Urban Society in Early Modern Period - Intro

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  • Urban Society in Early Modern Period - Intro (according to Penny Roberts)
    • Only 10-20% of early modern European population lived in towns
    • Influence and importance of urban society was disproportionately great
      • because towns were political, economic, administrative and cultural centres of their localities
    • Exact number of town-dwellers is open to debate
      • Reasons
        • uncertainties of early modern statistics and regional difference
        • on account of problems of definition which have exercised urban historians for decades
    • One of the issues is degree to which urban centres overlapped with rural society and its activities
      • extent of urbanisation differed between states and was dependent on number of factors
    • Although urban population of Europe increased considerably between 1500 and 1800
      • most of growth was concentrated in larger, regionally significant towns
        • Thus, both expansion and stagnation were characteristic of period
    • Urban society also experienced, accommodated and influenced social, economic and cultural change

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