Autonomy
(2,814 words)

The term autonomy (from Greek autonomía, “self-determination, independence”) appeared for the first time in German (as Autonomie) in the context of the confessional and constitutional disputes following the Peace of Augsburg (1555) [3]. Its earliest use in English (with reference to states) dates from the 1620s. It arrived at its various semantic levels in the history of philosophy, law, and religion during the early modern period. As a legal term, it initially meant freedom fro…

Cite this page
Lehmann-Brauns, Sicco, Hofer, Sibylle and Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm, “Autonomy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 16 October 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017259>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321



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