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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1138: Power Elites in the Later Middle Ages, II: The Polities of the Low Countries

Wednesday 8 July 2015, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Miet Adriaens, Historisch Onderzoek naar Stedelijke Transformatieprocessen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Moderator/Chair:Laura Crombie, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Paper 1138-aSeigniorial Lordship and State Building in 16th-Century Flanders
(Language: English)
Miet Adriaens, Historisch Onderzoek naar Stedelijke Transformatieprocessen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Index terms: Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 1138-bNegotiating Ducal Policy: The Estates of Brabant and the Inauguration Charters of the Brabantine Dukes, 15th Century
(Language: English)
Valerie Vrancken, Onderzoeksgroep Geschiedenis van de Middeleeuwen, KU Leuven
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1138-cThe Dual Role of Local Elites Concerning the Alienations of Princely Domains, Guelders, 1423-1473
(Language: English)
Jaap Ligthart, Department of Medieval History, Universiteit Leiden
Index terms: Administration, Economics - General, Local History, Politics and Diplomacy

As the princes of the various polities of late medieval Western Europe aspired to expand their territories vis-à-vis their neighbours, they were faced with the constant challenge of finding the necessary funds for every-larger military operations. This provided them with strong incentives to seek support from the rural and urban elites of their principalities. Not only did the princes need their political loyalty, these rural and urban elites were also capable of providing extensive loans to the state. In exchange for their aid, these power elites acquired princely support to expand their own authority over the localities, to increase the family possessions and to intervene in princely decision making. This process of state building thus provided elites with the leverage to (re)shape the policy of the prince and the organization of the state. This session will explore the complex relationships between the princely state and the group of rural and urban elites for the Low Countries between the 14th and the 16th centuries approached from a social (lordship in Flanders), textual (Brabantine Inauguration Charters) and financial (princely demesne of Gelre) perspective.