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COMPLETE Modern History II Notes: Part 1 -- got 92% in the course!

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HIST 1082
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9/26/12 The Italian Renaissance and the Mediterranean World • In terms of trade and economics, renaissance = culminating social/economic trends • Italy was not politically unified at this point in time o Most of northern Italy = divided into small autonomous city states  Sea and country side  agriculture o Papal states  pope wasn’t in Papal state at this time o Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of Sicily owned by Spain • Venice, Genoa, Florence = most important o Piza suffered severe naval defeat in 1284 and never reconvered power in Meditterantean • Didn’t coexist peacefully o Competed fiercely with each other for control of Mediterranean • Italian trade in Mediterranean was complex o Italians had to make creative use of commodities in order to make something they could trade in Egypt • By time of black deaths, merchants had been trading in Mediterranean for several centuries o Displaced muslim traders and took control of Mediterranean  Full operation before black death: each of 3 important city states had their own operations and operated in own sphere of influence • Venice = eastern half • Genoa/Florence = operated in western half but genoa also had connections in easter Mediterranean  Italian merchants = acquiring woolen cloths and selling in Mediterranean  Florence/Genoa were also sailing over into spain to acquire more supplies, avoiding France • Usually stopped in Sicily to pick up grain then off to NorthAfrica o Sold wool and grain and picked up gold from sub-Saharan Africa  Then transported goods within Islamic world for money or took gold to Black Sea • Florentines would take gold back to Italy or spain to spend and sell o Although silk road had ceased to function, many products still in Black Sea  slaves  Used slaves to trade with Egypt (worked with Mamluk ruling regimes) in exchange for spices, silks, and other products of Indian Ocean • Sold cargo back in Northern Europe for wool and cycle began again • Trade suffered in immediate aftermath of plague as well as lower labor population o Continued to function for several centuries afterword • Changing geo-politics of Mediterranean o Genoa almost suffered same fate as Piza in 1378 o Biggest change in Eastern world  Erosion of Egyptian agricultural base • Ottomans were growing in power at the same time o Ate away at the Byzantine Empire  Conquered Constantinope in 1453 and Egypt in 1517 • Venetians had close relationship with Ottomans o Were able to ride with ottomans to successful trade  Genoa = shut out of eastern Mediterranean, so focused on western Mediterranean • Sail of European wool for special products and gold to eastern European o Merchants from Florence made gold florins their currency – made out of gold obtained fromAfrica  Each florine contained ¼ oz. of gold ($440 US today) • Allowed wealthy florantine merchants to become bankers o Medici family  largest banking family with many branches in Europe  Facilitated trade and bank rolled opulent lifestyles and wars of European rulers • Profited by charging interest (Christians looked down on this)  Essentially ruled Florence  dukes of Florence in 1532 • Involved in textile manufacturing o Started small and mostly consisted of Italian merchants acquiring already woven cloth and processing it further in Italy (dying it)  Started achieving higher quality wool and got involved in silk manufacturing • Silk manufacturing started in city of L
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