Grand Duchy of Tuscany

Dafato Team | Mar 13, 2024

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The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was an ancient Italian state that existed for two hundred and ninety years, between 1569 and 1859, constituted by a bull issued by Pope Pius V on August 27, 1569, after the conquest of the Republic of Siena by the Medici dynasty, rulers of the Republic of Florence, in the concluding phase of the Italian wars of the 16th century. Until the second half of the 18th century it was a confederal state consisting of the Duchy of Florence (called the "Old State") and the New State of Siena, in personal union in the grand duke. The title originated from that of the Duchy of Tuscia, then Marca of Tuscia and then Margraviate of Tuscany, a legal title of government of the territory of a feudal nature in Longobard, Frankish and post-Carolingian times.

After the extinction of the Medici dynasty, the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty took over in 1737 and held the fortunes of the grand duchy until the unification of Italy, albeit with the interruption of the Napoleonic era. Between 1801 and 1807, in fact, Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Tuscany and assigned it to the House of Bourbon-Parma under the name Kingdom of Etruria. With the collapse of the Napoleonic Empire in 1814 and the Congress of Vienna, the Grand Duchy reverted to the Hapsburgs of Tuscany. In 1859 Tuscany was occupied by troops of the Kingdom of Sardinia and became known as the Provinces of Central Italy. Tuscany was formally annexed to the Sardinian kingdom in 1860, as part of the national unification process, in a popular referendum that drew close to 95 percent yes votes.

The rise of the Medici: from republic to grand duchy

Beginning in 1434, the year in which Cosimo the Elder triumphantly returned from the Venetian exile to which the oligarchic ruling government of the city had forced him the previous year, the Medici family began to exercise a de facto power over Florence (for which the term "cryptocratic lordship" has been coined) that would be consolidated under Piero di Cosimo known as the Gouty and his son Lorenzo the Magnificent. In 1494 Piero di Lorenzo known as the Fatuous or the Unfortunate, unable to effectively oppose the entry of the French king Charles VIII into Florence, is forced to flee. Republican rule was restored in the city, while the Republic of Pisa regained its independence, which it would, however, lose again in 1509.

Toward the Grand Duchy

The return of the Medici (1512) saw Cardinal Giulio, the natural son of Giuliano di Piero di Cosimo, who would be elected pope in 1523 with the name Clement VII. In 1527, however, after the Sack of Rome by the troops of Charles V, the Florentines rose up, proclaiming the republic once again: only the agreement between the Medici pope and the emperor would allow the final defeat of the last republican regime, after a long siege. In 1531 Alessandro de' Medici took over the government of the city; the following year he received the ducal title, created the Senate of Forty-Eight and the Council of Two Hundred, reforming the old republican and communal institutions. He died in 1537 at the hands of Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici, better known as Lorenzino or Lorenzaccio. The government was therefore taken over by Cosimo, son of Giovanni delle Bande Nere, a descendant of the cadet branch, and Maria Salviati, granddaughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

The new duke began an expansionist policy that would have a milestone in the Battle of Scannagallo (1554), prelude to the surrender of Siena and the formation of the Republic of Siena repaired to Montalcino. The end of the Sienese would later be decreed at the end of the Franco-Spanish Wars of Italy by the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559), with Cosimo being granted feudal rights over the territory of the Republic of Siena, except for the Maremma coast, which went on to form the State of the Presidi, placed under Spanish control through the Viceroy of Naples to control the Italian protectorates. Cosimo had under his person the Republic of Florence (known as the "Old State") and the Duchy of Siena (known as the "New State"), which would retain governmental and administrative autonomy with its own magistracies, naturally pleasing to the Sovereigns of Tuscany.

With the bull issued by Pope Pius V on August 27, 1569, Cosimo was granted the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany. Upon his death (1574), he was succeeded by his son Francesco. The Medici dynasty ruled the fortunes of the grand duchy until the death of Gian Gastone (1737), when Tuscany, lacking a direct legitimate heir, was granted to Francis III Stephen, Duke of Lorraine, consort of Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria, according to agreements already made between the European dynasties in 1735.

During the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought valiantly against the Ottoman Empire by siding with the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy League inflicted a heavy defeat on the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto, a fact that once again only benefited the Medici rule over Tuscany.

In the last years of his reign, however, Cosimo I had to endure a series of personal misfortunes: his wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562 along with four of her children from a plague epidemic that spread throughout the city of Florence. These sudden deaths deeply affected the grand duke who, already burdened by personal illness, unofficially abdicated from 1564, leaving his eldest son Francesco to rule the state for him. Cosimo I died of apoplexy in 1574, leaving a stable and prosperous state and distinguishing himself as the longest-serving Medici on the Tuscan throne.

Francis I and Ferdinand I

Despite the heavy legacy left to him by his father in governing an entire state, Francis always showed little interest in the affairs of politics, preferring to devote himself to the sciences and his personal interests. The administration of the grand duchy was thus increasingly delegated to bureaucrats who managed the state aseptically, essentially continuing the political line taken by Cosimo I with the Habsburg alliance, cemented by the marriage between the incumbent grand duke and Joan of Austria. Francis I is especially remembered for dying on the same day as his second wife, Bianca Cappello, which gave rise to rumors of poisoning. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Ferdinand I, whom he personally detested.

In contrast to his brother, Ferdinand I proved to be an excellent statesman in the government of Tuscany. From the beginning he engaged in a series of public works for the benefit of the people he governed: he initiated the reclamation of the Tuscan marshes, built a road network in southern Tuscany, and made Livorno flourish as a major commercial hub. To increase the Tuscan silk industry, he personally supervised the planting of mulberry trees (needed to feed silkworms) along the grand duchy's main roads, following the example of what was happening in Milan. Slowly but gradually, he shifted Tuscany's interests away from Habsburg hegemony by marrying the first non-Habsburg candidate wife since Alexander de Medici, Christina of Lorraine, niece of Catherine de Medici, queen of France. The Spanish reaction (Spain was also ruled by the Habsburgs) was the construction of a fortified citadel on the island of Elba. To reinforce this new orientation of Tuscany's diplomacy, he had the late Francis' youngest daughter, Mary, married to King Henry IV of France. Henry, for his part, made explicit his intention to defend Tuscany at all costs, particularly from possible aggression from Spain. Increasing political pressure from Spain, however, forced Ferdinand to retract his positions and marry his eldest son, Cosimo, to Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria, whose sister was precisely queen consort of Spain. Ferdinand personally sponsored a colonial expedition to the Americas with the intention of establishing a Tuscan settlement in the area corresponding to present-day French Guiana. Despite all these incentives for economic growth and prosperity, the population of Florence in the early 17th century was only 75,000, far below many other major cities in Italy such as Rome, Milan, Venice, Palermo and Naples. Francis and Ferdinand both had considerable personal wealth at their disposal since there was never (perhaps intentionally) a clear distinction between the grand duke's personal wealth and that of the state. After all, only the grand duke had the right to exploit the salt and mineral resources found throughout the country, so it is easy to see how the Medici fortunes were directly linked to those of the Tuscan economy.

Ferdinand, who had renounced the cardinalate to ascend the throne, continued even as grand duke to have considerable influence on the papal conclaves held during the period of his rule. In 1605, Ferdinand succeeded in putting forward his candidate, Alessandro de Medici, for election under the name of Leo XI, but the latter died less than a month later. His successor, Paul V, however, proved favorable to the Medici policy.

Cosimo II and Ferdinand II

Ferdinand I's eldest son, Cosimo II, succeeded him to the throne after his death. Like his uncle Francis I, Cosimo never showed any particular interest in government affairs, and Tuscany once again ended up being ruled by his ministers. The twelve years of Cosimo II's rule were marked by his marriage to Maria Magdalena and his personal support for the astronomer Galileo Galilei.

When Cosimo II died, his eldest son Ferdinand was still under age to succeed him to the throne. This made it necessary to create a regency council headed by Ferdinand's grandmother, Christina of Lorraine, and the little grand duke's mother, Maria Magdalena of Austria. Christina took a particular interest in the religious life of the grand duchy, intervening against some laws passed at the time by Cosimo I against religious orders and promoting monasticism instead. Christina continued to be an influential figure at court until her death in 1636. It was, after all, her mother and grandmother who arranged her marriage to Vittoria Della Rovere, niece of the Duke of Urbino, in 1634. The couple had two sons together, Cosimo, in 1642, and Francesco Maria de Medici, in 1660.

Ferdinand was obsessed with new technologies, endowing himself with a vast collection of hygrometers, barometers, thermometers and telescopes, which he had installed in the Pitti Palace in Florence. In 1657, Leopold de Medici, the grand duke's younger brother, founded the Accademia del Cimento, which attracted many scientists to the Tuscan capital.

Tuscany took part in the Castro Wars (the last time Medici Tuscany was directly involved in a conflict) and inflicted a heavy defeat on the forces of Pope Urban VIII in 1643. This conflict, in any case, quickly drained the coffers of the Tuscan state, and the economy had deteriorated to such an extent that there was a return to bartering in the farmers' markets. Revenues were barely sufficient to cover government expenses, thus bringing an end to the Medici's banking ventures. Ferdinand II died in 1670, being succeeded by his eldest son Cosimo.

Cosimo III

Cosimo III's reign was marked by drastic changes and an increasingly imminent decline of the grand duchy. Cosimo III had a reputation as a puritan and a religious conservative, a fact that led him to ban a number of holidays and celebrations, forcing prostitutes to pay a tax to practice their profession, and having sodomites beheaded. He also instituted a series of laws on censorship and education for the young, and also introduced Tuscany's first direct anti-Jewish regulations. while the country's population was steadily declining. By 1705, the grand ducal treasury was virtually bankrupt and the population of Florence had fallen by 50 percent while throughout the duchy the population had dropped by 40 percent. Even the once thriving navy was reduced to a few boats.

Cosimo in any case never forgot to pay homage to the Holy Roman Emperor, at least formally his feudal lord. He sent munitions to support the Battle of Vienna and remained neutral during the War of the Spanish Succession (in 1718 the grand duchy's army numbered just 3,000 men, many of them by then too old or sick for active service). The capital, it filled with panhandlers and the poor. To save the tragic situation into which Tuscany seemed to have plunged, Emperor Joseph I also moved, who made claims to succession to the grand duchy by virtue of his descent from the Medici, but died before those claims could materialize.

Cosimo married Margaret Louise of Orleans, niece of Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici. Their union was particularly contentious, but despite these ongoing tensions, the couple had three children together, Ferdinand, Anna Maria Luisa and Gian Gastone.

Cosimo III, aware of the precarious condition of his own government, even thought of restoring the republic of Florence for the sake of his people, a decision that in any case proved impossible because it was complicated by the feudal status attained by the grand duchy. The proposal was almost succeeding at a meeting convened at Geertruidenberg when Cosimo at the last added that if both he and his two sons predeceased his daughter, the Electress Palatine, the latter would obtain the throne, establishing the republic only after the latter's death. The proposal foundered and finally lapsed with Cosimo's death in 1723.

The last years of the Medici government

Cosimo III was succeeded by his second son, Gian Gastone, since his eldest son had predeceased him, plagued as he was by syphilis. Gian Gastone, who had lived his life in great obscurity up to that point, was deemed an inappropriate monarch from the time he ascended the Tuscan throne. Gian Gastone reintroduced his father's Puritan laws. From 1731, Vienna began to take an active interest in Gian Gastone's future succession to the throne, and the Treaty of Vienna was sketched out that would have awarded the grand ducal throne to Charles, Duke of Parma. Gian Gastone was unable to actively bargain for the future of Tuscany like his father and simply found himself at the mercy of foreign powers who also made havoc of his rule. Instead of promoting the succession of his male Medici relatives, the princes of Ottajano, he allowed Tuscany to be granted later to Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Charles, duke of Parma, instead became king of Naples under the Treaty of Turin. Shortly thereafter, Francis Stephen of Lorraine was proclaimed heir to the Tuscan throne. On July 9, 1737, Gian Gastone died and with him ended the grand ducal Medici line.

I Lorraine

The first grand duke of the Lorraine dynasty received the investiture of Tuscany by imperial diploma on Jan. 24, 1737; destined to flank his wife on the imperial throne (first co-regent, he received the appointment as emperor in 1745) and entrusted the government of Tuscany to a regency headed by Marc de Beauvau, prince of Craon, making only one visit to the region (1739).

Tuscany, becoming in law and in fact a fief of the empire, is in these early years a political and economic appurtenance of the court of Vienna. The celebrated patronage of the Medici, with their many famous commissions, suddenly ceases: indeed, the new grand duke inheriting the vast and conspicuous Medici estates, hoards the impressive collections gathered over the centuries. On the occasion of Francis Stephen's visit to Florence, a large number of works of art from the Medici palaces are transferred to Vienna, with a long procession of wagons leaving Porta San Gallo for three days. This arouses the indignation of the Florentines themselves, who feel they are legitimate heirs, and of the Palatine electress princess Anna Maria herself, the last representative of the Medici family, who, upon her death, leaves her private property and collections to the city of Florence, thus going on to form the first nucleus of the "Palatine Gallery."

This period is not characterized by the traditional affection of the Tuscan population and leadership toward their rulers. With the arrival of the new dynast and the new Lorraine political class, which often proved to be obtuse and exploitative of the Tuscan situation, there was a clear break with Florentine high society, which was partly defrauded of its former political offices. However, overall the "Council of Regency," coordinated by Emmanuel de Nay, Count of Richecourt, works well by initiating a series of reforms to modernize the state. Among the most significant are the first population census (1745), the application of some taxes even to the Clergy (hitherto exempt from everything), the press law (1743), the regulation of fideicommissum and manomort (1747, 1751), the formal abolition of fiefs (1749), the law on nobility and citizenship (1750), and the adoption of the Gregorian calendar (1750). Despite the various scandals given by the actions of the companies contracted to provide many public services, the first push toward modernization of the country was successful, setting the stage for what would be the reforming ideas of Peter Leopold of Lorraine. It was not until the declaration of July 14, 1763, that the grand duchy, from imperial pertinence, was qualified in the dynastic dynamic as a second dynasty with the clause that, in the event of the extinction of the cadet line, the state would return among the imperial possessions.

When the second-born Francis died, the third-born Peter Leopold was appointed heir to the Tuscan state and was granted sovereign dignity by imperial rescript of August 18, 1765.

In the hands of Peter Leopold of Lorraine (1765-1790) the grand duchy experienced the most innovative phase of the Lorraine government, in which a sound agrarian policy was accompanied by reforms in trade, public administration and justice.

As Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold is a clear example of an enlightened ruler, and his reforms are distinguished by a propensity for practical rather than theoretical purposes.

In his reform work, he employed important officials such as Giulio Rucellai, Pompeo Neri, Francesco Maria Gianni, and Angiolo Tavanti.

The grand duke initiates a liberalist policy by taking up the appeal of Sallustio Bandini whose unpublished Discorso sulla Maremma he has published, promoting the reclamation of marshy areas in the Maremma and Val di Chiana, and encouraging the development of the Accademia dei Georgofili. He introduces freedom in the grain trade, abolishing the annonari constraints that blocked cereal crops, but the capital event is, after so many centuries, the liquidation of the guilds of medieval origin, the main obstacle to an economic and social evolution of industrial activity. He then introduced the new customs tariff of 1781, under which all absolute prohibitions were abolished and replaced by protective duties, kept, moreover, at a very low level in comparison with those then in force.

The transformation of the tax system is undertaken by Peter Leopold from his earliest years of reign, and in 1769 the general contract was abolished and direct tax collection began. Hesitant, on the other hand, turns out to be the sovereign between Tavanti's policy, which until 1781, through the cadastre, intends to take landed property as a term of measurement for taxation, and, after Tavanti's death in 1781, that of Francesco Maria Gianni, his major collaborator from that time, who conceives a plan to eliminate the public debt through the sale of the tax rights the state has over the land of its subjects. It would then move to a system based solely on indirect taxation; an operation that, begun in 1788, was still not completed in 1790 when Leopold became Emperor.

Leopold reformed some aspects of Tuscan legislation, but his major project, the drafting of a new code, which Pompeo Neri was supposed to carry out, did not come to fruition because of Neri's death, while the constitution projects did not follow because of his departure for Vienna. In the ecclesiastical field Peter Leopold was inspired by the principles of jurisdictionalism, suppressing convents and abolishing manomorta bonds. In addition, the high clergy of Tuscany turned religiously toward Jansenism, represented by Bishop Scipione de' Ricci of Pistoia, so much so that the grand duke had him organize a synod in Pistoia in 1786 to reform Tuscan ecclesiastical organization according to Jansenist principles.

The program that came out of this synod, summarized in 57 points and the result of an understanding with Peter Leopold, affects the patrimonial and cultural aspects and affirms the autonomy of the local Churches with respect to the Pope and the superiority of the Council, but strong opposition from the rest of the clergy and the people prompted him to abandon this reform.

In the period 1779-1782 Peter Leopold initiated a constitutional project that continued further in 1790 to establish the powers of the sovereign according to a contractualistic relationship. Even this policy, however, arouses strong opposition, and the grand duke, who in that very year ascended the imperial throne, is forced to renounce it.

But the most important reform introduced by Peter Leopold was the abolition of the last medieval legal legacies in judicial matters. At the beginning of his reign in matters of justice there was absolute confusion, given by the uncontrolled overlapping of the thousands of norms accumulated over the centuries. The various princely measures and laws (decrees, edicts, motu propri, ordinances, declarations, rescripts) valid throughout the grand duchy encountered exceptions and municipal, statutory and customary particularisms that greatly limited their effectiveness. The need to give an initial reorganization through a systematic collection of them is made by Tavanti, who collates all Tuscan laws from 1444 to 1778. A first phase concerns the abolitions of communal and corporate legal privileges such as the abolition of ecclesiastical censorship and the benefits granted to the Jews of Livorno, the limitation of the effects of maggiorascato, fidecommesso and manomorta of ecclesiastical bodies.

In criminal matters, the "four infamous crimes" of medieval origin (lesa maesa, falso, buon costume, and delitti atroci e atrocissimi) were still in force until the 1786 reform. In one fell swoop, Peter Leopold abolished the crime of lesa maesa, confiscation of property, torture and, most importantly, the death penalty thanks to the passage of the new penal code in 1786 (which would be named the "Tuscan Criminal Reform" or "Leopoldina"). Tuscany will thus be the first state in the world to adopt the principles of the Enlightenmentists including Cesare Beccaria, who in his work Dei delitti e delle pene called precisely for the abolition of capital punishment.

In 1790, upon the death of his heirless brother Joseph, he received the Habsburg crown; his son Ferdinand thus became grand duke in a period that was already shaking in light of French revolutionary events.

In domestic politics, the new Grand Duke did not repudiate his father's reforms that had brought Tuscany to the forefront in Europe, preceding in some fields even the French Revolution, which was then in progress, but he tried to limit some of its excesses, especially in the religious sphere, which had been grudgingly welcomed by the people.

In foreign policy, Ferdinand III tried to remain neutral in the storm that followed the French Revolution but was forced to align himself with the anti-revolutionary coalition under heavy pressure from England, which threatened to occupy Livorno, and on October 8, 1793, he declared war on the French Republic. The declaration had no practical effect, however, and indeed Tuscany was the first state to conclude peace and re-establish relations with Paris in February 1795.

The Grand Duke's caution, however, did not serve to keep Tuscany out of the Napoleonic fire: in 1796 French armies occupied Livorno to remove it from British influence, and Napoleon himself entered Florence, well received by the sovereign, and occupied the Grand Duchy, though he did not overthrow the local government. It was not until March 1799 that Ferdinand III was forced into exile in Vienna as the political situation on the peninsula precipitated.

"Jacobin" Tuscany (March-April 1799)

Following the occupation by the French in 1799, Tuscany, too (which until then had managed to preserve its freedom by proclaiming neutrality and paying an annual tax to Napoleon), saw the formation of Jacobin municipalities in the various districts of the country. A typical manifestation of Jacobin instances was the erection of liberty trees that were hoisted in the squares of numerous Tuscan towns and cities, with the enthusiastic concurrence of the most advanced forces and the tacit resignation or overt aversion of the more conservative classes. The ideal intent of such Jacobin city governments was to form a Tuscan republic on the model of the Piedmontese one, but the heterogeneity of the political visions of the new ruling class made this a blatant chimera. It should also be noted that the first occupation of Tuscany was very brief: it began on March 25, 1799, and as early as April the first Viva Maria uprisings began, leading to the removal of the French. In fact, the occupier was soon disliked by the vast majority of the Tuscans, mainly because of the prevalence of military needs and the procurement of materials and money for the ongoing wars, concretized through the imposition of taxes and requisitions of animals. As early as July 1799, the French, incurring reverses in the Egyptian expedition and various defeats in Italy, had been driven completely out of the region by the Aretine troops, progressively swollen by strong contingents from various Tuscan municipalities (for this reason, the vaunted 'Tuscan Republic' never became an actual reality

Napoleonic spoliations

The French troops remained in Tuscany until July 1799, when they were driven out by an Austrian counteroffensive to which the Sanfedist insurgents of the "Viva Maria" started from the Arezzo insurrection gave aid. (Already the following year Napoleon returned to Italy and reestablished his rule over the Peninsula; in 1801 Ferdinand was to abdicate the throne of Tuscany, receiving in compensation first (1803) the Grand Duchy of Salzburg, which arose with the secularization of the former archiepiscopal state, and then (1805) the Grand Duchy of Würzburg, another state that arose with the secularization of an episcopal principality.

The plundering in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was completed by the Louvre director himself, Dominique Vivant Denon. Between the summer and winter of 1811, he scoured first Massa, Carrara, Pisa, then Volterra, and finally Florence. In each he noted the works to be sent to Paris. In Pisa, Denon selected a total of nine works and one bas-relief, among the main ones shipped and remaining in the Louvre were Cimabue's La Maestà and Giotto's Stigmata di San Francesco, both originally in Pisa in the Church of San Francesco, and also Benozzo Gozzoli's Trionfo di San Tommaso d'Aquino fra i Dottori della Chiesa, now in the Louvre Museum, originally from Pisa Cathedral. In Florence, Denon collected and shipped to France most of the works, including Domenico Ghirlandaio's The Visitation, now in the Louvre, originally in the church of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi in Florence, Pala Barbadori, painted by Fra Filippo Lippi, now in the Musée du Louvre, from the sacristy of Santo Spirito in Florence, Beato Angelico's Coronation of the Virgin, now in the Louvre, originally in Fiesole the convent of San Domenico, Presentation in the Temple, by Gentile da Fabriano, now in the Louvre, originally from the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence, The Madonna and Child, St. Anne, St. Sebastian, St. Peter and St. Benedict, by Jacopo da Pontormo, from the church of Sant'Anna sul Prato in Florence, all now in the Louvre.

The Kingdom of Etruria

On February 9, 1801, the Treaty of Lunéville ceded Tuscany from Austria to France. With the Grand Duchy of Tuscany suppressed, the Kingdom of Etruria was established, under the command of which Ludwig of Bourbon (1801-1803) and Charles Ludwig of Bourbon (1803-1807) succeeded each other.

In December 1807 the Kingdom of Etruria was suppressed and Tuscany was administered on behalf of the French empire by Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, who was appointed head of the restored Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Administratively divided into three departments each dependent on a prefect (and Department of the Ombrone, having Siena as its capital), the Grand Duchy saw its economy, already in crisis due to the long wars and invasions, ruined: the so-called continental blockade, imposed by Napoleon on all the maritime territories subjected to him, determined the collapse of what remained of the flourishing trade that had characterized the port of Livorno throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and consequently the economy of Tuscany.

The Restoration, the events of 1848, and the Italian unitary state

Ferdinand III did not return to Tuscany until September 1814, after the fall of Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna, he obtained some territorial adjustments with the annexation of the Principality of Piombino, the Stato dei Presidi, the imperial fiefs of Vernio, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina and Montauto, and the prospect of the annexation of the Duchy of Lucca, albeit in exchange for some Tuscan enclaves in Lunigiana.

The Restoration in Tuscany was, to the Grand Duke's credit, an example of mildness and common sense: there were no purges of personnel who had operated in the French period; French laws in civil and economic matters (except divorce) were not repealed; and where restorations were carried out there was a return of the already advanced Leopoldine laws, as in the penal field.

Many Napoleonic institutions and reforms are maintained or marginally modified: legislation with the commercial codes, the mortgage system, the publicity of judgments, and the civil status, confirms and surpasses many of the innovations introduced by the French, so much so that the state becomes one of the most modern and avant-garde in the field. Hence an independent orientation of the public spirit that becomes scarcely sensitive to the appeals of the secret and Carbonarist societies that are springing up in the rest of Italy.

The greatest care of the restored Lorraine government was for public works; in these years numerous roads (such as the Volterrana), aqueducts and the first serious land reclamation works in the Val di Chiana and Maremma began, which saw the personal commitment of the sovereign himself. Ferdinand III paid for this laudable personal commitment with the contraction of malaria, which led to his death in 1824.

Upon his father's death in 1824 Leopold II assumed power and immediately showed that he wanted to be an independent ruler, supported in this by minister Vittorio Fossombroni, who was able to foil a maneuver by the Austrian ambassador Count de Bombelles to influence the inexperienced grand duke. The latter not only confirmed the ministers his father had appointed but immediately demonstrated his sincere desire to engage with a reduction in the meat tax and a public works plan that included the continuation of the reclamation of the Maremma (so much so that he was affectionately nicknamed "Canapone" and remembered by the people of Grosseto with a sculptural monument placed in Piazza Dante), the expansion of the port of Livorno, the construction of new roads, an early development of tourist activities (then called the "industry of the outsider") and the exploitation of the Grand Duchy's mines.

Politically speaking, the government of Leopold II was in those years the mildest and most tolerant in the Italian states: the censorship, entrusted to the learned and mild-mannered Father Mauro Bernardini da Cutigliano, did not have many opportunities to operate, and many exponents of Italian culture of the time, who were persecuted or did not find the ideal environment at home, were able to find asylum in Tuscany, as happened to Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Guglielmo Pepe, and Niccolò Tommaseo. Some Tuscan writers and intellectuals such as Guerrazzi, Giovan Pietro Vieusseux and Giuseppe Giusti, who in other Italian states would surely have gone through trouble, were able to operate in peace. The Grand Duke's reply to the Austrian ambassador who complained that "in Tuscany the censorship does not do its duty" has remained famous, to which he replied scathingly, "but its duty is not to do so!" The only blemish in such tolerance and mildness was the suppression of Giovan Pietro Vieusseux's journal Antologia, which took place in 1833 due to Austrian pressure and, in any case, without further civil or criminal outcomes for the founder.

On February 15, 1848, Leopold II signed the "Fundamental Statute of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany," granting a constitution to his subjects.

In April 1859, in the run-up to the Second Italian War of Independence against Austria, Leopold II proclaimed neutrality, but by then the grand ducal government's days were numbered: in Florence the population was noisy and the troops were showing signs of insubordination.

On April 27, Wednesday, at about four o'clock, accompanied by a few intimates and foreign ambassadors (excluding the Sardinian one), Leopold II and his family left Florence, leaving in four carriages from the Pitti Palace, going out through the Boboli gate toward the Bologna road. He had just refused to abdicate in favor of his son Ferdinand.

The peaceful resignation to the course of history (the grand duke never thought of a solution by force) and the manner of the farewell, with personal effects loaded into the few carriages and expressions of sympathy to the court staff, meant that in the last moments of his stay in Tuscany the now former subjects regained their old esteem for Leopold: the grand ducal family was greeted by the Florentines, lifting their hats as they passed, with the cry "Farewell Father Leopold! " and accompanied with all regards by an escort as far as Filigare, by then a former customs post with the Papal States. At six p.m. that same day, the Florence City Hall noted the absence of any provision left by the sovereign and appointed a provisional government.

Asking for asylum at the Viennese court, the former grand duke did not officially abdicate until the following July 21; from then on he lived in Bohemia, traveling to Rome in 1869, where he died on January 28, 1870. In 1914 his body was then transported to Vienna for burial in the Habsburg mausoleum, the Crypt of the Capuchins.

Ferdinand IV virtually ascended the throne of Tuscany after his father's abdication in 1859; he was an involuntary protagonist of the Risorgimento, in that until Tuscany's passage to the Kingdom of Italy (1860) he had become its grand duke even though he did not live in Florence and was never actually crowned. Following the royal decree of March 22, 1860, which reunited Tuscany with the Kingdom of Sardinia, Ferdinand IV published in Dresden on the following March 26 his official protest to this annexation, and following the suppression of Tuscan independence by royal decree on February 14, 1861, he published a subsequent protest on March 26, 1861, contesting the title of "king of Italy" to Victor Emmanuel II.

Nevertheless, even after the suppression of the grand duchy, Ferdinand, having retained the fons honorum and the collation of dynastic orders, continued to bestow titles and decorations. On December 20, 1866, Ferdinand IV and his children rejoined the imperial house, and the house of Tuscany ceased to exist as an autonomous royal house, being reabsorbed by the Austrian imperial house; Ferdinand IV was allowed to retain his fons honorum vita natural durante, while his children became only imperial princes (archdukes or archduchesses of Austria) and no longer princes or princesses of Tuscany: Ferdinand IV abdicated dynastic rights to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1870) in favor of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, and therefore his descendants also lost all dynastic rights to Tuscany. Instead, the grand magistry of the Order of Saint Stephen ceased with the death of Ferdinand IV. In fact, Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916) had forbidden, after the death of Grand Duke Ferdinand IV in 1908, to assume the titles of grand duke or prince or princess of Tuscany.

The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, during the 19th century, was represented by its own ambassadors abroad at the courts of the Austrian Empire, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, France, Belgium, Great Britain, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Papal States; in Spain and the Ottoman Empire, Tuscany was, on the other hand, represented by Austrian diplomats.

In contrast, various foreign powers were accredited to the Lorraine court in Florence: Austria, the Two Sicilies, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia and the Papal States, and Switzerland. In contrast, Belgium, Brazil and Russia had their own ambassadors based in Rome, while the Kingdom of Sweden and Norway had theirs in Naples.

More numerous were the consular representations in Florence, Livorno, and other Tuscan cities: Hamburg, Austria, Bavaria, Belgium, Brazil, Bremen, Chile, Denmark, Two Sicilies, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hanover, Lübeck, Mexico, Modena and Reggio, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Netherlands, Parma and Piacenza, Portugal, Prussia, Sardinia, Saxony, Spain, United States of America, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Tunis, Turkey, Uruguay, Württemberg.

There are, finally, numerous Tuscan consulates around the world demonstrating extensive trade and business: Aleppo, Alexandria, Algiers, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Ancona, Antwerp, Athens-Piraeus, Bahia, Beirut, Barcelona, Bastìa, Bayreuth, Bona, Bordeaux, Cadiz, Cagliari, Civitavecchia, Corfu, Frankfurt am Main, Genoa, Gibraltar, Geneva, Lima, Lyon, Lisbon, London, Malta, Marianopolis, Marseilles, Mobile, Montevideo, Naples, Nice, New Orleans, New York, Odessa, Palermo, Rome, S. Petersburg, Dubrovnik, Thessaloniki, Izmir, Stockholm, Trieste, Tripoli of Libya, Tunis, Venice.

With the advent of the Lorraines the state administration was reorganized in a more rational and modern way. The government, initially, in the absence of the grand duke, who was busy reigning as emperor (1745-64), was composed of a Council of Regency, made up of exponents close to the Lorraine cause and Florentine notables. Although the council included men like Gaetano Antinori, Neri Venturi, Carlo Rinuccini, and Carlo Ginori, all of a certain level and moral rigor and with entrepreneurial and modern initiatives, the economy and the state budget did not take off.

The presidents of the Regency Council, appointed by the grand duke, were not up to the task and turned out to be rapacious and unscrupulous men (de Craon, Richecourt) who further impoverished the already depleted state coffers and favored the new Lorraine ruling class that often provided for indiscriminate exploitation.

The proliferation of new taxes and the contracting out, starting in 1741, to private French adventurers of all major public services (customs, gabelle, post office, mint, magona, etc.) without any accountability, made the regent government disliked by the Tuscan population, often supported by part of the ancient nobility that had disliked the arrival of a foreign ruler.

The central administration consisted of various Secretariats (ministries) that were legally dependent on the Signoria of the Council of Two Hundred (the executive body of the Regency), while the old 48-member Florentine Senate was now almost completely depleted.

With the new Grand Duke Peter Leopold, sovereign power returned directly to Florence. An enlightened reformer, the prince, aided by modern and open-minded ministers, proceeds to reform the institutions of the state, eliminating obsolete and useless organs and replacing them with more modern and adherent offices. The first intervention is made toward the ancient Florentine magistracies, providing for their reorganization or abolition.

Among the sixteen civil magistracies of the city of Florence, the following are abolished or reformed: Commissioners of the Quarters, Captains of the four Companies of the People and their Company Gonfaloniers, the Major General Sergeant of the Militia at the head of the City Militia, Proconsul of the Arts, Five Uffizial Magistrates of the Court of Mercantile Affairs, Council of the Seven Major Arts and their Gonfaloniers, Council of the Fourteen Minor Arts and their Gonfaloniers, and the Banks of the Corporations.

The Secretariats at the advent of Peter Leopold were coordinated by the Superior Directorate of State Affairs and were that:

In deference to legal-administrative particularism, moreover, for the Duchy of Siena there were its own institutions.

With the reform of March 16, 1848, the Superior Directorate of State Affairs was divided into 5 ministries that later became 7. On the eve of the fall of Lorraine, the government was organized with the following ministries:

There was also the Council of State, which gradually replaced the Prince's Privy Council with specific administrative and judicial powers.

By the Reform Law of July 22, 1852 it was divided into three sections (Justice and Grace, Interior, Finance). As the Prince's Consultation it gave opinions in the affairs submitted to it (as Supreme Tribunal of Administrative Litigation it was an unappealable judge of supreme degree (appeals of the Court of Accounts, compartmental prefectures, appeals of the Prefectural Councils in matters of public contracts, on disputes over the enfranchisements of the former principality of Piombino, on the disputes of the reclamations and waterways of the Pisan Maremma, on the tax of slaughter).

The local administration ran the various Tuscan communities with representatives of the central Florentine government for the most important centers (governors and captains) and by community magistrates who varied for each center according to the historical traditions of their own institutions. In fact, each Tuscan town and center, even after the Florentine conquest, had generally maintained its own magistracies, customs and organizations. Recurrent in the various communities, however, were the Council of Elders and the toga Gonfaloniere, having powers similar to those of today's mayors. The government was peripherally represented by the various governors, captains, vicars and podestas who also exercised jurisdictional, sanitary and police activities. The figure of the Royal Commissioner had extraordinary and temporary functions for particular situations with the centralization of all state powers at the local level (legislation, health, police).

In order to standardize the dating of official acts with most other European powers, the Tuscan calendar was reformed in 1750. Until that date, in fact, use was made of the so-called "Florentine style," for which dating was from March 25 "ab incarnatione," the first day of the Tuscan year, thus varying the computation of years from the Gregorian calendar.

Grand Ducal Tuscany had different borders from the current regional ones, although by the time of the Unification of Italy in 1859 they were now very similar, that is, roughly following the natural ones.

In the pre-Napoleonic period, to the north were the two exclaves of Lunigiana with Pontremoli and Fivizzano and the small portion of Albiano Magra and Caprigliola in the Magra valley, separated from the rest of Tuscany by the Duchy of Massa. On the Versilia coast the exclave of Pietrasanta and Seravezza, and in the Serchio valley the small district of Barghigiano (Barga). The main body of the grand duchy roughly encompassed the entire region. Excluded from it was the present province of Lucca, which then constituted a republic and then from 1815 an independent duchy (except for Garfagnana, which was under Este rule), and to the south the principality of Piombino with the island of Elba and the Stato dei Presidi. To the east, the Tuscan state also embraced the Apennine territories on the Romagna side (Grand Ducal Romagna) almost to the gates of Forli, including the centers of Terra del Sole, Castrocaro, Bagno di Romagna, Dovadola, Galeata, Modigliana, Portico and San Benedetto, Premilcuore, Rocca San Casciano, Santa Sofia, Sorbano, Tredozio, Verghereto, Firenzuola, and Marradi, largely taken away in 1923. On the Marecchia it included the enclave of Santa Sofia Marecchia and that of Cicognaia, today Ca' Raffaello. Excluded were the imperial fiefs of Vernio, Santa Maria Tiberina, and the Marquisate of Sorbello, respectively county of the Bardi and marquisate of the Bourbon del Monte until the Napoleonic suppressions and subsequent Tuscan annexation.

In the post-Napoleonic and pre-unification period, the fiefdoms of Lunigiana were ceded to the duchies of Parma and Modena. The principality of Piombino Elba and the Presidi State were annexed after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. From 1847 the Duchy of Lucca was acquired.


The Tuscan state, unified by the Medici, was divided administratively into the Old or "Florentine" Duchy, the New or "Sienese" Duchy, and the province of Pisa as an integral part of the Old Duchy. The new duchy, annexed with the fall of the old republic of Siena, had its own magistracies and its own institutions, in a sort of personal union of the grand duke with the Florentine one. This state of affairs remained essentially unchanged until the second half of the 18th century with the new Lorraine dynasty. The Grand Duchy thus, until the administrative reforms of Grand Duke Peter Leopold, was divided into:

Many of the country commons, which grouped together small communities, were often aggregated into rural leagues. Many of these had ancient origins and managed the common interests they represented. Among the best known are:

Then there was the vast Florentine district, which, although not part of the countryside of Florence, enjoyed certain prerogatives and tax exemptions granted by the "Dominant," as the capital was nicknamed. The district was subdivided into the contadi of Pistoia (Cortine delle porte Carratica, Lucchese, al Borgo, San Marco), to which the captaincy of the same name with the vicariates of San Marcello and Cutigliano, Pescia, Montecarlo and various podesteries belonged. Casentino was also part of it with the vicariate of Poppi on which various podesteries depended, Tuscan Romagna with the captaincies of Castrocaro and Terra del Sole, Portico and San Benedetto in Alpe, Palazzuolo and Marradi, Rocca San Casciano and the vicariates of Sorbano, Firenzuola and Montagna fiorentina, Verghereto, Bagno di Romagna and Val di Sarnio, on which the podesteries of Galeata, Modigliana depended, Dovadola, Tredozio, Premilcuore and finally the Val di Chiana contado consisting of the captaincy of Arezzo with the vicariates of Pieve Santo Stefano and Monte San Savino and some podesteries, the captaincy of Sansepolcro with the vicariates of Sestino and Massa Trabaria, Badia Tedalda, the captaincy of Montepulciano with the vicariate of Anghiari and the captaincy of Cortona with the vicariates of Valiano and Monterchi.

Several territorial exclaves were also part of the Florentine district: the captaincy of Livorno and Porto with the podesteria of Crespina, the Livorno-dependent captaincy of Portoferraio in Elba, the captaincy of Versilia with Pietrasanta and the podesteries of Seravezza and Stazzema, the captaincy of Pontremoli and the captaincy of Bagnone, Castiglione and the Terziere in Lunigiana with the vicariate of Fivizzano, Albiano and Caprigliola and various podesteries (later united in the governorship of Lunigiana, the vicariate of Barga with its district (Barghigiano), and the vicariate of San Gimignano with the podesteria of Colle Valdelsa. Finally, the allodial Medici fief of Santa Sofia di Marecchia, granted to the Milanese Colloredo.

An integral part of the Florentine state, but excluded from the privileges granted to the district, was the Provincia pisana, i.e., the territory that had already belonged to the ancient republic of Pisa at the time of its annexation: the captaincy of Pisa with the vicariates of Vicopisano and Lari on which several podesteries depended; the captaincies of Volterra, Bibbona, Campiglia, and Castiglione della Pescaia on which several podesteries depended; and the captaincy of Giglio with its seat in the island's castle.

The major centers of the state were divided into cities, lands and hamlets. Among the towns were:

After the Leopoldine reforms, which created the Lower Sienese Province with Grosseto (captaincies of Grosseto, Massa Marittima, Sovana, Arcidosso and the podesteries of Scansano, Giglio, Castiglione della Pescaia, Pitigliano, Sorano, Santa Fiora, San Giovanni delle Contee, Castell'Ottieri) and established communities (1774), and having overcome the Napoleonic subdivision into the three Departments of Arno (Florence), Ombrone (Siena), and Mediterraneo (Livorno) each subdivided into prefectures, the restoration recreated in part the ancient administrative organization.

Post-napoleonic period

Around 1820, the Tuscan state was divided administratively into the three provinces of Florence with Livorno and the Port, Pisa, Siena, and Grosseto, with four governorships (Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Siena), six royal commissariats (Arezzo, Pistoia, Pescia, Prato, Volterra, Grosseto), thirty-six vicariates in the Florentine province, five in the Pisan province, seven in the Sienese province, and nine in the Grosseto province with about a hundred podestries.

A) Florentine Province (Countryside, Mountain, Romagna, Lunigiana, Valdarno, Versilia, Port)

B) Pisan Province (Campagna, Volterrano, Maremma, Principality of Piombino)

C) Province of Siena (Inner, Maremma)

Compartments of 1848

A substantial administrative reform of the territory occurred with the Royal Decree of March 9, 1848, which established six compartments (Florence Compartment, Pistoia Compartment, Arezzo Compartment, Pisa Compartment, Siena Compartment, Grosseto Compartment) and two governments (Livorno Government, Elba Island Government). Lucca and Elba Island were added to the previous provinces, which became prefectures, the latter being dependent on Livorno, which had a civil and military governor. The prefectures were divided into districts, which in turn were divided into first-, second- and third-class delegations.

In 1850 a number of subprefectures were established: Pistoia, San Miniato, Rocca San Casciano, Volterra, Montepulciano, Portoferraio, while only those of Florence (districts of San Giovanni, Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, Santa Maria Novella) and Livorno (terzieri del Porto, San Marco, San Leopoldo) remained first-class government delegations. This situation would remain essentially unchanged until its abolition by the Law of March 20, 1865 of the new Kingdom of Italy.

Like every state established in the Ancien Régime, Tuscany, too, with the Medici grand ducal seigniory, had developed its own feudality. The Tuscan state, while formally an immediate fief of the empire, had the possibility through its grand dukes to exercise that feudal podestà typical of the rulers of the time.

Beginning in the 17th century, with Ferdinand I the first fiefs began to be granted to families who had shown themselves to be particularly close to the House of Medici, securing their loyalty by granting them vast lands in the form of feudal vassalage.

Among the first fiefs granted was the county of Santa Fiora, near Mount Amiata; a sovereign county of a branch of the Sforza family (later Sforza Cesarini) that had ceded its sovereign powers to the grand duke, who returned it to the family in the form of a grand ducal fief. Beginning in the late 1720s such concessions became more numerous and frequent. This situation remained virtually unchanged until the law on the abolition of fiefs, promulgated by the Tuscan Regency in 1749, which was followed by the promulgation of the Law of October 1, 1750, regulating the rules of the Tuscan nobility. In fact, however, many fiefdoms continued to survive until almost the end of Peter Leopold's reign. Fiefs were divided into marquisates and counties and were classified into grand ducal fiefs (of grand ducal appointment), mixed (of imperial or papal origin), and autonomous (in accomandigia).

Among the marquisates are:

The counties were:

Other vassal fiefs with autonomy:

There were also some imperial fiefdoms that, although sovereign and autonomous, were placed under Tuscan protectorate (accomandigia). These were many of the marquisates of Lunigiana (Mulazzo, Groppoli, Tresana, Olivola, etc.) and the counties of Vernio and Santa Maria in Val Tiberina.

The sovereign family also had many estates and vast land holdings. Particularly in the form of estates and farms. With the reclamation of the countryside vast tracts of land passed to the Crown and the Order of Saint Stephen; this is the case with the various grand ducal farms in the Val di Chiana and Val di Nievole. With the policy of economy implemented by the Lorraines, many of these properties, which had in fact long been neglected and abandoned, were alienated to private individuals. The numerous Medici villas and hunting bandits were also partly sold or freed from hunting restrictions even by specific state laws such as that of July 13, 1772. Below are some grand ducal land holdings:


The poor land administration of the late Medici had generally rendered Tuscany's already inadequate road system unusable, aggravated also by the phenomenon of brigandage in the more remote areas of the state such as the Val di Chiana and Maremma. Plotted without planning, lacking regulations and maintenance, Tuscany's roads were in a state of semi-abandonment, often turning out to be mere paths barely visible to disappear in quagmires or dust, interrupted by streams or fords lacking signposts. Especially in the winter season they became largely completely impassable due to rain. With the advent of the Lorraines, the need was felt, already under the Regency, to strengthen and compensate the road network not only for military uses, but also and mainly to develop the trade of agricultural products and commodities. The need to make the roads no longer sheep-tracks or paths for the transportation of goods "by pack-stick" but also for the use of barrocci, carts and stagecoaches, went hand in hand with the liberalization of domestic trade beginning with the grain trade of the Sienese Maremma. There was a need to restructure their routes, open new ones, and regulate their use. In 1769 the competence of their maintenance and control was taken away from the "Capitani di Parte Guelfa" subject to the magistrate of the "Nove Conservatori" to pass with the reform of 1776 to the care of the communities that were crossed by the royal postal roads.

The first organic regulation for the mail service of couriers, procaccia and vetturini dates back to 1746, by which the professional figure of the procaccia was the only one empowered to conduct stagecoaches outside the city. Roads were classified according to the administrative competence for their management: maestre or regie postali (of long communication by the government), communal (connected the various cities or towns, by the municipalities), and vicinal (between various properties, by the owners who used them).

Their construction technique varied according to needs distinguishing them into paved (they were the best known), "bulk" with dry stones or with limestone to resist erosion. In the plains, on the other hand, they were simply earthen ballast. The main roads were mainly used to transport mail and travelers by stagecoach, and as such served as resting places for changing horses and refreshment for passengers with taverns and inns. In the Lorraine plan to rehabilitate the road network obviously the greatest efforts were directed toward the post maestre roads.

Among the main highways of the Medici era later becoming in the Lorraine era "Regie Maestre Postali" are:

From 1825 new royal roads are laid out to improve the state's traffic: the Firenze-Pontassieve-Incisa, the Sarzanese, the Pisa-Pistoia, Pisa-Piombino, of the Colmate or Arnaccio; new Apennine passes are opened (Muraglione, 1835, Porretta, 1847, Cerreto, 1830, Cisa, 1859).

Of greater use instead were the so-called "waterways." Rivers and canals were for the time more practical and rapid for the movement of people and goods. The best-known ones were:

For railways see Tuscan Railways.

With the Renaissance and the resurgence of economic activity, numerous rural centers located along major trade routes regained importance. Towns placed on the roads leading down to Rome from the north develop again. New lands are cleared and colonized with the first attempts at land reclamation, and between the 17th and 18th centuries the typical Tuscan landscape gradually takes shape.

The earliest documented censuses show that in 1552 (First Census ordered by Cosimo I) the then Florentine Duchy reached an estimated one million inhabitants, while around 1745 they increased by about 200,000. According to more accurate sources in 1738 there were about 890,600 subjects and in 1766 945,063, spread over 2,559 parishes. The population density is believed to amount during the 18th century to about 110 inhabitants per square kilometer with minimum peaks of 17 inhabitants in the Sienese and 9 inhabitants in the Grosseto area (4 percent of the population). The highest density is found in Valdarno and the countryside surrounding Florence and Pisa. The greatest population increase is found in the countryside, despite the periodic famines that mow down its population. The one since 1764 is particularly terrible with crowds of starving poor flocking to the cities or roaming the countryside eating grasses, acorns and tree bark. This population crisis was also exacerbated by the concomitant forced conscription obtusely imposed by the regent Antoniotto Botta Adorno, causing many peasants to flee Tuscany. The liberalist policies of the early Lorraine also favored the repopulation of rural areas; decisive was the law on the free circulation of the grains of the Maremma (1739), thus restoring a certain freedom of trade that was suffering from the heavy customs and fiscal constraints within the state. The 1749 law on the abolition of feuds also favored a parcelization of land holdings and a greater spread of real estate wealth, freeing municipal communities from all the feudal impositions that oppressed them.

With the new century, the population in 1801 reached 1,096,641, rising to 1,154,686 in 1814 and 1,436,785 in 1836. The capital city of Florence is followed in population density by Livorno, which has 76,397 inhabitants in 1836, and Pisa, which reaches 20,943 compared to its province that totals 329,482 inhabitants. It is followed by Siena with 139,651 (18,875 in the city), the city of Pistoia with 11,266 inhabitants, Arezzo with 228,416 (including 9,215 in the city), and Grosseto with 67,379 inhabitants (2,893 in the city). The Tuscan population in 1848 had a total of 1,724,246 inhabitants broken down by compartments (provinces):

In Tuscany, too, the social classes that characterize the states of the ancient regime (nobility, clergy and people) had been forming over the centuries. The Florentine court was the hub of Tuscan society and politics, and even when the Medici were replaced by the Lorraine, the palace palace of Palazzo Pitti, although deprived until 1765 of a royal grand duke, continued to be considered the ideal center of the state along with the Old Palace. The old Medici nobility, largely conservative and bigoted, began to be joined by a new Lorraine leadership often consisting not only of nobles loyal to the House of Lorraine, but also adventurers and exploiters of the new Tuscan political situation favorable to them. However, this clash that soon occurred between the austere and immobile Medici ruling class and the new, more modern and entrepreneurial leadership renewed the social stasis that had been building up in the last decades of the Tuscan dynasty.

Until 1750 Tuscany had no nobiliary law of its own, continuing to make use of the common law and regulations related to the Ordo decurionum introduced in the municipalities of the lower Roman Empire. The "Law for the Regulation of Nobility and Citizenship" promulgated in Vienna on July 31, 1750 draws largely on the Statutes and jurisprudence of the Order of St. Stephen of 1748. For the occasion a "Deputation over Nobility and Citizenship" is created consisting of 5 deputies of grand ducal appointment cono the purpose of identifying and recognizing families entitled to be part of the patriciate and nobility. This law dictated the general principles for recognizing a person as a noble and joining the civic nobility: the enjoyment of citizenship for a long time in one of the "Patrie nobili" distinguishing the old ones in which there are patricians, that is, nobles entitled to the knighthood of the Order of Saint Stephen, and the simple nobles, that is, those who can prove patents of nobility for at least 200 years-or as in Florence before 1532-(Florence, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia, Arezzo, Volterra, Cortona) from the new ones in which there belong the simple nobles (Montepulciano, San Sepolcro, Colle Valdelsa, San Miniato, Prato, Livorno, Pescia), having a rich patrimony also with noble fiefs, belonging to one of the noble orders, having received a diploma of nobility from the sovereign, living with decorum proportionate to one's income or practicing mercantile or noble profession, being or belonging to a family that held the office of Gonfaloniere of the city (civic nobility). The law to end the confusion and arbitrariness of the past places as the legitimizing source for noble status the sole act of the sovereign. Their recognition allows their inscription in the "golden book" of their city. It succeeds by one year the previous law of March 15, 1749, "Sopra i feudi e i feudatari," which in turn reorganizes feudal powers in Tuscany. The Tuscan aristocratic class basically based its wealth on land rents. It was represented by the local nobility who enjoyed the many privileges, especially tax privileges granted by the grand dukes to buy their loyalty and services. Its exponents, landowners ascended to the highest magistracies of the state and entered the knighthood of the Tuscan order of Santo Stefano often by right if they were residents of the "Patrie Nobili," which in turn enjoyed privileged status in the matter of tax collections and exemptions. The nobility in addition to owning their own private patrimony (allodial estates) could receive investiture of state fiefs, often upon payment of sums to the grand ducal treasury, from which they received additional revenue. It was not until the 1749 law on the abolition of fiefs and related feudal rights over land that the economic power that the aristocratic class had assumed was curbed. The law, promulgated by the grand duke-emperor through the secretary of the grand ducal jurisdiction Giulio Rucellai, reduced the political power of the feudal lords, prohibited their interference in the revenues of the communities, and equated them in fiscal matters with all other subjects. The protracted disputes and resistance led by the nobility lead only at the end of the century to the gradual emergence of a middle landed bourgeoisie that would develop only in the following century. The same law regulates cases of exclusion of individuals and their successors from noble status (crime of lese-majesty, exercise of vile arts such as retail trade, notarization, medicine, mechanics), while other artistic activities such as painting and sculpture are not causes of exclusion. This allows for the entry of 267 noble families in the Golden Book in Florence, 135 families (103 patricians and 32 nobles) in Siena, and 46 noble families in Livorno.

The clergy, who dominated the court under the last Medici, continued to influence the politics of the Lorraine Regency period. Similar to the nobles, prelates and priests continued to have many privileges of a fiscal and legal nature, exempting them from the obligations of state authority (privilegia canonis, fori, immutatis, competentiae).

The bourgeoisie is the emerging and heterogeneous class that has always characterized Tuscan city society. The merchant, professional, artisan and financial middle class was also on its way to becoming landowners. From the medieval period it continued to be subdivided according to the trade it performed. The ancient corporate structure continued to exist with the seven Major Arts (judges and notaries, Calimala merchants, money changers and bankers, wool merchants, silk merchants, physicians and apothecaries), the five Medium Arts (gravediggers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, masters of stone and timber, galigai) and the nine Minor Arts (vintners, bakers, oilers, key-makers, linemen, woodworkers, armorers and gunsmiths, vaiai and cooks, and hoteliers). These guilds had their own privileges with civil and criminal magistrates, statutes and their own courts, their own consuls who represented their autonomy and representation, making them a state within a state.

Rural society was mostly made up of peasants, a generic category that was not even considered a social class, including smallholders who were direct cultivators and wage earners bound to the land by sharecropping contracts. Legal uncertainty and the absence of real social protections kept the peasant in a prevailing condition of financial instability and poverty. Against the oppression and privileges of landowners there was no possibility of appeal. Regardless of annual production, half of the proceeds from the farm went to the landowner often reducing the peasant and his family to the "miserable condition of consuming themselves with hardship and hunger." They were also obliged to pay of their own half of the "parish tithe" on the cultivated land. Despite severe exploitation, ignorance, high mortality, severe indebtedness, malnutrition, and dramatic itinerant life due to frequent annual cancellations of sharecropping, the rural population did not abandon the countryside, indeed increasing population development. Before the Leopold reforms that led to vast modern appoderament of the countryside, sharecroppers lived in thatched wooden huts with families of 10-15 members in close promiscuity, often in the company of animals. There were also about 40,000 unemployed and beggars out of nearly one million inhabitants in the state. The unemployed got by as rural "pigionali," that is, laborers who occasionally lent their labor (ad opra) in the fields for overtime work or harvests.

The Lorraine reforms are aimed at restoring with a programmatic economic policy the disastrous situation inherited from the last Medici. By favoring free private initiative and the free development of production, the Lorraine governments push innovations in three main areas: agriculture valued as the country's main economic activity, commerce and manufacturing, and the implementation of public works aimed at facilitating a more agile circulation of trade and giving work to subjects, thus improving their standard of living. To these Peter Leopold added important civil, administrative, judicial and social reforms, thus bringing the Grand Duchy to the European forefront in many areas. A characteristic feature of the Tuscan rural economy is the communal-origin institution of sharecropping, which involves the peasant population in the land production of large landowners. The farm, understood as an organized land trust (crops, livestock, farmhouse, water supply, etc.) becomes an essential element of the peasant world of the time. At the advent of Peter Leopold, Tuscan estates are believed to number about 48,000, although most of them did not ensure full subsistence for the settlers and their families. Land ownership is distributed among the Crown Estate (Grand Ducal Possessions), consisting of palaces, estates, hunting bandits, residences, farms and estates that ensured income for the ruling family, private property of the great noble families and from the fiefs granted to them, the ecclesiastical property of the various religious orders, institutions, parishes and hospitals, bound by the manomorta, the property of lay orders and other institutions (orders of chivalry, Opere pie, lay hospitals). The local nobility long opposed the government's push for the abolition of fiefs and land privileges (1749-1783). Among the landowning families, it is estimated that by the mid-18th century, the Marquises Riccardi were the wealthiest. Although 80 percent of the population engaged in agriculture, due to the aforementioned limitations, production was often insufficient for the state's domestic needs. Thus, during frequent famines, grain had to be imported from the Levant and then from the Russian Crimea. The first reclamations in Val di Chiana and Maremma Pisana, however, already give a first frumentary increase, rising from 5,200 quintals in 1765 to 90,900 in 1783 as a result of the new lands put into culture. Appreciable is also the production of oil somewhat throughout the territory, while wine production reaches appreciable productivity and quality only during the 19th century, such that it becomes an export product. Other forms of rural production are fodder and livestock in the Maremma.

On the other hand, timber production from the forests of the Apennine chain is very rich. Cuts are well regulated and periodic or rotational, preventing the impoverishment of the forest cover that is largely state or ecclesiastical property. The timber was used for the naval arsenals of Pisa and Livorno or for charcoal makers. Manufacturing, although it began to develop and take on industrial connotations only from the middle of the 19th century, as early as the previous century there was the production of straw to make the famous "hats of Florence" later exported all over the world (Australia, 1855). Textile production and in particular silk, although it has lost the prosperity of past centuries and is made in backward conditions of looms continues to subsist, albeit with the severe limitation of the ban on the export of the so-called "soda silk" (similarly, the cotton industry is now limited to the domestic and rural activities of home looms, if one considers that at the time of Pietro Leopoldo in Tuscany there were only 4,000 looms scattered in rural communities. More relevant was the production of Doccia porcelain by Carlo Ginori, the terracotta of Impruneta. Among mining activities, most of the mines are almost exhausted from centuries of exploitation: in the Maremma the main materials are sulfur from Pereta and marble from Campiglia, pietra serena from Firenzuola, Gonfolina and Fiesole, the rare copper that is mined at Montecatini in Val di Cecia, the alumiere from Volterra and Montioni, mercury near Montaione, statuary marble from Serravezza, the salt pans of Livorno and Portoferraio with all the limitations of a juridical nature that still Roman law in use accorded to the landowner who continued to have absolute dominion "from heaven to hell," thus having the power to prevent the excavation of the mines underlying his property. Iron mining also continues to have some prominence although the ownership of the Elban mines belongs to the princes of Piombino. Iron working (the Magone) is located on the Maremma coast with furnaces and ironworks (one from 1577 in Follonica then specializing in cast iron, one in Valpiana near Massa Marittima from 1578 and the other at Fitto di Cecina from 1594), on Lake Accesa (1726), already used in Etruscan times, and again in Versilia, in the Pistoia Mountains rich in charcoal and water where ferrous material was laboriously carried across the sea to Livorno, the canals and the Arno to the port of Signa and from there to Pistoia on wagons to continue by mules to the mountains (Pracchia, Orsigna, Maresca, Mammiano, Sestaione, Cutigliano and Pistoia itself).

After the great plague of 1630, the grand ducal government strengthened its sanitary measures not only on land borders but especially on sea borders. Livorno was the seat of the Department of Maritime Health with an important harbor master's office with jurisdiction over the entire Tuscan sea, including the islands. Both the Navy and Merchant Marine commands were headed there, the Bureau of Sanitary Inspection on which the port Lazzeretti administrations also depended. Other deputations of sanitation, reorganized with the 1851 reform were distinguished by order of jurisdiction and importance into three classes: Portoferraio, Porto Longone (Porto Azzurro), Porto S. Stefano, Viareggio (Offices of Sanitation and of the Merchant Navy) belonged to the 1st class, Talamone, Port'Ercole, Castiglione della Pescaia, Piombino-porto belonged to the 2nd class and finally to the 3rd class Porto Vecchio di Piombino, Rio Marina, Marciana Marina, Marina di Campo. There were also detached health offices to control the coast (Pianosa, Follonica port of call, Baratti, Giglio port, Bocca d'Arno port of call, Forte dei Marmi port of call. The population when not cared for and assisted in their own homes, a condition this for the wealthier classes, was admitted to hospitals and kindergartens, generally run by public charity Opere Pie. These included in Florence the Arcispedale di Santa Maria Nuova, the San Bonifazio and Santa Lucia, the Spedale degl'Innocenti, the Casa Pia del Lavoro (1815), the Bigallo orphanage (for abandoned children and orphans between the ages of 3 and 10), the hospices of S. Onofrio, the two nocturnal ones, S. Domenico, and S. Agnese. In other cities among the main hospices were the Spedali di S. Antonio and della Misericordia in Livorno, the Casa di Carità, the Case Pie and del Refugio, in Lucca the Spedale civile and the maternity hospice, the Fregionaia asylum, in Pisa the Spedali Riuniti di S. Chiara and dei trovatelli, the Pia Casa della Misericordia, and again the Spedali Riuniti of Siena, the Misericordia e Dolce in Prato, the Spedali di S. Maria sopra i ponti in Arezzo, the Pia Casa di mendicità, the Spedali Riuniti of Pistoia and that of Grosseto. In particular, the various lay confraternities, and especially those of the Archconfraternity of Mercy, which spread, thanks in part to the benevolence and economic aid given by the grand dukes themselves, throughout the region were particularly active in assisting the less affluent classes. Owners of churches, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums, and graveyards, they assisted the abandoned and beggars, cared for the sick poor and pilgrims, assisted prisoners and buried those executed to death and the deceased in the public streets with religious obsequies, distributed food and clothing or assigned dowries to destitute girls. Their vast estate was largely forfeited by the state following the Leopoldine suppressions of 1785. At the time of the suppressions there were an estimated 398 lay charitable institutions in Florence and its district alone.


Until the first half of the 19th century, there is no real public education; the wealthier classes educate their children either with private teachers (masters and preceptors) or at institutes run by religious (Barnabites, Scolopites, Jesuits). The few schools live on subsidies from the state or a few benefactors and are poorly organized.

The subjects taught are divided into various courses (humanity, rhetoric, philosophy, geometry, grammar, moral theology, physics, Latin, Greek, etc.). From the middle of the 18th century, public Girls' Schools also began to be organized to teach reading, writing, counting, women's arts (sewing, embroidery, cooking, etc.), social duties, religion, Italian grammar, French, geography, music, drawing, dancing. But with the Leopoldine reforms many institutions were suppressed and schools reorganized and aggregated with each other.

A center of European culture throughout the Renaissance, the Grand Duchy inherited and developed its enormous artistic and intellectual heritage in the following centuries as well, albeit in a more resigned and circumscribed form. With the Lorraines, artistic activity is revived and a ruling class of Tuscan intellectuals is reconstituted, which together with economic activity is the most conspicuous aspect of the state throughout the stagnant landscape of 18th-century Italy. The university studies of "La Sapienza" in Pisa, famous for its teaching of law, and "Lo Studio" in Siena, becoming the centers of the Tuscan and Italian Enlightenment, are renewed and restored, while in Florence there is a well-known surgical school at Santa Maria Novella. From these centers of culture men such as Bernardo Tanucci, Leopoldo Andrea Guadagni, Claudio Fromond, Paolo Frisi, Antonio Cocchi, and Leonardo Ximenes were formed.

With the abolition of ecclesiastical censorship (1754) came a shift to jusnaturalism, which freed Tuscan culture in many respects from Church control and Aristotelianism. This allows greater freedom in the transit of ideas and cultural currents, in different but complementary forms, through two important centers: Florence, a junction of continental-type contacts from the Central European and French worlds, and Livorno, a port and mercantile center to which Anglo-Saxon trends flowed. Throughout the 18th century, in fact, in the British common judgment, Livorno constituted an important economic reference as also noted in the records of Lloyds of London.

Academies and cultural societies

A characteristic Tuscan aspect were the numerous Academies and Societies founded for literary or scientific purposes. In Florence they include:


In the wealthier classes, where leisure time was greater, board games such as card games, chess, and billiards are widespread. From France, since the late 1600s "pallacorda" begins and is in use with the opening of environments for such a game in various cities, while from the 1700s the first horse races come into use, due to English influence, enjoying the participation of many citizens. Various popular games and competitions continue and become widespread as an expression of city folklore. This is the case with Florentine soccer, which is also occasionally played in other cities, the bridge game in Pisa, the palo della cuccagna, or the palio marinaro in Livorno.

Opportunities for enjoyment were then offered by "villeggiatura" in the summer months, which, created to escape the danger of epidemics, which were more frequent in the hot season, led the wealthy classes to spend long periods in country residences, making it a true fashion. In the 18th century, spa activity, of which Tuscany is rich in centers, also regained some importance. Already Grand Duke Giangastone de' Medici expanded and developed the ancient Pisan baths of San Giuliano, already known to Charlemagne. But it was with Pietro Leopoldo that, with the opening of the new spas of Montecatini, the spa activity acquired renown and the characters of a fashion that would soon involve all of Europe's high society, creating the prerequisites for true tourism in the modern sense that would characterize the entire 19th century. Major spas include, in addition to those already mentioned, Uliveto Terme, Bagno a Ripoli, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Poggibonsi, Casciana Terme, Caldana, Monsummano, Chianciano, Rapolano Terme, Bagno Vignoni, Saturnia, and San Casciano dei Bagni.

Although the state religion was Roman Catholic, the Medici always favored tolerance toward other religions particularly in their new city of Livorno. For economic-demographic reasons, the presence of foreign communities is encouraged, including non-Catholic communities such as Jews (communities in Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Pitigliano) or those of various Protestant faiths (Anglicans, Calvinists, Lutherans), to Orthodox Greeks and Russians and Muslims.

The Holy Inquisition closely monitors this situation, intervening with the government in cases it deems appropriate. The clergy, especially with the Jesuits introduced under Cosimo III, dominates the environment of the Florentine court. It has long enjoyed many privileges and immunities of medieval and feudal origin such as exemption from obligations to civil authority (exemption from the judgment of state courts, special criminal protection, tax exemptions, etc.). With the phenomenon of manomorta, the clergy is in possession of vast estates with an annual income of more than 1,700,000 scudi under the Regency against the state income of 335,000 scudi. This no longer tolerable situation under the enlightened rule of the Lorraine was gradually dismantled with the abolition of the prisons of the Inquisition (1754) and the closure of many of its peripheral offices, until the more drastic Leopoldine reforms that eliminated the Tribunals of the S. Uffizio (1782) and most of the ecclesiastical privileges, followed by a whole series of restrictions on outward forms of religiosity, the banning of burials in churches, and even an attempt to establish its own Tuscan national church with the help of Scipione de' Ricci, bishop of Pistoia. In 1749, holy days of obligation are regulated:

The state is divided into three church provinces:

Then there are dioceses directly dependent on the Roman Province of the Holy See:

In addition to the ordinary clergy, the numerous religious families also possess vast properties and privileges. Among the major religious orders distributed in the state are:


With his own expansionist ambitions Cosimo I de' Medici understood the need to garrison the territory by creating his own local troops. In 1537, local "bande" or companies were formed with enlistment by roll call. Tuscan males were enlisted in the age range of 20 to 50 either by voluntary or forced enlistment, proceeding with a commissario generale to make a selection every 3 or 4 years according to contingent needs, excluding Florentine citizens for unreliability and those from Pistoia because they were considered too turbulent and undisciplined. With periodic military journals, inspections were made that updated the status of the members (incapacity, physical unfitness, age limits reached, transfers). They depended judicially for crimes in service or disciplinary proceedings on a "magistrate of bands," dependent in turn on the Secretary of War. By the 17th century the grand duchy was devoid of expansionist ambitions. After the long wars that led to Florence's annexation of much of what is now Tuscany and with the last great war against Siena, the Medici and then Lorraine governments maintained an army composed of a few units of mercenaries and veterans who often carried out only internal control over the territory because of the absolute absence of neighboring enemies, flanking the bargello and his birri in the tasks of protecting public order. The only fortresses that continued to fulfill a military and defensive importance were the piazzeforti of Livorno and Portoferraio for the security of the sea and coasts, which were continually threatened by Maghrebi and Turkish Barbary corsairs. For this reason, a defensive line of coastal towers was established during the 16th century with about 81 fortified locations from Versilia to Maremma Grossetana. The bands' troops were drastically reduced, so that by the end of the Medici principality there were just over 12,000 with many veterans, including about 7,000 professional graduates and soldiers. Under the Regency in 1738 reform was carried out, establishing alongside the band structure with local recruitment introduced by Cosimo I, a Regiment of Lorraine Guards and a Tuscan one. In 1740 the Regiments became three: "Capponi," later named "Lunigiana," "Pandolfini," later to become "Romagna," and a cavalry squadron with a total of about 6,000 men with invalids and veterans. By law of September 13, 1753, local bands were abolished and only three regular regiments were maintained. Compulsory military service was reintroduced until 7,500 men were recruited. Due to its total disuse for a long time and becoming burdensome during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), there were many desertions and escapes of the younger generation, especially rural ones, to the neighboring Church States. In 1756 the three battalions of 3,159 Tuscans were sent to war and in 1758 with the agreement "for subsidies of soldiers to the empire" these were placed in the service of Maria Theresa of Habsburg (Toskanischen Infanterie Regiment). In 1798, with the first Napoleonic campaigns, Tuscany could count on a small number of soldiers, the relative expenses having been reduced to a minimum. In the Grand Duke's service were:

Around 1820 the military apparatus of the state depended on the War Department, headed by Minister Vittorio Fossombroni, secretary of state. The Supreme Commander of the troops was General Iacopo Casanova, while head of the General Staff was Colonel Cesare Fortini. The military squares were Florence with the fortresses da Basso and Belvedere, Livorno, Portoferraio, Pisa, Siena, Grosseto, Volterra, Arezzo, Pistoia, Prato, Isola del Giglio, Isola di Gorgona and later Orbetello, Follonica, Monte Filippo, Talamone, Porto Santo Stefano, Lucca, Viareggio.

The army consisted of 4,500 units divided into:

In 1836 the army consisted of 7,600 men of whom 2,560 were in the two infantry regiments, 3,200 in three rifle regiments, 880 in the artillery battalion, 360 in a Pistoia battalion, 300 in the mounted riflemen, and 300 in the Littoral cavalry. In the second half of the 19th century many military departments were reformed:


Thanks to the Order of Saint Stephen, the grand duchy was able to take advantage of its own military fleet from its establishment and by increase of the sovereigns themselves. The headquarters of the fleet became the port of Livorno, which kept the galleys or Stephanian galleys safe in its docks. A base of the Tuscan navy, Livorno was until the mid-18th century, the port of departure for the race war of the Knights of St. Stephen who in their annual "caravans" went to reciprocate the raids of Ottoman and Barbary corsairs. In this regard, various military exploits include the defense of Malta from the Ottoman invasion in 1565 by sending four galleys to the besieged island, the expedition of 15 naval units against Tunis in 1573, and participation in the Battle of Lepanto with 12 galleys led by the flagship "La Capitana" and led by Cesare Canaviglia and Orazio Orsini. In addition to the "Capitana," the "Grifona," the "Toscana," the "Pisana," the "Pace," the "Vittoria," the "Fiorenza," the "San Giovanni," the "Santa Maria," the "Padrona," the "Serena," and the "Elbigina" participated in the Battle of Lepanto under the papal insignia. At this stage, the war flag was red bordered in yellow on three sides (excluding the pole side) with a Maltese cross in the center in a white disk

In 1604, the fleet consisted of the large galleys the "Capitana," "Padrona," "Fiorenza," "Santa Maria," "Siena," "Pisana," and "Livornina," with a crew of 1055 slaves embarked. In 1611 the fleet was augmented by new large galleys: "San Cosimo," "Santa Margherita," "San Francesco," "San Carlo," and "Santa Cristina," with a total of 1,400 slaves embarked. The Tuscan fleet thus reached a total of ten large galleys, two galleons, and various vessels and navicelles in 1615, making it respected and feared throughout the Western Mediterranean.

The policy of Tuscan neutrality that the Medici decided to assume in the following years led in 1649 to the cession of the entire fleet to France, retaining only four galleys for coastal control service (Capitana, Padrona, San Cosimo, Santo Stefano) with a crew that in 1684 reached 750 slaves embarked.

The new territorial acquisitions of the Congress of Vienna and barbarian raids led Ferdinand III in 1814 to request ships from the ex-Napoleonic fleet from Austria, but to no avail, and so a few vessels of not large tonnage (a galleon and a felucone) were put in the pipeline, and later other smaller units, a brigantine, a schooner, a xebec, four gunboats and three spurgeons. In 1749, with the signing of peace with the Ottoman Porte and the Barbary Regencies of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers, the Lorraine government deemed it no longer necessary to maintain a naval military base and a large flotilla. So from 1751 the three remaining galleys were transferred to Portoferraio, which became the fleet's new base. At this time its navy amounted to about 200 vessels with 12 British officers and various non-commissioned officers, and five frigates were established. Around 1749, with the accession to the throne of Francis III, Grand Duke of Tuscany and husband of Maria Theresa of Habsburg, the Habsburg flag was adopted, with a crowned black two-headed eagle and sword in both legs on a yellow background, which was replaced in 1765.

Commercial Fleet

Tuscany never had a real commercial fleet of its own, nor its own crews. Tuscan ships were reduced to small Latin-sailed vessels, where the presence of Tuscan sailors was minimal. Latin-sailed navicelli were widespread, used mainly for transporting goods and commodities on the Arno to the river port of Porto di Mezzo, near Lastra a Signa, while along the coasts for small cabotage the tartana and leuto owned by some Elbans were in use.

Until the peace with the Ottoman Empire, maritime trade was insecure, and Tuscan merchants did not feel safe entrusting their goods to Tuscan ships, whose flag could not be effectively defended internationally. Ships belonging to the commercial navy of the Republic of Ragusa, a neutral Dalmatian maritime republic placed under the protectorate of the Ottomans, were therefore frequently used. The Lorraines first encouraged from the second half of the 18th century the creation of a small Tuscan merchant navy. The port of Livorno again became an important strategic point, and attempts were made to encourage the establishment of a merchant fleet here to create an active autonomous trade with the "Edict of Tuscan Merchant Navy and Navigation" of October 10, 1748.

The major concern was to train a specific class of local sailors, when most of them were foreigners (French, Corsican, Neapolitan, British, Danish, Genoese, and Greek) who had settled in Leghorn during the eighteenth century.

In 1750 three large vessels, armed with 50 cannons and 300 soldiers, came out of the Pisa Arsenals to transport goods to Constantinople. The last temporal intervention to encourage Tuscan maritime trade was the establishment in 1786 of the "Tuscan Trading Company" for routes to the Americas.

The Tuscan coasts had no major landings except for the ancient Pisan port. In modern times the only real port, moreover artificially built, was that of Livorno; the others were landings or at least moorings for ships of shallow draft. The following ports in use between the 15th and 19th centuries are mentioned:

The Tuscan monetary and measuring system was based on the very ancient duodecimal system of Etruscan-Roman origin. The exchange currency par excellence was the gold florin, known and prized throughout Europe for its intrinsic gold value and the subject of numerous forgeries and imitations by other powers. Of course, the exchange value of Tuscan coins changed over the centuries. At the time of Italian unification, the basic currency of account for the grand duchy was the Tuscan or Florentine Lira, equivalent to 84 cents of the Italian Lira of the time. One Lira consisted of 20 Tuscan pennies. The mint was in Florence and Pisa. The units of measure, harking back to their medieval origins, particularly agrarian ones, could vary from city to city, although Florentine ones became increasingly commonplace. The following are the current and account coins in circulation in the Grand Duchy.

The most common units of measurement:

Since medieval times it had been the custom in the three great Tuscan republics (Florence, Pisa, Siena) to compute the year from March 25, "ab Incarnatione" according to the Stile formula of the Incarnation. However, this calendar with the gradual adoption in other European states of the Gregorian calendar created complex legal and economic problems with particular reference to the drafting of public acts and private contracts. Thus the new Lorraine dynasty was induced to adapt, as Britain and Sweden did at the same time, to the new calendar, bringing forward - by the law of September 18, 1749 - the New Year to January 1, 1750.

The flag of the grand duchy became identified under the Medici with their family coat of arms on a background, at first tripartite red with a white band then only white. With the dynastic change, state flag and coat of arms became more complex. The flag, at first having the double-headed eagle of the empire above four horizontal bands on a gold field, was replaced under Peter Leopold by a red and white tricolor with transverse bands, similar to that of Austria, on which the Lorraine coat of arms stood out. The grand ducal arms thus consisted of a quartered coat of arms. The first quarter was party to four red bands on a white field (pretension of the Anjou of Naples) and the cross of Lorraine in gold (arms of Hungary); the second quarter consisted of a rampant lion in gold, crowned on an azure field (arms of Bohemia), the third quarter was tripartite in azure bands on a white field and a red pole, the whole bordered by gold lilies on an azure field (weapon of Burgundy), the fourth quarter depicted two gold barbs leaning against each other on an azure field, sown with four gold crosses on either side (pretension of the Duchy of Bar). Above it all stood a shield in the center surmounted by the grand ducal crown, interspersed in a pole: in the first a band in red charged with three silver aleriones (Lorraine), in the second or middle, interspersed in red with a white band (Medici and Habsburg), in the third five balls in red arranged in a girdle, surmounted by a larger one in azure, charged with three gold lilies (Medici), all on a field of gold. Attached to the large shield are the insignia of the orders of St. Stephen, the Golden Fleece, and then St. Joseph. The great coat of arms is surmounted by the great grand ducal crown and received in the red princely mantle lined with ermine.


  1. Grand Duchy of Tuscany
  2. Granducato di Toscana
  3. ^ Castiglioni, 1862, p. 57
  4. ^ Castiglioni, 1862, p. 53
  5. ^ Frieda, p. 271–272
  6. ^ Strathern, p. 340–341
  7. ^ Hale, p 145
  8. ^ United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; House of Commons, John Bowring, 1839, p. 6.
  9. ^ Strathern, Paul (2003). The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-09-952297-3. pp. 315–321.
  10. ^ Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce (1862). Popolazione censimento degli antichi Stati sardi (1. gennaio 1858) e censimenti di Lombardia, di Parma e di Modena (1857–1858) pubblicati per cura del Ministero d'agricoltura, industria e commercio: Relazione generale con una introduzione storica sopra i censimenti delle popolazioni italiane dai tempi antichi sino all'anno 1860. 1.1 (in Italian). Stamperia Reale.
  11. ^ "bolla papale di Pio V". archeologiavocidalpassato (in Italian). Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  12. Thomas Frenz: Italien im Mittelalter. In: Wolfgang Altgeld, Rudolf Lill: Kleine Italienische Geschichte. Stuttgart 2004, S. 105.
  13. Thomas Frenz: Italien im Mittelalter. In: Wolfgang Altgeld, Rudolf Lill: Kleine Italienische Geschichte. Stuttgart 2004, S. 106.
  14. a b c Rudolf Lill: Das Italien der Hoch- und Spätrenaissance. In: Wolfgang Altgeld, Rudolf Lill: Kleine Italienische Geschichte. Stuttgart 2004, S. 133.
  15. Reinhold Schumann: Geschichte Italiens. Stuttgart u. a. 1983, S. 107f.
  16. Giuliano Procacci: Geschichte Italiens und der Italiener. München 1989, S. 70.
  17. ^ Strathern, Paul: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Vintage books, London, 2003, ISBN 978-0-09-952297-3, pp. 315–321
  18. ^ a b Strathern, p. 340
  19. ^ Strathern, p 335

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