History of Italy

History of Italy : Etruscans

History of Italy : Italy for its morphology, always has been a country with many populations through years. Located in the center of Mediterrean Sea, Italy is a brige between Africa, Europe and Near East. First settlements were yet in the prehistoric period, but one of populations that has left us many historical and archaeological testimonies was for sure that of the Etruscans. History of Italy.

Nowadays the origins of this population aren’t very clear, also because their language isn’t from the stump of Indo-Europeans languages and even if we know the Etruscan alphabet, in that its derives from Greek alphabet, not enough texts have been received to be able to understand the language, which quickly disappeared also due to the rapid Roman expansion in Etruria. Etruscans populated some areas of the center of Italy, in particular Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. History of Italy.

Thanks to the optimal position of the Italian peninsula, trades with other populations, favored the settlements of Etruscans in Italy, yet from the beginning of the 9th century B.C. Etruscans, who we can define as founders of laws and judiciary in Italy, established several city-states, first with a monarchical mold and after, in the 5th century B.C, with an aristocratic mold (namely led by aristocratic families).

The Etruscan expansion in the other regions of the Italian peninsula, began from the 7th century B.C, in fact they came to check a large area of the peninsula: from the Po Valley, to Campania. The Etruscan presence was not well seen by the natives, in fact city as Rome, didn’t want to submit to the dominion, after a period in which the Etruscan dynasty of Tarquinii reigned in Rome, in 509 B.C. the Republic was proclaimed and the Etruscans were expelled. From the 5th century B.C. onwards began a slow decline of the Etruscan power, in fact to the north Celts drove them from the Po Valley and to the south the Greek cities, which at first had established peaceful relations with the Etruscans, repulsed them with a war that culminated in a naval battle near Cuma, in 474 B.C. History of Italy.

Art

Etruscans are so well known for their pottery, particularly for the creation of buccheri, that is, pitchers realized with black and glossy ceramic decorated in relief, whose production from the 7th century b.C., spread also out of the Italian peninsula. We also know of the Etruscans their skill in creating frescoes and in their knowledge of chiaroscuro techniques. History of Italy.

Religion

Etruscans were influenced from the Greek civilization, especially in religious contex, infact we find many divinities from Greek pantheon in the Etruscan one (between these Tinia, the lord of lightning, corresponding to Greek Zeus). the Etruscans, like the Greeks, believed in life after death. They imagined it similar to the earthly one, originally they cremated the dead and laid the ashes in urns called canopes.

Later they adopted the burial and buried the corpses in the hypogea.

Rome from birth to principality

The History of Italy: As tradition, Rome was founded by Romulus in 8th century B.C. in fact his name gave the name to the city.

We know that the official date was set on 21 April 753 B.C. by Marco Terenzio Varrone calculating backwards the periods of reign of the Capitoline kings, about 80 years for each king.[1] But Varrone dating isn’t reliable because for some scholars, is too high and for others too low, anyway thanks to archaeological evidence, we know that the area of Lazio, was inhabited yet from IX th century B.C. and the real city of Rome was the results of a phenomen called sinecism (unification of political units), lasted several centuries,

History of Italy, History of Italy timeline
The History of Italy timeline

The first kings of Rome are generally considered to be purely mythological figures, since the dating proposed by Varro – who considers a total of 244 years for the seven monarchs – is most likely too short. First king was Romulus, who gave to the city also first political, military and legal institutions[2], he died in mysterious way and was welcomed among the gods as Quirino[3].

The second was Numa Pompilio who reigned between 716 and 673 B.C. his name is typically italic and he instituted the office of pontifex maximus and the division of the year in 10 months.

The third king was Tullio Ostilio until 641 B.C. defeating Sabines and conquering Alba Longa. The successor Anco Marzio, from 640 to 617 B.C. fouded the first colony, Ostia. The existence of the last three kings was ascertained because, as we say before, Etruscans invaded Rome, and the dinasty of Tarquinii reigned to Rome until 509 B.C. , year when citizen hunted Etruscans from the city. From this moment until 29 B.C. Rome was a Republic; from the first period of Roman Republic, we know the social conflict between Patrice’s and plebeians.

Patrice’s were elite class of roman citizen, they had privilege’s, in spite of plebeians, citizens who hadn’t political or social rights.

After years of political war between these two classes, plebeians had their politician representatives and the access to judiciary in the middle of IV century B.C. Romans started a massive expansion in central-southern Italy, also favored by the need to find new lands to distribute to the Roman plebs[4]. The History of Italy Timeline.

The wars against the Italic populations, against the Gauls, the Carthaginians and the Macedonians, will lead to the consolidation of dominion over Italy and to the start of expansion in Spain, Macedonia and Africa. The problems connected to such a large expansion, that the Republic had to face, were enormous in fact  Roman institutions were until then conceived to administer a small state, now provinces extended until Asia Minor. When Romans arrived to Greece, they discovered their culture, that was much more developed and from this moment  on the cultural level of Romans grew, they knew rhetoric, philosophy and literature. The History of Italy Timeline.

We have a conflict between two lines of thought ( conservatives and progressives); these two camps were represented by two power groups of equal importance: the cultural circle of the Scipios, which gave Rome some of the most gifted military commanders in history (such as the most famous Scipio the African), and the circle of Cato, who fought fiercely against the Hellenization of the Roman way of life. Moreover, the continuous wars at home and abroad, gave an enormous quantity of slaves, who were usually employed in the farms of the Roman patricians, with tremendous repercussions in the Roman social fabric. In fact, the small landed property quickly went into crisis due to the greater competitiveness of the slave estates[5]. The History of Italy Timeline.

The impoverishment of the smallholder class generated the birth of the so-called urban underclass: all those families forced to leave the countryside took refuge in Rome, where they did not have a job, giving rise to social tensions. The History of Italy Timeline.

From the 1th century B.C. , the Roman Republic began to yield under the power of prominent figures, who for example making themselves interpreters of the needs of the less favored masses, will lead to different civil war, such as Caesar against Pompeo. Gaius Julius Caesar played a pivotal role in the transition of the government system from the republican to the imperial form. He was dictator of Rome at the end of 49 BC, in 47 BC, in 46 BC. And for this reason considered by Suetonius the first of the twelve Caesars, later synonymous with the Roman emperor. We know him as a capable military, for his military campaigns in Gaul and Britain, but he was the first to create an unofficial alliance for the sharing of power with Gneo Pompeo Magno and Marcus Licinius Crassus, they created the first triumvirate.

After Crassus death in 53 B.C. , Caesar collided with Pompeo for the power of Rome, in fact in 49 B.C. when Caesar returned from his military campaign in Gaul, led his legions across the Rubicon, pronouncing the famous words “alea iacta est” (the die is cast) and unleashed the civil war; the year after, he defeated Pompeo in Farsalo, Caesar became the undisputed head of Rome.

Caesar as dictator, initiated a process of radical reform of society and government, reorganizing and centralizing the republican bureaucracy. His actions provoked the reaction of the conservatives, infact a group of senators, led by Marcus Giunio Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and Decimo Brutus, conspired against him by killing him, on the Ides of March 44 BC.

After Caesar death, his adopted son, Octavian, claimed his heredity, together with him, Lucio Pinario and Quinto Pedio had been appointed heirs, who owned the remaining quarter of Caesar’s estate; only Octavian, however, could take, as the only adopted son, the name of the deceased, thus becoming Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian. Marco Antonio as consul and head of the Caesarian faction at that time held control of the assets of Caesar himself, postponed the payment, however, citing the need to wait for a lex curiata of the Senate to ratify the will of the deceased. Octavian in order to get many of the Caesarians to take his side against Antonio, decided to pledge his possessions, to advance to the people the sums that Caesar had left in his will and to carry out the games for the victory of Pharsalus.

For theese reasons, Senate approved Octavian as legitimate heir of Julius Caesar. Octavian to be able to carry out his other projects, resented himself as a candidate to replace a plebeian tribune, who had just died. His candidacy met with the opposition of the consul Marco Antonio, this will be one of other misunderstandings led the two of them to conflict. When in October of 44 B.C., the Senate’s support for Octavian became more pressing, Antonio decided to regain control of the situation by recalling the legions stationed in Macedonia to Italy. Faced with that threat, Octavian then recalled Caesar’s veterans loyal to him. The History of Italy Timeline.

On April 14 and April 21 Antonio was defeated in the battle of Forum Gallorum and in the battle of Modena; Octavian returned in Rome victorious and he got himself elected consul with Quinto Pedio ( the latter approved the lex Pedia against caesaricides). From his new position, Octavian wanted to restore his relation with Marco Antonio, for this reason, he talked with Pope Maximus Marco Emilio Lepido. The three of them met to Bononia ( now the italan region of Bologna) and created the second triumvirate. The pact, recognized by the senate, unlike the first triumvirate, provided for the division of the Roman territories. The History of Italy Timeline.

In October 42 BC Antonio and Ottaviani, left Lepidus to the government of Rome, clashed with the Caesaricides Marco Giunio Bruto and Gaius Cassio Longinus and defeated them in two clashes in Philippi, in eastern Macedonia[6]. Octavian, Marcus Anthony and Lepidus proceeded to a new division of the provinces: Numidia and Africa proconsularis were left to Lepidus, to Anthony, Gaul, Transpadania and the Roman East, Italy, Sicily, Iberia, and Sardinia and Corsica. The History of Italy Timeline.

Through the years between 38-33  B.C. because of the tightening of relationships between the protagonists of the triumvirate, the covenant pact was dissolved and Octavian faced first Lepidus, who wanted the domain on Sicily, and after Anthony, which in the meantime was in Egypt with Cleopatra and wanted to gave her all his roman territories. For this reason, in 32 B.C. Marcus Anthony and Cleopatra were defeated in the famous battle of Actium; Egypt begun the last roman province and Octavian was the first imperator of Rome. The History of Italy Timeline.

Octavian, once he received the necessary powers from the Senate and the Roman people, began to take measures to give Italy and the Provinces a period of peace, after more than a decade of civil wars: in fact with the advent of the principality of Octavian, a long period of internal peace began. History of Italy timeline.

In this period of Pax, Octavian spent large sums of money to supply Rome with reserves of grain, water and for the erection or restoration of public buildings, he created a dense road network with an excellent level of maintenance; divided Italy into eleven regions enriching it with new centers; justice and roman right were changed; he promoted the economic, trade and industrial revival through the unification of the Mediterranean area and reorganized the financial administration of the Roman state. In fact, he attributed a salary and a discharge bonus to all the soldiers of the imperial army, he awarded a salary for public service for all representatives of the senate. History of Italy.

Also Octavian considered important to preserve the purity of the Roman race, therefore to avoid that the latter could mix with foreign and servile blood, Octavian was very reluctant to grant Roman citizenship, also setting precise rules regarding liberation. Octavian restored some ancient religious traditions that had fallen into disuse. For all and other reasons the was proclaimed August. History of Italy.

The Roman principality, that is the first form of government of the empire started by Augustus, for all the 1th century was a territorial expansion of Roman empire. The principality lasted till the III century. In this period, we have the succession of different dynasties, both with dynastic and non-dynastic succession:

– Giulio/Claudia (27 B.C.-68 A.D.)

– Flavi (69-96 A.D.)

Adoptive emperors (96-138):

– Nerva

– Traiano

– Adriano

_______________________

– Antonini (138-193)

– Severi (193-235)

During the III century we have a crisis caused by the raids of different populations, as Barbarians and Sassanids and the Roman Empire fell into a military anarchy that lasted about 50 years.

In 284, with the rise of Domitian, we have the division of the Roman Empire, thanks to the so-called tetrarchy (the division of the empire in four parts each with a regent).

When in the 306, Constantine became the new emperor, Christian worship spread in all the reign and Byzantium became the new capital, this is the beginning of the end of the old Roman Empire.

During the 5th century, Rome was attacked by Visigoths, in the famous episode remembered as lot of Rome; after that, in the 476, the last emperor of the city of Rome Romulus Augustus, was deposed by the Babar king Odoacer.

The barbarian invasions:

 

From this moment the peoples who lived in the borders of the old Roman Empire began to appear inside the Italian peninsula. This historical period, which begins yet in 166 and lasted until the 5th century, is defined as “the barbarian invasions”.

From the 5th to the 7th century, we have the so-called Roman barbarian kingdoms as:

– Ostrogoths of Theodoric in Italy

– Vandals in North Africa

– Angles and Saxons in Britain

High Middle Age:

The invasions were the prelude of the Middle Age; the timeline of this period is different from historians to historians, some indicate as the beginning of the Middle Age the death of the Emperor Theodosius (395), others from the fall of the Western Roman Empire, with its end to discovery of America (1492).

Considering that we are analyzing the history of Italy, we can say that the beginning of Middle Age begins with Lombars of Alboino in 568 and finish with the descent of the French king Charles VIII in 1494.

The Middle Age is divived in High and Low Middle Ages and unlike the common belief that sees the Middle Ages as a dark age, during this period we have a period of splendor in arts, architectures, literature.

During the Lombars domination, Italy was divided in Langobardia Maior and Langobardia Minor.

Substantially the first comprised the pulsating nucleus of the Lombard kingdom with the capital Pavia, the second, instead, was formed by the southern Italy, with main duchies of Benevento and Spoleto.

During the 7th century we have an important king, Rotari, he reigned from 636 to 652; he is famous for his edict, the first written collection of Lombard law, the new legislation, of Germanic inspiration, introduced elements derived from Roman law, replacing the feud, that is private revenge, with the guidrigildo, that is the compensation in money established by the king.

The Lombard reign will find pace and higher prosperity only during the 8th century thanks to the king Liutprand, infact during this period there was the so called “lutprandean rebirth” especially in the arts and creativity.

After the death of Liutprand the last Lombars emperor was Desiderio, he was beaten, due to the pope’s request, by the king of Franks Charlemagne in 774, the latter assumed the title Rex Francorum et Longobardorum (King of Franks and Lombards).

The role of the pope, which was subjected to the control of the Germanic kings of the past centuries, finally regained its autonomy. During the Carolingian rule, the driving force of teaching was established which was to become the Palatine school (a school made up of intellectuals), near Aache.bCharlemagne, also, standardized the liturgy, the sacred texts, and created a style of writing, the famous Caroline script, which resumed the fluidity and lexical and grammatical accuracy of classical Latin.

What allowed the development and consolidation of the culture of the Germanic peoples in Italy?

Christianity

 This was one of the most powerful glues that, starting from the Roman-barbarian kingdoms, allowed coexistence and later integration between two distant worlds: the Romanesque and the Germanic, favored also by the progressive integration between Latin law and Germanic law and by the cultural intersection between the Germanic elements and those of more ancient formation, of Latin derivation.

During the 9th century, after a period of prosperity under the Frank domination, Arabs began to ravage the borders of the Mediterranean Sea, in fact they invaded the Sicily and the coexistence in Italy between the Byzantines and the Lombards ceased and bitter fights began, this was also accelerated by the ascent of Otto I to the throne of Germany. The founder of the Holy Roman Germanic Empire, in fact he was crowned Emperor by the Pope and attacked the Byzantine possessions in the South.

Low Middle Age

During the reign of Otto I, was created the figure of bishop-count, this figure is an ecclesiastical feudal lord invested with the benefit of a county by the emperor. The ambiguous position of this figure was the basis of a dispute that led the papacy and the empire to clash over their appointment: the Pope claimed for himself the right to appoint them, as bishops while the empire claimed the same right, in how much vassals. In reality, at the origins of the dispute, known as the investiture struggle, there was the Privilegium Othonis of 962, that is a legislation according to which the election of the Pontiff should have taken place only thanks to the consent of the Emperor; this law was abolished in 1059 during the Lateran Council. The fight for the investitures intensified with the emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII and continued among the successors of the Pope and the Emperor until 1122 with the agreement of Worms.

After the Arabic domination and this period of conflict between Papacy and Empire, during the 11th century, the people of the Normans came to southern Italy from Normandy.

The Normans tried to improve relations with the papacy and between 1061 and 1091 Ruggero I of Altavilla began the conquest of Sicily by defeating the Arabs several times (only in 1130 was created the reign of Sicily). The Byzantines, on the other hand, were definitively expelled and the deadly bastions like Brindisi became Normans. This is combined with a demographic recovery and the introduction of new agricultural techniques; the population tends to move from the countryside to the cities which become the new centers of society. In this period that the oldest university in the western world was founded: The University of Bologna (1088). Many cities in northern and central Italy tend to break away from feudal institutions and become independent of imperial power. This is the case of cities like Milan, Verona, Siena which are constituted Free Municipalities. Unfortunately, the struggles between church and empire resumed and continued, until, from the 12th to the 14th century, they resulted in struggles between two factions: Guelphs and Ghibellines.

Between the 1015 and 1114 in Italy were born the maritime republics:

Amalfi;Venice, Pisa Genoa,  Ancona, Gaeta, Noli and Ragusa.

In 1152 Frederick I Hohenstaufen known as Barbarossa was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He tried to implement a policy of restoring the ancient imperial power, inevitably coming into conflict with the papacy and with the municipalities of northern Italy. The presence of Barbarossa favored the hatred with the papacy, but if his policy had failed, he succeeded through a marriage policy, to install his son Henry VI on the throne of the Kingdom of Sicily thus constituting a territorial unit from Southern Italy to the Germany. Upon the sudden death of Henry in 1197, his son Federico was taken into guardianship by Pope Innocent III who hoped to make him a faithful ally of the papacy. Having ascended the throne in 1220, Frederick II continued the centralizing policy of the Norman kings by signing the Constitutions of Melfi in 1231 which centered power in the hands of the sovereign and reduced the power of the feudal lords.

Excommunicated by Gregory IX for failing to fulfill the promise of a Crusade in the Holy Land, he left for Jerusalem and the pontiff formed an anti-imperial league. On the death of Frederick, the pope tried to install Charles of Anjou, brother of the king of France, on the throne of the Kingdom of Sicily. However, Charles found the opposition of Manfredi, son of Frederick II, but he was heavily defeated in Benevento by Charles of Anjou. This led to the beginning of the Angevin domination in Italy. The Angevin domination imposed heavy taxes, creating discontent among the people, who in 1282 began a bloody revolt in Palermo called the Sicilian Vespers. The rioters called to their aid Peter III of Aragon, who had married the daughter of Manfred. Thus began the so-called War of the Vespers which ended only in 1302 with the Peace of Caltabellotta, following which Sicily would pass to the House of Aragon. The continental part, that is the Kingdom of Naples, remained instead under the Angevin domination.

In the first half of the fifteenth century there was a long period of wars that affected the entire peninsula and was marked by repeated attempts by the stronger states to extend their hegemony. The domination of the seas was instead the objective that opposed the interests of the ancient maritime republics. The general malaise ended in the mid-15th century. We are approaching the period of the Italian Renaissance.

Renaissance:

As we said before unlike the common belief that sees the Middle Ages as a dark age, during this period we have a period of splendor, in fact the Renaissance began during the 14th century when intellectuals rediscovered classical literature, and literate as Petrarca or Dante gave a great thrust to Italian literature and created the basics for Renaissance literature (as well as in the other arts). For this reason as Konrad Burdach said, the two historical periods (Medieval and Renaissance) constituted a single great epoch[1].

When it comes to the Renaissance it is rather difficult to establish a starting date, which varies as can be understood from the discipline of reference; in any case, a notable cultural and scientific renewal developed between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, especially in Florence. The cultural renewal is manifested in the Renaissance with the transformation of school education, the centers of dissemination of knowledge change, the new schools of liberal arts are born, the chancelleries and the courts of princes, the medieval texts disappear and the classics are studied in the language original: Latin, Greek, Hebrew. The Renaissance was a historical period made up of great revolutions, both in the socio-economic sphere with the beginning of colonization, both in the religious sphere, with the Protestant reform of Martin Luther, and in the political sphere with the birth in Europe of national monarchies. , like in Spain or France. Obviously, this also influenced Italy and thanks to the affirmation of the presence of the Medici family in the Florentine republic, the city became the capital of the cultural, artistic and literal “rebirth”. The greatest exponent of the Medici family, Lorenzo called the Magnificent, Cosimo’s nephew. From 1469, there was a coming and going of great artists at his court, of the caliber of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. At the same time, the Duchy of Milan was conquered by Duke Francesco Sforza. After Lorenzo’s death in 1492, his heirs were not as capable, thus contributing to precipitate the Italian Peninsula in the series of conflicts known as the Italian Wars, which marked the marginalization of the Italian states in the Europe of the great national powers.

 

The 17th century:

Until 1714, Spain exercised its dominion over all southern and insular Italy, over the Duchy of Milan.

The fiscalism practiced by the Spaniards provoked various revolts, the best known of this period is that of 1647 by the fisherman Masaniello, in Naples. This was triggered by the exasperation of the humbler classes towards the taxes imposed on food for necessary consumption.  Ten days of revolt forced the Spaniards to accept popular demands, the Neapolitans, even after the murder of Masaniello, managed to drive the Spaniards out of the city and on December 17 the Royal Neapolitan Republic was proclaimed under the leadership of the French Duke Henry II of Guise, who as a descendant of Renato d’Angiò claimed dynastic rights on the throne of Naples.

The 18h century:

An increasingly apathetic administration, the plagues and the demands of a people in poverty for the unjust burden of taxes, as well as the lack of successors, led to the decline of the De Medici family at the beginning of the 18th century.

When Charles II of Spain died at the beginning of the 18th century, Duke Philip of Anjou, nephew of Louis XIV king of France became king of Spain, with the name of Philip V. Consequently England, Austria and the Netherlands, in order to prevent the formation of a strong union between Spain and France, joined the Hague alliance in 1701, starting the war of the Spanish succession, which was fought for twelve years, also involving the Spanish possessions in Italy, until the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, which brought about the end of the Spanish domination in Italy. In this clime of change, after Wars of the Habsburgs, the Habsburg-Lorraine family, a Habsburg dynasty, the result of the marriage between Maria Theresa of Habsburg and Francesco Stefano di Lorena, Italy underwent a stable reorganization over time.  The only Italian states independent from the Habsburg domination were the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia, the Republic of Genoa and the Republic of Venice. Around the thirties of the eighteenth century, there is a timid recovery of the Italian economy which consolidated, especially in the south, in the following decades.

The 19th century:

Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796, as general, commanded the Italian campaign, in order to have the Kingdom of Sardinia abandon the First Coalition, created against the French State, and to make the Austrians withdraw.

On May 15 Napoleon entered Milan, being welcomed as a liberator and with the intention of damaging the pontiff, the Aconitine Republic was proclaimed in 1797, with its capital city Ancona, which was then united with the Roman Republic: however, everything had a short duration, since in 1799 the Papal State was restored.

In 1802 it was then called the Italian Republic, with Napoleon Bonaparte, formerly First Consul of France, as President. On 2 December 1804, Napoleon was crowned Emperor of the French and also became King of Italy, transforming the Italian Republic into the Kingdom of Italy.

Napoleon also managed to settle in the Kingdom of Naples and Rome (much to the Pope’s disappointment), but after the defeat in the Russian campaign, his allies abandoned him and he was definitively defeated in Paris on April 6, 1814, he was forced to abdicate and sent into exile on the Island of Elba.

Restoration:

With the defeat of Napoleon, the period of the Restoration began and most of the kings defeated or expelled during the Napoleonic period returned to the throne. The Bobone dynasty returned to southern Italy, in fact Francesco di Borbone united in a single state entity the Kingdom of Naples and the Kingdom of Sicily, in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, through the Basic Law of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies of 8 December 1816. At the time of the establishment of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the capital was fixed in Palermo but, the following year, it was moved to Naples. In the climate of the Restoration, strong patriotic ideals developed, in fact the Carboneria was born, a secret society born in the Kingdom of Naples in the 19th century.

In 1848, various popular uprisings occurred in Europe, which led to a series of wars of independence against the Austrian Empire. In particular in the Italian domains subjected to the Austrians, they had revolted in Venice with the proclamation of the Republic of San Marco and Milan.

Given the successes achieved, Carlo Alberto of Savoy, sovereign of the Kingdom of Sardinia, decided, with the military support of other Italian states, to take action, starting the first Italian war of independence; the conflict was determined by the riots of the cities of Milan (with the famous Five Days) and Venice which rebelled against the Austrian Empire and gave themselves their own governments.  But the Pope, who feared an Austrian religious reaction that could cause a schism, and Ferdinand II of Bourbon, dissociated themselves from the war and this decreed the failure of the war, at which point the Austrians recovered the lost cities and on 4 August Carlo Alberto he signed the armistice and was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Vittorio Emanuele II.

Birth of The Kingdom of Italy

In 1852 Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, became prime minister of the Savoy Kingdom, who implemented numerous economic reforms in order to make the kingdom of Sardinia more modern, favoring the birth of industry, which until then did not exist in the country. In 1855 the Kingdom of Sardinia, under Cavour’s indication, took part in the Crimean war, sending 18,000 men and this participation allowed the Savoy kingdom to be present at the Paris congress the following year; on this occasion Cavour attacked Austrian behavior and this allowed the birth of sympathies between the English, French and Prussians.

In this way Cavour succeeded in having the war declared, starting the second Italian war of independence, which began on April 29, 1859. After some initial Austrian successes, the war turned in favor of Piedmont, thanks also to the support of Napoleon III of France, however the latter, unbeknownst to the Piedmontese, began a series of negotiations that ended with the cession of Lombardy. Napoleon’s agreements also included the conquest of Veneto and Cavour also had to surrender Savoy and Nice. After the second war of independence, the Kingdom of Sardinia included the territories of the current: Valle d’Aosta; Piedmont; Lombardy; Liguria; Emilia Romagna; Tuscany, Marche, Umbria and Lazio were excluded, subjected to papal dominion, in addition to the Kingdom of Two Sicily, still annexed to the Bourbons. All of this will change thanks to the Garibaldi’s expedition of the thousand.

In 1860 the expedition of the Thousand was organized by Giuseppe Garibaldi, from Quarto, near Genoa; the purpose of the expedition was to overthrow the Bourbon government, to free Sicily.

While Garibaldi, together with the Sicilians conquered the Sicilian island, in the continental part of the Kingdom, the Committee for the National Unity of Naples prepared the way for the conquest of the capital. On 7 September Garibaldi entered Naples, abandoned by King Francesco II of Bourbon and the final defeat of the Bourbons took place on the Volturno on 1 October 1860. Meanwhile, with the insurrection of Potenza, Basilicata declared its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.

In 17 March 1861 was proclaimed the birth of the Kingdom of Italy. It happened with a normative act of the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia (law 17 March 1861, n. 4671) with which Vittorio Emanuele II assumed for himself and for his successors the title of King of Italy[2]. To conquer Veneto and Friuli, in 1866, the Kingdom of Italy declared war on Austria by allying itself with Prussia and thus starting the third war of independence. Rome was still missing to conquer and twice Giuseppe Garibaldi attempted the enterprise in vain (in 1862 and 1867), Prussia came to his aid, which after defeating France, in the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1871), succeeded to free the capital from the rule of Napoleon III. On 20 September 1870 with the breach of Porta Pia, the Italian troops managed to conquer Rome. This event caused a schism between the Church and the Italian State, which was resolved only in 1929 with the drafting of the Lateran Pacts.

The beginning of the kingdom brought Italy into a period of colonial expansion in Africa. In 1884, the Italian diplomats struck an agreement with Great Britain for the occupation of the port of Massawa which together with as sab formed the so-called Italian possessions in the Red Sea which from 1890 assumed the official name of Colonia Eritrea. Colonial interest continued during the governments of Francesco Crispi and the city of Massawa became the starting point for a project aimed at controlling the Horn of Africa. The project of a progressive conquest of Ethiopia ended with the East African campaign (1895-1896) which ended with the Italian defeat in the Battle of Adua (March 1, 1896), one of the rare successes of the African resistance to European colonialism of the 19th century.

The 20th century: Fascism and the two world wars

 Already in the 19th century there was a strong North-South gap, with the situation of great difficulty in the South of Italy compared to the other regions of the country. Also, for this reason Italy, in the period between the 19th and 20th centuries was affected by the phenomenon of emigration. This phenomenon first concerned the North (Piedmont, Veneto) and after 1880, also the South, in fact from the ports of the Mediterranean Sea many ships left for the Americas in search of a better future. Brief History Of Italy. History Of Italy.

The new century was characterized from control of other colonies, as cities in Libya or Egean islands.

As we know in 1914 began the First World War, but Italy entered the war only a year after, exactly in August 21.

After the First World War, which ended in 1919, from which Italy regained territories such as Trentino Alto Adige, there was what is called the twenty years of fascism. This movement, which later became dictator in 1925, was led by Benito Mussolini. Mussolini created the first fighting bundle in Milan, on March 23, 1919, a party of order that wanted to transform Italy. The moment seemed propitious for Mussolini, and a contingent of 50,000 aquarists was gathered in upper Lazio and moved against the capital on October 26, 1922. The black shirts marched on the capital on October 28, without encountering any resistance and two days later the king commissioned Mussolini to form the new government, he was elected Prime Minister and in view of the elections of April 6, 1924, he approved a new electoral law (Acerbo Law) which would have given two thirds of the seats to the list that had collected 25% of the votes. Mussolini, obtained 64.9% of the votes and on January 3, 1925, with a speech in the Chamber, declared himself dictator. During the two-year period 1925-1926 a series of liberticidal provisions were issued: all non-fascist parties and trade union associations were dissolved, all freedom of the press, assembly or speech was suppressed, the death penalty was restored…

The fascist era was officially established on October 27, 1927 and we all know what fascism and the alliance with Nazi Germany brought. On June 10, 1940, Italy entered the war alongside Germany in World War II.

The Republic: the form of government in force up to the present day

Italy came out torn and impoverished by the war and in the last years, from ’43 to ’44, the Italian people reacted to German control, Mussolini being now only a memory and Italy abandoned by his monarch. Partisan resistances, such as those that took place in cities like Naples (the four days), showed Italy’s desire for change and freedom. That longed for freedom was obtained in 1946, when with the institutional referendum of 2 and 3 June, during which for the first time even Italian women had the right to vote, the Italians chose to change the form of state government from monarchy to republic. and elected the delegates of the Constituent Assembly. on 1 January 1948 the Constitution of the Italian Republic came into force and Enrico De Nicola became the first president of the Italian Republic for a few months, later replaced by the economist Luigi Einaudi. Brief History Of Italy.

By

Chiara Madalese
Chiara Madalese

Chiara Madalese

Archeologa presso Acea ATO 2, esperta in archeologia giudiziaria.
Articolista per Archeomedia
Naples, Campania, Italy
History of Italy Milan
History of Italy Milan

Bibliography:

– Cantarella-Guidorizzi la cultura della storia, Vol. 1 2002. The History of Italy Timeline.

– Gaio Svetonio Tranquillo, Vite dei Cesari, libri I-II-III.

– Giorgio Ruffolo, Quando l’Italia era una superpotenza, Torino, Einaudi, 2004.

– Claudio Rendina, Roma ieri, oggi e domani. Volume primo – Roma antica, Roma, Newton Compton Editori, 2007.

[1] Rendina 2007.  The History of Italy Timeline.

[2] Cantarella, Guidorizzi 2002

[3] Ibid. Who were the Etruscans?

[4] Giorgio Ruffolo 2004. Who were the Etruscans?

[5] Ibid. The History of Italy Timeline.

[6] Svetonio. Who wer

[i] Konrad Burdach, Riforma, Rinascimento, umanesimo, G.C. Sansoni, 1935

[ii] From 1911, the date March 17 was estabilished as national holiday.

e the Etruscans?

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