System in Italy
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History of Italy)
the Normans and then the Hohenstaufen (1220-1266), besides
the institution of particularly efficient state structures that
formed a network of control throughout the territory, there
was introduced into Italy, with all its juridical implications,
the feudal system. This further favoured the expansion of large
establishments, whether civil or ecclesiastical, but conserved
for the towns sufficient independence to guarantee the development
of economic activities.
II also made a notable cultural contribution. He founded the
University of Naples and encouraged the formation of the Sicilian
School, which made a fundamental contribution to the development
of the new Italian language, alongside the contemporary Tuscan
poets and prose-writers. The enlightened absolutism of Frederick
II was however accompanied by an administrative reform (Constitution
of Melfi, 1231) favouring bureaucracy and tax collection. The
latter, in particular, imposed restrictions on economic activities.
and Central Italy after the bitter contests of feudal lords,
like Guy of Spoleto and Berengar of Friuli, was conquered, after
the collapse of the Carolingian Empire, by Otto I of Saxony(951).
He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor (962) by the pope, thus uniting
the crowns of Italy and Germany in a relationship that was to
last for some thousand years.
in Northern Italy, the city of Venice had managed to become
independent. Founded on the lagoon by refugees from Aquileia
destroyed by the Huns of Attila, it had initially developed
under the protection of Byzantium.
a hinterland for centuries, the city was governed by a Maggior
Consiglio presided over by a doge, supporting itself essentially
by sea trade. It managed to achieve a monopoly over Eastern
Mediterranean traffic by establishing permanent commercial bases
(fondachi) that were often transformed into colonies.
quest for sea trade, Venice was often in competition with other
marine republics. Genoa, for example, managed at the beginning
of the 11C to conquer Corsica and Sardinia. Amalfi codified
maritime law with its `Tabulae Amalfitanae'. While Pisa, who
beseiged Sardinia (1116), was permanently defeated by Genoa
at the sea battle of Meloria (1284). Perhaps the most significant
factor in their development, however, were the Crusades (10-13C).
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