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HIS109Y1 (536)


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Anthony Cantor

Humanism Ordinances of Justice 1293 Cosimo de’ Medici (d. 1494) Lorenzo de’ Medici (d.1492) L-B Alberti (d.1472) L. Valla (d.1457) N. Machiavelli (d.1527) Petrarch (1304-74) Leonardo Bruni (d. 1444) 1. Rise of money economy was a result of long-distance trade & created a diff. structure (new classes in society, including merchants who had power based on wealth) 2. Italy was always different from rest of Europe (long distance trade never really ceased) b/c of sophistication of city, Italy had other advantages:  Cities were ecclesiastical centers  Have to have money economy w/ Roman church in midst. Rome became important economic center (based on trade, money was still there). Rome was a magnet for the faithful, for pilgrims, who travelled w/ merchants.  Feudalism set down only the most shallow roots in Italy, only above the Kingdom of Naples, b/c need for f. wasn’t there, b/c Italy had a means of communication & had other solutions b/c there were alternatives. Italians were more flexible in terms of cultural organization  Struggle between sovereignty based upon Guelfs & Gibellines who were both in Italy (Pope & emperor, church & state). There were 2 sources of sovereignty operating simultaneously. place where cities continue to thrive, trade continued, lots of cosmopolitan travel: Italy is quite diff. from rest of feudal Europe => Italy had advantages to capitalize on.  Italy was where people fled to during crusades b/c it was closest to where war was taking place, Italians had skill in ship building, had concentration of wealth in cities & a high degree of independence. Crusades provided lubricant of cash. 1. By 1200, Italy developing in a way that would take another century in northern Europe.  Still were nobles in towns & cities in Middle Ages. Tension between merchants & nobility (which were v. interdependent) was most intense in Italy than anywhere else; cities were battlegrounds w/ common street fighting. Ex. Florence 2. Grew rich & powerful b/c it made highest quality wool & cloth (new dying technology) that could be sold throughout Europe @ very expensive prices, making Fl. Extremely wealthy. surplus money from trade was turned into more money, making Fl. Banks v. large. Banks & trading co.’s were closely linked rise of Papacy required efficient banking systems. Banks in Sienna rose up first but Pope was nervous about this b/c it was Gibelline. Then Pope took advantage of Fl. Which was a Guelf city, so he shifted all his economic activity to Fl., Fl. Banks became largest & most sophisticated. Fl. Maintained monopoly on wool & expanded banking industry & provided benefits to pope & ecclesiastical establishment but cutting out middlemen between wool-sellers & banks. 3. Street violence was so intense that Pope had to step in, sent his nephew in 1280 to find way out & solution was: nephew said head of mercantile cartels (7 guilds: judges, notaries, spice dealers, etc.) were recognized legally to form a collective committee to take care of city’s economic situation & they were good at it b/c they knew how to pool resources, start partnerships, etc. & worked against common enemy (nobles) between 1282 & 1293, merchants took over gov’t (first, took advantage of nobles distrust of each other: merchants took “accounting” job in gov’t & in effect, became employers of military, divided city into 6 sections, each w/ a militia, by 1289, Fl. Merchants controlled much of organized military force & felt strong enough to fight nobilitymerchants abolished serfdom (provided private armies to nobles) in Fl. Territory (serfs pulled into cities b/c there was more attractive work there)nobles became more violent
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