Florence during the Renaissance is famously known as the center for
the rebirth of scholarship, literature, and the arts. But it was
also an autonomous republic, a site of innovative experiments in
government, a major economic power that produced great wealth and
yet underwent recurrent fiscal crises, and a locus of conflicts
among the elite families, the guild community, and the working
classes, and between family-based factions grounded in patronage
and private power. In this history of Florence, distinguished
historian John Najemy discusses all the major phases of Florentine
history from 1200 to 1575, including the formation of the elite of
great families, the rise of the guild-based "popolo" and the guild
republic of the 1290s, the crisis of the 1340s, the revolutions of
1378 - 82, the wars against Milan, the fiscal crisis of the 1420 -
30s, the rise and fall of the Medici regime, the republican revival
in the age of Savonarola and Machiavelli, and the drama of the last
republic of 1527 - 30 and subsequent emergence of the principate.;
His account weaves together intellectual, cultural, social,
economic, religious, and political developments, capturing
Florence's transformation from a medieval commune into an
aristocratic republic and finally into a princely and territorial
state. Based on the mass of scholarship on Florentine history, and
on a first-hand understanding and close reading of the primary
sources, Najemy provides an original interpretation of Florentine
history that will appeal to scholars and general readers for years
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