develops fortified towns or promotes the resettlement of new villages, he will also create cities. Therefore, medieval urban land was not separated from the Lord system. It is generally in the hands of several lords, including religious and secular lords, who implement land property rights or compulsory rights and interests in the city. These lords focused on the development of annual tribute, commodity tax (tonlieux), as well as the collection of tolls and taxes on judicial rights and interests.
is different from pirena’s idea. Most citizens come from nearby areas. Merchants and craftsmen came from cities or suburbs, sometimes even from the house of the city Lord, or from the people around him (Familia), or his administrative agent (miniseriaux). Therefore, the source of personnel has obvious continuity with the past. Residents of St. Omer, Amiens or Reims come as far as a radius of 30 kilometers. Small cities also absorb population within a radius of 15 kilometers, that is, the range of one-day travel. Therefore, urban life has a deep penetration relationship with the nearby villages. Agricultural activities and rural social networking are the necessary supplement to the city. Cities provide farmers with churches, markets or markets, pubs, and sometimes prostitutes. Villagers living in cities have homes in cities and nearby suburbs, while all handicraftsmen are growers and animal husbandry at the same time.
how do you define medieval cities? City is a chaotic existence. The city referred to in medieval vocabulary is just a village to us. There is no standard to define the medieval city:
— we define the population standard of the city today, that is, more than 2000 people. In fact, many medieval cities can not reach this figure — the standard of landmark buildings is also insufficient. The medieval urban landscape did not always have obvious characteristics, which was more obvious in France than in Italy. The existence of city walls is not decisive, because some villages also have fortresses, especially in the South;
– administrative and judicial standards are not applicable. Far from all cities having legal status different from the countryside, on the contrary, the countryside can also obtain privileges and even charters, such as lorris. A big city like Paris, with a population of nearly 200000 at the end of the 13th century, has never obtained special legal status.
but in the 12th century, the difference between cities and pure villages appeared. From the first half of the 12th century, a large number of fortified walls appeared. It was 1135 in Amiens, 1137 in Dijon and 1150 in Rouen. But this is not the decisive factor of the city, but the city wall is a reliable standard for urban development. The walls enclose a dense but divided space like a honeycomb, creating a compact settlement. This was the beginning of the urban landscape. Citizens began to be proud of the towers and gates, churches and large population.
cities have developed new values. The urban ideal emphasizes peace and freedom, so it is different from the values prevailing in the system of Lords. The city hopes for peace, which is the goal of the residents’ Union. This is necessary for business activities and close communication. Citizens also defend personal and property freedom. People say that “the air in cities makes people free”. But we should be cautious about this set of words. There is family competition in the city, which may lead to bloody revenge. Urban violence is not very different from neighboring villages. Many conflicts starting from the countryside are publicized and intensified in the streets of the city, because the streets are dense places of acquaintance and social intercourse. As for freedom, it is also a hierarchical concept. All urban residents called manants in the literature do not enjoy the same degree of freedom, and their legal status does not guarantee the same privileges.
is the most closely related point to the problem, which is the commune or consult movement of the city. In the 12th century, cities in the kingdom of France obtained a large number of legal status, known as chartesdefranchies (which can be literally translated into the Charter of freedom or liberation documents). This is a document issued by the Lord that recognizes that the residents of a place or a group of places have special legal status