Credited with much of the success of the Renaissance was the Medici family of Florence. Their history is a tribute to early capitalism and its roots in adding value to wealth and those willing to take risks. As a successful banking family, the Medici’s secured much of their power through the loyalty of the people of Florence, who trusted them to have influence over the city. It is clear that the Medici’s built Florence into a great city, and evidence suggests that the well-being of Florence was at the heart of many of their decisions. However, power comes at a price, and the Medici’s had to be careful of enemies who resented their success and influence. Over the course of several generations, the Medici’s took extreme measures to secure their place in Florence. While some argue that the Medici’s were an example of how private wealth could improve the lives of a people and its city, others say that their actions were less than ideal. In this lesson, students explore the question of the Medici’s as role models by engaging in thorough research and discussing opposing viewpoints.

Download: Medicis as Role Models Lesson Plan

Parent resource coming soon!