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States of CreditSize, Power, and the Development of European Polities$
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David Stasavage

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140575

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140575.001.0001

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Representative Assemblies in Europe, 1250–1750

Representative Assemblies in Europe, 1250–1750

(p.47) Chapter Three Representative Assemblies in Europe, 1250–1750
States of Credit

David Stasavage

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the evolution of representative assemblies in Europe during the period 1250–1750. Numerous historical sources provide evidence of a clear distinction between the financial roles played by representative bodies in city-states and by those in territorial states. Within city-states, representative bodies met frequently, they played a direct role in controlling government finance. Within territorial states, representative assemblies were sometimes an obstacle to a government's efforts to obtain credit. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of representative assemblies before discussing the prerogatives of representative assemblies in city-states and territorial states. The evidence relates to long-standing historical arguments about the emergence and evolution of political representation. The chapter also highlights the pronounced difference in the activities of representative assemblies in city-states and territorial states.

Keywords:   representative assemblies, credit, Europe, city-states, territorial states, government finance, political representation

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