New studies of the political, economic and intellectual globalization would seem to suggest a qualification of the eighteenth century as, instead of "reformer" - as we used to define it with the title of the masterful synthesis of Franco Venturi - "globalizer". The eighteenth century emerges from this research as a century marked by a historically decisive circulation of people, goods, capital, trading companies, bureaucracies. This expansion of intercultural contacts, in which the West held positions of political, economic and military supremacy, pervaded the intellectual debate of the philosophes, giving him a huge impact on the present and future of humanity. Against this mainstream, this article will introduce a perspective somewhat dissonant, focusing on one aspect which so far has hardly been the subject of analysis. I am referring to the largely unfinished process of deregulation of citizenship and property rights. This fundamental liberalization, despite several attempts, remained largely neglected by European governments of Old regime. The study of these issues - here are taken into account through the example of the state of Milan in the era of Habsburg reforms - would help, I think, to lessen the "globalizing" emphasis through which we read that age.
Keywords: Citizenship, Property Rights, Milan, Austrian Lombardy, Maria Theresa, Joseph II
Germano Maifreda, in "CHEIRON" 1/2016, pp. 119-154, DOI:10.3280/CHE2016-001006