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Lec 8 - Politics in the Renaissance

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Nicholas Terpstra

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HIS243 H – Lec. 8 Politics in the Renaissance  Transnational empire – Holy Roman Empire  City state – republic to duchy – Florence  “Nation state” – France: movement towards Absolutism  Things in politics we take for granted would have been unusual for them  What did it mean to survive in politics  Interactions/dynamics o Dynasty o Territory o Religion  Florence – city state o 3 stages (3 individuals, 3 forms of government)  Republic – cosimo de Medici (1434-1474)  Republican oligarchy – Lorenzo de Medici (1469-1492)  Duchy – Duke Cosimo 1 (1537-1574) o One of the most important cities of the time o Trading link to the Netherlands, Constantinople, all over the Mediterranean o Trade control meant control of food supply o Non-coastal city: want to control land and access to sea ports and passes to Northern Europe o Through 14h c. – wars > immediate wars with neighbours and war between larger city units (for political/trade advantage)  Very expensive > Florence almost bankrupt itself because it had to hire mercenaries; no standing army o Geographically successful – controls Tuscany o 1380s-1390s > peninsula wars (particularly that with Milan) means trouble  Goes seriously into debt and only relieved by bonds that citizens would buy (forced loans)  Become unsustainable o 1427 – started new tax system (catast0)  Had to fill out a census and taxed on new worth  Creates for the first time a very detailed census o 1430s – strains continue to get worse  Two prominent family groupings  Albizzi (wealthier) v. Medici (popular) o 1433 – Albizzi take control of the government (Florence loses battle with Piza)  Blame the Medici and arrest Cosimo (head of the Medici) – he is banished o They think this will weaken the Medici faction o Within the next year (1434), Medici gain power again and win against the Albizzi; Cosimo comes back, the Medici take control of Florence and the entire Albizzi faction is banished  Stay in power for the next ~300 years HIS243 H – Lec. 8 o Progression of three stages in movement from informal power to formal power o Understand how to use the city itself and understand how to use external elements from the city o Duke Cosimo will understand how to work from persuasion to formal power o Cosimo de Medici: wealthy man (papal banking) o Lots of allies in the city (culti
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