How would you describe or detail Civic Humanism - specifically that of Florence?

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The term "Civic Humanism" (Bürgerhumanismus) was coined by historian Hans Baron who used it to describe a reaction against tyranny and foreign invasion. Focussing specifically on Renaissance Florence, but also echoing the tensions of his own historical era (the Weimar Republic), Baron found that Florentine citizens faced the threats of absolute power with a rediscovery of classical models of republicanism based on virtue and active participation. The tradition of Florentine Civic Humanism thus joined the experience of the Italian communed of the late Middle Ages and the more modern philosophies of humanism and classical learning. This union made it possible to conceive the government of the city as a service to the fulfillment of individuals. Yet, this fulfillment is always seen in the context of the common good as citizens become actively involved in the political and economic activities of the city to improve not only their personal condition but that of the whole community. The key concepts of Civic Humanisn are seen as having informed the work of philosophers such as Rousseau and Montaigne. They have also provided the intellectual arguments for American Independence and the French Revolution. In its more contemporary developments the term has been associated with Cambridge school philosophers such as John Pocok and Quentin Skinner.

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