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Influence Of The De Medici Family

1470 words - 6 pages

The influence of a few people or ideas can affect a culture for a lifetime. The de Medici family was a powerful family that captured the ideals and principles of the Florence Renaissance and were able to use them to increase their influence during the time. Their influence in this time created many positive effects, some of which are still felt today. The family used their influence during this time to impact Florence and other European countries through their patronage of the arts, and political influence. Although most actions of the family did result in a better situation financially, socially and politically for themselves, most of their influence resulted in positive outcomes for not only Florence, but also other European countries.
The Renaissance, occurring from approximately 1300 to 1600 CE, was a period that began in Florence, Italy and spread to other parts of Western Europe (Fiero, 377). During this time humanism became an ideal that the culture revolved around. Humanism is a philosophy that focused on the abilities of humans and the importance of goodness, needs and rationality rather than the theistic beliefs religion offered (“Humanism”). Humanism was based around the strengths of humans. The result of this was a vast dominance of the arts during this time. Art, architecture, music, poetry and more were encouraged because they exhibited the talents and intellectuality humans had to offer. One of the main influences present during the Italian Renaissance in not only Florence but other European countries was the de’ Medici family.
The de’ Medici family was a powerful influence during not only the time of the Renaissance, but over a time period stretching for generations. The wealth and power of the de Medici family began with Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici. Giovanni di Bicci began the start of the de’ Medici fortune through the organization of the de' Medici bank in Florence (Gibbons, 1). Giovanni’s was more influential in his wealth and didn’t seek a political influence like his later relatives. Unlike his father, Cosimo de’ Medici sought political influence. Although often thought that Cosimo sought to achieve a balance between the power he acquired and modesty as not to become too threatening to Florence. Eventually his power was known, as he became an unelected ruler of Florence and was later referred to as the “Father of the Nation” (Belliotti, 185). Another generation of Medici power was seen in the generation of Cosimo’s grandchildren. Lorenzo de Medici, Cosimo’s grandson, was also very influential often referred to as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Belliotti, 185). During the time of the Renaissance, not many Medici family members held official political positions. Many, though, often held distinct religious positions. Giovanni de Medici, the son of the Magnificent, became one of a few popes within the family line (Belliotti, 185). Many members of this family used the wealth in which they had acquired to patronize and impact the...

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