A history of the institutionalisation of violence in Italy.

Essay by ashannatarHigh School, 12th gradeA-, October 2007

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Examining the Renaissance and early modern period of Italian history, violence can be considered to have become institutionalised within Italy due a number of political, economic, and social shifts. This institutionalisation was the result of a fluctuating socialised culture of continued violence embodying a vehement history, traditions, individualism, competitiveness and factionalism. Violence could only result in being cumulatively institutionalised into society when it was regarded as both popular culture entertainment and as the primary weapon of honour, vengeance and pride. Ultimately this very institutionalisation of violence became cause for radical social and judicial introspection resulting in a number of effects and results. Whether it be the preventative penal justice system reforms, the facilitation of internal peace within the city populations and factions or the establishment of ideal theories of sovereign governments in place of excessive individualism and socialised violence, there were long lasting effects both for Italian society and the reforming world.

Violence certainly became more institutionalised within Italian societies as a result of the continued tradition, history and culture of a competitive civilisation of war and conflict. The long period of warfare and civic disturbance which characterised Italian experience between the mid fourteenth and the mid sixteenth centuries created localised effects which socialised violence into society further. Disbanded troops who could not be readily reabsorbed into the economy were forced to resort to marauding and banditry in order to survive. It was assumed that princes needed to be skilled as war leaders and that all states had to be prepared to fight for survival because of rival jealous neighbours. Violence could only be institutionalised further with the continuing belief in cycles of peace. Peace was either believed to be fatalistic or moralising, the former regarding peace as a luxurious degeneracy which had to be expiated and purged by...