Household, Community, and the Right to Bear Arms in Early Modern Germany


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project explores the right and the duty of bearing arms in South German towns during the early modern period, and identifies the development of a weapons culture associated with notions of householding and citizenship. The approach is cultural rather than military, with a view towards understanding the relationship men had with their arms and what that meant to early modern identity. At the heart of the study is a rich array of archival sources, treated both qualitatively and quantitatively to reveal the day-to-day experiences of early modern German townspeople with weapons and violence. The result is a clearer understanding of the way in which early modern townspeople constructed gendered concepts of individual, household, and community.