Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

commissioners called three new guilds into being, the first
consisting of tailors, doublet-makers, cloth-dressers and bar-
bers ; the second, of carders and dyers ; the third, of the/0/-
ulo minuto or populace. The signoria was also reformed ;
three priors were to belong to the highest guilds, three to the
next in rank, three to the new ones ; and the gonfaloniere of
justice, counting him one of the nine priors, was to be selected
in turn from each of these divisions of the people. A sqnitti-
mo or registration was held, as usual, by a specially appointed
committee, but the business was left chiefly in the hands of
the members of the inferior guilds. A third act of the " tu-
mult" took place when new priors were about to succeed
the old, but it was repressed by the energy of Michel Lando,
who, in his brief rule, showed-courage and moderation.
This closing scene cost the life or goods of a number of citi-
zens condemned by judicial process.
A number of changes in the government were made at
this time. One was, to abolish the new guild of the lower
people, the twenty-fourth. Another, to give four priors to
the great guilds and five to the inferior. The council of the
people was made to consist of forty from each quarter, the
council of the commune of the same number with ten grandi
from each quarter. Provisions which had been made for the
relief of debtors were abrogated. In short, the first begin-
nings of a reaction were already apparent.
The inferior guilds were now masters of the state, and they
exercised their power against many in condemnations to
banishment or death. Among those who suffered death was
Piero degli Albizzi, who had been banished from Florence,
and now was taken up on a charge of conspiracy. On the
other hand, two of the chief citizens who had been leaders of
the people, one of the Strozzi and one of the Scali, for at-
tempts to excite a sedition, were sentenced to death ; one died,
the other escaped death by flight. The upper guilds seized
this as a favorable time for recovering their superiority, and
, a reform commission was appointed. The results were the
annulment of, two new guilds of 1378, a general restora-