The Network of the Urban
popular rebellions in the Middle ages, as the strikes in the present day, were
frequent," said Marc Bloch. Especially it occurred frequently in the
14th and 15th century. Among them, the urban revolts in
revolts examined separately, and were considered as a series of revolts whose
character was essentially similar. But considering that the revolts revealed the
conflict among the social groups, and they triggered other urban revolts in
2. The solidarity in the city
leading groups and followers of the three above-mentioned revolts were the
merchants and the craftsmen. So they already had the professional solidarity by
way of the guilds. The hanse des marchands de l'eau played an important
role in the revolts of Etienne Marcel in 1358. The hanse was the association of merchants
who shared the commercial interests on the river
the hanse was the association that
represented the Parisian bourgeoisie, and influenced their everyday lives. For
example, the hanse, having the right
of measuring the merchandise, was able to exercise the influence on wine
sellers, grain dealers, drapers, and etc. Moreover the hanse was a superior guild that
represented the major professional ones in
The professional guilds were not the only community that unified the bourgeois. There were also quartiers (quarter or district), combining the bourgeois geographically. The inhabitants in the same quartier formed a community that shared roads and wells, socialized in the tavern and celebrated the religious processions. A quartier was composed of more than fifty units (cinquantaine) and again each cinquantaine divided into about ten households (dizaine), whose leaders were quartenier, cinquantenier, and dizainier, respectively. The inhabitants communicated vertically through these organizations. Their internal solidarity was able to be easily transformed into turmoil or revolt.
major forces of the revolt of Etienne Marcel in 1358 were the hanse followed by the bourgeois and
inhabitants who offered the armed forces to the strike in January 1357 and the
assassination of 2 generals in February1358. The leaders in the revolts of 1380s
were the quarteniers, cinquanteniers and dizainiers. In 1413 the confréries were connected to two
But further investigation will show that the solidarity was not simple and not remained unchanged. The haute bourgeoisie, who led the revolts of Etienne Marcel, did not participate in the revolts of 1380s. On the contrary, the haute bourgeoisie became the target of the revenge. According to the letters of remission, the leading groups of the revolts of 1382 were the mid-bourgeoisie. In the revolts of Cabochiens, neither the haute bourgeoisie nor mid-bourgeoisie was found. The letters of remission did not mention about the occupations of participants. So the only group joining the revolts was the lower bourgeoisie.
These changes imply the exclusive character of municipality and the reorganization of solidarity. A handful of families monopolized the municipal governments and combined each other since the late 13th century. The policing, that is, controlling over the statute was forced to execute rigidly. Moreover it became harder to rise up to a master. The haute bourgeois betrayed their vocation, i.e. the commerce, and began to offer their services to the kings.
Under these circumstances, the traditional guilds had been waned and replaced by conféries since the late 14th century. These conféries were largely organized according to the members' socio-economic status. Consequently the vertical communication networks gradually lost their significance.
In sum, up to the mid-14th century the urban inhabitants maintained their solidarity beyond the limit of the occupational and local boundary. Several revolts took place based on this solidarity. However, the haute bourgeois became more conservative and this change made the previous solidarity of urban inhabitants quite different, clearly shown as three revolts in the late 14th century. Conféries that would replace the guilds were just a mere set of smaller inhabitants with similar socio-economic status.
3. The networks among the cities
revolts prevalent in the 14th century triggered a series of
subsequent revolts and in so doing reinforced the urban networks. For example,
in 1358 Etienne Marcel sent letters to several Northern cities, in that he
requested them to join his revolt. As a positive response to his appeal, the
urban rebels wore the Parisian bonnets. The fact that the Northerners wore the
Parisian symbol proved to what extent the traditional commercial networks based
influenced. It was the common interests based on commercial networks that solidified their cohesion as a political force.
is no doubt that
The fact that the revolts in the 1380s were led by the mid-bourgeois in
close relation was solidified by not only traditional commercial networks but
also bigger problems, the crisis of the 14thcentury. Coping with the
rise in salary and political challenge by the mid-bourgeois in municipalities,
the haute bourgeois had to protect their interests and tried to monopolize the
municipal offices. Especially the textile industry flourishing in the cities on
the commercial network from
Therefore, urban revolts in the late medieval period were caused by the general crises throughout the kingdom as well as internal conflicts. Their presence indicated how the cities as a local center were evolved into a firm stronghold in the kingdom that became more and more centralized.
urban revolts in
professional and regional solidarity mattered as well. The spread of urban
revolts into the extended areas was mainly due to the role of commercial
networks in conveying the initial revolts, as in the case of commercial
solidarity of the cities arrayed from