Q:

What was the social structure of Florence during the Renaissance?

A:

Quick Answer

During the Renaissance, Florence was a city-state ruled by powerful families. The social class system was characterized by four classes: the nobility, merchants, middle class and lower class. The city-state system was more democratic than other systems in Europe during that era because status was primarily determined by occupation instead of family lineage.

Know More
What was the social structure of Florence during the Renaissance?
Credit: Evgeny Kuklev Vetta Getty Images

Full Answer

The nobility of Italy owned most of the land and wielded power over the city. They had conflicts with merchants, who were the second-highest ranking class. The city-states of Italy were bustling centers of trade and commerce, which allowed people to gain wealth through trades such as manufacturing, banking and clothes-making. These trades were government-protected jobs called guilds. This created an opportunity for social-climbing, which made the nobility uncomfortable.

The middle classes of Florence were mainly shopkeepers and skilled laborers, such as masons. The lowest class consisted of unskilled laborers. They did not have job security and often had unsafe working conditions.

One of the most well-known families throughout Renaissance Europe was the Medici family from Florence. The Medici family were patrons of many great artists and musicians of the Renaissance, which helped the culture of Italy flourish during that era. Most of the great Italian artists descended from merchants and craftsmen.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why does Macduff flee to England?

    A:

    In the Shakesperian play "Macbeth," Macduff chooses to flee to England in response to the murder of Duncan by Macbeth to go in support of Malcolm, the son and heir of Duncan. In fleeing to England, however, Macduff condemns his own family, who is murdered by Macbeth in response. In fleeing to England, Macduff also attempts to persuade Malcolm to reclaim the Scottish throne with a show of force.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Shakespeare influence the Renaissance?

    A:

    Shakespeare influenced the Renaissance by standardizing the English language and expanding its vocabulary, deepening the humanity of the characters in his plays through emotional complexity and using elaborate references to Greek and Roman mythology in his writing. His attention to the intricacies of language, characterization and plot became an example to follow for future playwrights and other writers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were the means of communication in the Middle Ages?

    A:

    Since most people were illiterate in the Middle Ages, most communication was verbal. If a person needed to send a message to someone in another town, he could hire a courier, who would memorize the message and deliver it orally.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Muslims build the successful Arab Empire?

    A:

    Muslims were able to successfully build the Arab Empire because they conquered a lot of land quickly and then united the people of each land through the Muslim faith, also called Islam. The Muslim conquests took place in the early seventh century throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore