I. Florentine Networks in Europe [chapter]

2018 Network and Migration in Early Renaissance Florence, 1378-1433  
Florentine Networks in Europe 'A Florentine who is not a merchant, Who has not traveled through the world, Seeing foreign nations and peoples and Then returned to Florence with some wealth, Is a man who enjoys no esteem whatsoever.' 1 Florence During the Albizzi Regime (1382-1434) Robert Sabatino Lopez described twelfth-century Italian communes as 'Governments of the merchants, by the merchants, for the merchants', which accurately reflects the most important characteristic of the Florentine
more » ... te and society in the studied period: the predominance of merchant culture and its manifestions in the overlaps between various private and public spheres. 2 According to John Najemy, the period of the Albizzi regime, marked by political consolidation after the unskilled wool workers' revolt (1378) and Cosimo de'Medici's return to the city (1434), witnessed important changes in social structure, economy, politics, and culture. 3 In politics, the most remarkable novelties occurred in the electoral system, when the number of elected city officers, who belonged to the major and the minor guilds, was established. Political participation and office holding were based on guild membership, and therefore guilds were part of the political system. Members of the five major guilds possessed an absolute dominance within city magistrates, even though, in theory, the reforms following the Ciompi revolt meant to weaken their positions by giving more seats to members of the minor guilds. The five major guilds: Merchants' (Calimala), Por Santa Maria (later, Silk), Wool (Lana), Moneychangers' (Cambio), and Doctors' (Medici e Speziali), were headed by their elected consuls and were the guilds into which merchants of various ranks traditionally enrolled. Furthermore, the six consuls of the Merchant Court (Mercanzia), the supreme court for merchants residing inside and outside the city, were elected among members of the five major guilds. The elections for the most important city offices,
doi:10.1515/9789048540990-003 fatcat:24nsxrrerneljnjjiifu4ejm64