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The Lorraine reform

In the final period of the government of Gian Gastone de' Medici, the administrations of Monte dei Paschi and the Monte Pio suffered significant financial problems. But with the death of Gian Gastone in 1737, the Medici line died out, and Tuscany passed under the House of Lorraine, who infused new energy into the bank. With the edict of 1759, the potential of the Monte was increased, but at the same time its administration was subjected to government control. In these years, the Monte often had difficulty responding to the growing requests for loans, given that the sale of its bonds could not exceed the limit of its guaranty fund, which more than once was increased by the government at the bank’s request. During the twenty-five years of Pietro Leopoldo's reign, beginning in 1765, government control of the Monte increased significantly, and in particular, in the final decade of his government the bank underwent major structural changes, the first of which was the unification—in 1784—of Monte dei Paschi and the Monte Pio, under the name of Monti Riuniti (United Banks). Moreover, the Monte magistrates’ jurisdiction over criminal and civil affairs was definitively abolished. Then, in 1786, it was decided that the new Sienese Civic Community would elect every three years eight Deputies—i.e., managers—of the Monti Riuniti among the nobles of the city. Also in the Deputation was the Superintendent or Provveditore, who was already nominated by the sovereign. Almost all members of the local landed aristocracy, these Sienese nobles never lost sight of the ties between the Monti and the territory and institutions of Siena. The Monte frequently made charitable contributions, deliberated in order to deal with problems outside the normal routine, such as the disastrous earthquake that struck Siena on 26 May 1798.
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Last update 17.03.2009