Catalogue


Creating the Florentine state : peasants and rebellion, 1348-1434 /
Samuel K. Cohn Jr.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
description
xiii, 308 p. : ill.
ISBN
0521663377 hardback
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
isbn
0521663377 hardback
catalogue key
3457659
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Samuel K. Cohn, Jr. is Professor of Medieval History, University of Glasgow.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-09-01:
Cohn's original study approaches the development of the Renaissance state from the novel perspective of rebellious mountain peasants in the Florentine state. In the second half of the 14th century Florence squeezed as much money as possible out of the peasantry and suppressed any opposition. But the mountain peasants did not slip into political docility and demographic decline. Instead, peasant rebellion against tax iniquities reached a climax in 1401. Realizing that a peaceable peasantry made for a secure state, the Florentine government began a new policy of compromise and concern for peasant welfare in 1402. It began to shift away from the "medieval mosaic of rural fiscal inequities" toward a more equitable tax based on individual wealth, a policy that reached a conclusion in 1427. Thus, peasant rebellions played a key role in stimulating the development of the Florentine Renaissance state. Along the way, Cohn provides insights into the lives of mountain peasants and challenges assumptions about the behavior of peasant groups before 1789. The book is soundly based on Florentine archival documents, clearly written, and strongly argued, but with understanding for the historical actors. Highly recommended for undergraduates and above. P. Grendler; University of Toronto
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...well-researched book...Readers of this book will be impressed by the archivistic detail that emerges from Cohn's prsentation." American Historical Review
‘Rebellious mountain peasants as founders of Medici Florence? That is the contention of this remarkable piece of ‘history from below’, which is also a major contribution to the debate on state formation and the future of social history.’E. J. Hobsbawm, Emeritus, University of London
Review of the hardback: 'By challenging so many themes in the current orthodoxy, Professor Cohn's book invites a fundamental reconsideration of the historiography on the evolution of the Florentine 'Renaissance' ... a significant contribution to the literature of Florentine (and Italian) state-building in the late medieval and Renaissance era.' Professor Gene Brucker, University of California, Berkeley
Review of the hardback: 'Rebellious mountain peasants as founders of Medici Florence? That is the contention of this remarkable piece of 'history from below', which is also a major contribution to the debate on state formation and the future of social history.' E. J. Hobsbawm, Emeritus, University of London
Review of the hardback: 'This original and exciting book opens new questions and will give rise to valuable scholarship. Based on solid archival research, it approaches the Florentine state in an original and effective way and deals imaginatively with an important subject.' William M. Bowsky, University of California, Davis
"The book is soundly based on Florentine archival documents, clearly written and strongly argued, but with understanding for the historical actors. Highly recommended for undergraduates and above." Choice
'This original and exciting book opens new questions and will give rise to valuable scholarship. Based on solid archival research, it approaches the Florentine state in an original and effective way and deals imaginatively with an important subject.'William M. Bowsky, University of California, Davis
‘This original and exciting book opens new questions and will give rise to valuable scholarship. Based on solid archival research, it approaches the Florentine state in an original and effective way and deals imaginatively with an important subject.’William M. Bowsky, University of California, Davis
"This original and exciting book opens new questions and will give rise to valuable scholarship. Based on solid archival research, it approaches the Florentine state in an original and effective way and deals imaginatively with an important subject." William M. Bowsky, University of California, Davis
"Rebellious mountain peasants as founders of Medici Florence? That is the contention of this remarkable piece of 'history from below,' which is also a major contribution to the debate on state formation and the future of social history." E. J. Hobsbawm, Emeritus, University of London
"...makes gripping reading, and opens up new vistas in the history and historical geography of renaissance Tuscany." Kate Lowe, Times Literary Supplement
"...provocative..." Speculum
'Rebellious mountain peasants as founders of Medici Florence? That is the contention of this remarkable piece of 'history from below', which is also a major contribution to the debate on state formation and the future of social history.'E. J. Hobsbawm, Emeritus, University of London
"By challenging so many themes in the current orthodoxy, Professor Cohn's book invites a fundamental reconsideration of the historiography on the evolution of the Florentine 'Renaissance.' Cohn effectively demolishes the stereotype constructed by Braudel (among others), which depicted Florence's frontiersmen as uncouth, semi-pagan rustics. His evidence suggests a very different breed of highlanders: fiercely independent, capable of collective action, integrated into wide-ranging networks, deeply attached to their parish churches and (after 1400) more prosperous than the peasantry of the Arno plain. He has made a significant contribution to the literature of Florentine (and Italian) state-building in the late medieval and Renaissance era." Professor Gene Brucker, University of California, Berkeley
‘By challenging so many themes in the current orthodoxy, Professor Cohn’s book invites a fundamental reconsideration of the historiography on the evolution of the Florentine ‘Renaissance’ … a significant contribution to the literature of Florentine (and Italian) state-building in the late medieval and Renaissance era.’Professor Gene Brucker, University of California, Berkeley
'By challenging so many themes in the current orthodoxy, Professor Cohn's book invites a fundamental reconsideration of the historiography on the evolution of the Florentine 'Renaissance' ... a significant contribution to the literature of Florentine (and Italian) state-building in the late medieval and Renaissance era.' Professor Gene Brucker, University of California, Berkeley
'By challenging so many themes in the current orthodoxy, Professor Cohn's book invites a fundamental reconsideration of the historiography on the evolution of the Florentine 'Renaissance' ... a significant contribution to the literature of Florentine (and Italian) state-building in the late medieval and Renaissance era.'Professor Gene Brucker, University of California, Berkeley
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2000
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This book takes a comprehensive approach to the political history of the Italian Renaissance by examining the mountainous periphery of the Florentine state and the political effects of widespread and successful peasant uprisings, hitherto unrecorded by historians, during the period 1348-1434.
Description for Bookstore
This book takes a new approach to the political history of the Italian Renaissance by examining the mountainous periphery of the Florentine state and the political effects of widespread and successful peasant uprisings, hitherto unrecorded by historians, during the period 1348-1434.
Main Description
This book takes a new approach to the political history of the Italian Renaissance. It examines the Florentine state from its mountainous periphery, where Florence met its most strenuous opposition to territorial incorporation. From a tributary state, which treated its surrounding countryside as little more than a tax reservoir and a buffer against foreign invaders, Florence began to see its own self-interest as intertwined with that of its region and its rural subjects--a change brought about by widespread and successful peasant uprisings, hitherto unrecorded by historians.
Main Description
This book offers a new approach to the study of the political history of the Renaissance: its analysis of government is embedded in the context of geography and social conflict. Instead of the usual institutional history, it examines the Florentine state from the mountainous periphery - a periphery both of geography and class - where Florence met its most strenuous opposition to territorial incorporation. Yet, far from being acted upon, Florence's highlanders were instrumental in changing the attitudes of the Florentine ruling class: the city began to see its own self-interest as intertwined with that of its region and the welfare of its rural subjects at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Contemporaries either remained silent or purposely obscured the reasons for this change, which rested on widespread and successful peasant uprisings across the mountainous periphery of the Florentine state, hitherto unrecorded by historians.
Main Description
This book offers a comprehensive approach to the study of the political history of the Renaissance: its analysis of government is embedded in the context of geography and social conflict. Instead of the usual institutional history, it examines the Florentine state from the mountainous periphery - a periphery both of geography and class - where Florence met its most strenuous opposition to territorial incorporation. Yet, far from being acted upon, Florence's highlanders were instrumental in changing the attitudes of the Florentine ruling class: the city began to see its own self-interest as intertwined with that of its region and the welfare of its rural subjects at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Contemporaries either remained silent or purposely obscured the reasons for this change, which rested on widespread and successful peasant uprisings across the mountainous periphery of the Florentine state, hitherto unrecorded by historians.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text offers a new approach. Its analysis of government is embedded in the context of geography and social conflict. It examines the Florence state from the mountainous periphery where it met its strenuous opposition to territorial incorporation.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Culture, Demography, and Fiscality
Networks of culture and the mountains
Mountain civilization and fiscality, 1393
Fiscality and change, 1355âÇô1487
Peasant Protest in the Mountains: Three Views
Peasant insurrection in the mountains: the chroniclers' view
Peasant insurrection in the mountains as seen in the criminal records
Rebellion as seen from the provvisioni
Governmental Clemency and the Hinterland
Florentine peasant petitions: an institutional perspective
The reasons for assistance
What the peasants won
Conclusion
Appendices
Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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