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20 Commercial Gain and Urban Vice.docx

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HIST 111
Janna Bianchini

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Commercial Gain and Urban Vice 4/22/13 13 Century- rise of towns and economic/ political developments Iberia- towns became powerful very early (11 C) - Iberian Christian kings learned could use towns against nobles, inc politic/econ leverage (involved in royal counsels, and included w/ nobles +bishops in the Cortes) - Iberian Cortes- earliest phenomenon of parliamentary institutions (congress- product of middle ages) - Estates- represented groups in a Cortes/ parliament (nobles, clergy, town representatives) o Different levels of powers in different Iberian kingdoms - King had to contend to Cortes but some estates hardly worked against the king - Towns more powerful in east than west (b/c of greater importance of trade power in east) but power mostly in king in the west (didn’t have to call Cortes regularly) Magna Carta- great charter, regarded as beginning of English Parliament - Idea that king can’t govern arbitrarily and should have input/ consensus from subjects (not peasants, just nobles, bishops and burghers- townspeople) - Doesn’t set up institutionalized parliament, but sets stage for beginning of it - Parliaments- 3 times a year king has to talk with subjects about what’s happening with kingdom o Unsuccessful at first but King Edward I of England, “Longshanks” viewed parliament as way to expand king’s power o Clarify existing laws (and create new laws) won popular consent by getting new laws approved by parliament - Parliament has role in justice but it is whatever king wants it to be (no rules on how has to be there) Northern Italy (Italy doesn’t exist in 13 C) - Patchwork of kingdoms, republics and lordships - Keeps itself from being subject to monarchy: o Already claimed by 2 monarchs- Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope o Pope believed own parts of Italy anyways - Economic revival brought wealth and power to n. Italian cities, and play pope and emperor against each other - N. Italy full of city states governed by communes (independent Italian republics) o political class in commune called popolo (adult men of shop keeping class and upwards) - states were violent and unstable, had older precommune society based on agriculture - members of knightly class known as magnates - towards end of 13 C- new class challenges magnates known as popolani (men of the people, merchant elite class) o trying to replace magnates as supreme power in city states o complicated by conflict btwn the Guelfs an
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