(1,716 words)

1. Political entity

1.1. Meaning and History of the Term

In the context of local administration, commune (from Middle Latin communa, communia, “local community, body politic”) is a term denoting regional corporations with the right of self-government (control over income and expenditures, local jurisdiction, and the capability of choosing their own office holders). As a rule, communes represent the smallest unit of local ad…

Cite this page
Fahrmeir, Andreas and Gleixner, Ulrike, “Commune”, 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 15 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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