University of Paris strike of 1229

University Of Paris Strike Of 1229

University of Paris strike of 1229

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In 1229, a student riot at the University of Paris resulted in the deaths of a number of students, and the ensuing "dispersion" or student strike in protest lasted more than two years and led to a number of reforms of the medieval university. The event demonstrates the "town and gown" power struggles between Church, secular leaders and the emerging student class, as well as a lessening of local Church authority over the university, which was placed squarely under direct papal patronage, part of the program to centralize Church structure that had intensified under Innocent III.


The University of Paris was one of the first universities in Europe and considered the most prestigious because of its focus on the "Queen" of science, theology. It was founded in the mid 12th century and received its official charter from the Church in 1200. It was run by the Church and students were considered part of the church and thus wore robes and shaved the tops of their heads in tonsure, to signify they were under the protection of the church. Students operated according to the rules and laws of the Church and were not subject to the king's laws or courts. This presented ongoing problems of students abusing the laws of the city, which had no direct recourse for justice and had to appeal to Church courts. Students were often very young,...
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