While I wait for my student interviews to begin this morning, I will try to dash off another entry about Venice.
You might remember that Venice was an incredible force to be reckoned with. The navy was a scourge to other areas, they aggressively protected their trade routes, the city supported innovation, and they were sort of pirate baron thief kings. Yeah. A trading empire. Yeah.
The economic bottom fell out in 1453. Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks and lands were lost to those forces, the Portuguese had opened up a new trade route around Africa that ate into Venice’s business, and the Catholic church powers challenged Venice. Venice had a few small comebacks, but overall her empire and power were in decline.
So, in the 17th and 18th century, Venice was the party town of Europe. As decay continued, many people came to Venice to play. What happened in Venice stayed in Venice. This is the time of Cassanova, and some of the most disparate behavior in the city. Napoleon shut the party down in 1797. That’s the part I know about the most, because I’ve set my story about that time frame, so we’ll talk about it next time.