A Provincial Elite in Early Modern Tuscany: Family and Power in the Creation of the State

A Provincial Elite in Early Modern Tuscany: Family and Power in the Creation of the State

by Giovanna Benadusi

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Overview

A Provincial Elite in Early Modern Tuscany: Family and Power in the Creation of the State by Giovanna Benadusi

In this groundbreaking study of the interaction between familial strategies of Tuscan provincial families and the politics of the Florentine government, Giovanna Benadusi offers a new understanding of the social formation of the early modern state. The development of the modern state is a central theme of Renaissance and early modern European historiography, and the Florentine state was one of the first to create new state institutions, challenge municipal powers, and develop a new centralized political system. By incorporating into her account the families of shopkeepers, wool producers, landholders, notaries, and military officers who lived in the outlying town of Poppi, southeast of Florence, as integral contributors to state formation, Benadusi not only provides a vivid look at the ways power and resistance operated at the everyday level of social relations but also redefines the context and the participants in state formation.

Benadusi shows how changes in matrimonial and patrimonial politics as well as in the financial, political, and professional strategies of provincial families combined with the politics of central rulers to preserve socio-economic and political hegemony and to consolidate the structures of the state. Women contributed to the success of this partnership, she argues, although they were affected differently by it, and, in the end, state consolidation occurred at the expense of their status.

In the process of consolidating the state, Benadusi concludes, local families and central rulers redefined concepts of power and domination which conditioned political evolution along social and gender lines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801852480
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 03/01/1988
Series: Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Giovanna Benadusi teaches history at the University of South Florida, Tampa.

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