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Title: The church and Venetian political change in the later cinquecento
Author: Lowry, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0001 3613 4252
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1971
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Chapter I: The Interdict and Changes in Venetian Policy: Illusion and Reality. Introduction: this study is a polemic, attacking the connection usually drawn between the political reform of 1582-3 and the hardening of Venetian attitudes towards the Curia up to 1606. (i) Venetian support of the French Crown in the 1530s and '90s was consistent with previous policy, and was dictated by changes in France rather than in Venice. (ii) Venetian suspicion of Papal jurisdictional claims long predates 1582: some cases show a milder attitude after that reform than before. (iii) The tolerance allowed by Venice to German Protestants did not alter substantially between 1560 and 1606. The growth of the Greek community in the last quarter century can be attributed to external circumstances rather than a more liberal Venetian attitude. The features generally cited to show a change in the direction of Venetian policies are not strong enough to prove it by themselves. Chapter II: A Manifesto for Reform? The literary history of Paruta's "Perfettiono della vita politica" appears to suggest a connection with political change: but the ideas it contains are too ambiguous to have had much partisan appeal. The division of opinions which the dialogue seems to suggest is uncertain, as is its connection with contemporary political events. Chapter III: The Problem and the Reform. The Council of X and Zonta cannot be described as "purely oligarchic" institutions, though their composition and some of their actions in the pre-reform period excited suspicion. The progress of the 1582-3 reform shows no sign of an organised programme or a shared ideology: all practical proposals for reform came from those who wished to preserve the Zonta, and even in opposition to these proposals no consistency was shown. It is not possible to identify a homogeneous group of "reformers". Chapter IV: Reform or Reshuffle? The tenure of the main political offices was in no way altered by the reform. The family interestgroups, particularly Tiepolo-Soranzo, Foscarini-Barbaro-Zustiniani, and Priuli, largely retained through the College the influence they had previously exercised through the X and Zonta. Legislation suggests fiercer competition for a smaller number of influential posts. The ruling clique may have been narrowed by the reform. Chapter V: Property and the Church-Economic Background. The most obvious changes in Venetian policy towards the Church are in the economic field. Growing numbers of nobles hold land from clerical proprietors. Anxieties of Sarpi and Querini about ecclesiastical wealth are born out by the evidence of the previous century: clerical property was growing, but at an uncertain rate and to an unascertainable level. The taxation system put most of it out of the reach of the secular government at a time when ready money was badly needed. Chapter VI: Property and the Church - from Principle to Policy. In the 1560s and '70s, Venetian argument about clerical wealth and privilege was either on an entirely abstract level, discussing canon and civil law, or an entirely parochial level, discussing the vested interests of individuals. Only in the later"1580s does the argument from "state interest" appear. In 1591 famine forced Venice to assert absolute control over property and produce in the Doninio, and this became established policy in 1593-5. This, is the political attitude which led to the property laws of the early XVIIth century, and so to the Interdict. Conclusion: The Venetian governing group did not change materially, but its attitudes did. This resulted more from pressure of economic circumstances around 1591 than from an infusion of new ideology in 1582. Appendix I: Lists of the Council of X (1572-192), Zonta (1572-1581), Savii Grandi (1572-1602) and Savii di Terraferma (1572-1602). Appendix II: Thirty leading senators, their political careers and ... connections, and their economic commitments ... Appendix III: "Alvise Michiel".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DG Italy