In addition to this privy council, we find a gran consiglio, consisting of the burghers who had established the right to interfere immediately in public affairs, and a still larger assembly called parlamenlo, which included the whole adult population.
It will be perceived that the type was rather oligarchical than strictly democratic. Between the parlamento and the consuls with their privy council, or credenza, was interposed the gran consiglio of privileged burghers.
The senate, composed of nobles, represented the credenza and the gran consiglio.
This was the germ of the great council, the Maggior Consiglio, which was rendered strictly oligarchic in 1296.
The, expansion of commerce which resulted from the Fourth Crusade soon made itself evident in the city by a rapid development in its architecture and by a decided strengthening of the commercial aristocracy, which eventually led to the great constitutional reform - the closing of the Maggior Consiglio in 1296, whereby Venice became a rigid oligarchy.
The Piazza dei Signori contains picturesque brick battlemented palaces - the Salone del Gran Consiglio (1184) and the Palazzo del Commune (1268).(1268).
In 1861 it was 114,363 it increased largely when the capital of Italy was in and an elective town council (consiglio comunale).
The potestates subsequently were foreigners, and in 1207 the dignity was conferred on Gualfredotto of Milan; a new council was formed, the consiglio del comune, while the older senate still survived.
He was assisted by the consiglio speciale of 9 0 and the consiglio generale e speciale of 300, composed of nobles, while the capitano del popolo had also two councils composed of burghers, heads of the gilds, gonfalonieri of the companies, &c. The anziani had a council of 3 6 burghers, and then there was the parlamento or general assembly of the people, which met only on great occasions.
The former councils were replaced by the consiglio del popolo, consisting of 300 popolani and presided over by the capitano, and the consiglio del comune of 250 members, half of them nobles and half popolani, presided over by the podesta.
The priori were reduced to 8 (2 popolani grassi, 3 mediani and 3 artifici minuti), while the gonfaloniere was to be chosen in turn from each of those classes; the grandi were excluded from the administration, but they were still admitted to the consiglio del comune, the cinque di mercanzia, and other offices pertaining to the commune; the Ordinamenti were maintained but in a somewhat attenuated form, and certain grandi as a favour were declared to be of the popolo.
A Consiglio (1527).
high), while in the north-east corner of the latter Piazza is the fine early Renaissance Palazzo del Consiglio (1476-1492), probably designed by Fra Giocondo.
To the east of the city rises the Castello del Buon Consiglio, for centuries the residence of the prince-bishops, but now used as barracks.
Under the Aragonese, Malta, as regards local affairs, was administered bya Universitd or municipal commonwealth with wide and indefinite powers, including the election of its officers, Capitan di Verga, Jurats, &c. The minutes of the " Consiglio Popolare " of this period are preserved, showing it had no legislative power; this was vested in the king, and was exercised despotically in the interests of the Crown.
When the pledge, given by the Treaty of Amiens, to restore the Order of St John with a national Maltese "langue," could not be fulfilled, political leaders began demanding instead the re-establishment of the " Consiglio Popolare " of Norman times (without reflecting that it never had legislative power); but by degrees popular aspirations developed in favour of a free constitution on English lines.
The Palazzo del Consiglio, now a theatre, is attributed to Palladio.
The Madonna del Buon Consiglio has some good reliefs by Andrea della Robbia, by whom is also the beautiful frieze in the Madonna delle Carceri.
The government of the city consisted of (a) a parlamento or consiglio grande, including all who possessed bread and wine of their own - a council soon found to be unmanageable owing to its size, and reduced first to 2000, then to 1500 and finally to Soo members; (b) a credenza or committee of 12 members, elected in the grand council, for the despatch of urgent or secret business; (c) the consuls, the executive, elected for one year, and compelled to report to the great council at the term of their office.
These were the avvogadori di commune, and, since Tiepolo's conspiracy in 1310, the Consiglio dei Dieci, the Council of Ten, which controlled the whole of the state, and out of which there developed in the 16th century the state inquisition.
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