Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

CONSTITUTION OF FLORENCE,                         79
of twelve guilds), a smaller of eighty members called the
credenza, and a larger. Now these were all reduced to two,
one of the commune of two hundred and fifty members,
among whom grandi i\\\g\\t sit, and one of three hundred to
which only popolani could be eligible. The elections xvere
made before 1382, by the podesta, capitano, and priors ((the
three greater rectors as they were called?, and the time of
services, in the larger ones at leant, was one year. The coun-
cil of the people consisted, in century XV., often fur every
gonfalon, or one hundred and sixty with the si^n;>ri( their
collegia and some other officials. For the clearest account
of them at that time, I refer to the anonymous author of ** A
Discourse on the Government of Florence, between 1280 and
1292. "*
After the councils were reduced to two, questions of admin*
istration proposed in the signoria and approved by the black
beans of two-thirds (counting the eight priors and the jmnfalo-
nicre), were submitted to the collc^i, and then to the council
of the people. If this council gave its assent, tin: proposition
was submitted the next day to the council of the commune,
and, if it passed through, needed no further ratification.
New laws, and 1 believe changes in laws, needed tin: assent
of the people, called together in a parhtmento by the goufa-
lonierc of justice. Other councils, as that of the two hundred
which took the place of the two just mentioned, in 1471 ; or
of the earlier two hundred created in 1411, under the influ-
ence of Maso degli Albmi, without whose consent no war nor
foreign expedition, league nor confederation was lawful ; or of
the^ important council of seventy in the time of Lorenxo de
Medici, which were late experiments to sew new cloth on
the old garment, or to gain some temporary expedient, we
need barely mention,
The sqitiitinio of J32iS,  first projected in 1323,  was an
imP°rtaut change.    The plan was to entrust to
a large committee of official persons and their
assessors, the business of determining what citizens were fit
* In the appendix to Capponi's Storia, vol. r,