Town privileges

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"City rights" redirects here. For the document, see municipal charter.
The Town Charter of Flensburg (1284)

Town privileges or city rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium.

Judicially, a town was distinguished from the surrounding land by means of a charter from the ruling monarch that defined its privileges and laws. Common privileges were related to trading (to have a market, to store goods, etc.) and the establishment of guilds. Some of these privileges were permanent and could imply that the town obtained the right to be called a city, hence the term city rights (Stadtrecht in German, stadsrechten in Dutch). Some degree of self-government, representation in a diet, and tax-relief could also be granted. Multiple tiers existed; for example, in Sweden, the basic royal charter for a city enabled trade, but not foreign trade, which required a higher-tier charter granting staple right.

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