Main Article Content
The history of the Alps is a very interesting example to examine the government of commons from the early modern period to the nineteenth century, in particular in the Brescia area but also, in similar forms, in mountain territories of the Venetian Republic and Northern Italy. In the ancient social organization, this government was entrusted to an assembly of each village (called vicinia) and formed by the “original” inhabitants (originari), i.e. members of the families living from time immemorial, and “new original” inhabitants (nuovi originari), later admitted to the assembly. Starting from Germanists and Marxist analysis, historical studies on village communities have shown that this system was not a primitive communism, but a relationship between public and private spheres, in a difficult but effective balance of power. The aim of this work, within the framework described, is to understand how the vicinia managed the common resources with a great capacity to protect the environment and guarantee important elements of democracy, then compromised by the economic modernization.