Populatíon and economy in Lombardy in the age of Charles V ( ) - PDF

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Populatíon and economy in Lombardy in the age of Charles V ( ) Stefano D'Amico Texas Tech Umversity Historiography has not yet devoted a great deal of attention to the State of Milán in the age

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Populatíon and economy in Lombardy in the age of Charles V ( ) Stefano D'Amico Texas Tech Umversity Historiography has not yet devoted a great deal of attention to the State of Milán in the age of Charles V. Economic history in particular has not been the subject of any specifíc study. The few studies available, such as the classic worics by Federico Chabod and the more recent analysis of the estimo by Giovanni X^go, focus on the political and fiscal turbulence affecting the State around the middle of the century, but they allow us only a few giimpses into the economic conditions of the time'. The age of Chades V has often been described as a period of economic decline or, at best, an era of «stagnation» for the State of Milán. After the disastrous years between when wars, famine and plague ravaged the populatíon, the state of constant military actívity andfiscalpressure would not allow the Lombard economy to recover ^. Only after the peace of Cateau Cambresis in 1559, under the rule of Riilip ü, would the State of Milán again reach the same level of prosperity as the beginning of the century. Through the reconstruction of the demographic trends and the industrial and commerdal actívities between 1535 and 1560, this essay will illustrate the way in which the populatíon and the economic system were already on their way to recovery imder Charies V and will demónstrate that Philip II in fact inherited the State during a period of rapid growth. In 1535, the year of the death of Francis 11 Sforza, Lombardy was in a state of devastatíon, with a populatíon drastícally inferior to diat of thirty years eariier and an economy almost annihilated. The Venetian ambassador Giovanni Basadonna wiote in 1533: ' CHABOD, F., «L'epoca di Cario V», in Storia di Milano, Milaiio, 1958, K, pp ; ViGO, G., Pisco e societi nella Lombardia ád Cinguecento, Boiogna, ^ FOT a chronide of tfaose dtamatk years see «Cnmica müanese di Gianmarco Burigozzo merzaro dal 1500 al 1544», Arcbivio Storico Miaño, 3 (1842), pp Stefano D'Amico Lo Stato di Milano... é pioio di miseria e di tuinarispettoaile ccmdizicxii dei tempi passati; le quali miseria e ruina ncn si pottannoristotarein poco spazio essendo mínate le fabbricfae ed estinte le perscme, per il che mancano le industrie'. Hie only data we have conceming the population of the city of Milán duiing those years is the %u]:e of 11,415 hearths provided by Beloch for That figure, using a inulti{^er of five people per hearth, would give us a popvilation of appioxiinately 57,000 inhabitants ^ lus data seetns to be confinned by the number of deaths in the city: af^lying a m(»tality rate of 32 per thousand to the average of 1737 people deceased annually in the years , we would have a population of approximately 54,000 people '. If we consider that forty years earlier the population of the city had probably surpassed 100,000 souls, we have an idea of the catastiophic events of the previous decades *'. Also to be taken into consideration ís the fact that in 1542, the population was already recovering: after the plague of , Milán did not number more than 40,000 inhabitants. The recoveiy continued to prove itself stronger and stronger in the following years, and by 1555, uáng mortality as an indicator once again, the p q ulation had probably reached approximately 80,000 people. This trend is confirmed in the cases of other Lombard dties. The population of Pavía decreased ftom 16,000 people at the end of the 15th centuiy to 5,000 after die pillaging of die city in 1529 ^. Ih the following years, the dty recovered extremely quickly, and in 1546, numbets had already reached 14,000 inhabitants, a figure diat would not change until die end of the century. In the ccninttyside, the demograj^c bocmn seems to have been even more maiked, and in the contado of Milán, the population trpled in the period between 1542 and 1574 *. ' «Hw State of Milán... b fud vi iiiis«y and rain compared to tiie conditicms oi past times; this miseiy and niin cannot be cancded in a short petiod as the eccmomy has cdlapsed and die pe ^ extenninated and dietefote, any acúvit; is iadñng», dted in ALEAU, G., and CIFOUA, C. M., «A^Ktti e prouemi ded'econcmiamilanesee lombarda neisecou XVI e3cvii»,in&iom rm2imi,op. cxt., XI, pp '* BESTA, B., «La popdaziaoe di Milano nel periodo ddla dominazione ^M^oia», in Atti del ccngcesso per k studio dei prouemi d^ popcdaáone (Roma 1931), vd. I, Istituto Pdigrafico ddk Stato, Roma, 1933, pp ; SEUA, D., «Ptemesse demc^rafiche ai censimenti austriad», in jieorú M Milano, p. dt., Xn, pp Beloch used a multi{dier of 7 peo(de per heardi, definitely too elevated coosidering diat in 1576 the average househom in Milán counted 4.5 people (D'AMICO, S., Le contnde e la dtti. Sistema pmjsittivo e ipazio urbano a MUano/ra Caique e SeiceiHo, Milano, 1994). ' For the number of deaths see Ardiivio di Stato di Milano (hencefcxdi ASM), P folazione, parte antica, 64. Ule average mortality rate in uiban eariy modem Eim^ was usualfy aroond 40 per diousand. However, die nundier rf feadis is probauy underestímated and for the years in \riiidi we have rekaue figures ^ the population of the dty (1576, 1610) die deceased represoit a petcentage a about 32 per thousand. ' For the population of Milán under die Sforza see CIFC&LA, C. M., «L'economia müanese daoa meta dd secólo xiv: i movimenti economid generak ( )», in Storía di Milano, op. cit., Vm, pp ' ALEAU, G., La pt^otajtone di Pavia durante il dominio gn^ftolo, Mihno, 1957, pp ' BEONIO BROCCHIEIII, V., «Piagza umversau di tutte le pn^essiom del mondo». Fami^ e mestieri nel Ducato di Milano in etá ^agfiola, Nfilano, 2000, p POPULATION AND ECONOMYIN LOMBARDY Therefore, debite the warfaie that directly or indirecdy involved the Lond atd territoiy until 1559, both the utban and rural populatkm managed to devel ^ at an astcmistíag rate ^ hdped most certatnly by the migratcmy flowsfromneigjibching states. FrcMn the end of the 1530s, thousands of peasants &c»n the Kacenza, Brescia and Ferrara regions arrtved in Lombardy to take advanta^ of the favorable condttknis *. The countryside and agricultural acthdties were quickly revitalized and many immigrants, often very qualified, chose to setde down in the towns ^^ Neverthekss most official documents of the time portray the econcunic conditions of the State as extremely delicate and oftentimes desperate. In 1542, the tovra of Pavía daimedthat per che per li tumultuosi tempí li mercanti hanno cessato di fat iavorari et mdti poveii arteñ ne viveano drietto stentancb et hora cum gran difiscultá ú poteno rescatare il vivere (...) mdti ne sonó fiígiti et ptü ne fugiranno di presente per le nove esatticxii... '^. In August 1544, Mflanese merchants denied a loan of 17,000 scudi to Govemc»' Del Vasto daiming the dty to be comfjetely exhausted of money because of all the taxes paid and loans offered . Without any doubt, Milán and the otl^r Lombard cities had to contribute heavily to militaty expenses. However, as evident in the previous reports, most of the documents we have conceming the industrial activities of these years ate re^xhises to or complaints about the heavy tributes imposed by the Spanish govemment, and for diis reason must be taken with a grain of salt. Severa! sources belcmg to the mass of documentatíchi prodiked after the kcree by Charies V that oidered a census (eoimo) for the levy oí & tax (memtiale) on all movaue and unmovable assets in 1543 ^*. Both the central and local authorities, in an atten^t to determine the amount and distributíon of wealth within the state, and individual communities and guilds willing to defend their partícular interests, {noduced an astounding number of papers. These documents are extremely interesting but frequendy unreliaue, particulariy \i^ien we use them to teconstruct the economy of the ' In 1540, the birth rate was 44 per thousand in a small town Ube M«iza and 68 per diousand in the countiyade (CIPOLLA, C. M., «Per la skiria deua popolaaione kxnbarda nel secólo xvi», in Studi i» onore di Ciño Luzzatto, Milano, 1950, H, pp ). ' ALEATI, G., and CIFCUA, C. M, «Aspetti e [KobiemL..», cip. cit., p Voi same cases of this new immigration like the one of Matteo Otsi, a merchant (tota Cásale Moníerrato, or the bcothers Serafino and Andrea Adami, aimor makers btxa Bresda, see ASM, Albiiaggfo, 21, october 10,1572; 6, june 26,1567. ^ «Because of the tumukuous times, merchants ceased dieir oiders and many poor craftsmen who abeadjr lived with difficultjr now are having {xouems surviving (...) mai^ have left and more wio ieave now because of ihe new taxes», quoted in ALEATI, G., and CIKXXA, C. M., «11 trend económico neoo Stato di Milano durante i secdi xvi e xvn. D caso di Pavia , in BoUeltím áella Societd Pavese di Sioría Patria, 1-2 (1950), R) CHABOO, F., «L' época di Grio V», cy. cit., p On the estimo see ViGO, G., Fisco e socieü..., op. cit. 465 Stefano jyamico middle of the centuty. One of the reasons vaiy the central decades of the sixteenth centiuy have always been characterized as a períod of overall decline tfaat carne to an end only aíter 1560 is because, untfl the actual inttoduction of the tax in 1595, the merchants hoped that the assets to be consideted for taxation would be the ones of 1548 and not the ones of 1580, much more accurately verifiable . The inctease of trade between 1548 and 1580 was therefore exaggerated by merchants ^w\ao helped to depkt Milán in 1548 as an undetdeveloped dty vdth a weak textile industty. Ih particular, the álk sector, accoiding to them, counted only three or four merchants and no more than seven alk shops ^. Li reality, the condition of Milanese manufactures in those years was not so ^oomy as described. A document issued by the Tribunale di Provmüme in that period stressed that the major income of the dty carne kata gold, silver, and silk doths, as well as wool, cotton, atms, iron, and leather goods '^. The silk industry, introdviced in Milán in the middle of the 15th century, had probably sufíered the most because of the calamities of the ptevious decades and the loss of ddlled labor '^ However, in die years of 1548 and 1549 alone, 30 gold and silk merchants were approved by the guild, and the silk sector was at the beginning of a sttong expansión, due also to the increase in the consun^on of luxury goods in the following years. By 1560, the industry that in the 1540s emfdoyed 6,000 people, had reached and surpassed the levéis of the b^inning of the century, numbering 18-20,000 woricers '^ New woddng processes and types of doths were introduced: in 1553, Giovanni Pietro Limonta and Francesco Baynoni were authorized to make doths of gold, silver and sok, or alk and cotton at the fashion of Morea ^; diefollowingyear Únt Senate ^ve permission to Milanese merchants to make dodis of silk, veivet, damask and ormesino in the measure and shape of Genoa (shorter than that of the Milanese) ^'. In 1558, die creation of the new guild of the weavers oibmdeui e lavorini confirmed the success of this new production ^. One dear agn of die ptospetity of the silk industry in MÜan in these years is the activity of die merchant Giovanni Antonio Orombelli, «^, at his deadi in 1553, left in his wardiouse 18,001 braccia of silk and gdd doths, equal to 150 pezxe or 4,800 SABA, F., ttvaumeitíoddmercimomo d lí80, MOano, 1990, p. 69. '* ALEAU, G., and CHOLLA, C. M, «Aspetti e ptoueml..», ap. dt., p Atchivio Stotico Cívico di Milaiio (hencefbcth ASCM), Materíe, 239. On the introductioa and die first stages of die silk industiy in Milán see BARBIERI, G., Eamomia epoutka «djucato JiMilmo, }}, Milano, 1938, pp FOT die ( guies in 1300 see BARBIEÍII, G., Eamomia epolítica..., op. cit., p. 90; for 1340 see ASCM, Materíe, 239; for 1360 see DE MADDALENA, A., Dalla dtti al bo/go. Awio di una metamoifosi económica e socitde netta Lomhardia ^agióla, Milano, 1982, p. 34. ^ ASM, Repstri ddla Cancdleria, serie SO. 1, ai^ust 29,1333. ASM, Ctmmercio, 228, ocuiber 18,1334. ^ VERCA, E., «Le corporazichii deue industrie tesáli in Milano: kno n9 porti e conffitti nei secdi xvi e xvn», 'manümo bórico Lombardo, 30 (1903), ( POPÜLATION AND ECONOMYIN LOMBARDY Ubre piccole oí raw sílk. ITie same amount of silk was woriced yearly in that period in a small but still important center of the industty like Mantua ^. The productíon of silk doths was not limited to Mflan any longer and spread to other Lombard centets during these years. The silk indusdy had been inttoduced to Como in 1510, and after a period of decline, was re-establidied in 1551, and devel(^ ed quickly in the following years ^^. Silk wodcshops appeated in Pavia in 1547, and in Ctemona in 1549 ^. In Pavía, the manufactute espandedrapidly,and in 1554, it counted moie than twenty masteis andfiftylooms ^. In additicm, local metchants and craftsmen also oversaw the spinning of silk and therefiningof cloths, making Pavía manufactures complete^ autonomous. Probably in the 1550s, die silk manufacture surpassed the wool industty, traditíonally the leadíng sector of Mílanese textile industry, both in valué and productíon. In 1554, the valué of silk productíon and trade was likely equal to that of the wool industry, as both the silk and the wool merchants were asked to pay a tax of 2,000 scudi to the royal treasure ^. Thís ís even more interesting consídering the fact that the wool industry, althougji it was losing ground to that of the silk, still enjoyed a high degree of prosperity. In 1554, more than 15,000 people wodced in the sector, and between 1531 and 1560, 214 new wool merchants r^stered in the guild ^. Thefiguresfor the two decades fcom (77) and (81) are the hig iest in the century wíth die exception of the decade rom (122). At the b^inning of the rule of Charles V, the wool sector was still able to attract heavy ínvestment from merchants and bankers, as is documented in 1536 when Giovanni e Tommaso Marino replied to State offidals requesting a loan that they did not have any cadi «per aver e^)oso grossa somma in impresa di lana et altre imprese» ^. In the 1550s, the wool sector showed the first signs of decline in Milán and other large Lombard towns. In Como, in 1553, 221 of 986 heads of household for vi^om we have occupatíonal information, woriced in the wool sector. However, 111 of them lived in a state of poverty '. On the other hand, in the small towns and rural villages, wool production was skyrocketing. Li 1553, among the 5,000 inhabitants of the town of Vigevano, 27.4 per 100 of the DE MADDALENA, A, Dalla citti al borgp..., cp. cit., H ^ ViGO, G., fisco esodeti..., ap. cit., p. 13. Vñd., p. 12; Ídem, «Tra svfluppo e declino: reomoniia pavese neua seohida meta dd Cinquecento», in Vivista Milanese di Eamomia, 1994, núm. 49, R) ^ ALEATI, G., and CIPOLLA, C. M, «ñ tiend eomomico...», op. cit., p. 28. ASCM,Materie,2í9. ^ Vct the nvunber of workers see ASCM, Materie, 37(h on the registration oí the vod merdiants see SANTORO, C, Le matricole dei mercantí di lana sottile di Milam, Milano, 1940, p. XXVIIL In 1570, 110 \rod merchants, 91 drtfari (drapers), 26 hemtari (beret makers) wete active in the dty (ASCM, Materie, 570). «... had employed a substantial amount of money in a wool company and other trades» dted in CHABOD, F., «L'epoca di Cario V...», op. cit., p MIRA, G.,A^)eltidell'economia comasca. Como, 1936, pp Stefarm UAnñco heads df housdidd w(»ked in die textfle industry, primarily in the wool sectco-, and already in 1548, there were 41 wod clotfa makers, \ñdi an annuai ptoductíon of about 1300 pezze ^'. In 1537, M Miza counted 228 workers in the wod sector, and the workforce alchig with producti(mi would increase pn^tessively in the fdlowing years '^. Evoi vülages of a ew hundred people such as lissone, Sesto and Serano had their diare of wocj workers, mainiy weavers '^. Hie third sectc»- of the Milanese textik industiy which, aldiough farfromthe levek of the i»%vious coitiuy, stül en^loyed thousands of woricers was the manufacture of cottfhi aikl istians. b 1548, the guild of the fustian metchants counted 48 mast»s and about 10,000 pecóle v^ woiked in the sector ^^. In 1554, they had to pay a tax of CMiIy 600 scudi versus the 2,000 scudi each paid h^ úxia colleagues in the wool and 9& sectcms. In 1560, thdr number was reduced to 18 ^'. Hie crias affected also CremcMia, wfaidí 6om the 14th century had been one Á the major European centers in die productiotí of fustian doth ^. Even more than in die case of wool, ít is clear that in these years die sector was transfeired isooi die utban to the rural manufactures. In 1548, the íiistian makers ^ Abbiat^rasso felt strong enougjh to o[^ ose the Milanese gufld, refusing to cqien their wotkshc^ to an in^ ectíqn ^^. In 1559, the transfer of uiban labor to the countryside, also to nei^iboring states, had probably reached serious pt(^)orti xis, and the authorities issued a decree that foibade merchants and craftsmoi to leave the dty **. Despite ihese efforts, by the 1570s, the major centers of fustian and cotton ptoduction would be lesser towns such as Busto Arsizio and Gallarate. Also the second leading sector of Milanese economy, the ptoductíon of arms and atmor, showed desur ^ns of ptoqjerity around the middle of the 16th century. Akeady under the rule of Frands 11 Sforza, Milán had r^ained its predominance: in there were 32 masters armaioli (arms-makers) in the dty . The ptoductíon of armor, particulatly in the manufacture of kxuty ítems for toumaments and parades was flouridiii^ HKe more ^. The brothers Filíppo Jao^ and Francesco Negrolo, active between 1532 and 1545, exported dieir products all over Eur ^ e. Milítary actívities also províded OLIVERO Crax MBO, D., «Mercanti e popdari ndla Vigevano del primo Cinquecento», in Ráátía Storica Itaüma, 85 (1973), pp BEONIO BROCCHiEftl, V., Püm» umverstk..., cp. dt., p ^' In 1541 in Lissone thoe vete 11 heardis out tf 63 emptoyed in the woca sector, in Sesto 13 out of 70 and in Serano 23 out of 189 (CDOLU, C. M., «Pet la straia ddla pop dazi(me lombarda...», op. cit., p. 153). ^ ASCM, Maíeríe, 428; for the number of worlcers emplcqred, Malerie, 2Í9. ASCM, Maíeríe 259; 428, list of masters of July, 5,1560. ^ HKnAO»n,H.V.,TheItalÚHCotlmhidttshyméelMerhAiddkA^,CanAynáge,19ii. ASCM, Uaterie, 428, dooiment oí july 28,1548. ASM, Commercio, 1. Many Milanese wcnkers had moved beyond the Po tiver in the áreas of Mcxiticello and Busseto where diey made fustian and wod dotfas. '^ GAMBER, O., «L'arte milanese dell'armatura», in Sama di Miiaao, op. cit., XI, pp * Ibid.. p POPULATION AND ECONOMYIN IX)MBAFDY favoraue oppoitunities for the metal woricers. Supplies of anns were constandy requested by the Spanish anny, and the Milanese craftsmen were leady to satisfy this need. The foundries in Valsassina were veiy active between 1537 and 1554, and the foundty of Milán aione worked 14,200 kilc^rams of metal evety year between 1549 and 1565 '*^ New bisinesses devel(q)ed like that of \^ncenzo Figino ^rfio, in 1555, asked for the prtvilege of starting up an arquebus factoiy'*^. Metal woridng was not an «cdustveiy uiban activity: in Mc»iza and Concorezzo, several famüies work«l as needk makers, aiul in Busto the production of iron thread increased throughout the centuty ^'. Hie last important sector of the economy, leather woiking, had recovered as well: there were 17 masters pelltzzari (fur workers) in 1548 (in 1570, their number would decrease to 13), and in 1560, 36 masters centurari (bdt makers) and bomnari (purse makers) woriced in Milán ^. Another guild which prosperad was that of the gumtari (glove makers): in 1554, Orlando CoUi of Vigevano who resided and woriced in Milán obtained permission from Milanese authori
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