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Richelieu's Great Success

Uploaded by stick_ucsb on Apr 30, 2001

Machiavelli, More, and Richelieu all at one point or another occupied a high post in their respective governments: Italy, England, and France; from such a vantage point, or rather in the case of Machiavelli after descending from office, each identified the ills existent in his given state and derived his own remedy for such ills. However, the efforts of Machiavelli and More proved less fruitful in the short run than did Richelieu’s; while Richelieu raised the state of France under Louis XIII to a condition of greatness through the elimination of internal strife and discord which had for so long plagued the nation and through the advocacy of increased involvement in the international realm, his two predecessors in their renowned works, The Prince, Discourses on Livy, and Utopia, made a number of espousals concerning certain desirous reforms which would prove extremely influential in the future and throughout the world, but which would fail to be adopted as remedies for the immediate concerns which fostered them.

Italy, and Florence itself, the birthplace and residence of Niccolo Machiavelli had endured violent political and social upheavals throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 1440’s the social balance which had permitted the germination of much of Renaissance thought a few decades prior was already beginning to fall into decay as a result of heavy wartime taxation; Florence had been forced to keep Spanish held Naples and Milan at bay for years and consequently found herself lacking in funds to continue such a defense. The Florentine military was composed primarily of mercenaries who proved both a costly and not necessarily loyal force. The increasing costs incurred by warfare inevitably led to a centralized state led by the Medicis that could more readily generate and amass the necessary revenues; however, the outward trappings of a republican form of government were preserved. The Medici maintained their dominance of the Florentine Republic until1494 when Piero d’ Medici was ousted from office. The ostracization of Piero by his Florentine counterparts was in direct correlation to the invasion and capture of Naples from Spanish control by the French King Charles VIII. In 1494 on route to Naples the French took Pisa, Florence, and Rome without conflict; however, Piero’s surrender of Pisa, which left Florence vulnerable, provoked a fierce rebellion in Florence putting an end to Medici rule there for the time being. Despite such unrest the Dominican Friar Girolamo Savonarola...

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Uploaded by:   stick_ucsb

Date:   04/30/2001

Category:   European History

Length:   14 pages (3,081 words)

Views:   1182

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