Paperback / softback
August 1, 2019
9781421430331
English
289
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6.00 Inches (US)
$45.00 USD, £33.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Florence in Transition, Volume 2

Volume Two: Studies in the Rise of the Territorial State

In the pluralistic society of the medieval commune, informal and personal ties of obligation bound men together. In trecentro Florence this "gentle" communal structure gradually evolved into the stricter, more centralized organization characteristic of the modern state. A growing emphasis on law and order transformed the medieval commune of the early fourteenth century into the Renaissance territorial state of the latter half of the century. Professor Becker's subject is this metamorphosis. Following his study of the declining communal paideia in Volume One, the author examines in this second volume the growing vigor of public world, as well as the attendant depersonalization and repression. He is concerned primarily with two factors that he considers the major forces producing the Renaissance territorial state and encouraging the growth of imperial government and constitutionalism: the intrusion of new citizens (novi cives) into politics after 1343 and the skyrocketing of communal debt. Thus, the author disputes Burckhardt's idea of the state as a work of art, viewing it instead as a creation of socioeconomic mobility and deficit financing. Further, in examining art and literature as symptoms of developing public culture and reactions to it, Professor Becker interprets them as indications of increased public involvement of the Florentine citizens, thus providing a sharp refutation of Burkhardt's egoistic, violent Renaissance man. The author concludes his study with a detailed description of the territorial state itself, pointing out the new relationship between citizen and polis which emerged in the early fifteenth century. These two volumes provide a compelling and challenging interpretation of a crucial period in Western history.

About the Author

Marvin B. Becker was a Professor of History at the University of Michigan. His work explored the development of the early modern state and society.

Reviews

"Becker develops further his principal thesis that Florence between approximately 1340 and 1400 was transformed from a medieval commune into a territorial state... Offers novel interpretations of such cultural problems as the rise of civic humanism, changes in attitudes, and the purported growth of individualism in Renaissance Society."

- Catholic Historical Review
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421430331 : florence-in-transition-volume-2-becker
Paperback / softback
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