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The Logic of Political Conflict in Medieval CitiesItaly and the Southern Low Countries, 1370-1440$
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Patrick Lantschner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198734635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198734635.001.0001

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Florence and Tournai

Florence and Tournai

Constitutional Systems of Conflict

(p.131) 6 Florence and Tournai
The Logic of Political Conflict in Medieval Cities

Patrick Lantschner

Oxford University Press

Constitutional mechanisms, such as elections and councils, represented the principal mode of conflict in late medieval Florence and Tournai, where the rules regulating such mechanisms were subject to frequent manipulation by rival political groups. Underlying these mechanisms were high levels of conflict, which were also reflected in a tradition of violent protest and the culmination of such conflicts in occasional revolts. This system of conflict was encouraged by the existence of political units that were strong, but relatively stably integrated into the existing political framework: guilds and factions in Florence, as well as parishes, which constituted the predominant form of neighbourhood organization in Tournai. Bargaining was further encouraged by the plurality of institutions related to the commune of Florence as well as to the pluralistic framework of state institutions in Tournai. In both cities, however, external warfare could disrupt these patterns of conflict and stimulate the outbreak of major revolts.

Keywords:   Florence, Tournai, France, election, council, negotiation, revolt, guild, faction, party, parish, neighbourhood, commune, state, warfare

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