The Medici family did not always start off with controlling Florentine’s politics and being Florence’s richest family

The Medici family did not always start off with controlling Florentine’s politics and being Florence’s richest family. They were the first dynasty to not prevail their social position by warfare or inheritance but through financial transactions and banking. Not only they are the head of Europe’s largest bank but they dominated the Italian city throughout the Renaissance and beyond from 1434 to 1737. The House of Medici rose to prominence and power around 1291. Together with bringing peace and stability to the city of Florence. They initially achieved wealth and political power in Florence through effective banking. There were people who were loyal and loved the Medici family as their power grew. However, with that great power came with hate in Florence. Which resulted in being driven to exile multiple times. However, they kept coming stronger every time they returned. They left a lasting legacy that spanned across Italy with both honorable and dishonorable means. Along with those means came with ambition, intelligence, and manipulation. The Medici family became the most influential family during the Renaissance. As well as becoming great rulers of the city of Florence and eventually the surrounding region of Tuscany.
The Medici family had so much ambition with becoming the leaders of the largest bank in Europe. They clawed their way to the top sometimes through bribery or dishonesty. When having many leaders comes with the desire to continue having followers and maintaining that power. Cosimo l the son of the founder of Medici Bank, Giovanni de’ Medici, was born into the family’s wealth. He inherited his father’s political influence and had great aspiration with having power. He simply did not see himself as a simple, straightforward rich banker with some political authority. His goal incorporated political power and just in a few years, he gained thirty-nine banks. He placed economic power at the favor of his political ambitions. His doings immediately made other merchant bankers such as Strozzi and Pazzi. While Cosimo intention was conserving a stable superiority between the Italian city-states to benefit his own interest, he was more engrossed in allowing transactions and the arts flourish in Florence, and in this outcome was remarkably successful.
The other son of Giovanni de Medici named Lorenzo de’Medici and sometimes “Lorenzo the Magnificent” was a respected political figure, ruler, and patron of the arts. He ruled through much of the peak of the Italian Renaissance and the most significant member of the Medici family. Gaining access to politics, Lorenzo would face many burdensome and perplexing situations. Yet, with the power of Milan and Venice reinforced the Florentine position and wise economic actions refined the family finances. Florence thrived and prospered under Lorenzo’s control which drastically increased the wealth of the Medicis. Therefore, it was unpreventable that rival families would not hold on to resentment. The most remarkable competitor family was the Pazzi and they were the family who practically brought Lorenzo’s ruling to an end before it had hardly begun. On April 26, 1478, the Pazzi Conspiracy “was an unsuccessful plot to overthrow the Medici rulers of Florence; the most dramatic of all political opposition to the Medici family.” (“Pazzi Conspiracy”) The plot was led by members of the Pazzi family as well as Pope Sixtus IV. The assassination attempt was during a mass held in the Cathedral of Florence and they attacked Lorenzo. His brother, Giuliano was, unfortunately, got caught in the crossfire and was killed. Although, Lorenzo mercifully escaped with a stab wound. For the remaining years of Lorenzo’s life, Florence remained stable and calm. He pursued a policy both of maintaining peace and a balance of power between the northern Italian states and of keeping the other major European states out of Italy.
The Medici family were also known for being patrons during the Renaissance. One “who lends influential support to some person, cause, art or institution” (“Patron”). The Medicis showed interest in mathematics, literature, and science. They provided financial support and encouraged scholarships. Cosimo de’ Medici did plenty to make Florence the center of art and humanities. He collected books, founded libraries, and supported the studies of humanist scholars and philosophers. He also attracted thinkers and artist, together with welcoming ideals of ancient Greek to Florence which helped fuel the Renaissance. One of the greatest contributions was commissioning works by many of the major artistic figures of the Renaissance. In doing so, it welcomed the ideas and philosophies of distant lands.
The Medici family’s bank expanded and prospered under Cosimo direction. The bank reached its height and influence with having branches of partners throughout Western Europe. Cosimo served as head of the bank foundation of Medici wealth and handled much of the business of the papal court. He was a leader in diplomatic missions to another state, together with, engaging in local politics and power struggles in Florence. In the late 1420s, the Medici family had grown to 27 households in Florence. They used their increasing wealth and reputation to win followers and promote the appointment of their friends to public offices. Although some people feared that Cosimo de’ Medici’s power was a threat to Florence’s republican government. In spite of that, most Florentines saw him as a respected political figure who brought tranquility and preserving Florence’s self-rule. He skillfully manipulated Florence’s political institutions for his family’s benefits, for instance, arranging their supporters to receive positions within the church. Using wealth and having strong connections proves how strong their ambition was when becoming the strongest leaders of Florence.
The Medicis’ intelligence played a role in becoming the most influential family during the Renaissance. There were many rival families and groups who were hungry for the dominance. The rivals had wealth and ambition as well as the Medicis. Although, the Medicis knew how to get ahead and stay ahead of their intelligence. The Medici family used marriages to seal economic and political alliances with other Florentine families. The result of the intermarriage with other notable Florentine clans would increase the family’s circle of trust. The marriages helped mixed the Medici family with royal blood. After the Pazzi Conspiracy, Lorenzo had his two daughters married to the relatives of those who had taken part in the plot, for ensuring future relations with the papacy. In addition, healing any proceeding wounds in Florence. Having great connections with the papal, gave the bank immense power which led to the Medici Bank becoming the most profitable bank in Europe. The Medici family arranging marriages to secure economic alliances showed their intelligence becoming the influential during the Renaissance.
Cosimo de’ Medici was this clever and astute person who handled financial affairs that eventually gave the family great power. He served as head of the bank, along with handling much of the papal court and the family bank expanded under Cosimo direction. Cosimo, equally being known as the Grand Duke of Tuscany, had a prime project by unifying all of Tuscany. Under his government, Florence was never united before and tackled wars with Pisa, Lucca, and Sienna. He used force resistant to his power and occasionally celebrated his control. All of his victories were memorialized through frescoes in the Hall of the Five Hundred.
In the fifteenth century, Italy became more peaceful. In previous centuries there were many conflicts between the city-states and usually some civil disagreements on top of that. The outcome led to the escalating of many dictators and oppressors in Italy, mainly in the 14th century. The Medici family disliked engaging in war and did not want to expand Florentine territory. They preferred peace and they considered that war was inferior for trade. Cosimo de’ Medici determinedly for peace in the North of Italy, had been on the lookout for initiating a balance of power in the region. Cosimo was in quest of ending series of wars in Lombardy and organize an agreement to regard each other’s territories in Italy, Milan, Naples, Venice, and Florence. C Lorenzo the Magnificent, went along with his grandfather’s strategies in preserving a balance of power and control. For that reason, Lorenzo and other Northern Italian leaders arranged the Treaty of Lodi that brought strength and tranquility to the North and Central Italy. The Medici family securing economic alliances through marriages and negotiating peace treaties showed their intelligence when becoming the influential during the Renaissance.
The Medici family used manipulation when becoming the most influential family during the Renaissance. Cosimo skillfully manipulated Florence’s political organization to his family’s benefit. Cosimo never absorbs an official position as head of state, but, decided to remain a private citizen and run the business behind the scenes. It was beneficial for the family, having said that, he ruined his enemies while managing the affairs. “In 1433, Cosimo was arrested by those who opposed him, having been accused of attacking Florentine freedom”(“The Medici Family”). In due course, Cosimo was driven to exile for 10 years. The Medici family utilize a system of friends of friends. People who would do anything to stay close to the family. With his bribes and well-placed friends saved him from death. From Venice, he controlled a Florentine party working for his return. A year before they succeeded, he was finally invited back. During his reign of thirty years, he used his fortune to maintain control over the internal affairs which started to annihilate his opponents from the financial world.
The Medici family used the Roman Catholic Church for further goals. They developed close politico-religious relationships with the Catholic Church hierarchy which proved to be financially and politically beneficial. Lorenzo maneuvered for years to have his second son, Giovanni, appointed as the cardinal. Shortly, Lorenzo was able to secure the election as cardinal, at the age of 13. He became Pope Leo X, before long, he gained prominence as one of the most wide-ranging pope’s in the fundings of the arts. Afterward, he was enabled to receive and collect incomes from a number of wealthy churches in Rome and Florence. As a result, the Medici family were able to add to the family’s influence and fortune on account of Pope Leo X. By using their wealth and fortune to contain their control showed their manipulation when becoming the strongest leaders during the Renaissance.
They rose to vast fortune as merchants and bankers, became integrated through marriages with major houses of Europe. While not only being the prosperous and determined family in Florence, the Medici’s are driven in their goals and did not always attain and reach their success through righteous ways. The Medicis were one of the most chaotic and turmoil family. They had many power struggles, banishments, utmost prosperity, and cultural contributions.The Medicis made an impression during the Renaissance with their honorable and dishonorable means. The family had such a thoroughgoing effect on the Renaissance due to their ambition, intelligence, a manipulation. Unaccompanied by the Medici family, the Renaissance may not have been this distinguishable era of history. The Medicis brought peace and stability to Italy which was critical in the cultural flourishing city.