Politics and Conflict,

in Renaissance Italy


Lorenzo deÕ Medici, 1449-1519


Niccol˜ Machiavelli (1468-1527)



á    Why did Italian City-States move from republicanism to despotism?

á    How is MachiavelliÕs thinking a product of his own political and cultural context?


Key Terms

1) Populo Grosso, Populo Minuto

2) The Medici

3) Peace of Lodi

4) Nicc˜lo Machiavelli


The Phases of Italian Political History


á    Republics and Civic Humanism (1300-1400)

Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1291-1348):  Allegory of Good and Bad Government


á    Instability, Plague, and the Rise of Despotism (1375-1450)


á    Social Conflict:  Populo Grosso, Populo Minuto, and the Ciompi Rebellion (1378)


á    The Medici:  Cosimo (1364-1464) & Lorenzo (1449-92/1519)


á    War, the Condottieri and the Peace of Lodi (1454)


á    Foreign Invasions and the End of Italian Political Independence (1494-1530)

o   Charles VIII of France and Charles V of Spain


Nicc˜lo Machiavelli (1469-1527):  Human Nature, Virtœ, and Political Power