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The Freestate of the Three Leagues in the Grisons, a rural confederation in the Swiss Alps, was one of the most unusual political entities in early modern Europe. In the sixteenth century, its inhabitants enjoyed popular sovereignty and remarkable local autonomy, and many of them insisted on political equality among citizens, and on political leaders' responsibilities to their communities. The author of this 1995 book uses pamphlets and political documents to trace the Freestate's evolution, focusing on its institutional structure and on the political language used by its inhabitants. This language included radical statements about 'democracy' and rule by the 'common man'. Even so, the Freestate participated in contemporary European political developments; but because it was different, it provides new perspectives on political ideas in sixteenth-century Europe. It represents a political culture distinct from both absolutism and later liberal ideas.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521893794
ISBN-10: 0521893798
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 308
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 9-May-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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