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HIS109Y1 (536)

Humanism and Italian Renaissance

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Kenneth Bartlett

Date: October 1, 2012 Humanism and Italian Renaissance Rise of mercantile economy challenged the old order ← spurred long distance trade ⇓ new class of society – merchants ← possess power and education necessary to be successful Italy – centre of the Roman Empire ⇓ Rome and other Italian cities: not only mercantile (trade) centers, but also ecclesiastical (religious) centers → enormous amounts of money are generated and passing thorough city Rome and Italy in general were not conquered by barbarians, therefore did not have necessity to establish feudalism – had options. Pope vs Emperor – two major forces (Guelphs and Ghibellines) – much more expressed in Italy 1095 – First Crusade – Italy: o advantageous position o skills of navigation ⇓ brought in more coin to Italy than any other country → rapid growth of towns → expansion of the banking system Florence (enemy city - Piza) – grew rich not through Crusades, but through trade: high quality ⇓ dyed Florentine cloth (wool); surplus money → banking Guelph city – Pope used Florentine banks Florence took payments and taxations in raw materials → monopoly on high quality raw materials Aristocracy vs Merchants → city is a battleground → streetfighting (Montague and Capulet) ⇓ forced the Pope to step in – solution: bourgeois revolution Events that lead to bourgeois revolution: o abolishment of serfdom in Italy – new-found freedom to act on behalf whoever’s paying o formation of guilds – large mercantile organizations – cartels → first established an executive government, then took over the government o nobility – hired military
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