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Title: Opposition to Government in early sixteenth-century Florence, 1494-1530
Author: Knox, Henry Andrew Loiselure
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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This examination of opposition tries to understand the political history of an Italian city-state in a new way. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the nature of political conflict in Florence, and of the reasons for the instability of Florentine political life in the early sixteenth century. The concern is with plots, the violent overthrow of governments, and those condemned for speaking against the regime, rather than with simply critical opinion. These episodes of conflict between regimes and their opponents are the events from which the historian can learn most, both about the reasons for political conflict and its outcome, and about the strengths and weaknesses of both regimes and their opponents. Some of this opposition, such as the plot of February 1527, and those condemned for outspokenness against the regime throughout the period, is completely unknown to modern historians, and none has been examined in depth. This study examines opposition systematically for the first time, from a number of perspectives that have previously been neglected. It is based on extensive research in the Florentine archives, which permit us to give a full account, presented in the Appendices, of the political and social backgrounds of more than two hundred individuals involved in plots and other acts against the regime. There are two key aspects of opposition which concern Part One of this study: the role of foreign support in plots and the way in which conspiracy was affected by the advent of the Italian Wars in 1494; and how far conspiracy was characterized the desire to introduce an aristocratic government to Florence or to re-establish the past regime. Part Two examines contemporary definitions and conceptions of political offences; the punishment of political crime; common attitudes towards plots and the way in which conspirators sought to explain and justify their deeds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available