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Italian City States

Italian City States During The Renaissance Italian City States Government Italian City States 1494 « » During the Renaissance, Italy was a collection of city-states, each with its own ruler—the Pope in Rome, the Medici family in Florence, the Doge in Venice, the Sforza family in Milan, the Este family in Ferrara, etc. Among the ruling families of these city-states there was unceasing conflict and intense rivalry—either by open warfare or, in times of peace, through economic and artistic competition to achieve the most brilliant court. It was this rivalry that drove Alfonso d'Este to commission the Feast of the Gods for his palace in Ferrara, some 100 miles southwest of Venice. The Renaissance was a time of paradoxical contrasts, when artistic enlightenment was mixed with savage barbarism. Thus, the d'Este family in Ferrara was committed to learning, art and the new humanism—and none more so than Alfonso d'Este. Yet Alfonso's grandfather had his wife brutally murdered together with her lover, who had been her illegitimate stepson, and Alfonso's father, failing to poison a nephew, simply had him executed instead. < Previous Next > Learn more: Etruscan Legacy in the Roman WorldAnd this dialogue of cultures will continue throughout Italy’s history. It’s one of the explanations for the explosion of culture and imagination that we see among the Italian people and in the Italian peninsula; that this dialogue, this dynamic, continued for such a long period of time, creating a world in which new ideas, through competition and argument and occasional warfare, could not only develop but in fact be seen as the instruments by which Italians could define themselves and others. You will be introduced to the formation of the Italian City-States during the Renaissance Period. You will explore how the city states formed, developed systems of government, and eventually allied with each other. The five major city-states: Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, and the Papal States will be explained in detail.Formation of the City-States Vatican CityVatican City occupies an area of 44 hectares inside Rome. The city's establishment is credited to the 1929 Lateran Treaty negotiated between Italy and the Holy See. The figure in charge of the Roman Catholic Church assumes political power in the state, and the Pope is therefore at the center of the city's legislative, judicial, and executive functions. The highest state officials are Catholic clergy of different national origins. Vatican City has a unique economy as it relies on the sale of publications and postage stamps, the admission fees to museums, as well as the sale of tourist mementos. ##?## Martines's work serves as a partial rejoinder to those generalists (for example, Jacques Barzun, Daniel Boorstin) who still see the Renaissance primarily for the flowering of republicanism and humanism. Italy's art, culture, philosophy, politics, and militarism--all were at the service of the wealthy, and all were formulated to insure the continuing domination by those elites. Only much later were artists, historians, and scholars able to sift through this heritage for its potential republican virtues. The Counter-Reformation was a period of Catholic resurgence initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. Key Terms neo-Platonism : A tradition of philosophy that arose in the 3rd century CE, based on the philosophy of Plato, which involved describing the derivation of the whole of reality from a single principle, “the One.” Plotinus is traditionally identified as the founder of this school.: A tradition of philosophy that arose in the 3rd century CE, based on the philosophy of Plato, which involved describing the derivation of the whole of reality from a single principle, “the One.” Plotinus is traditionally identified as the founder of this school. Western Schism : A split within the Roman Catholic Church that lasted from 1378 to 1417, when three men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Brunelleschi also devised a way to draw and paint using linear perspective. That is, he figured out how to paint from the perspective of the person looking at the painting, so that space would appear to recede into the frame. After the architect Leon Battista Alberti explained the principles behind linear perspective in his treatise “Della Pittura” (“On Painting”), it became one of the most noteworthy elements of almost all Renaissance painting. Later, many painters began to use a technique called chiaroscuro to create an illusion of three-dimensional space on a flat canvas.Fra Angelico, the painter of frescoes in the church and friary of San Marco in Florence, was called “a rare and perfect talent” by the Italian painter and architect Vasari in his “Lives of The Artists.” Renaissance painters like Raphael, Titian and Giotto and Renaissance sculptors like Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti created art that would inspire generations of future artists. AdvertisementVenice is a city on a group of islands on the northeastern edge of the Italian peninsula. Shipbuilding was the primary industry in Venice. During the Crusades, Venetian ships provided transportation to the Holy Land. By the 13th century, Venice was the most prosperous city in Europe. The city became rich by collecting taxes on all merchandise brought into its harbor. Using this source of income, Venice built huge warships that protected the valuable cargo of its merchant ships from pirate raids. With the vast wealth from trade, many of the leading families of Venice vied against one another to build the finest palaces or support the work of the greatest artists.advertisement ##?## Italy has a very different government structure from the United States. The biggest difference is in the role of the President, who in Italy is merely a public figure with little powers. He ensures laws follow the constitution, he appoints the Prime Minister, and he has the capacity to teminate the Congress if he feels there is not enough political cohesion to form a new government.Italy is a Parliamentary Republic, where power is divided in three – such division is similar to that of the U.S. though the function of each political organ is a bit different. The three powers are the Executive, the Legislative, and the Juridical. Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont, detail of a portrait by Horace Vernet; in the Pinacoteca, Turin, Italy. Alinari/Art Resource, New YorkThe constitution of Italy has built-in guarantees against easy amendment, in order to make it virtually impossible to replace it with a dictatorial regime. It is upheld and watched over by the Constitutional Court, and the republican form of government cannot be changed. The constitution contains some preceptive principles, applicable from the moment it came into force, and some programmatic principles, which can be realized only by further enabling legislation. The United States and Italy cooperate closely on major economic issues, including within the G-7. The United States is one of Italy’s most important trade partners, with two-way trade in goods and services in 2019 valued at $103.112 billion). As a member of the European Union (EU), Italy is bound by EU treaties and laws, including those directly governing or indirectly impacting business investments. Under both the EU treaty’s Right of Establishment and the Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty with the United States, Italy is generally obliged to provide national treatment to U.S. investors established in Italy or in another EU member state. The two countries have enacted an income tax agreement to prevent double taxation. The President’s duties include appointing the Prime Minister, promulgating laws and decrees, authorising the presentation of government bills in parliament and, with parliamentary authorisation, ratifying treaties and declaring war. He may dissolve parliament (except during the last six months of his term of office), either on his own initiative in consultation with the presidents of both chambers or at the request of the government, and he has the power to call special sessions of parliament and delay legislation.Some of these acts must be ratified by the government. ##?## Similar intese were stipulated with other religious minorities in Italy, and in 1992 negotiations began between the government and the c. 100,000-strong community of Muslim immigrants.Italy became a state of religious pluralism on February 18, 1984, when a revised Concordat between the Holy See and the Italian Republic abolished Catholicism's privilege of being the "state religion," for the first time in 16 centuries. In December 1992 the uijc decided to call a special national congress on the possibility of financing the Jewish communities by opting for voluntary contributions from tax payers of "8 per 1000 lire" of their income taxes – a system already adopted by the Catholic Church, Protestants, Seventh Day Adventists, and Mormons. Merchant Oligarchies • An oligarchy is the rule by the few as opposed to rule by one person “monarchy” • Many of the Italian city states were merchant oligarchies, meaning merchants controlled the city states. There was no democracy.Republics in Name • Republics are representative governments; that is government in the hands of a legislative body, like a senate, whose members are representatives of the people and vote in the name of the people. • Ancient Rome was the most famous of pre-14th century of a republican government. • Because the Renaissance Italian city states sit in Rome, they typically called themselves “republics”, when in fact they were “republics” only in name. « » During the Renaissance, Italy was a collection of city-states, each with its own ruler—the Pope in Rome, the Medici family in Florence, the Doge in Venice, the Sforza family in Milan, the Este family in Ferrara, etc. Among the ruling families of these city-states there was unceasing conflict and intense rivalry—either by open warfare or, in times of peace, through economic and artistic competition to achieve the most brilliant court. It was this rivalry that drove Alfonso d'Este to commission the Feast of the Gods for his palace in Ferrara, some 100 miles southwest of Venice. The Renaissance was a time of paradoxical contrasts, when artistic enlightenment was mixed with savage barbarism. Thus, the d'Este family in Ferrara was committed to learning, art and the new humanism—and none more so than Alfonso d'Este. Yet Alfonso's grandfather had his wife brutally murdered together with her lover, who had been her illegitimate stepson, and Alfonso's father, failing to poison a nephew, simply had him executed instead. < Previous Next > Martines's work serves as a partial rejoinder to those generalists (for example, Jacques Barzun, Daniel Boorstin) who still see the Renaissance primarily for the flowering of republicanism and humanism. Italy's art, culture, philosophy, politics, and militarism--all were at the service of the wealthy, and all were formulated to insure the continuing domination by those elites. Only much later were artists, historians, and scholars able to sift through this heritage for its potential republican virtues.
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