The wealth and commercial success of merchants were both a cause and consequence of their domination of urban politics. Though some merchants, like Cosimo de Medici and Jacob Fugger, chose to infl uence city government through informal means, in most cities merchant families enhanced their power by joining together in merchant guilds and assuming membership of the council or councils that governed the city. Council members generally served for life, and they often rotated in and out of the offi ce of mayor. In some cities certain seats on the council were reserved for the elected representatives of specifi c groups, especially craft guilds, but more often the existing council members chose the replacements for members who had died. Many city councils in the sixteenth century tried to limit membership to an exclusive group of families, though men from newly rich families were generally still able to turn their fi nancial success into membership of the city’s political and social elite. Not surprisingly, city economic policies generally worked to the benefi t of merchant guilds and their members, who gained disproportionally from economic growth. Some cities in Germany and Italy remained independent city-states throughout the early modern period, but elsewhere in Europe centralizing monarchs asserted their power over cities. Urban leaders often recognized that cooperating with monarchs could give them advantages, allowing them to shape national as well as local fi nan cial and trade policies, and infl uence other government decisions. Men from wealthy merchant families – especially second and third sons, who often trained as lawyers – became royal offi cials, and gradually, in many parts of Europe, the urban elite and royal service merged into a single oligarchy of wealthy, educated men whose families intermarried. As we saw in chapter 3 , service to a monarch might eventually bring a noble title, formalized in France as a position in the noblesse de robe . Originally members of the noblesse de robe could not transmit their titles to their heirs, but by the seventeenth century these ranks also became hereditary. They were, in fact, often simply purchased outright for the tax advantage conferred by noble status. Even those cities located within centralizing monarchies, such as London and Paris, had a level of autonomy that rural areas did not. All cities could build walls to regulate the fl ow of people and goods, charge taxes, hold markets, and form a citizens’ militia. Legally and juridically, a city was a corporate community, embodied in the adult male heads of household who were its citizens; women, and men who were not citizens, had to pay taxes and supply troops for the citizen militia, but they had no political voice. Almost all European cities were enclosed by walls with gates and watch-towers; as immigration from the countryside swelled the urban population, spaces between houses were fi lled with new buildings and additional stories were built on existing houses. Once this was no longer possible, houses were built right outside the walls, and eventually these suburbs might be enclosed within a second or third ring of walls. With the development of effective siege cannons, city fortifi cations were often enhanced by thicker walls, massive bastions, and permanent defensive guns. Citizens paid special taxes to build and maintain these walls, and their construction provided work for the city’s poor and recent immigrants. The physical structure of most cities can serve as a metaphor for urban social, economic, and political structures. In contrast to today, the center of most cities was the most desirable neighborhood, with the large houses of merchants, lawyers, and other wealthy individuals close to the cathedral, church, or main market place that marked the hub of the city. Here the city built government buildings, including elaborate city halls, courts, and public granaries. Slightly out from the center were the homes of craft guild masters and professionals; goods were produced or services performed on the fi rst fl oor or at the front of the house, while the family, along with servants, apprentices, and sometimes journeymen, lived at the back or in the upper stories. The craft guilds described in chapter 1 continued to organize the production and distribution of most products well into the eighteenth century or even longer. In theory, all guild masters were equal, following the same rules about the size of their shops, hours of operation, and access to raw materials. In practice, richer masters often hired servants to undertake the less-skilled parts of production, or pushed for fewer restrictions on the number of journeymen allowed in each shop. Sometimes they even hired poorer masters and their workshops outright, effectively reducing those masters to wage laborers and transforming themselves into capitalist entrepreneurs. These moves were occasionally accompanied by formal changes in guild regulations, but more often by a lack of enforcement of existing rules, as guild offi cials charged with their enforcement were often the same wealthy masters who benefi ted when they were fl outed. Confl icts between masters were often accompanied by confl icts between masters and journeymen. During times of economic expansion, apprentices and journeymen looked forward to the day when they too could become masters, marry, and establish their own shop and household. During times of decline or uncertainty, guilds often restricted the number of new shops and limited membership to sons of masters or those who married a master’s widow or daughter. Many journeymen continued to work for a master all their lives, becoming essentially wage laborers. They began to think of themselves as a group distinct from masters rather than as masters-in-training, and formed special journeymen’s guilds, termed compagnonnages in French and Gesellenverbände in German. They held initiation rituals, when they were often given a new name and taught a secret oath, met regularly in taverns or private drinking rooms, and held memorial services for those who had died. Journeymen had little opportunity to accumulate property or money, so they became particularly concerned with what has been called the “symbolic capital” of honor and skill, and acted harshly against those they saw as dishonoring the guild. Their idea of “honor” was very different from that developed by craft masters and merchants. For journeymen, frequent travel, physical bravery demonstrated in fi ghts and contests, spending all one’s money on drinks for friends, and camaraderie all gave one status, while for masters and merchants honor involved stability, honesty, reliability, and authority over one’s family and servants. Both masters and journeymen were groups of men, and the differing notions of honor became the core of two very different ideals of masculinity , ideals that later shaped working-class and middle-class notions of what made a true man. Political authorities and guild masters feared journeymen’s guilds would provoke social and political unrest, and often banned them. The Diet of the Holy Roman Empire banned separate journeymen’s associations in 1530, 1548, 1551, 1566, 1570, and 1577, but the frequency with which this ruling was repeated is a good indication of its ineffectiveness. Journeymen enforced their demands by boycotting a master or sometimes an entire town, spreading the word as they traveled. In many parts of Europe, journeymen won the right to live on their own rather than with the master’s family, and to determine who would be allowed to work in guild shops. They refused to work next to those they regarded as dishonorable, which often included married journeymen and women. State authorities trying to promote the free movement of labor in the eighteenth century ordered journeymen to accept their married colleagues, but opposition remained strong. In the minds of most journeymen, getting married meant one had clearly broken with an ideal of masculinity that prized connections among men and the ability to move around easily; a man who married was thus not a real man. Journeymen’s associations survived well into the nineteenth century, when they continued to carry out strikes and supported many of the 1848 uprisings.