Money and the Recovery of Renaissance Florence Essay

Money and the Recovery of Renaissance Florence Essay

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Supply and demand for goods play a critical role throughout world economies.  They are perhaps the primary building blocks of any economy.  Several hundred years ago, supply and demand were no less important, and were particularly instrumental in the economic recovery of Florence during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  The ability of a group of notable people to provide the supply of goods in response to demand in Florence provided the foundation for the flourishing of art, commerce, and living standards.  In their own ways, both Michelangelo and the Medici family contributed to the economic recovery and development of Italy.  While Michelangelo may have represented only one of a slew of notable artists during the Renaissance, his contributions were extraordinary significant and still impress the world today.

Most of Europe suffered from the Black Death which had enveloped the continent during the thirteenth century.  Populations of many countries were decimated.  Some countries lost as much as 70% of their populations.  In Florence, one-half to two-thirds of the population died as a result of the Black Death.  When those rough times finally eroded Europe, many countries, like Italy, were left to rebuild entirely.  Florence itself was at its lowest population in almost 200 years (Goldthwaite, The Building... 1 - 44).  However, rather than proving to be a disadvantage, a lower population actually benefited those who survived.  Since the population had shrunk so much, the per capita wealth of the survivors was much higher than ever before in Florence.  A good-size proportion of the wealth had accumulated in the hands of a surprisingly large number of people t...


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...  1300 - 1600.  Baltimore, Maryland:  The Johns Hopkins University Press,  1993.

Gombrich, E.H.  Norm and Form:  Studies in the Art of the Renaissance I.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  1985.

Hale, J. R.  Florence and the Medici:  The Patrons of Control.  New York:  Thames and Hudson, Inc.,  1977.

 Wallace, William E.  Michelangelo at San Lorenzo.  New York:  Cambridge University Press,  1994.

Wallace, William E.  Michelangelo:  Selected Scholarship in English Drawings, Poetry, and Miscellaneous Studies.  Vol. 5.  New York:  Garland Publishing Inc.,  1995.

Wallace, William E.  Michelangelo:  Selected Scholarship in English Life and Early
Works.  Vol. 1.  New York:  Garland Publishing Inc.,  1995.

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