"A brief review of the principal points in their [the medieval middle class] program will be enough to show that they did not go beyond an indispensable minimum. What they wanted, first of all, was personal liberty, which would assure to the merchant or the artisan the possibility of going and coming, of living where he wished and of putting his own person as well as that of his children under the protection of the seigniorial power. Next came the creation of a special tribunal by means of which the burgher would at one stroke escape the multiplicity of jurisdictions to which he was amenable and the inconveniences which the formalistic procedure of ancient law imposed upon his social and economic activity. Then came the instituting in the city of a “peace” – that is to say, of a penal code – which would guarantee security. And then came the abolition of those prestations most incompatible with the carrying on of trade and industry, and with the possession and acquisition of land. What they wanted, in fine, was a more or less extensive degree of political autonomy and local self-government."
— PIRENNE, Henri. The Municipal Institutions. In: Medieval Cities - Their Origins and the Revival of Trade.