Lucca and its Territories in the Fifteenth Century: Economy and Society
It has sometimes been argued that the larger regional formations of the 15th century resulted in greater market integration. It is a contentious argument, and one that is difficult to apply to Lucca—precisely because Lucca never made the political transformation on which the argument is based. In so far as the thesis contains an implicit comparison between city‐ and regional state, 15th‐century Lucca fits quite neatly into the conventional image of the former. Laws continued to be passed that banned all artisanal and retail activity in the Sei Miglia. Legislation was less restrictive with regard to some of the small towns in the vicariates. But here, too, state policy aimed to confine rural manufacture to the production of goods and necessities for local peasant consumption—a fact that the chapter has tried to reconcile with the manufacture of quality goods for export that was actually taking place in some of the larger centres. The chapter ends with a social history of the vicariates; an examination of mountain civilization; and with a reassessment of community identity even amongst villagers of the Lucchese plain.
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