The sale of magistracies began in the 1670s, when the government of the last Habsburg king, Charles II, introduced the measure in a desperate attempt to tap all possible sources of revenue.
The corregimiento of Quezaltenango, the high magistracies of Huehuetenango, Atitlan, Suchitepequez, Verapaz (all in modern-day Guatemala) and San Salvador and the governorship of Soconusco (the coast of modern-day Chiapas)(12) sold for between 4,000 and 6,000 pesos.
These appointments were an early example of the Dukes' gradual departure from the Florentine tradition of filling key judicial and administrative magistracies with men serving short and rotating terms by a process of extraction overseen by the office of the Tratte.
Beyond lineage, the prerequisite for political participation in Ducal Tuscany was personal membership in the Council of 200, the assembly drawn from those who had passed scrutiny for magistracies. Most Captains were members of the 200 before joining the Bigallo.
Renaissance Italian judicial systems have been described from many angles: law codes, magistracies
, criminals, punishments, and extra-judicial settlements.
were created for the purpose of supervising the judicial, fiscal, and economic affairs of the mainland, yet, as Ferraro emphasizes, the pragmatic Venetian rulers always understood and acted upon the principle that their hegemony "could only rest on collaboration with local powers" (18).
Outside foreign affairs, above all in giving directions both to dependent cities and Florentine magistracies
on behalf of petitioners, Lorenzo more or less has his own way in these 115 letters, as when he intervenes with the appropriate officials at the request of Arezzo to have this favorite Medici city made exempt from a new tax (V, 251-2).
Two concluding chapters describe the executive magistracies
that possessed certain judicial powers; and a sampling of court cases for the years 1425-28, from which the author draws conclusions about "philosophies of prosecution and profiles of criminality."