Corfu Island Greece

Corfu Island - The Εconomy of Corfu during the Venetian Εra

Administrative and social management of Corfu during the Venetian era was the same as the other Ionian Islands. They differ only in the management of Εconomics.

Corfu Island History - The Εconomy of Corfu during the Venetian Εra

When Venetians came to Corfu they found the 'fee' system. The fees were often lands or revenue-producing real property held in feudal tenure: these are typically known as fiefs or fiefdoms. The Venetians not only kept this system they assured it. During the four centuries of their occupation the Venetians established very few fiefs. They rewarded all those who offered significant services to the state. The feudal engaged with the commitment to offer ships supplied with armament and men to Venice. So Venice was relieved from taking care and organising in depth the military forces during its acquisition and campaigns. In the beginning of the Venetian era the fiefs were 24. In the end they had decreased to 15.

It was typical that the oligarch aristocracy system of government under which Corfu was governed during the Venetian era did not ensure the prosperity of the people. The few feudal and noblemen had all the benefits, ruling the lands and suppressing the farmers, who were under the strict control of a serfdom state, the system was enjoyed by the toil of all those that could guarantee the basic preservation of this system, while the life and honour of the farmers was in the hands of the hierarchy. The result from this oppression was a revolt of the farmers during the centuries of Venetian domination, their target was the feudal landowners. A few of these revolts resulted in success but there was some spilt blood with the interference of the Venetian governmental forces.

Until the establishment of the Venetians the agricultural production of vineyards was forefront. The conquerors needed to supply their metropolis and expand their trade dealing of basic goods. So they tried to expand the growth of the olive tree production to all its colonies. Since then the development of olive tree produce is dated from that time in Corfu. Which is typical according to what was written by the traveller Scrofani in 1795 he says "We wonder in Corfu what happens to 600,000 zarre of oil, (1 zarre = 33 litres) that are produced every year on the island? They are simply transferred to Venice. What do the Venetian navy do with 100,000 cheqins every half year?  Deliver them to Venice. And for whom do the 60,000 Corfiots work? For Venice."