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[[File:Medici Three.jpg|thumbnail|left|300px|Cosimo De Medici]]
What were the contributions of the de Medici family to the Renaissance in Italy during the fifteenth century? The de Medicis were the effective rulers of the Florentine Republic in the 15th century and they later became the ruling house of Florence in the 16th and 17th century. The family, especially in the fifteenth century made a decisive contribution to the Renaissance in Italy. This was through their patronage of the arts in their native Florence and their policies that favored peace and stability in Italy shaped the Renaissance.
The de Medicis made a real and telling contribution to the arts, politics and stability of Italy and encouraged the cultural flourishing that became known as the Renaissance.
The Medici family originally originate in a small village to the north of Florence. In the thirteenth century, the first Medici arrived in Florence. The family soon prospered in their new home. The early De Medici’s made their money in the wool trade. They used the profits that they made in the wool trade to diversify their business interests. Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici (c. 1360–1429), increased the wealth of the family and established the Medici Bank, and became one of the richest men in the city of Florence.<ref> Hibbert, Christopher. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688053394/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0688053394&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=3a60f5b995328d84b5c49af6c25a9362 The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall]</i>. Morrow (London, Morrow, 1975) </ref> The Medici became involved in politics and they were often involved with the popular party in Florence. In general, the Medici liked to influence politics from behind the scene and used their wealth and connections to achieve their goals. In 1434 Cosimo the Elder was elected as one of the leaders of the Florentine Republic and although he was only one of several magistrates who ruled the city he came to dominate it.<ref> Ferdinand Schevill, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006D8BXY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0006D8BXY&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=d7f7869357eb87e0ad2906fa13cffb47 History of Florence: From the Founding of the City Through the Renaissance]</i> (London, Frederick Ungar, 1936), p. 113</ref>
Cosimo was a very effective leader and was a skilled negotiator and he brought stability to the city and made it even wealthier.
Prior to Cosimo the city had been regularly disturbed and unsettled by political factions and powerful families. Cosimo was succeed by his son Piero who had little of the abilities of his father. He died while still quite young and was succeed by his son Lorenzo, who is known to history as Lorenzo the Magnificent. He was a very capable ruler and brought peace and prosperity to Florence and its hinterland.
However, the De Medici business fortunes began to falter and this
was to ultimately weaken their hold on Florence. Lorenzo and the Medici survived a plot to kill them and seize power in 1474.<ref>Schevill, p. 115</ref> After Lorenzo died, his son became head of Florence but he was incompetent and he provoked a popular uprising against the family and this led to their expulsion from Florence from 1494-1512. The Family was restored to Florence in 1512 and they eventually became the Dukes of Florence. However, the glory days were gone, the later de Medici was not as powerful or as rich as their predecessors and Florence became a political and cultural backwater.<ref>Paul Strathern, <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1844130983/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1844130983&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=a398a7e529dca0fff02bd3e08ca6b25a The Medici—Godfathers of the Renaissance]</i> (London, Pimlico, 2005), p. 213</ref>
====de Medici and Florence====
[[Category:Italian History]] [[Category:Renaissance History]] [[Category:European History]][[category:wikis]]