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The volume begins with a study by Douglass C. North that emphasizes the economic and social factors that encouraged the development of freedom in the West and inhibited its development in other societies, notably China. The Greeks first devised civil and political liberty, and also were the first to have a word, eleutheria, for the concept. Martin Ostwald traces the history of the word over the course of Greek history, seeking when and why it assumed a meaning similar to freedom. Brian Tierney demonstrates how the medieval Church, by perpetuating Roman traditions of popular election and inspiring representative government, was vital to the development of modern freedom. The earliest secular institutions to follow the example of the Church in shaping their own governments were the towns of Italy, and John Hine Mundy shows how the towns served as the initial training grounds for laymen in the practice of free government. Monarchs whose coffers were depleted by continuous warfare sought to tap the resources of the wealthy towns and better-off rural residents, but these long-independent groups were not easily bullied and gathered their representatives together to negotiate taxation and grievances. In two chapters, H. G. Koenigsberger traces this background of parliaments and estates from all over Europe from the thirteenth century through the early modern era. In seventeenth-century England, parliamentary legislation would become the major vehicle for protecting the liberties of the subject. Before that, however, the common law courts were the main arena for advancing freedom, as J. H. Baker shows in his examination of the key developments in the common law. Traditionally, the Renaissance and the Reformation have been looked upon as largely separate phenomena. William J. Bouwsma asserts that in fact they were closely linked, with profound consequences for the shaping of modern freedom. Donald R. Kelley discusses the various forms and justifications of resistance that arose against the powerful monarchies that had emerged from the chaos and confusion of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.