Whilst much has been written about early modern urban history, the majority of this work has focussed on Western Europe with relatively little available in English on towns and cities in the former communist East. However, in recent years urban scholars have increasingly looked to a much more inclusive picture of Europe that compares and contrasts development across the whole continent. Dealing primarily with Bohemia, Hungary and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, this book provides an insight into a number of key issues concerning the economic, social and demographic trends in early modern East-Central European urban history. Taking a supra-national perspective, across a long time span, it examines the effects of migration, Reformation, state building and economic change on the transformation of medieval urban communities into early modern societies. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, particularly the registers of new citizens kept by many towns and cities, a fascinating picture of urban development and social structure is reconstructed that not only tells us much about East-Central Europe, but adds to our knowledge of the whole continent.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: the closed society and its enemies; Urbanization trends and urban landscape; Urban immigration; Integrity of urban society challenged I: unassimilated groups in cities; Integrity of urban society challenged II: urban conflicts and city autonomy in the context of reformation; Building a Leviathan: the early modern city and early modern state; Urban economy: its basic parameters; Conclusion; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.
’Jaroslav Miller’s book, Urban Societies in East Central Europe, 1500-1700, is an ambitious work that compares early modern urban development in Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Hungary. Empirically rich and filled with countless case studies based on a wealth of archival research and excellent mastery of secondary sources, the work should become an instant classic in the field of early modern East Central European urban history. ... Miller has written the most important work on early modern East Central European urban development in English. His work should become standard reading in any Eastern European PhD program. It is exemplary in its use of archival evidence, supported by secondary sources. I strongly recommend it.’ H-Urban '... the book offers the best available introduction in English to East European towns during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and is surely welcome.' English Historical Review '... we should all welcome the appearance of Jaroslav Miller’s ground-breaking book, which is the first, pioneering work in English to review the present state of our knowledge of the cities of East-Central Europe. As such, it will serve as an excellent introduction to the subject for both students and teachers at Western Universities.' Harvard Ukrainian Studies