* boys clothing: European royalty -- Italian city states and regions

European Royalty: Italian City States and Regions

Figure 1.--This painting shows Charles VIII of France at an early stage of his Italian campaign entering Florence (1494). Divided Italy for much of modern history was like a magnet for powerful European powers. Not only France, but other European powers (including Austria, Germany, the Normans, Ottomans, and Spain) also tried to conquer Italy. As Italy was divided into small, often feuding states, it was not Italian resistance, but the competing forces of other larger European states that for the most part prevented Italy's conquest. The painting is by Giuseppe Bezzuoli, painted in 1829.

The monarchial lines in Italy are very complicated because after the Fall of Rome, Italy during the the medieval period broke up into a number of small principalities, including the Papal states, and some independent city states ruled as republics, the most important being Venice. Italy became a battle ground for more powerful kingdomes to the north, especially France, Germany (the Holy Roman Empire), and Spain. The Italian cities and regions have fascinating histories. They covere a range of political organization including republic, monarchy, and theocracy. Many have histories far predating the Romans, othrs were founded only after the coming of the Barbarians and the collapse of Rome. Besides the Italian cities there were the offshore islands, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. Many of the statesare best known for the msgnificent art they sponsored. The Paspascy in Rome was a major sponsor abndthe Pspsl State continued into the 19th century. Florence was especially brilliasnt in art history. The norther court sttes (Ferrara, Mantua, Milan, and Urbino) also stood out. There the artists (Belleni, Caravaggio, Leonardo, Divinci, Micaelangelo, and others) and patrons (Borgias, d'Este, Medici, Montefeltro, and otherrs) mix with magnificent art, depavity, and violent struggle. Ruling fmilies, mercinary soldiers, humanist courtiers populaste the paintings of some of the most brilliant artists in history as Europeamn art moved into the modern age.


Bologna has a lhistory that far predates the Romans. The area around Bologna was settled in the Bronze Age before 1,000 BC by people called the Villanovese. The Villanovese were conquered by Etruscans, the first great ancient civilization on the Italian peninsula. As other people of northern Italy, Bologna were conquered by the Celts before the move north by the Romans. Under the Romans, the city became known as Boronia. The city prospered within the Roman Empire for over 400 years. Boronia with the decline of ome was attacked by a succession of Germanic barbarians: Visigoths, Goths, and Lombards. The most terrible of the northern invaders were the central Asian Huns led by their great chief Attila. The Lombards for a time unified Italy. After the Lombards, the papacy and German emperors stuggled to control Bologna and the rest of the Italy. Bolgna was strastegically located at the north of the Italian Penisula. It was an imprtant city with one of the first European universities (1088). The city was prosperous from craft industries in demand from the less developed countries of northern Europe. As in other important Italian cities, political factions formed around rival nobel families championing the papacy or German emperors which at times degenerated into civil war. The city was for a time dominated by the Guelfi (Guelphs), who suported the papacy. Later the Ghibellines seized control. The Bentivoglio's fomented a popular rebellion during which their palace was destroyed (1501). The papal armies subsequently added Bologna to Papal State, although papal comntrol was at times tenuous. This continued until Napoleon's invasion of Italy (1796) and the redrawing of the map of Italy. After Napoleon's defeat, the Congress of Vienna returned Bologna to the papacy. The papacy, however, found it difficult to maintain control over such a large and prosperous city where there were increasing demands for secular govrnment and Italian unification. Bologna and the rest of the region was a center of support for the new Italian kingdom in the 1860s. Bologna as an industrial city became known for its support of socialists and communists. Mussolini's Fascists seized power and supressed other political powers. Mussolini led Italy into World War II (1940), but his Government fell and the Allies invaded Italy (1943). The Germans invaded Italy to prevent the country's fall to the Allies. Bologna with the strength of the sicialists and communists became a center of resistance against the Germans. After the war the city became a centre of radical politics and voted strongly against the monarchy in the 1946 reforendum. The city strongly supports Democratici di Sinistri, the leading democratic party of the left in modern Italy.


Corsica has been a subject of a territorial dispute between Mediterranean states. Corsica was seized by Arabs in the ?? century. Genoa had through its trading wealth acquired trading concessions and territory throughout the Mediterranean world. Genoa and Pisa in the 11th century cooperated to drive out the Arabs. Genoa retained Corsica, but then fought a debilitating war with Pisa over Sardinia. France forced Genoa to cede Corsica, its last outlying possession, in 1768 and has since been nominally French. Napoleon was born in a Corsica only recently seized by the French. He spoke with a strong Corscican accent when he came to France to study at a military academy.


The first historical mention of Ferrara occurred in the 8th century AD. Documents refer to a "ducatus ferrari�" (Duchy of Ferrara). A Desiderius pledged the Duchy to Pope Stephen II (757 AD). These documents indicate that in the early medieval period that Ferrara was already an established political entity. The Duchy was rule by Longobards and then directly by the Papacy. Pope John XV awarded Ferrara to Thebald of Canossa (986). The popes and the Holy Roman emperors became involved in a power struggle beginning in the 11th century. Ferara's strategic location and commercial importance meant that it like other northern Italain cities was deeply invplved in that conflict. The powerful families divided into Ghibelline and the Guelph factions. As in some other northern Italian cities, there was some movement toward local city-based autonomy. The Este family is one of the most important princely families in Italy. The family is believed to be of Lombard origins. The Guelph faction in Ferrara helped install the Este family the city government. The Este family became the leaders of the Guelph are papal party in Itlaian politics and often lead the papal armies. The family, however, at times was opposed by the papacy. The Papacy after the death of Alfonso II seized control of the city and began a period of direct rule. Ferrara became a frontier province of the Papal State.


Florence may have been occupied in the neolithic era, but no real historical informatuion exists until the Roman era. The city developed to become the most importan Roman city in northern Etruria. The importance of Florence declines with the Barbarian invasions of the 5th century. Florence was ravaged by the fighting between the Lombard and Byzantines. Interestingly Florence like some other Italian cities developed republican institutions. It is not fully explained why republican cities developed in the middle of medieval Europe. It was the Meduci that brought feudal rule to Florence as well as overseeing perhaps the greatest floweing of Renaissance thought and art. It has never been explaine how such a small city could have produced such extrondinary genius. Florence was constantly caught in the conlicts between larger European powers and unable to compete because of its small size. After the Medici, Florence was riled by the house of Loraine and then after the Napoleonic War, the Austrians before finally becoming a pat of the new Kingdom of Italy.


Genoa in about the 10th century AD became a free commune governed by consuls. It became an important maritime power in the Mediterranean. Genoa joined with Pisa in the 11th century to drive the Arabs out of Corsica and Sardinia. Both sides fought to contro Sardinia and fought protracted wars. Genoan naval forcesc triumphed in the battle of Meloria (1284). The Crusades opening trade to the east made fortunes for Genoan mercgants. The Genoan Republic acquired possessions and trading privileges over an emense ara of the Mediterranean world, extending from Spain to the Crimea. Genoa's expansion and its military defense were largely financed by a group of merchants who in 1408 organized a powerful bank, the Banco San Giorgio. Genoese policy in the eastern Mediterranean, however, clashed with Venice, another naval power. The two Republics engaged in extended wars, finally ending with the Peace of Turin (1381), slightly to Venice's advantage. The Genoese Republic was weakened from within by factional strife between Guelphs and Ghibellines, representing the nobles and the popular party. Te Republic in an effort to reduce this fractiinal fishing, in 1339 the first doge (chief magistrate) for life was elected. Genoa with its emense wealth fro trading, gained control of the neighboring cities of Liguria, but behan to lodse its outlying possessions. Rival factions in the city began to form alliances with foreign powers (mostly France and Milan). Beginning in the late 14th, foreign powers gained control over Genoa, while preserbing nominal independence. The revered seaman and statesman Andrea Doria, managed to reclaim Genoan independence. He sponsored a new constitution in 1528. The rising power of Turkey to the east (closing trade routes to the East) and the Atlantic countries (opening mariim trade routtes to the East) spelled the end to the aspirations of both Genoa and Venice. Genoa fell under Spanish, French, and Austrian control. The Austrians were expelled by a popular uprising in 1746, but in 1768 Genoa had to cede Corsica, its last outlying possession, to France. Genoa like the rest of Italy was affected by the Revolutionaly and Napoleonic wars. Aristocratic rule was ended by the Ligurian Republic. After Napoleon became emoeror, he formally annexed the Republic to to France in 1805. The Congress of Vienna in 1844 united Genoa and Liguria with the Kingdom of Sardinia.


Napoleon created a Kingdom of Italy. It was expanded with the Trentino and Alto Adige (the latter fiercely defended by Andreas Hofer).


Mantua was a fortified city in norther Italy occupying two islands formed by the Mincio River. Mantua became a dukedom in the late Medieval period. The city was ruled for some time by the Bonacorsi family The history of Mantua is intertwined with that of the Gonzaga family, amajor Italian princely family. The family descended from Filippo Gonzaga (c1150- ) through Abramino di Conradis di Gonzaga ( -1210). Luigi Gonzaga (1267/68-1360) was a leading Guelph nobleman who in 1328 became Captain of Mantua after expelling the Bonacorsi. The Gonzaga family then ruled as sovereigns of Mantua 1328-1708 in part through support by the German rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. The Gonzagas supported one of the most glitering courts in Europe. The family was deposed when during a rare instance in Gonzaga family history the family supported the French (1708).


Milan is believed to have been founded by Celtic tribes, who settled in the northern Italian Po river valley (7th century BC). The Romans as part of their conquest of Italy seized the city (3rd century BC). The city was called Mediolanum, meaning middle of the plain. The city was important because it set astride trade routes linking Rome with northwestern Europe. This until the industrialization of the city in the 19th center was a key factor in the city's prosperity. It was in Milan that Constantine issued the edict granting Christians freedom of worship within the Empire (313 AD). Milan's location as a rich city along established trade routes resulted in pilage and chaos during the barbarian invasions following the fall of Rome. Milan formed a commune town council to givern it (11th century) and achieved considerable growth and prosperity. The Holy Roman emperor, Frederick I (Barbarossa) launched a campaign to add to his Italian possessions. He attempted to capitalize on internal Italian conflict and attacked Milan (1162). The Italians in a rare show of ynity opposed Emperor. The local towns formed the Lega Lombarda and defeated the Emperor's forces (1176). Milan became dominated by a series of powerful families (mid-13th century). These families inclided: the Torrianis, the Viscontis, and the Sforzas. Under the these dynasties, Milan grew and became a major force in northern Italy and became known as the Duchy of Milan. The Duchy then came under foreign control. First there was Spanish rule (1535) After the War of the Spanish Successiin, Milan was awarded to Austria under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). The Austrian imprint on Milan is large. Emperess Maria Theresa left the city La Scala and the Palazzo Real in her favorite shade of yellow. Major changes came with the French Revolution and Napoleon. Milan was the capital of the Cisalpine Republic (1797). Later Napoleon created the Italian Republic with Milan again its capital (1802). It was in Milan that Napoleon was crowned King of Italy (1805). Napoleon's defeat resulted in the resestablished of the old regimes. The Congress of Vienna awarded Milan to Austria (1814). Austria and France fought a short war (1859). During that war forces commanded by Victor Emmanuel II and Napoleon III defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Magenta. Milan was then incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy (1860).


The Greeks founded a colony at what is modern Naples (about 1000 BC). The Romans conquered Naples (4th century BC). Under Roman rule, Naples achieved considerable economic and cultural prosperity. The Bay of Naples and Capri became a popular holidays site. The city was seized by the Ostrogoths after the fall of Rome. The famed Byzantine general Belisario laid siege to Naples and used the extensive complex of aqueducts, passageways and tunnels to enter and take city (536). Naples became an independent Duchy of Byzantium (763 AD) and a key center for the Byzantine Empire and its efforts to control Italy. This autonomous status under Byzantium lasted for nearly 4 centuries. The Byzantines rule was followed by the Normans who made Naples a part of their Kingdom of Sicily. Emperor Frederick II initiated a rich cultural era during which University of Naples was founded (1224). Under the Anjou dynasty Naples again became the capital of a kingdom and considerable growth of the city occurred. King Alfonso of Aragon took Naples (1443). under Aragon rule many churches and monuments were built and the city became a cultural mecca. Aragon rule evolved into Spanish rule with the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. There was an failed popular uprising led by Masaniello (1647). There was a short period of Austrian rule (1707-1734) after which Naples again became an autonomous Kingdom inder Charles de Bourbon. Naples during the Napoleonic Wars was ruled ny the Bonapartes. The Emperor Napoleon gave the throne of the Kingdom of Naples to his brother Joseph (Giuseppe) Bonaparte and later his brother-in-law Murat. After the defeat of Napoleon, crown of two Sicilies was returned to the Bourbon dynasty. Garibaldi entered the city (1860). A plebiscite was held and the population decided to join the Kingdom of Piedmont which then became the Kingdom of Italy (1870).

Napoleonic Republics

With Napoleon's entry into Italy there came also the new ideas of liberty diffused from the French Revolution and these had an immediate effect. After the French occupation of the territory of the Papal Legations in 1796, in August of the same year the ducal government of Reggio (Emilia) was overthrown and in the following December the Repubblica Cispadana was proclaimed. This latter included the rest of Emilia and adopted for the first time a flag with the present-day white, red and green colors. On June 29, 1797 the two republics were joined in the new Repubblica Cisalpina and towards the end of the year the Repubblica Ligure was formed. At the beginning of 1798 the rest of the Papal States were occupied and turned into the Repubblica Romana, while the pope had to seek refuge in Tuscany. The next year (in January 1799) it was the turn of Naples, where a group of intellectuals and aristocrats formed the Repubblica Partenopea, while King Ferdinando IV had to flee to Sicily. A republican government was then also established in Tuscany. But the dream of liberty seemed of brief duration. The absence of Napoleon, on the Egyptian Campaign (1798-99), favored a coalition of the great European States allied with the Russian czar and the English monarchy. As quickly as it had arrived the French army wasforced to withdraw from the peninsula leaving the way open to the restoration that was to be particularly violent at Naples (June 1799). The Second Italian Campaign began with the resounding victory of Marengo (June 14, 1800) and ended with the Peace of Luneville (February 9, 1801) whereby France regained control over Italy. The republican ideals having been replaced by Napoleon's dynastic aspirations, the Repubblica Italiana, direct heir of the Cisalpina with the addition of the Venetian domain, was established on December 28, 1805 and then transformed into the Kingdom of Italy on March 31, 1805.

Papal State

The temporal power of the Papacy expanded in the 11th century and began to challenge that of the Holy Roman Emperors. A major conflict was waged over the Investiture of churc officials. The Concordat of Worms in 1122 conformed the right of the cardinals to ellect the Pope. The pope's tempral and spiritual aurhority was challenged by the French Revolution. Napoleon himself vassilated on policies toward the Pope and the Church. Having once removed the Pope in favor of a republic, Napoleon decided to restablish the Pope's authority over part of his territories was re-established. Later both and Tuscany and the Papal States were incorporated in the new French Empire (Peace of Sch�nbrunn, October 14, 1810).


The youngest son of Bourbon King Philip V of Spain conquered Parma, in Italy, during 1748, and became Philip, Duke of Parma (1720-65). He married the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Louis XV of France (1710-74). Their son was Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, and his grandson was Louis, made King of Etruria by the French in 1801. Charles Louis, son of Louis, was subsequently driven from Etruria by the French in 1807, and made Duke of Lucca in 1815 by Napoleon's conquerors, who simultaneously made Napoleon's Austrian widow, Maria Louisa, Duchess of Parma. On the latter's death in 1847 Charles Louis received Parma in exchange for Lucca. His son, Charles III, Duke of Parma, was in turn succeeded by his son, Robert, who then lost the duchy upon its annexation to Italy in 1860.


Napoleon assigned the territories of Piombino, Lucca, Massa and Carrara as a duchy to Napoleon's sister Eloise.


Pisa along with Genoa and Venice was one of the great seafaring Italian city states. Pis was located south of Genoa. j, Genoa and Pisa are located on the western or Mediterannean side of the Italian Peninsula just north of the Trhenian Sea in Tuscany. Pisa emerged as a powerful maritime republic (late-11th century). Pisa ships crried the Crusaders to the Holy Land and plied the Mediterranean competiung with Genoa and Venice. The great era of Pisa ended when her navy was defeated by Genoese fleet (1284). The harbor silted up and the days of Pisa as an imprtabnt power ended. The great treasures of Pisa date from this era: the Duomo (Cathedral), the Bapistry, and the better know BellTower, the faned Leaning Tower. Ghibeline Pisa had to fend itself from the expanding power of Guelphic Florance. Florence defeated Pisa and ended its existebce as an independent polity. There was a school of sculpture fouded by Nicola Pisano (13th-14th centurues). The University of was founded (14th century). The Council of Pisa was held here in an effort to end the Great Schism (1409). Galileo was born in Pisa abd both studied and taught at the University. The city ws bady damaged in Worlkd war II, but the three great treasures survived with relatively little damage.


The Borgia family is most assovciated with Italy, but was of Spanish origins. While of enormous importance and widely known, the rule of the Borgias lasted only a century. The family dynsty was founded by Alfons who was a key adviser to King Alfonso of Aragon and became Pope Calixtus III (1455-58). The Borgia attempted to use the papacy to secure the fortues of the family. The Church career of his nephew Rodrigo advanced rapidly. Rodrigo was the next Borgia pope--Alexander VI (1492-1503). Alexander became the most controversial of the secular Renaissance popes, and his surname Borgia became largely associated with the debasement of the papacy. Alexander use the papacy to advance his family, especially his son Cesare. He also became notorious for lavish living and carnal enjoyment of women. POpe Alexander dispatched his son Cesare to subdue the cities of Romagna in central Italy. Romagna was a feudal fiefdom of the papacy, but the rulers had exerted considerof independence for generations. Alexander's plan was create a new central kingdom that would rival the other important Italian states (Naples, Florence, Milan and Venice). Cesare was appointed commander of the papal armies. Cesare was suposedly the inspiration for Machiavelli's The Prince. He is widely believed to have murdered his brother Juan and his sister's husband. The Borgia have come to represent the ruthless Machiavillian diplomacy and sexual corruption of the Renaissance Papacy which eventually led to the Protestant Reformation. GTe family's excesses made them the bitter enenies of the other Italisn dynasties, esoecially the Medicis and the Savonarolas. Pope Alexander's effort, however, ultimately failed. Cesare's power was based entirely on Alexander's patronage. When his father died, Cesare's hoped for a Borgia kingdom died with him. [Hibbert] Cesare's sister Lucretia was even more notorious than her brother, although no one really knows how much truth is in the many lurid tales written about her. Lucretia maried Duke Alfonso I d'Este of Ferrara.



Garibaldi's military campaign (1860-61) suceeded in unifying Italy in the nane of the King of Savoy who became the first king of an unified Italy. The Savoy dynasty ruled Savoy and Piedmont (northern Italy) from the 11th centtury, Sicily (1713-20), Sardinia (1720-1861), and after 1861 a unified Italy until 1946). The dynasty was founded by an 11th century count who held lands in Savoy and Piedmont. Through successful marriage policies and diplomacy his successors expanded their holdings in France, Switzerland, and Italy. One important factor was control of the mountain passes between France and Italy proved to be very lucrative. This was an important assett in helping Savoy emerge as the mpst important Italian state. This is one of many examples of the important role geography plays in history. Amadeus VIII acquired a ducal title in 1416. Savoy lost its Swiss possessions in 1536 and the French King Francis I seized the rest of the duchy. Duke Emmanuel Philibert in 1559 arranged for the restoration of his duchy in 1559 and made Turin in northern Italy his capital. His grandson Victor Ameadeus II became (1713) was made king of Sicily for his role in the War of the Spanish Succession. Sicily was exchanged (1720) with Spain for Sardinia, and the state became known as the kingdom of Sardinia. Victor Emmanuel I (1759-1824), King of Sardinia (1802-21), received Sardinia's mainland Itlalian territories in the restoratiion following Napoleon's fall (1814-15). His reactionary rule led to a poplar uprising, and he was forced to abdicate. In 1831 Charles Albert, of the cadet line of Savoy-Carignano, became king. He committed Sardinia in the Risorgimento, and his son, Victor Emmanuel II, became (1861) King of Italy. Victor Emmanuel II's son, Humbert I (r.1878-1900), was assassinated. Humbert's son and successor, VictorEmmanuel III, abdicated after World War II. His son, Humbert II, reigned briefly (1946) before Italy became arepublic.


Arabs gained control of Sicily in ?? as well as much of southern Italy, threatening Rome. Pope Leo IV called for aid from Louis II, the freat grandson of Charlemagne. He checked the invaders, but after his death the Arabls over ran much of southern Italy and the Pope was compelled to pay tribute. Gradually the Arabs were pushed south. The Normans also seized Sicily from the Arabs in 1127. By the mid 13th century, Manfred, son of Emperor Frederick II was ruling rhe Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. France began to play a greater role in Italian affairs beginning in the late 13th century. The Pope appealed to Charles of Anjou, brother of King Louis XI of France for help in the struggle against the German Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Empire. Charles overthrough Manfred. The last Hohenstaufen, Conradin of Swabia, failed in his attempt to recover the Kingdom and in 1267 was put to death. Sicily in 1282 revolyed against French rule and put itself under the power of Aragon, a Spanish kingdom.


Napoleon transformed the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was transformed into the Kingdom of Etruria. Later both and Tuscany and the Papal States were incorporated in the new French Empire (Peace of Sch�nbrunn, October 14, 1810).


Urbino is an ancient town located in central Italy. It was a settlement of Celtic and Umbrian populations. It was municpium of Urbinum Hortense of Umbria/Urvinum Mataurense under the Romans. Umbino was a dukedom. It was ruled by Federico of Montefeltro (1444-82), He as one of the great enlightened Renaisance prince of the 15th century. He attracted some of the greatest men of the Renaissance in his effort to create the ideal humanist city. These included Piero della Francesca, Leon Battista Alberti, and Baldassare Castiglione (left), who used Urbino as a setting for his book Il libro del cortegiano (Book of the courtesan). The book became a kind of handbook for courtly behaviour. Duke Federico has enlightened ideas about both governance and culture. Federico conceived a State organised upon rationality. He designed the palace which dominates the town with this principle on mind. As a physical symbol of his state, the design of the palace rejects the idea of separation and defense. He wanted a palace which promoted the circulation of people and ideas. His palace which he began building soon after becoming duke (1447) is of solid structure with external harmonious slenderness and functional interiors. Today the town is still dominated by the ducal palace and a free university (1564). Urbino is also the birtplace of Rafael considered by many to be the greates of the Renaisance artists.


Venice was a republic for much of modern Italian history. Venice unlike many Italian cities was not important during the Roman era. The marshy islands of the Venetian lagoon were considered in hospitable. The isolated easily defensible islands, however, became refuges during the barbarian invasions of the 5th centuries and 6th centuries AD. The refugees built villages on rafts. At first wooden posts driven into the subsoil for these rafts. Such porimative beginnings became the foundations of the famed Medieval and Renaissance palaces. The early population centered Rivo Alto which becane known as the Rialto where the highest point in the lagoon was located. Venice for a variety of reasons unlike the rest of Europe evolved into a republic. There was no grant of land to a Feudal lord. Early Venice had a tenous relationship with Bizantium which provided some security. Through much of the Republic's existence there was a varying, but crucial relationship with Byzantium. The Venitians began electing a chief magistrates or doge (697). Venice adopted St. Mark as their patron saint. The apostle's remains were smuggled out of Alexandria (828). St Mark's Basilica was built to house them (1094). The Repubblica Serenissima played an important role in building provided ships from its growing navy and mnerchant fleet played an important role in the Crusades. The Venetian fleet played an important role in the First Crusade organized by Pope Urban II (1095). The Venetians played an even more important role in the 4th Crusade (1202) in which the Venetians and their Norman allies seize and pillage the city and set up a Latin Republic. Booty from Byzantium such as the famed four horses can still be found in Venice. Venice developed a thriving commercial empire which grew during the Crusades. The Venetians came to dominate much of the Eastern Mediterannean. The rule of the doge was overseen by the Great Council on which members of the city's powerful and moneyed families sat. Venice was involved with controntations with other Italian trading city states, especially Genoa. After several inconclusive battles, the Venetian fleet defeated the Genoese at the Battle of Chioggia (1380). Venice than began expanding its mainland territory, especiall afte the city population was devestated by the Plague (1348). The fall of Constantinople (1453) was a turning point for Venice. The Portuguese explorer Vasca da Gama rounded Cape Horn making possible direct trading links with the East (1498). This ended the monopoly Venice had by controlling the Eastern Mediterranean. The Council of Ten locked the city's Jews into the Ghetto (1516). Also Europe was changing. Venice did not have the ability in the long run to compete with the Ottomons and the much larger nation states that were developing in Europe. The Turks had developed a navy to destroy Byzantium and that navy now began to sweep the eastern Mediterranean. The Turks took both Cyprus in (1570) and Crete (1669). Other plagues struck killing as much as one-third the population (1630). The Turks force Venice to surrender Morea (1718). This is the effective end of Venetian maritime empire. Thus Venice was a shadow of its former self when the Napoleonic Wars began in Europe. The Italian political and territorial picture, which at the end of the 18th century seemed to have stabilized, rapidly disintegrated in the face of Napoleon Bonaparte's first military campaign across the peninsula so as to successfully attack the Austrian Empire on its southern flank. After the Peace of Paris (May 16, 1796) reached with the neighboring kingdom of Savoy, that of Campoformio (October 17, 1797) marked the end of the now enfeebled Republic of Venice. The latter was exchanged with Austria for the Duchy of Milan, which went to form the Republica Transpadana (November 1796).


Hibbert, Christopher. The Borgias and Their Enemies (1431-1519).


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Created: October 20, 2003
Last updated: 11:28 AM 8/25/2020