Urban political violence in the fifteenth century, from Prague to Hamburg

During the late medieval period in Central and Northern Europe, urban spaces were at the epicenter of much of the trade, the manufacturing, the technological innovation, and administration of the regions surrounding them. Compared to the rural world, they were often hubs of trade, as zones of affluence and relative safety. But these urban spaces were also fraught with tension and not unusually, violence. Because of the important role played by towns in so many aspects of life for every medieval estate, relatively small incidents of political strife or open violence, which town dwellers made many efforts to quell, could have enormous ramifications both within and far beyond the town walls.
This paper examines a few specific cases of social violence in towns, and in particular the large, partly autonomous towns known as Free Cities, and how these incidents impacted the urban center and the larger polities around them.