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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONSTITUTION OF FLORENCE.                      6/

invested with the Italian dominions of the Hohenstauffen, by
the pope, and Manfred was slain at the battle of Benevento
(1266). Two years afterwards Conradin, son of Conrad IV.,
of Germany, and the only legitimate descendant of Frederic II.,
came down into Italy to claim his own, but was defeated at
Tagliacozzo by Charles, and afterwards put to death (1268),
The Sicilian vespers (1282) were followed by the loss of that
island to Charles, who died in 1285. The Guelphs, until
then, were successful, and still acknowledged the claim of the
descendants of Charles. At Florence the fear of the opposite
party led the Guelphs and the people to invest the heads of
this faction from time to time, when danger came upon them,
with the seignory of the republic, first Charles of Anjou
(1266) ; then Robert, king of Naples, at the time of the Ital-
ian expedition of the emperor Henry VII. (1309) ; then the
duke of Calabria (.1326), on account of fears from the em-
peror Louis of Bavaria, and Castruccio, lord of Lucca ; after
which, in 1342, Walter of Brienne, duke of Athens, who had
been the duke's lieutenant in the war with Lucca, was elected
seignior for a year and then for life (1342). The danger
of this practice of calling in a foreign sovereign or commander,
and investing him with the chief power in the republic, now
showed itself clearly ; for had not this worthless man soon
ruined his own cause, he might have been a tyrant like the
Visconti of Milan, and established a dynasty in his own
family.

185.
We are now the better prepared to trace the more normal
political changes in the constitution of Florence.
"The first people.*'                      _     ,            -     -         .               ,,
Ihe first of these, belonging to the year 1250,
is called by Villani (vL, 39) t\it primo popolo, and marks the
time when the people, that is the upper class of the people,
made the first decisive movement to combine for self-defence,
and for combination against the nobility. The Ghibellines
were now in the ascendant. The leading Guelphs were scat-
tered abroad, and the other faction domineered over the citi-