110. The Servi War Part 3 1490 Venetian Republic "The crueler war is, the sooner war ends." Old Venetian Maxim By nature of being a revolt sparked by an agricultural crisis the Servi wars were short due to the exhaustion and hunger of the combatants. Despite its fleeting nature the war was a clash of cultures between the feudal and city-state polity against the centralist Venetians. Some cynical observers would note that it was a fight for mutually exclusive privilages between the Servi and the Oligarchs. By 1488 the mainland was under Venetian occupation and a majority of its populace too hungry, scared, and exhausted to continue. With its triumph the Venetian Republic proved that its meritocratic Servi was stronger, though not necessarily better than the defeated city-states. As the cities of Terrafirma were already hungry when a Venetian army that took over the countryside it was only a matter of time until the city starved. The exception were cities such as Ferrara and Cremona which were too strategically important with Venetian commanders opting to trade lives for time. Through a combination of local collaborators and generous negotiation (which can be renegotiated later, backed by the Venetian military) the cities of Terrafirma returned to Venetian control much diminished from their former glory. Terrafirma's trade networks, already fragmented by ancient regionalism and strained by an agricultural crisis broke down with the chaos of revolt and nearly one in ten of the urban population perished. Another one in ten would soon follow as vengeful soldiers took it upon themselves to exact justice against the rebellious cities that resisted, paying the deaths inflicted in the past. Finally, as the mainland was secured the Venetian Inquisition returned in force implementing the considered policy of the Patricians as opposed to ad hoc wartime responses. Seeking to decapitate and divide the mainlanders the Inquisition engaged in a series of manhunts and public executions with collaborators being compelled/ordered to participate. Thinking themselves the next victims due to the executions and the borders becoming steadily more policed thousands of mainlanders fled for foreign lands carrying whatever they could, their claims, and their grudges. Despite the depopulation in the cities the majority of the populace resided in the countryside and were relatively unaffected as fewer rural regions revolted and they were less affected by the agricultural crisis. For the Venetians there was much to do in the vital months following reconquest, thousands of exiles with claims and grudges were making their way around Christendom promising unicorns to anyone willing to patron them, rebels and civilians had to be judged and sorted especially those that held church offices, brigands needed to be dealt with, infrastructure had to be restored, and more still yet the senate was enthralled in a political crisis. The Soldo, named after the copper coin/bill equivalent (11USD$) that it cost to purchase an issue was a mass-produced weekly summation of news from the empire. Read in coffeehouses, salons, and plaza and being read to the illiterate the residents of the empire had access to fiery articles detailing the "treasonous and greedy oligarchs of Terrafirma". With so much access to information, even if they had to wait weeks at the remote ends of the empire the traditionally passive masses were galvanized to endure rising prices and wartime shortages against perceived traitors. Yet this was a double edged blade, the participation of the masses had allowed the Republic to fight half its subjects without distraction, the financial might allowed the Republic to avoid raising taxes avoiding tax revolts and economic contractions, but now the creditors wanted taxes for repayment and the masses didn't want taxes. Everyone wanted a say on the new taxes but not everyone had a say as only the Patricians and Orginarii had any direct access to the senate.  Reflecting changes in Patrician attitudes and the shift from trading city towards empire the Republic has increasingly shifted from direct taxation (head taxes, gondola taxes) towards indirect taxation on trade goods as the later was easier to measure, implement and enforce bureaucratically. For many Patricians which owned businesses and stakes throughout the Republic the tax was seen as fair and efficient and an increase was only logical and secondary to concerns on the mainland. For the colonial and exalted Patricians did not oppose indirect taxes but, rather the entrepôt policies which favored Venice. For the Orginarii all of which were wealthy, just not Patrician wealthy the problem was a matter of responsibility; that is they were expected to pay for what was in their view the mistakes of the more represented Patricians and demanded more say in government. Normally only about the rough hundred Patricians that made up the various committees and the hundred and twenty of the Pregadi that handled daily affairs would be consulted for decisions but the issue affected even the poor marginalized Patricians and those employed in the bureaucracy showed up. Numbering at 1,600 the number of Patricians in Venice staggered any attempt to come to a consensus. While the mired in deadlock some of the Originarii sponsored Patricians took to transcribing senate correspondence for the benefit of their backers, writing which inevitably ended up in more hands than intended. Unlike the old times where word of mouth was the main source of communication, a process that took days and was embellished every step of the way Venice now had the Soldo which provided daily updates. Whether the Patriciate liked it or not the residents of the city were going to participate in politics as angry men and women crowded into the Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Plaza).   IOTL around the 1550s the official Venetian newspaper was called the gazeta, for a coin with a french-loan word in the 1570s. ITTL the gazeta simply doesn't exist yet and the soldo (copper coin) is instead the bastardized name for which foreign newspapers took on, in modern terms a single newspaper would cost about 11$ for an modern American - that is pricy but affordable and available. 12 soldo = 1 lira, 12 lira = 1 ducat, 15 ducat = annual wage of labourer, 40 ducat = annual wage of skilled workers, wages in Venice are double that of colonial regions.  Indirect taxes are, for the most part broad in scope, elastic, targetable, easier to implement, but regressive, cyclical, and inflationary. Due to the difficulty of assess personal income/wealth for taxation indirect taxes are much easier to implement as all one had to do was count the amount of goods travelling along transport routes; of course excessive tariffs leads to corruption and smuggling. There's also the psychological effect of indirect taxation, people simply don't take well to an paying an perceived extra amount at the point of purchase, in contrast indirect taxes are concealed in the price of a good and "less aggravating" to consumers, the trade off is the lack of civic consciousness-people simply aren't that invested in government expenditure when taxation isn't immediately evident. Indirect taxes are often elastic, that is they could be adapted on the fly as trade was a constant stream of tariffs as opposed to the lump-sum method of direct taxation. Indirect taxes could be targeted at specific goods, often sin or luxury goods in the minds of the senate. Indirect taxes are also broad in scope, ensuring that everyone who buys things are taxed as opposed to the narrow tax base that comes from direct taxation and the often shoddy surveying of the age, of course this also makes indirect taxes regressive as it falls on everyone equally regardless of their means or income. Indirect taxes are cyclical, that is to say that they are dependent on trade and will diminish in times of crisis. Indirect taxes might be inflationary, depending on which economic school you subscribe to.  Just as IOTL the Pregadi has retained its name and most of its functions.