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The Intellectual Struggle for FlorenceHumanists and the Beginnings of the Medici Regime, 1420-1440$
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Arthur Field

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

The Oligarchs and Their Opponents, 1378–1426

The Oligarchs and Their Opponents, 1378–1426

(p.3) 1 The Oligarchs and Their Opponents, 1378–1426
The Intellectual Struggle for Florence

Arthur Field

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the contrasts between the more “oligarchic” and the more “popular” components of Florentine society, from the time of the Ciompi tumult in 1378 until the formation of the Medici party in 1426. The oligarchs—some being engaged in business and many taking advantage of opportunities that arose from Florence’s expanding state—attempted, via an oligarchic political club, the Parte Guelfa, to prevent new people from entering the government and endorsed optional wars that enlarged the Florentine state. The more popular groups were merchants, often not from older families, and artisans (the popolo minuto), who wanted to open the government to new families and tended to oppose optional wars. By 1426 the more popular elements coalesced around the Medici. The chapter utilizes political debates in Florence (the Consulte e Pratiche) as well as diaries and other unpublished sources.

Keywords:   Consulte e Pratiche, Florentine society, Parte Guelfa, popolo minuto, oligarch

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