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Florence is often named as the birthplace of the Renaissance

Florence is often named as the birthplace of the...

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Florence is often named as the birthplace of the Renaissance. The early writers and  artists of the period sprung from this city in the northern hills of Italy. As a center for the  European wool trade, the political power of the city rested primarily in the hands of the  wealthy merchants who dominated the industry. These merchants built enormous gilded  mansions in the city, villas in the country, and contributed to the construction of grand  cathedrals, spawning the physical rebirth of the city. A spirit of competition developed  between the rich merchants, who often competed with each other to see who could  commission the grandest buildings and the finest works of art. Competition augmented  the fervor with which the city entered into the Renaissance.  The Medici family, which controlled Florence throughout much of the Renaissance,  played a large part in the patronage of the arts and the political development of the city. 
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