We present new evidence about the relationship between military conflict and city population growth in Europe from the fall of Charlemagne’s empire to the start of the Industrial Revolution. Military conflict was a main feature of European history. We argue that cities were safe harbors from conflict threats. To test this argument, we construct a novel database that geocodes the locations of more than 800 conflicts between 800 and 1799. We find a significant, positive, and robust relationship that runs from conflict exposure to city population growth. Our analysis suggests that military conflict played a key role in the rise of urban Europe.
- Economics and Econometrics
- Political and economic development