Edelen in het laatmiddeleeuwse graafschap Zeeland. Een analyse van hun politieke en sociaal-economische positie rond het jaar 1475
Noblemen in the Late Medieval County of Zeeland. An Analysis of their Political and Socio-Economic Position around the Year 1475
The late medieval period is often portrayed as a period of crisis or transition for the nobility. This contribution represents a first step towards testing this assumption empirically. The political power and feudal property of the noblemen in the county of Zeeland around the year 1475 are mapped for this purpose. The analysis shows that the noblemen had a strong grip on the county through their offices and the Estates of Zeeland and that their income came primarily from their feudal rights. The growing power of the prince and the towns did not affect the position of the noblemen fundamentally. The long-term development of the composition and power of the noble population can be established by constructing a number of such snapshots. A regional perspective on the history of the nobility also counterbalances the emphasis placed by some historians on the importance of state service for noblemen.
This article is part of the special issue 'The history of the nobility in the Netherlands and Belgium'.
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