Dante Charlemagne Essay

2176 words - 9 pages

After the death of Charlemagne the Normans invented the long boat. These new boats could sail out into the ocean; as was important for the Normans because they were a society based on trade and warriors. The long boat journeys also brought capitalism back to Europe. At this time the Muslims controlled the Italian peninsula, and in 1029 the Normans defeated the Muslim Navy to gain control of the Italy. They also brought capitalism to the Italy and did away with agricultural manors. The manors were inhabited mostly by serfs, and were becoming vastly overpopulated. The manor owners were often cruel to the serfs thinking that it was a God given right to care over them as they saw fit, but when the capitalists took over they opened up the south for the serfs. The new Law of the Free City was put into effect and it said that if a serf could escape their manor and make it to the Free City and live on their own for one year then that serf and all of his descendents were free. By the time Dante was born Italy had become the largest economic center of the western world, and the advantage of the capitalist economy had given them the opportunity to obtain immeasurable wealth. Once the serfs were not serfs anymore they became a huge benefit to the economy by creating wealth. The serfs also wanted to have a new system of government called republicanism which was already in place in ancient Greece and Rome. The aristocrats opposed this system of government because it gave everyone a voice not just the wealthy and elite class of society. Despite the opposition the new system of government was installed, and they began to make decisions by a majority rules vote. At the time when Dane was getting involved in the political spectrum they were electing 12 Mayors per year. They did this to keep any one Mayor from becoming too strong. Dante was elected Mayor for a three month term which was dissatisfying to him. After the defeat of the Holy Roams Emperor by the Italians, they were able to freely run their own lives under the republican form of government. With this new governmental freedom also came freedom in education. The common people were then able to have access to books, and science and learning get their first start in Dante's life. Also at this time Civil Wars had broken out in Italy over the poor not being able to sit on a legislature because they did not own land. Between thirty and forty percent of the society still did not have enough money to own land, therefore even if they have money and do not won land they are still not allowed a seat in the legislature. The Ghibellins were in power before 1250, and had the most money and owned the most land. At the time the most important thing in society was to be an aristocrat; despite their inferior societal class the aristocrats would intermarry with them in order to obtain their wealth and remain aristocrats because the Ghibellins were the richest group at the time. Dante and his family, the...

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