Towns like Zurich or Hamburg were quite a bit more republican in their outlook and more democratic in their system of management. Not to say they had Universal Suffrage or anything, but the rulers ruled at the sufferance of the governed and were routinely overthrown.
And the same in Thucydides’ Athens and Cicero’s Rome: they had elections every year, and both Thucydides and Cicero were exiled because they got elected to an office and messed up (Thucydides was away from his post when the Spartans attacked, Cicero executed Roman citizens without a trial). Both were imperial cities like Venice, because that kind of city is the one which leaves us the best evidence. Its really only in the last thousand years that we know much about life in the kind of town where people minded their business and did not dream of taking over the next town.
It looks like if I ever have time I should look at this other Tlusty book. Matt Easton does not really answer email and I don’t know if he is willing to dig up the sources from England which he found all those years ago. But even in England, France, and northern Italy, the question about when and how carrying swords becomes common is still open.