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Regional Identity and Economic ChangeThe Upper Rhine 1450-1600$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.001.0001

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The Fracturing of a Regional Identity

The Fracturing of a Regional Identity

Chapter:
(p.274) (p.275) 9 The Fracturing of a Regional Identity
Source:
Regional Identity and Economic Change
Author(s):

Tom Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.003.0010

From 1300 onwards the shifting balance of political and military fortunes on the Upper Rhine had fostered the growth of regional solidarity. The requirements of public peace on the western frontiers of the Empire found their expression in the many defensive treaties which bound local lords and cities together. Yet a sense of positive solidarity, grounded in the perception of enduring common interests, had also emerged in the two centuries before 1500. Its most obvious manifestation was the transformation of the Rappen coinage league from a loose association stretching well into Switzerland to a coinage area restricted to the southern Upper Rhine, whose boundaries were defined more by geography and commerce than by ties of lordship. The rise of confessional divisions gave an added twist to the intricacies of dynastic politics. By 1600, a sense of regional identity on the southern Upper Rhine had neither collapsed nor disappeared — but it had become progressively fractured in the face of territorial and confessional politics.

Keywords:   Upper Rhine, regional solidarity, regional identity, Rappen coinage league, confessional divisions, politics

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