Development of the Municipal Society and the Dawn of Lordship Part I

Greater social vigor, richer economy, in central and northern Italy. Rapid progress of the people, that is bourgeoisie, made up of different but also similar strata and organized in the city state. The much battle of the factions, of the cities between them, of the pope and emperor, instead of wearing out, seems to nourish and ignite the forces of this society which, almost abandoned to itself, completes its evolution towards the full freedom of people and goods, towards a political order of its own. According to REMZFAMILY, there is agricultural progress, which is also accompanied by renewed interest in agricultural facts and the study of more profitable agriculture. And this progress is unthinkable without social progress in the countryside. In fact, serfdom is disappearing: for a spontaneous process of individual liberation, but also by virtue of political initiatives and laws of the municipality which intended by this to transform the employees of others into their own employees, subject to the services and taxes of the city. Tens and hundreds of hamlets or Frankish castles are springing up all over the place, sometimes the work of lords, much more often than municipalities, who gather there the population subject to feudal lords or enemy cities, to make them a military bulwark and to increase the population of their territory. . They are especially numerous in the Po Valley: in the Vercelli and Novara areas, at the mouth of the Dora, in the Piacenza and Bologna areas. It is both a phenomenon of population increase and concentration. New cities have also sprung up and are being built, generally due to the development of villages in a certain area. And the peninsula, especially from Tuscany and the Marche upwards, it is becoming, even more than it was, the country par excellence of cities and accentuating the character of its civilization, as an essentially city civilization. Between the 12th and 13th centuries, Sarzana was born, which rapidly assumed importance and juridical titles as a city. Cuneo, Mondovì, Fossano, Cherasco, Savigliano etc. are born, due to the various competition of ancient cities in whose territory they arise, such as, for example, Alba; of feudatories who allow their vassals to move and gather elsewhere; of pre-existing rural or noble universities. Their ancient lords retained for a time rights over those men transplanted elsewhere and in the administration of the new land: but soon they had to bargain, compromise, become citizens, submit to the new municipality what they have in the castles of its territory, sell them their jurisdictional rights or, if they refuse, suffer the rebellions of their men, fueled by the new city. In a richly mining area, disputed by Pisani and Senesi and, later, by the Florentines, Massa di Maremma develops; while in Sardinia, among a population largely of miners, recruited on the spot or coming from Pisa and Tuscany, there was Villa di Chiesa, Iglesias: two cities that in the 13th century have their own statutes and give a large contribution to the elaboration of mining law . Work instead of Ligurian elements are rather Alghero, Bosa, Castel Genovese, which also appear. It is the time that Sardinia changes appearance. Terranova, Oristano, Cagliari arise or grow. At the end of the 13th century, Sassari was enriched with Genoese and, moreover, Pisan elements. The territorial concessions of the local rulers in Pisa and Genoa, with the right to establish markets, demand taxes and personal services, exercise justice, etc., gave rise to as many colonization centers, especially along the coast, where the products of the internal for export. Cagliari was, at the beginning of the 13th century, a Pisani airport, a municipality controlled and limited by Pisa; and its leader represents, together, the Pisans of Cagliari and the Pisan municipality. Meanwhile, the Marches have also been populated with castles and small towns, which benefit from the ruin of many feudal families and attract vassals and peasants and begin to play their part in the political life of the region, intolerant both of the dominion of the imperial vicars and of the protection of the Holy See: Fabriano, Matelica, Osimo, Iesi, Recanati etc .; while the ancient Ancona rises more and more, having grown in reputation after the victorious resistance to Barbarossa, competing a little with Venice in Adriatic trade.

Even more visible are the progress of the older and larger cities in terms of population and jobs. Nowadays there is not one that does not have its own wool industry. We cannot yet speak of “big industry”. But some elements of it already exist: strong mass of labor, clear separation between those who own capital and those who have arms, coexistence and mutual aid of many industries, close relations with exchange and with the trade in money. Exchange and trade in money are things of all cities: but some are true cities of bankers, as early as the 13th century: Asti, Piacenza, Lucca, Siena, Venice.

Pisa and Genoa 1