This culminated in the 1402 siege of Florence, when it looked as though the city was doomed to fall, before Giangaleazzo suddenly died and his empire collapsed. The Renaissance began in Italy and from there spread to transalpine Europe, where it was variously affected by the differing character and traditions of the countries to which it came. He even secured papal approval, and in 1347 his plot succeeded. His justice, though ferocious, was praised, and he was thought of as the defender of the poor. There were several motives: to secure routes of trade and the Venetian food supply, and, with the Turkish advance, to recoup losses in the East.
By the late 14th century, textile merchants held a great deal of political power and social influence in Florence. The kingdom of Naples was a vassal state of the papacy, a fact which justified and encouraged papal interference. The Peninsula was a of political and cultural elements, not a unified state. The government of these territories by French officials was thoroughly hated by the native population. Independent city states such as Florence, Venice, and Rome grew wealthy through trade and banking creating a class of affluent businessmen.
He left Sicily and Sardinia an earlier Aragonese conquest , together with his Spanish possessions, to his brother John; Naples he left to his illegitimate son Ferdinand, or Ferrante. The Great Council, which came to have well over two thousand members, was the seat of sovereignty, in which supreme power resided and from which other governmental bodies were formed. Those that grew extremely wealthy in a feudal state ran constant risk of running afoul of the monarchy and having their lands confiscated, as famously occurred to Jacques Coeur in France. This brilliant man was not only a patron of scholars, poets, and artists, but was himself a poet whose verses are important in the history of Italian literature. Opinions among scholars are divided as to how much Italy owed its relative calm to Lorenzo; in any case, it was only after his death that Italy was forced to submit to foreign domination.
One of the most important effects of this political control was security. His successor, Leo X 1513 21 was Giovanni de' Medici, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, not yet thirty at the time of his elevation to the papal throne. Dying childless, he was succeeded by his brother, Filippo Maria, who was to be the last of the Visconti dukes, since he had no sons, but only an illegitimate daughter. But when he was elected to the papacy, he repudiated his former concerns, disappointed the scholars who had expected patronage from him, and threw himself into a single-hearted attempt to induce the Christian rulers of Europe to mount a new crusade against the infidel who had recovered the Holy Places. He made his cousin Giulio a cardinal and put him in charge of the Florentine government. The resulting labor shortage increased wages, and the reduced population was therefore much wealthier and better fed, and, significantly, had more surplus money to spend on luxury goods. Located in the Arno Valley in Italy's central-north, Florence was the centre of the European wool industry during the late Middle Ages.
The popes took a particular interest in the affairs of this area, and their interference had far- reaching and often harmful effects. Not long after he had assumed power, he was threatened with a very serious conspiracy, which takes its name from the Pazzi, one of the great Florentine families that resented Medici domination. Ferrante's harshness and tyranny precipitated revolts of the Neapolitan nobility, which were suppressed with characteristic cruelty. These are terrific events, and I attend whenever I can. Though this was a serious blow, Venetian prosperity did not suddenly decline. Italian city-states conducted their own trade, collected their own taxes, and made their own laws.
Walter arrived in 1342, tried to make himself a tyrant, and was driven out in 1343 in an uprising that united the various elements of the population. From at least as far back as the eleventh century we can discern some features of Florentine history that were to remain fairly constant. The French turned on Ludovico and took Milan, moving from there into many other areas of Italy. Because of the ruined condition of Rome and its scanty resources, Martin was compelled to devote himself to rebuilding the city, restoring order, and developing the temporal power of the papacy. Cosimo knew his Florentines, and if he was to deprive them of their republican freedom or such of it as they actually possessed he knew that he must at least leave them with the appearance of it. The Venetian doge ruled for life under a system of constitutional monarchy. Even the official diplomatic documents of Florence contain many references to liberty.
Rome The pope ruled both the Catholic Church and the city-state of Rome. Lorenzo himself died young on April 8, 1492, at the age of forty-three. He argues that these states were mostly republics, unlike the great European monarchies of France and Spain, where absolute power was vested in rulers who could and did stifle commerce. Wealthy merchants in Venice, Florence, and other Italian city-states demonstrated their wealth by building grand palaces for themselves. This job has allowed me to serve in the same capacity with many students, which is very enriching. Most of the Italian cities took one side or the other, and war went on during 1478 and 1479, with results generally unfavorable to Florence. Ludovico was clever enough to be able to take over the real power in the state and to become, in fact though not in name, the ruler of Milan.
Florence took Pisa in 1406, Venice captured Padua and Verona, and the Duchy of Milan annexed a number of nearby areas, including Pavia and Parma. Among the greater guilds were those of the wool manufacturers, the wool finishers, the silk merchants, and the bankers. The origin of city-states is disputed. The terms, which may have come from the German Welf and Waiblingen, seem to have originated in Florence in the thirteenth century and from there spread to other areas. Humanism and the Renaissance therefore played a direct role in sparking the Reformation, as well as in many other contemporaneous religious debates and conflicts.