A Brief History of Venice [EPUB]
27 December 2013, 12:01
2009 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.44/0.7MB
Imagine a place where the gap between rich and poor is minimal, where the ruling elite govern democratically, and despite having no walls, battlements or ramparts is virtually unconquerable for a thousand years.
The lost continent of Atlantis? No, it's an island (or islands) in the north Adriatic Sea--Venice. From 800 to 1800 Venice ruled the Mediterranean and was among the richest nations on earth. The populace was business-minded, educated, and free, and tolerant of differing races and religions. While the surrounding world was ruled by kings, Venice was a republic ruled by a council of enlightened business leaders, similar to the United States Senate today. What set Venice apart from other republics, is that it lasted so long. Why did it last? Unlike the Roman republic, it had no territorial ambitions. It never conquered other nations and expanded its borders, and thus had no conquering hero--no Julius Caesar--to contend with. Venice's sole ambition was trade--and making lots of money, which it did. Venice had few poor and hungry because it encouraged everyone to partake in trade, even sailors aboard its trading vessels.
Elizabeth Horodowich writes well and knows how to turn history into a good read. The history of Venice ought to be taught in school, if nothing else for what it teaches us about the virtue of republics. Venetian rulers weren't perfect, but they were light years ahead of the rest of the world in how they governed and managed to thrive in a hostile world.
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