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Parties and factions in the late middle ages: the case of the Hoeken and Kabeljauwen in The Hague (1483–1515)

Parties and factions in the late middle ages: the case of the Hoeken and Kabeljauwen in The Hague (1483–1515)

By Serge ter Braake

Journal of Medieval History, Vol. 35:1 (2009)

Abstract: The late medieval political history of Holland is dominated by two opposing parties of noblemen and citizens: the ‘Hoeken’ (Hooks) and ‘Kabeljauwen’ (Cod). From approximately 1350 until 1500 these two parties determined the political landscape in Holland on a provincial and local level. The situations of open conflict between the two parties, usually in times that the position of the count of Holland was weak, have been studied thoroughly in recent years. The networks of both parties during periods of relative peace, however, have been for the most part neglected. Here it is argued that it is vital to study the networks during periods of peace as well to be able to say what the nature was of both parties. An analysis of the networks of the ‘winners’, the Kabeljauwen in The Hague at the end of the fifteenth and start of the sixteenth century, serves as an example of how fruitful the analysis of party networks can be after, or in between, periods of open violence. The importance of the Kabeljauw networks for three decades after the end of open friction is demonstrated. Studies of parties and factions in late medieval Italy serve as a constant base of comparison throughout the paper.

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