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  1. 1. Social Studies Venice RISE OF VENICE 9th - 15th century  Capable and committed leadership  Exemplary political system / Reforms in the government  Trade developments and expansion / Enterprising spirit towards trade  Industrial Development  Innovative Practices DECLINE OF VENICE  Foreign threats  Maritime Competition  Political Challenges  Social Challenges RISE OF VENICE 9th - 15th century POINT EXAMPLES EXPLANATION EXTERNAL FACTORS Capable and committed leadership Capable leaders contributed to rise of Venice. Some made outstanding contributions in growth and development of Venice as they were far-sighted. Establishing control in the Adriatic Sea o Doge Pietro II Orseolo was a capable leader who felt that peace in region would boost trade. o He reunited disputing cities, negotiated treaties with major powers and subdued pirates in Dalmatia. o Maintained friendship with Byzantine emperor in East and established relations with Germanic kings in the West to protect Venice’s independence and obtain favourable trading terms. o Created trade links with Muslim states in North Africa. o He felt it was necessary to bring piracy under control. Building Venetian Empire o Doge Enrico Dandolo directed the Fourth Crusade under  With peaceful relations brought trade partners and wealth  Safety attracted more traders  Profitable trade routes established  Expanded influence
  2. 2. command of Pope Innocent III in 12th o Crusade was military campaign to free Jerusalem (holy cities) from Muslim control. o It became a campaign to overthrow Byzantine Emperor and take over capital at Constantinople. o Weakened Byzantine Empire and helped Venice rise further. o Venice thereby gained recognition from other states. o It controlled some of the important territories which belonged to fallen Byzantine Empire. Expanding the Venetian empire in Mediterranean Sea o Doge Pietro Ziani succeeded Doge Enrico in 1205. o Capture of Constantinople marked beginning of Venice’s growth as maritime empire. o Need to set up military outposts along important trade routes. o Doge Pietro expanded trade through conquests. o He helped ensure Venice gained control of important routes in Mediterranean Sea. Exemplary political system / Reforms in the government 10th Century: Doge → Ducal Council → General Assembly 12th to 18th Century: Doge → Ducal Council → The Council of Forty & The Senate → Great Council → General Assembly Meeting challenges of growing city- state Establishment of the Great Council o Great council was to elect capable members to all councils  Capable people contribute to better running of government  Efficiency contributes to growth  No corruption = stability and growth
  3. 3. in the government. o Settled disputes between members of different councils, passed laws, meted out punishments and granted pardons to criminals. o Members of Great Council came from the most influential families. o With growth of nobility, there was competition to serve the government. o To prevent rivalry from destabilizing the government, Great Council expanded in 13th Century. o More nobles had opportunity to decide on Venice’s future. Specialisation of duties o As Venice grew, need to reorganize duties of Great Council. o More committees were created to handle affairs of state. o 13th Century, Council of Forty created. Handled law, finances and coinage (making coins) matters. o With expansion of trade and establishment of foreign relations with more countries, 60-member Senate was added to act jointly with Council of Forty. o Senate took charge in foreign relations, commerce and operations of Venetian fleets. Maintaining checks and balances Effective checks of power o 14th Century, Doge, 6 Ducal Councillors and 3 Heads of Council of Forty formed the Council of Ten. o Council of Ten monitored activities of organisations and
  4. 4. officials to ensure there were no corrupt practices or abuse of power by Doge or high ranking official. o Any plot to threaten government would be crushed. o No one was above the law, including Doge himself. o Great Council exercised its authority by limiting the power of the Doge. o Doges were forced into exile or arrested by Council of Ten for corrupt practices such as nepotism (favouritism towards family members) or attempting to be too powerful. o Eventually, Council of Ten handled confidential and critical matters such as putting an end to treason. Preventing the concentration of power o Nominating Committee added to election process to identify suitable male candidates for all elected positions through the process of balloting. o Purpose of balloting was to prevent any individual or family from dominating the government. o Nobles not allowed to campaign for support in election, thus rivalry was discouraged and no one could be appointed as a result of personal favour. o Nobles appointed were not allowed to reject the position. o Ensure all positions of responsibility in government were filled up. Trade developments and expansion / Enterprising spirit towards trade Attitude towards trade o Venetians were skilled diplomats and able to obtain favourable trading terms such as lower tax rates than competitors.  Made them attractive trading partners  Created jobs  Monopoly of trade
  5. 5. o Able to bring highly-prized spices from East. o Venetian traders maintained a competitive edge over competitors such as Genoa, another rising Italian city-state. o Venetians possessed an enterprising spirit. o Venetians explored new trade routes, supplies and markets by travelling to unknown land. o Example is the Polo family which took calculated risks to extend trade further beyond Middle East. o Exploration of overland trade route to China earned Venice good relations with countries in the Far East, which enabled Venice to expand its trade. o Wealth created by trade with Asia turned Venice into greatest cities in Europe. o Foreign traders travelled to Venice, and established permanent trading posts in city- state. Innovations in maritime technology o 13th Century, advances in maritime technology in Europe in areas of navigation and weaponry used on ships. o Nautical chart present information collected from voyages such as distance and important landmarks. Traders plan their journey more accurately. o Mariner’s compass ensured ships stayed on course. o Advanced technology, travels become possible in winter and poor weather, enabling Venice to continue to dominate trade in Mediterranean Sea. in Mediterranean
  6. 6. o Venice designed and built superior vessels to meet sailing needs. o Venetian fleets propelled by oars and sails that do not depend solely on wind. o Merchant and battle fleets travel further, facilitating the expansion of trade and territorial control. o Venetian great galley built as combination of merchant and war vessel. o Formidable enough to discourage most pirates from launching attack on Venetian trading ships. Efficiency in managing voyages o Maritime technology enables efficiency in arrival and departure of voyages. o Voyages more frequent as Venetian traders able to travel during winter. o Great galleys also capable of transporting more goods. o Senate came up with an effective management system so as to make full use of maritime advances to oversee rapid expansion of trade and territorial control. o Organised and monitored schedule of trade voyages. o Grouped traders and ordered them to travel in convoys as more profitable to trade in large quantities. o Efficiency meant Venice was able to expand its trade into many regions. Overcoming trade competition o Main trade competitor Venice faced was Genoa, which was also dependent on maritime trade.
  7. 7. o Genoa competed fiercely with Venice especially in Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. o At Genoa ports, Venetian traders risked confiscating and looting by Genoese when trading there. Venetian controlled ports were also unfriendly to Genoese traders. o At sea, Genoa attacked commercial fleets belonging to Venice and took over cargoes. Venice did the same to Genoa. o Venice and Genoa had conflict of political and commercial interests which resulted in many wars. o After series of wars, Venice defeated Genoa in later 14th Century. o From then on, Venetian controls the Mediterranean Sea which resulted in more international trade. Trade monopoly o 9th to 15th Century, trading activities in Europe dominated by Venice, Genoa and Hanseatic League. o Venice was most successful among them. o After Genoa’s defeat by Venice in 14th Century, Venice gained monopoly in Mediterranean region. o Central and Southern Europe relied on Venetians for goods from East such as spices, sugar, and diamonds. o Venetian traders went to Arabian ports such as Alexandria and Hormuz to buy and sell goods to other European states.
  8. 8. o The goods were sold at very high price, enabling Venetian traders to reap large profits. o Venice able to provide large variety of goods to the East. o Made possible as Venice’s navy dominated the region. o European states had very little choice other than to buy them from Venice. Industrial Development Trade-related industries o Ship-building industry benefited the expansion of trade. o Initially, ship building industry was small and scattered all over Venice. o After advances in maritime technology, around 1100 ship builders were centralised at a new location known as Arsenal. o Reason for setting up Arsenal was to prevent overcrowding and minimise noise pollution at its main trading port in the lagoon. o When demand for great galleys increased in 13th Century, Arsenal expanded to facilitate production. o Eventually, Arsenal became backbone of Venice’s maritime industry and power. Manufacturing Industries o With trade expansion, Venetians gained more wealth. o Led to increase in demand for goods which promoted manufacturing industries. o Most well-known was glassmaking industry which concentrated on Murano. o Venetians also produced candles and scented soap. o New industries began to emerge, such as printing industry which serves the large reading  Established Venice as a strong trading city  Created jobs  Additional income streams  Efficiency introduced = more traders
  9. 9. population in Venice. o With new industries, more jobs were created for people and Venice continued to prosper. o The attracted skilled craftsmen from other parts of Europe settle down and work in Venice. Innovative Practices o Venice introduced innovative practices in trade and business. o Double-entry bookkeeping: Record business transactions and amount of goods in possession. Useful system to record business transactions. Help meet needs of business. o Giro-banking: Do not have to carry large amounts of money and different currencies. Giro- banking allows making or receiving payment by request of bank. Able to carry out several transactions a day and check if there are sufficient funds. o Thus, trade was further facilitated. o Many traders come to Venice as they enjoyed convenience and efficiency of Venetian’s trader- related services.  The Venetians were highly innovative as seen in the new ways of conducting businesses.  Trade efficiency increased and Venice’s economy expanded DECLINE OF VENICE POINT EXAMPLES EXPLANATION Foreign threats o Political developments in mainland states and emergence of Ottoman Empire in 15th Century posed serious challenges to Venice. o Venice had spent large amount of resources and wealth in building military strength. o Threats diverted Venice’s attention away from trade and resulted in loss of some of Venice’s overseas territories. o Added to further blows as  Faced constant risk of attack  Drain on resources and wealth
  10. 10. maritime empire. Involvement in mainland o Political development in mainland cause Venetian government turns its attention to mainland territories. o Mainland territories supplied Venice with essential resources like food and water. o Venice needed to secure their supply of resources. o In order for Venice to protect their territories, they took advantage of the rivalry among mainland states. o Venice tried to achieve balance of power by offering to help one fight against another. o However, Venice’s act of switching alliances with different opposing states proved it was constantly treading on fragile relations with larger states. o Venice could come under attack should negotiations fail. o Situation put Venetians at high risk as no certainty which alliance would ultimately benefit Venice. o Venetians equip themselves with strong army which could only be done so by recruiting mercenaries (soldiers employed and paid) to fight wars. o Rivalry among mainland states made overland trade route unsafe as constant battles were fought in the region. o Venetians concerned as they depended on commercial crossroads for trade and wealth. The Ottoman Empire o From 13th Century, Ottoman Empire began expanding its
  11. 11. influence from Middle East into Europe. o By 15th Century, Ottoman replaced Genoa as Venice’s greatest competitor. o Venetian knew they could not compete with Ottoman armies as they were larger. o Venice’s involvement in mainland drained large part of its energy and resources. o Venice thereby forced to give up some of less important territories to avoid further loss. o Venetians fought hard to maintain control of Adriatic Sea. o However, Ottoman acquired territories along coast of Adriatic Sea and launched attacks at Venice’s territories from there. o Venice used galleys to fight off attacks, thus disrupting use of galleys for trading purposes. o Ottoman fought 7-year war with Venetians over control of Aegean Sea and Adriatic Sea. o The wars drained Venice’s resources and man power and disrupted trade. o Venice attempted to contain power of Ottomans. o Venetians willing to give concessions to Ottomans whenever it suited commercial interests but would later seek military aid from European states to fight to defend their territories. o The action caused European neighbours to develop deep hostility for Venice. o In 1463, Europeans decided to launch military campaign against Ottomans. o However, due to resentment
  12. 12. faced from European states, Venetians were left to fight on their own against Ottomans. o In 1470, Venice lost Negroponte. League of Cambrai o Venice’s growing influence made it unpopular among various mainland states. o Larger states felt Venice was gaining too much power and control over Northern Italy and wanted to recapture Venetian territories. o In 1508, military alliance against Venice known as League of Cambrai was formed. o Consist of main powers. o League aimed to reduce power of Venice and divide power of Venice amongst the larger states. o Many of Venice’s territories fell to members of the League. o At Agnadello, Venetian mercenary army badly defeated. o Venetians negotiated for separate peace with some states of the League by giving territories and wealth. o Due to changing alliances, Venice created new alliances with some states and managed to recapture some of its territories. o Cost of wars drained and weakened Venice’s resources. Venice had to raise taxes to finance employment of mercenary armies and replenish own supply of weapons. Maritime Competition o Venice continued to function as a regional trading centre, specialising in goods produced in Mediterranean. o Venice was also diversifying its economy into agriculture,  Unable to handle the competition  Turned away traders  Loss of profits as middleman in the
  13. 13. manufacturing industries and financial services. o However, over time, rise of new powers posed severe competition to Venice’s position as maritime power. Discovery of new sea routes o 15th Century was beginning of age of exploration and discovery. o Marco Polo’s tales encouraged many European explorers to follow his footsteps. o An example is explorer Christopher Columbus, who discovered Americas. o Competition to search for new maritime trade routes. o Portuguese explorer, Vasco, successfully reached Calicut, a thriving spice centre in India, by going round Cape of Good Hope. o Portuguese able to buy spices directly from India and led to competition with Venetians. o New sea route destroyed Venice’s monopoly of lucrative spice trade and reduce large profits Venetian traders had earned. o Venice’s traditional route was more time-consuming, due to overland route. o Overland route considered unsafe as there were robbers and plunderers hiding in desert. o Venice lost its position as middleman for spice trade. o Venice continued to function as trade centre in western Mediterranean Sea as growing cities such as Lisbon in Portugal demanded more goods. o Venice became main supplier of Mediterranean goods such as wine, raisin, Persian silk. Sold East – West trade
  14. 14. them to the cities. o Venetian-manufactured products such as glassware were highly profitable and in high demand for both East and West. o Venice expanded its trade to North Sea region and maintained trade links with England. New trade rivals o 17th century, new trade rivals such as Dutch East India Company was formed. o The Dutch bypassed Venetians to go to East to get the supplies. o Venice also faced competition from British when English East India Company (EIC) was established. o EIC brought cotton and pepper from India, tea and porcelain from China. o Venice was adversely affected as position as an entrepot port. o Dutch and British had better- designed ships. o Venetians imitated designs of ships, however sailors lacked skills to operate them. o Large states (e.g. England), more successful in negotiating favourable trading rights in new ports. o Venetians imposed protectionist policy. o Imposed higher duties on foreign traders. o Traders felt too costly to trade with Venetians. o Venice lost some of its trading partners due to its insistence on maintaining monopolistic position. INTERNAL FACTORS Political challenges Incapable Leadership o Basic structure of Venetian  Incompetent and inefficient
  15. 15. government remained unchanged since 12th century. o Venetians’ ability to make good decisions dependent on quality of men selected into office. o Venice faced challenge of shrinking number of nobility as other families die, such as during Black Death. o This affected their appointment to highest offices. o To retain family wealth and property, noble families arranged marriages among themselves. o This caused wealth to be concentrated in hands of few families. o From 16th Century, a small group of rich nobles dominated the government, making renewal of leadership a challenge. o With power in hands of few, corruption was inevitable. o Rotation of duties ensured no family could dominate government. o Also meant competent officers would have to leave office after 1 term. o Later times, nobles regarded office as matter of personal glory, rather than service to the state. o Many nobles, previously scholars, competed to serve as naval commanders in wars against Ottomans. o They did not have adequate naval expertise. o Led to Venice suffering heavy losses in battles. Corruption in government o In order to finance cost of wars with ottomans and neighbouring states, government suspended government  Decisions made not in Venice’s interests
  16. 16. salaries of civil servants. o Together with disruption of trade in time of wars, some nobilities lost their source of income. o Division in noble classes (rich nobles and poor nobles). o Many poor nobles were willing to sell their votes at high price. o Leadership was now determined by how much nobles could afford to pay to be elected. o Another form of corruption was sale of positions to raise funds during crises. o Corrupt practices resulted in incompetent leaders taking positions in government. o Government was becoming increasingly inefficient as it served the nobility’s interest. Over-dependence on mercenaries o Venetian army employed soldiers from its Mediterranean territories. o Small population, necessary for Venice to maintain large mercenary army. o Venetian’s over-dependence on mercenaries was very costly. o Some of the paid soldiers did not remain loyal to Venice as they could always be offered higher salaries from other states. o 1619, a large number of French mercenaries plotted to seize Duccal Palace and kill Senate molecules. o Planned to rob nobles’ palaces. o Although plan discovered by Council of Ten, it showed Venice could no longer trust mercenary. Social Challenges o Venetians less prepared for war  Complacency = less
  17. 17. as they shifted their focus away from security matters, o More concerned about wealth than maintaining security in city state. o Nobles become more affluent, less involved in important matters such as admin and development. o More distant from commoners and gap between rich and poor widened. o Lifestyle changed as they become richer. o Pursuit of entertainment and pleasure helped in flourishing arts in Venice. o Many wealthy nobles indulged in lavish parties and celebrations which could last as long as 6 months. o Venetians were overly- complacent. o Some rich nobles addicted to gambling. focus on economy and defence  No motivation to resolve problems faced by the state