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The City In Early Modern Europe Notes

History Notes > Reformation to Revolution 1517-1789 Notes

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The City in Early Modern Europe Lecture:Still predominantly a rural societyIncreasingly disproportionate influence of citiesRise in particular cities, especially administrative centres and coastal cities, notably port citiesAs population increases the cities would grow and develop, leading to further influxes of people and further development in the city: cyclic.

Impact of State formation:The importance of capital cities as the focal point of a unified state o

London became increasingly important to the British as a centre for trade and a social hub for foreign ambassadors to visitGrowth of government bureaucracyEvolution of warfareo

Cities became the focal points of war - to conquer a province you were required to capture the main city. New fortifications began to appear such as trace Italienne style castles which added to the sense of grandeur.


The 30 years' war was significant because a lot of the turning points of the war, such as the battle of Prague, were centred on the entering and capture of large cities. The importance of the cities was evident because their increased economic importance.

Aristocratic residence in towns and cities. o

More aristocrats began to move to a city which was advantageous for their business deals. This led to the city's infrastructure improving. For example, Covent Garden was constructed as a market square for the upper classes where they could spend their money and show off to other families

Changing nature of the urban environment:-

Appearance of new modes of urban living, such as: o

Piped water which greatly increased sanitation, adding to the appeal of living in cities


Centres of consumption, leisure and entertainment would provide a basic sort of economy and get money in circulation


Paved streets


Carriage travel

Not universal adaptations, initially these were reserved for the most elite of cities such as Antwerp and London.

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