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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONSTITUTION   OF  l-'LUKKNCK.                          87

tion of men banished or deprived of civil rights since the
tumult of that year, the equality of the higher and lower
guilds in the number of priors assigned to them, the choice
of a gonfalonierc always from a higher guild, and the con-
cession of a majority of one to the same guilds in the council
of the people and in several of the standing boards (1382).

The changes now going on show that the upper class was
recovering its ground. The attempt was successfully made
by the aristocracy to gain the favor of the people; and they
felt themselves strong enough even to banish some of the
eminent men who had leaned toward the popular side, such as
Salvestro clei Medici, who was obliged to leave Florence for
five years (1383), and Benedetto Albert!, who, with his house,
was disqualified from holding office, and was banished to the
distance of a hundred miles. Besides this, the old weapon
of " ammonzicme" was again used by the less popular party.

Perhaps the year when Maso degli Albim was drawn out
. as gonfakmiere (i393)> ma7 be fixed on as the
point of time when the government came per-
manently into the hands of the upper class, or the ottimttti.
To secure their position they had already diminished the share
of offices of the lower guilds from one-third to one-fourth-
Now, by charges of conspiracy, and in various ways, in a few
years the whole family of the Alberti was ruined. Lorn-
bardy was full of banished men.(Capponi, n, 80) ; the popu-
lar party lost its great supports, Vieri dei Medici was beg-
ged to put himself at the head of the people, and if he had
been more ambitious than good, Macchiavelli thinks that he
might have got the government into his hands, but he refused*
(Comp. Ammirato, vol. ii., 840, p. 891.)
The ottimati) or oligarchy, remained in power under Maso
and Rinaldo Albizzi and Niccolo tla Uzzano, the statesmen
of the party, until 1434. The state was ably managed ; Pisa,
Cortona, Leghorn, were incorporated into the republic ; the
industries were flourishing, and it was in this century that