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A Discussion on the Italian Renaissance

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Findlen further explains how rulers as well learned to tax the citizens. Trade-in goods between states and cities as well as other countries grew. There was also the growth in trade in ideas. Partly, cultural contact was a result of the 11th-century crusades. In a little while, trade and commerce shifted inland along the major trade routes. Towns along the banks of such rivers as Rhine, Rhone and the Danube became important trade centers, as rivers were the simplest way of moving goods. As trade grew in other areas, the significance of the political and economic affiliation between tenants and landowners lessened. Many highly developed and competitive urban areas distinguished the Italian Renaissance culture.

Renaissance cities that emerged in Italy include Rome, Florence, and Venice. Italy was different from France and England in that she had no dominating capital city. Instead, the country developed several regional states’ centers. These were Siena and Florence for Tuscany, Venice for northeastern Italy, Rome for the Papal States and Milan for Lombardy. Around the brilliant court life at Urbino, Ferrara and Mantua developed smaller Renaissance culture centers.

The merchant classes of Venice and Florence who were wealthy citizens donated their funds for specific art commissions, for both secular and religious ventures. In other words, they were chief patrons of Renaissance literature and art. In the Renaissance palace, they created their own distinct home and workplace, which they fitted for both rearing and business and for nurturing the urban rulers for the next generation. The Medici family was the greatest art patrons. They beautified their town with sculptures from Rome and Greece, commissioned architects and artists to create and who financed the first universities (Urton 2009).

There was another family in Rimini, northeastern Italy known as Malatesta family, which took over the Guelph or papal party leadership and governed the area for three hundred years. Malatesta da Verucchio became Rimini’ s chief magistrate and in an enduring struggle with the Ghibellines, he expanded his power through much of the Marche and Romagna regions. Malatestino, his eldest son, succeeded him in 1317 and acquired more land. The Malatesta family was among the most powerful families during the Italian Renaissance.

As mercenary soldiers, they led their armies in the service of other lords; after the death of the ruling Visconti, Carlo Malatesta ruled Milan. He had fought for the Milanese.  

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