Medici's Renaissance Period Rise in Florence

Categories: Renaissance Period


Giovanni's form of limited liability was setting up a franchise system where regional managers shared a stake in the business. This meant that if the business was struggling, then the Medici could rely on the regional managers to get things back on track. Such economic policies allowed the Medici to challenge the other major political players in economics. It is important to note that Giovanni di Bicci de `Medici was only Gonfaloniere for eight years so he made a great impact in business and economics in a very short space of time.

Although this is because he devoted all of this time to it. The lack of contribution in politics from Giovanni di Bicci de `Medici is essential in explaining the huge contribution of Cosimo Il Vecchio de `Medici(in politics). The comparison of the activities partaken in by them is nearly enough to show that the rise to power of the Medici can be accounted for the contributions of Cosimo di Bicci de `Medici.

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He was far more interested in politics as opposed to business interests and the Medici benefited from this and rose to challenge her main political opponents such as the Albizzi.

His interests were far wider than Giovanni's and he was more popular amongst the Florentine people and he was seen as the natural alternative to the rule of the Albizzi. He had so much influence that the parliament came together and Cosimo was sent into exile.

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Using such a tactic to remove opposition was not new on the behalf of the Albizzi and obviously they thought that Cosimo and his fellow Medicians were a threat otherwise they wouldn't have been sent into exile.

This is enough proof to show that Cosimo was much more prominent than Giovanni and made major contributions towards the rise of the Medici. Cosimo Il Vecchio de `Medicihas to figure when accounting for the rise of the Medici. The actions of Renaldo and the Albizzi clan during their reign of power also associates with the rise to power of the Medici because they barely appointed any Medician officials throughout the period, obviously worried about the abilities of the Medician leaders, including Giovanni and Cosimo.

Indeed, the tactics of the Albizzi contributed to the rise of the Medici. The exile failed to halt the decline in support for Renaldo and the rest of the Albizzians. Subsequently, Renaldo had to rely on having his supporters continually elected to the Signory and this was a tactic that was bound to fail as a new Signory was elected once every two months. Opposition started to appear in the Signory and in the end a pro-Medician faction was elected to the Signory and this enabled Cosimo and other Medicians to move from a position of marginal power to one of almost total and supreme power.

It can be said that the Albizzi allowed the Medici into power because there is barely any evidence that suggests that the Medici were in a position of any power in the reign of Giovanni di Bicci de `Medici (apart from in the field of economics), which again demonstrates the hard work of Cosimo but also emphasises the failure of the Albizzi to keep hold of power, although this was probably due to the fact that the Medici were steadily gaining support and this - to a certain extent - can be regarded as out of the Albizzi's control.

The rise to power of any political party today can be explained by the failure of the opposition parties and this case is no different, henceforth the rise of the Medici is partly due to the failures of the Albizzi. When Cosimo Il Vecchio de `Medici, he was replaced by Piero Il Gottoso de `Medici and he managed to consolidate the power of the Medici, he was then replaced by Lorenzo de `Medici and the legacy of the Medici continued.

They stayed in power for 60 years and this was due to the hard work done previously by Cosimo, by Giovanni in economics and by Salvestro in the shape of the intelligent tactical manoeuvres that he did. There are lots of factors which need to be considered when accounting for the rise of the Medici in quatrocento Florence. The actions of Salvestro de`Medici in the revolt of the ciompi were important in giving the Medici an advantage over their opponents because it provided them with the support of the people.

Giovanni di Bicci de`Medici's great work in the field of economics also contributed to the rise but it was the work of Cosimo Il Vecchio de `Medici which was the main factor in their rise to power. The failures of the Albizzi and the other major Medician opponents also has to be taken into consideration because to a certain extent it was their failures which allowed the Medici into power. However, credit must go to Cosimo as without him it is likely that the Medici would not have come into power in 1436.


  1. Bartlett, K: The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance (D.C. Heath, Lexington, 1992), pg60-66, pg373-378
  2. Brown, A: The Renaissance, (London : Longman, 1988), chapter 7
  3. Brucker, Gene: The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence ( Brucker, Gene: Renaissance Florence (London ; New York : Wiley & Sons, 1969)
  4. Hale, J. R. : Florence and the Medici : the pattern of control (London, 1977)
  5. Martines, L: Lawyers and Statecraft in Renaissance Florence (publisher unknown)
  6. Martines, L: The Social World of the Florentine Humanists (publisher unknown)
  7. Rubinstein, N: The Government of Florence Under the Medici (publisher unknown).
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
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Medici's Renaissance Period Rise in Florence essay
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