De Iure Polonico in Ius Teutonicum: Germanic Law and the Civic Republican Continuum in Central Europe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Germanic urban law entered the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Middle Ages, primarily in the form of Saxon Magdeburg’s model of political organization and jurisprudence. In the Early Modern period, Magdeburg Law fostered an articulate political culture for the burghers of central Europe, which resembled the civic republicanism of the Italian city states before the Renaissance. Despite the legal modifications made to Magdeburg Law in Poland-Lithuania, the Polonization of the burghers, and the growing dominance of the nobility, the political culture of the Polish-Lithuanian burghers continued to resemble to worldview of city citizens across Central Europe into the late eighteenth century. The so-called conservatism and backwardness of the Polish and German burghers in comparison with the revolutionary bourgeoisie in France can be explained largely by the fact that the former more successfully resisted the encroachments of enlightened monarchs, who sought to undermine local self-government and increase their own power under the slogan of progress.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIII Congress of Foreign Researchers of Polish History
Publication statusPublished - Oct 14 2017

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