Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Guard, town
(917 words)

The term town guard refers to municipal defense organisations as a whole or portions of them. It was used only sporadically before the 19th century; such bodies had many names: town watch, civic guard, town garrison, town soldiery, town militia, civilian soldiery, militia, companies, watches, etcetera. The use of the term town guard in the sources and the literature does not permit a more precise definition, distinguishing for example between armed citizens and soldiers paid by the town.

The sovereign military authority to guarantee internal security and the capacity to engage i…

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Hohrath, Daniel, “Guard, town”, 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 03 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_028074>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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