1669-1718 1789-1797

The Republic of Venice, 1718-1789

In 1718 the Peace of Passarowitz ended Venice's last war with the Ottoman Empire. The Republic from now on was to pursue a policy of neutrality; in the end it neglected to keep up her military fortresses and to modernize her army.
The Most Serene Republic enjoyed an extended period of peace; with it came economic prosperity. Venice was a center of culture; it had 160,000 inhabitants, 7 opera houses. Painters Canaletto and Tiepolo, composer Vivaldi lived and worked here. The 18th century saw the beginnings of tourism, and Venice was a major attraction to tourists of the time. One of the most famous sons of Venice was Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, diplomat for a while, in 1755 sentenced to 5 years in prison, from where he fled to France, where he established the state lottery in 1757.
Venice managed to stay out of the Wars of Polish and Austrian Succession (1733-1735, fought mainly in Italy, resp. 1741-1748).
Venice's port found competition when Trieste, in Austrian territory, was proclaimed a free port in 1719, Ancona in the Papal State in 1732. The bulk of the Venetian fleet by now was made abroad, mostly in the Dutch Republic or England. Products of the Venetian glass industry, such as mirrors, continued to enjoy popularity all across Europe.
In 1758 a Venetian - Carlo Rezzonico - was elected pope; he took the name Clement III. As a center of international trade, the practice of religious tolerance was a matter of diplomatic importance. There were a Greek Orthodox church, a Jewish synagogue, a mosque and, since 1707, an Armenian monastery within the city.

Bergamo, from Walled Towns
DOCUMENTS The Venetian army in the XVIII. century, by Filippi Editore Venezia, illustrations with comment in poor English
Images of Doges 109-111 (G. Corner), 112-114 (A. Mocenigo, C. Ruzzini, A. Pisani), 115-117 (P.Grimani, F. Loredano, M. Foscarini) 118-120 (A. Mocenigo, P. Renier), from venezia.net
Casanova, History of my escape from the prisons in the Republic of Venice called the leads, posted by Dr. John, English translation
REFERENCE John Julius Norwich, A History of Venice, NY : Vintage, 1989 : The Eighteenth Century : 1718-1789, pp.583-605

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 9th 2002, last revised on March 24th 2006

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