Šľachta v mestách - prirodzený proces alebo negatívny jav?

The Nobility in the Towns – A Natural Process or a Negative Phenomenon?

The text deals with the coexistence of two social classes with different social and legal status – the nobility and burghers within the context of the early medieval towns in the Kingdom of Hungary. The author analyses both members of nobility that settled in towns and burghers who became members of the nobility. At the same time, the author highlights the more complex and structured social and legal differentiation of noble representatives who lived in towns. The multiple aspects (legal, economic or military) of the status of this citizen group is analysed in accordance with precise archival research. Particular emphasis is placed on the specific, and, at the same time, changing relationships towards suzerains – the authorities of a county or a royal free city. The author also points out the fact that, despite that historiography often considered the presence of nobility in towns a negative phenomenon, the merging of the nobility and burghers represented quite a common and understandable development. The legal status and real life of citizens is also compared. The study comes to the conclusion that even though the laws adopted were in favour of the nobility in the 17th century, nobility living in towns respected the decisions of town administrative bodies, this providing a relatively peaceful coexistence. However, the author did not overlook the tension (both potential and real) between the nobility and burghers in towns, which particularly escalated in the last third of the 17th century, when both groups were in a more stressful economic situation in comparison to previous periods due to military conflicts.