What role did the de Medici family play in the Renaissance?


Cosimo de Medici

What were the contributions of the de Medici family to the Renaissance in Italy during the fifteenth century? The de Medicis were the effective rulers of the Florentine Republic in the 15th century and they later became the ruling house of Florence in the 16th and 17th century.

The family, especially in the fifteenth century made a decisive contribution to the Renaissance in Italy. This was through their patronage of the arts in their native Florence and their policies that favored peace and stability in Italy shaped the Renaissance. The de Medicis made a real and telling contribution to the arts, politics and stability of Italy and encouraged the cultural flourishing that became known as the Renaissance.

The Medici family originally originate in a small village to the north of Florence. In the thirteenth century, the first Medici arrived in Florence. The family soon prospered in their new home. The early De Medici’s made their money in the wool trade. They used the profits that they made in the wool trade to diversify their business interests. Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (c. 1360–1429), increased the wealth of the family and established the Medici Bank, and became one of the richest men in the city of Florence.[1] The Medici became involved in politics and they were often involved with the popular party in Florence. In general, the Medici liked to influence politics from behind the scenes and use their wealth and connections to achieve their goals. In 1434 Cosimo the Elder was elected as one of the leaders of the Florentine Republic and although he was only one of several magistrates who ruled the city he came to dominate it.[2]

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Categories: Renaissance History

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