Cities and towns were social constructs, made by the people who built and lived in them. Like many human institutions they acquired a momentum of their own, a dynamic which makes focusing attention on the town as an object worthy of study in its own right desirable. A town was certainly a geographical location but it was not only a location in which the events of human life occurred, it was a structure created to facilitate economic, social and political intercourse which affected the way in which economic, social and political life was conducted. Beneath the particular identity of the individual town, moreover, there are recognisable generic features.
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Sybil M. Jack
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