This chapter reviews the early and formative years of Giuseppe Bencivenni Pelli in a Tuscan, an imperial and a Roman Catholic context. It introduces the top officials with whom Giuseppe Pelli had to deal when he was embarking on his career in the late 1750s and early 1760s. The chapter recounts the time when he was composing a draft of his treatise Against the Death Penalty, which provides valuable information about the opportunities that were opening up for new men to work in the local and imperial administration, and about the nature of the relationship between the seat of power in Vienna and the provincial capital of Florence. The chapter also details the more dynamic phase of reform in Tuscany, included, and culminated in, the publication of a new code of laws which, among other things, abolished torture and the death penalty. Ultimately, it elaborates the power of the Papacy and the influence of the Church in the society, culture, economy, law and legal practice.
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