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This introductory essay examines trends in the historiography of eighteenth-century cities, contrasting a street- and macro-level approach. Proponents of the street-level approach chart the ways eighteenth-century people traversed through, interacted with, claimed, and contested urban spaces, endeavoring to recover their lived experiences and shed light on dialectics of power and authority inscribed on a discrete urban canvas. Advocates of the macro-level approach chart patterns of trade, influence, power, and demographics within an expansive, interconnected urban system. This essay outlines the historiographical traditions out of which these two approaches to urban history emerge and concludes with a brief consideration of how the two traditions might inform one another.