Burocrazia (Biblioteca austriaca. Documenti) (Italian Edition)

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The Causes of Integration What really assured the long-term political integration of Sicily into the Spanish Habsburg monarchy was the kinship connections between Sicilian families aristocratic families in particular and the Aragonese and Catalonian nobility and, with increasing frequency, the Castilian nobility. Such links provided a substantial continuity of family and cultural traditions.

According to Pedro de Cisneros, the ill-fated secretary to viceroy Marcantonio Colonna imprisoned for fraud and extorsion, writing in his Relacin de las cosas del reyno de Sicilia,20 the most prominent gures in the Sicilian nobility should henceforth be considered as completely hispanized: these included the prince of Butera, the holder of the highest title in the kingdom and a member of the house of Santa Pau, who boasted of his familys origins in Catalonia; the prince of Castelvetrano and duke of Terranova, who traced his lineage in part from the famous Blasco de Alagon who arrived in Sicily in with Pedro de Aragn, the king, and who was, according to Cisneros, related to the royal house of Aragn.

Francesco Moncada, the prince of Paterno, lord of Aderno and Caltanisetta and count of Golisano, is given as a great-grandson of Juan de Vega on his mothers side; Juan de Ziga, the prince of Pietraperzia was Comendadador mayor de Castilla; Pietro de Luna a family considered. Vittorio Sciuti Russi Naples: Jovene, , On the traditions, actual and presumed, of the Sicilian nobility, see E. It would be mistaken to think of these connections, cemented by marriage, as private ties.

They were also political alliances that inuenced choices and determined options regarding public life. Moreover, it was thanks to what we can call a long familiarity with the political landscape of the Iberian peninsula that the great Sicilian families had relatives, agents, friends, and allies at court. Representation at court of the Kingdom of Sicily was thus far from being limited to the presence of a regent in the Council of Italy and a secretary or a court chaplain or two.

An examination of private correspondence with persons sent to court shows us a complex universe of close but informal contacts that conveyed political relations of notable importance. Big cities were endowed with political traditions and invested with privileges. These cities attempted to tailor an intermediary space for themselves. Here the presence of a special case like that of Messina, one of the most privileged cities of the monarchy, should be stressed, not only in its own right, but also for the example it provides in contrast to other urban centers.

One of the main characteristics of Messinas liberty, which all the other cities of Sicily tended, in dierent ways, to imitate, was the presence and activities of its agents and representatives at court.

Japan, Italy and the Road to the Tripartite Alliance

The open model of integration not only left room for rival models, but even tended to encourage them. Palermo, the contested capital city, reacted to Messinas attack by focusing on its role as a court city, hence a natural place of residence of Sicilian noble families as well as the new noble families who were rising in society thanks to the wealth they had accumu-.

Simona Giurato Catania, Rainero Bellone, trascritta e continuata sino al da D. Salesio Mannamo, R. Mastro Notaro del Senato, per suo uso personale, vol. Tavilla, Per la storia delle istituzioni municipali a Messina tra Medioevo ed et moderna, 2 vols. Messina: Societ Messinese di Storia Patria, Palermo welcomed them and welcomed the transformations they introduced as was true in Naples 24 when they built their city houses or palaces there, but also when they founded monasteries and charitable institutions.

Common themes are everywhere: in the baroque restructuring of the realm of the sacred; in a widespread fondness for Spanish reed spear tournament and bullghts juegos de caas and toros , for preaching, and for the theater; in a passion for the new style of urban decoration borrowed from Rome,26 and, conversely, even for criticism of the court and an exaltation of country living alabanza de aldea.

From that viewpoint the vice-regal court represented a fundamental pivot point: it was a center of transmission for the new cultural initiatives, the fashions, and the new directions taken by a governing class thatfrom Madrid to Palermo coordinated, rened, and continually modied its tastes. Integration and Division to These basic processes and this convergence made possible by a mechanism of supple integration were subject to phases of acceleration dictated by politics. The rst of these arose out of the side eects of the introduction of the system of valimiento.

These processes continued on into the age of Philip III , together with a notable increase in matrimonial ties between the Sicilian nobility and the Castilian aristocracy. It is with the duke of Osunas arrival in Sicily as viceroy that we can begin to see clearly to how great an extent these options tended to become divisive, hence to produce conict. This was no longer a simple clash between two privileged cities, Messina and Palermo, in competition for the title of capital city; on a deeper level, it reected two diering conceptions of the role of Sicilian participation in the Monarchy.

One portion of Sicilian society resisted in the face of the viceroys rst attempt to break down certain privileged arrangements guaranteeing others, and with them in essence reinforcing the strategic importance of the power block of grain interests concentrated in Palermo around the viceroy.

It is interesting to note that this resistance, which was aimed at both the conservation of interests and the defense of traditional ideas regarding the limits of viceregal action and the nature of relations between the Crown and the Kingdom, met with an attentive hearing from some members of the Council of Italy and the court. This means that divisions existing at court and in Sicily began to converge.


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  4. Obviously, this was not the rst time that correlations of the sort had ever occurred. During the course of the sixteenth century there had been important alliances between factions at court. Often these alignments arose thanks to a viceroy: Garcia de Toledo , for example, relied on the support of the largest Sicilian political block the Aragona and Tagliavia families ;30 Marcantonio Colonna attempted to create a party of his own.

    It is signicant that the principal attacks on Colonna came from the Inquisition, another supposed channel of integration. This is indicative of just how interconnected court politics and political interests in the periphery had already become. Growing scal pressures due to the increased cost of the state infrastructure and, soon, to war expenditures, add to this picture. These pressures created a competition for honors, a race for population growth between the older centers and newly founded ones,32 and rivalries for preeminence and a spirit of conict in the sphere of the sacred.

    The rst thing to note is that the consolidation of the Olivares regime brought no serious attempt to curtail Messinas system of privileges. In spite of the attacks periodically launched by some of the viceroys, who were often persons linked to various groups opposed to Olivares, the Council of Italy made no move to change the status quo, either regarding Messinas controversial economic privileges or the no less controversial theoretical parity between Messina a Palermo as the residence of the viceroy.

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    To be sure, the project conceived in Messina to divide the Kingdom did not pass in the Council,35 but that does not mean that the citys demands and interests were not on the table. The basic tendency of the Olivares regime in Sicily was thus not to push for a reduction of the regime of exemptions and privileges. It was instead to seek to enlarge Sicilys participation in nancing the monarchys war eort by all available means. To this end, some viceroys tried to break down various aspects of the system of immunities and to increase receipts from the towns.

    Contents of Chapter 7

    The principal political problem facing the regime was thus to make use of viceroys who, by and large, were men from a noble group not well integrated into the Olivares regimes system of power. The result was a climate of mistrust, if not open and reciprocal didence, which can be observed in the s but was even more evident in the s. The letters of Francisco De Mello, Olivaress right-hand man, who served briey as viceroy of Sicily on the eve of the tumultuous s, gives impressive testimony to this tense climate.

    This preoccupation was reinforced by instances of resistance that appeared in the ecclesiastical sphere, in. XVI, 6 vols. Lotta politica e rappresentanza degli interessi nella Sicilia del Seicento, Societ e storia 47 : Parliament, and more sharply expressed in tract literature. Some theologians returned to the theme of the limits to sovereign power;37 another example of this resistance is in the broad hearing for theses such as those of Antonino Diana, traces of which can be found in a signicant text of the revolt in Naples of known as Il cittadino fedele.

    Jurisdictional conicts merged with a tangled web of economic and territorial tensions and with unrest in the sphere of the sacred. No individual, no institution, felt totally secure in the relative position guaranteed by its status. The Causes of Conict This gave new prominence to earlier traditions concerning the political conditions of Sicilys participation in the Spanish monarchy. He cites Aristotle as stating that in the case of barbarians Dominion by one person alone is just and legitimate.

    He comments, With all this, such. Moreover, Corsetto adds: It is untrue, as some claim, that Italian subjects must be governed with tyranny, because this proposition is a greater oense to the one who governs than to those who are governed: the fact that a leader is considered a tyrant is very detrimental to the public good and to the service of the king himself.

    Surely the Italians, because they are not of a servile and abject nature, are not like the barbarians of which Aristotle speaks, who must be controlled with a heavy hand as a master would a slave, or as a commander would who has placed himself above the law. Sicilians in particular, who are Italians, do not need to be governed despotically for certain reasons, they have merited that their kings treat them as if they were the monarchs own children.

    The Sicilians should be treated as ones children and not as slaves; justice should be administered according to their laws, under which they delivered themselves voluntarily to the Crown of Aragon. As Aristotle says, beware the hatred that is turned against those who would impose themselves excessively on their subjects. The king of Spain, Corsetto declares, is royal monarch in the states of Spain, Flanders, Naples, Sicily, and Milan, such monarchs either govern themselves directly, as those of Castile, or through their ocers.

    He is lord monarch in the West Indies, where the king has dominion not only in universal but even more in particular. In practice, the Indies are all of the royal patrimony, in which no one possesses anything unless recognized by the King. In reality, the famous Avvertimenti of Scipio di Castro do not present this viewpoint,44 but Corsetto attacks the Deputation of the Estates and declares that since the duke of Maquedas time that body has been corrupted and that those who wish to avoid paying their creditors put all their assets, even property that are not grain elds, in the hands of the Deputation, commit a thousand frauds in the leases, and take for themselves so much of the last scraps that nothing remains for the creditors.

    Thus it was advisable to give nobles the few posts that were availablefor example, as pretore the highest judicial post in Palermo, by appointment by the viceroy or stratigoto or stratic, a direct representative of the king, president of Messinas court of law. This line of thought was vigorously reiterated in the s by Luigi Moncada viceroy, , prince of Patern, who records in a series of memoranda that the conservation of extended monarchies, with such separated members, consists of unifying the distant regions and customs through bonds of friendship, kinship ties, and mutual interest.

    He further states:. Saitta, ed.

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    Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Los que no quieren pagar a sus acreedores ponen en deputacin qualesquiera bienes rayzes aunque no sean seminatorios, cometen mil fraudes en los arrendamientos, sacan por ellos mismos los alimentos tan pingues que no queda nada para los acreedores. In the following paragraph, Ibid.

    The governments of Valencia, Catalonia, and Aragon are the means and the merit to the Spanish to achieve the greatest positions that we seek. The Italian posts cannot be a desirable reward and nal goal of their rise; there their hopes would end where others begin. What pestilence, Lord, does the Italian sky instill in the hearts of those born in other provinces, the need to undermine more than elsewhere the integrity of justice and the intention of those men? What merit or privilege does nature give to those born in other provinces that their rectitude is believed more incorrupt than ours?

    It is worth recalling that Luigi Moncada was later involved in the pro-French conspiracy of ,47 when it became clear that underlying the urban populaces revolt to protest social conditions that had become intolerable there was a subterranean but decisive disquietude among the aristocratic governing class. In Sicily as elsewhere the fall of Olivares in did not in fact produce the soothing eects that Philip IV had hoped for, or, at best, did so only temporarily. After a rst phase of recuperation and reassurance, promoted by the acts of Juan Alfonso Enriquez de Cabrera, the Admiral of Castile, viceroy of Sicily ,48 it was clear to everyone that Olivaress dismissal did not signify a complete realignment of factions within the court, and that Lus de Haro provided physical continuity for the ongoing power of groups formerly aligned with Olivares that his opposition would have liked to.

    Valencia, Catalua y Aragon estos goviernos son, medios y merito a los espanoles para lograr los puestos mas grandes de que nos arojan. No los pueden apetexer los italianos como premio y ultimo n de sus ascensos, all acavarian sus experanzas donde las otras empiezan; Que pestilencia comunica Seor en los corazones el ielo italiano para que aya de prebaricar mas que en otra partes la entereza de justiia y la intencion de aquellos hombres, que razon de merito o qual privilegio dio la naturaleza, a los naidos en otras provincias para que se e de ellos mas yncorrupta la rectitud que en nosotros?

    At the same time, the demands of war made it impossible to reduce scal pressure or prevent the adoption of systems of executive tax-collection put into eect in the Olivares period that had elicited strong resistance. As a result, divisions within Sicilian society were even further accentuated, and there was a tendency among some members of the aristocracy not to exercise their own right and duty to exert social control, thus, in essence, giving free rein to popular resentment of a tax system that was more and more obviously iniquitous.