Italian-English
First posted on March 1st 2006, last revised on March 29th 2006






External Links

For links on general historical dictionaries, go to Historical Dictionary main page

Wikipedia, Italian edition
Dizionario di Storia, posted by PBM, in Italian, not just on Italian history
Printed Reference : Historical Dictionaries, Italy

Book Reviews on Italian History, from History Book Reviews
M.F. Gilbert, K.R. Nilsson, Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy, Methuen : Scarecrow 1999, 500 pp., KMLA Lib.Sign. R 945.08 G464h
Derek Unwin, Dictionary of European History & Politics since 1945, Harlow : Longman 1996 [G]


Note : the following compilations of definitions covers the territory of the modern Republic of Italy, and, prior to 1859/1918, the Italian States.


General Expressions

Anti-Semitism
... in Italian : Antisemitismo. Pogroms against Italy's Jews were committed during the crusades (11th-13th century), in connection with the Black Death 1348 (Jews were falsely accused of having poisoned the wells); Jews were expelled from Naples 1288, 1293, from Rome 1323, in the last years of the 14th century and in the early years of the 15th century Franciscans preached against the Jews, creating a hostile atmosphere. Jews were expelled from Ravenna 1491, from Florence 1494, from Naples 1510 and 1541, from the Papal State 1569; ghettoes established in Venice in 1516, in Florence in 1570. Italy introduced Race Laws in 1938; the Jews of northern and central Italy were subjected to the Holocaust in the Republic of Salo 1943-1945.

Death Penalty
... in Italian : Pena di Morte. Abolition of the death penalty first had been suggested by Cesare Beccaria of Milan, first abolished in Tuscany (1786). The Kingdom of Italy abolished the death penalty in 1889; Fascist Italy reintroduced it in 1926, it was abolished again by the constitution of 1947.

Gypsies
... in Italian : Rom, or Zingani. In 1378, Venice, for her possessions in Greece, confirmed the privileges granted to the Gypsies by the Byzantine Emperors.


1309-1494 ..... go to narrative history of Italy

Duchy of Benevent
... in Italian : Ducato di Benevento, created by Pope Alexander VI. for his son John; later restored to the Papal State. An exclave, surrounded by the Kingdom of Naples (since 1735 Kingdom of Two Sicilies). In the 18th century, on occasions when there was tension between the two countries, Neapolitan troops temporarily occupied Benevent and Pontecorvo.

Bormio
... in German : Worms. Valley in the southern Alps. From 1516 to 1797 it was a territory subject to Graubünden. While most of Graubünden became protestant, Bormio, Italian-speaking, remained Catholic. Treated as subjects, in 1797 the inhabitants of Bormio opted for separation from Graubünden and inclusion in the Cisalpine Republic.

Chiavenna
... Valley in the southern Alps. From 1516 to 1797 it was a territory subject to Graubünden. While most of Graubünden became protestant, Chiavenna, Italian-speaking, remained Catholic. Treated as subjects, in 1797 the inhabitants of Chiavenna opted for separation from Graubünden and inclusion in the Cisalpine Republic.

Condottiere
... in late medieval Italy, the term Condottiere described a military commander in the pay of an Italian commune. Such condottieres often aspired to conquer / establish a fief of their own.

Constantinian Donation
... in Italian : Donazione di Costantino; document accredited to Roman Emperor Constantine (306-337) in which he was supposed to have donated the Patrimonium Petri to the pope, thus having established the Papal State. Humanist Lorenzo Valla proved the document do be a falsification belonging into the 8th century; the donation was genuine, but done by Pippin I., King of the Franks (751-768).

Corsica
... in French : Corse. In the 9th to 11th centuries exposed to Arab raids; in the 11th to 13th century contested by Pisa and Genoa; 1284-1768 Genoan possession. In the 18th century the Corsicans repeatedly rebelled against the Genoese, who in 1768 sold their claim to the island to France.

Ferrara, Duchy of
... in Italian : Ducato di Ferrara. Since the 12th century the city of Ferrara was residence of the Este Dynasty. In 1289/1290 the Este made themselves master of Modena and Reggio; the Este territories were given the status of Duchy of Ferrara in 1452. In 1598 the Este were expelled from Ferrara, limited to the Duchy of Modena; Ferrara was annexed by the Papal State.

Florence, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di Firenze. The city gained wealth in the later middle ages, due to a combination of prospering guilds, Mediterranean trade and the development of an early form of capitalism. The center of the Italian Renaissance. The city acquired much of the Tuscan countryside. In the 15th century the wealthy Medici family established control; they were expelled in 1494, restored in 1512, expelled a second time in 1527, restored in 1530; in 1537 the Republic of Florence was transformed into the Duchy of Florence, which again in 1559 was transformed into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

Genoa, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di Genova. Rose to prominence in the 11th century, when the Genoan fleet contested Arab hegemony in the western Mediterranean. In 1284 Genoa defeated her rival Pisa and gained control of Corsica, which it held until 1786. In the 16th century, Genoa allied herself with Spain; Spanish communications with Milan, and along the Spanish road with the Spanish Netherlands, went through Genoa. Genoan banks financed Spanish policies. The French bombardment of Genoa 1684, and Spain's loss of Milan 1706 harmed Genoa; in 1797 the Republic of Genoa was transformed into a French satellite state, the Ligurian Republic, which in 1805 was annexed by France. The Genoan Republic was restored in 1814, only to be annexed by Piemont in 1815. Click here for more information

Ghetto
... in early modern Italy (Venice : est. 1516, Rome est. 1555, Florence est 1570), the term ghetto described a restricted area within a city, exclusively designated for the residence of Jews. Gates separating the ghetto from the christian parts of town had to be closed by nightfall. Only in 1861 were the ghettoes abolished in the Kingdom of Italy, and Jews granted full emancipation (In Piemont 1848).

Gorizia
... Historic county; belonging to the Counts of Gorizia-Tyrol, since 1500 to the Habsburg Dynasty. Part of the Holy Roman Empire until 1806; in 1809 annexed by France (Illyrian Provinces); 1815 again Austrian. In 1918 annexed by Italy.

Humanism
... in Italian : Umanesimo. Philosophy corresponding to Renaissance. Pico della Mirandola (l'uomo nuovo, the new man) coined the definition of a new man, with dignity and virtue (as opposed to the traditional church definition emphasizing the soul and valuing the body as worthless).

Lucca, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di Lucca. Small historic state in northern Tuscany. 1805-1815 Duchy under Napoleon's sister Elisa; 1815-1847 Duchy under the House of Bourbon-Parma, in 1847 annexed by Tuscany.

Mantua, Duchy of
... in Italian : Ducato di Mantova. The city of Mantua, after a period of being a free commune, was under the Bonacolsi Dynasty 1273-1328, under the Gonzaga Dynasty 1328-1627. In 1530 the territory was elevated to the status of Duchy. In 1627-1630 the Duchy was bone of contention in the War of Mantuan Succession, from 1630 to 1708 by the Dynasty of Gonzaga-Nevers, from 1708 to 1797 under the Habsburg Dynasty, administrated as an annex to the Duchy of Milan.

Milan, Duchy of
... in Italian : Ducato di Milano. Under the Visconti Dynasty (1277-1447), then under the Sforza Dynasty (1447-1535). In 1499-1535 Milan was the bone of contention in a series of wars between France and the Emperor (see Italian Wars); from 1535 to 1706 under the Spanish Line of the Habsburg Dynasty, from 1706 to 1859 under the Austrian Habsburgs (with a brief interruption 1796-1815, when Milan was capital of the Transpadan / Cisalpine / Italian Republic / (Napoleonic) Kingdom of Italy). In 1859 annexed by Piemont-Sardinia (Kgd. of Italy). Click here for more information

Modena, Duchy of
... in Italian : Ducato di Modena. Established as the remnant of the possessions of the House of Este after the fall of Ferrara (1598). 1797-1814 under various French satellite states; 1815-1859 restored Duchy under the Habsburg-Este. 1859 the population approved the annexation of Modena into Piemont-Sardinia (soon to be the Kingdom of Italy). Click here for more information

Naples, Kingdom of
... in Italian : Regno di Napoli. When Aragon conquered Sicily in 1282, the Angevin Dynasty managed to hold on to the mainland section of the Kingdom of Sicily, which came to be known as the Kingdom of Naples (although, in sources, the term Kingdom of Sicily continued to be used). Aragonese in 1442; the bone of contention in 1494 to 1504, then Spanish until 1707. Austrian 1707-1734. Then merged with Sicily to form the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, under a sideline of the Spanish Bourbon Dynasty (1734-1861); 1806-1815 briefly again a separate kingdom under Joseph Bonaparte respectively Joaquin Murat. Click here for more information.

Papal State
... In Italian : Lo Stato Pontificio. Historic state in central Italy; grown out of the Patrimonium Petri. The popes, while head of the universal Catholic church, simultaneously were temporal rulers of the Papal State (or State of the Church). For centuries, Avignon with the County Venaissin, and Benevento and Pontecorvo were exclaves belonging to the Papal State. Temporarily annexed by France 1808-1814; Romagna lost to Piemont (Italy) in 1859, Umbria and the Marches in 1860, Lazio annexed by the Kingdom of Italy in 1870. The Vatican State (since 1929) is the successor of the Papal State. Click here for more information

Parma, Duchy of
... in Italian : Ducato di Parma. Parma was a papal fief; a bone of contention during the 15th century when it was ruled as a statellite of Milan, during the Italian Wars. 1512-1515, 1521-1545 part of the Papal State. Under the Farnese Dynasty 1545-1731, the House of Bourbon-Parma 1731-1801; annexed into France 1802, Duchy restored under Napoleon's Habsburg wife, Marie Louise (1815-1847), then again under the House of Bourbon-Parma 1847-1859. In 1859 annexed into Piemont-Sardinia (Kingdom of Italy). Click here for more information

Patrimonium Petri
... in Italian : territory in central Italy, allegedly donated to the popes / the church by Roman Emperor Constantine (see Constantinian Donation); Lorenzo Valla proved this donation to have been made in the 8th century, most likely by Frankish king Pippin I. The Patrimonium formed the core of the Papal State.

Piemont, Principality of
... in Italian : Piemonte; in English sometimes spelled Piedmont. Historic territory in NW Italy, capital Turin (Torino). In 1046, the Counts of Savoy acquired Piemont, combining both territories in Dynastic Union. The coreland of the Savoy territories; the nucleus of the unified Kingdom of Italy (1861). Click here for more information

Pisa, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di Pisa. In the 11th and 12th century, Pisa engaged in naval warfare against the Moors. Occasionally involved in wars with her rival Genoa, Pisa suffered a defeat at the hands of the Genoese in 1284, which marked the begin of her decline. Pisa soon was outshadowed by her neighbour Florence. 1406-1494, and since 1509 Pisa and her subject territory were part of the Republic of Florence.

Podesta
... strongman in an Italian community; urban dictator. A podesta would reside in a castle-like Palazzo, would inherit his position to his son. Over time, many podestas were ennobled.

Pontecorvo
... Exclave of the Papal State 1463-1799, 1799-1806, 1815-1860, surrounded by the Kingdom of Naples / since 1735 the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. In the 18th century, in times of political tension between the Kingdom of Two Sicilies and the Papal State, temporarily occupied by troops of the former, a fate Pontecorvo shared with another exclave of the Papal State, Benevent.

Renaissance
... in Italian : Rinascimento. A cultural era which witnessed the rediscovery of Graeco-Roman art, philosophy (Humanism) and science. The church lost influence; scholars learnt Greek, studied Greek manuscripts. The movement was centered on Italy; Florence is regarded capital of the early Renaissance, Rome that of later Renaissance. The Medici family of Florence played an important role as patrons of the Renaissance.

San Marino, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di San Marino. A tiny state, consisting of 3 communities with a combined population of c. 30,000, landlocked, surrounded by Italian territory. Independent since 1351. Click here for more information

Sardinia
... in Italian : Sardegna. In the 9th to 11th century exposed to Arab raids; during the 11th to early 14th century contested by the Republics of Genoa and Pisa. Aragonese conquest 1323-1409; ceded by Spain to Austria in 1714, by Austria to Savoy-Piemont in 1718/1720, on the occasion of which Sardinia was elevated to status of a Kingdom. In 1848, Sardinia's parliament cancelled her autonomy, Sardinia from then on ruled from Turin, after Italy's unification from Rome.

Savoy, House of
... In Italian : La Casa Savoia. The Dukes of Savoy acquired the Principality of Piemont, in 1718/1720 the Kingdom of Sardinia. Italy's unification in 1859-1860 was organized as an expansion of Piemont, under the House of Savoy. The monarchy was abolished in 1947 by plebiscite.

Sicily
... in Italian : Sicilia. Arab conquest 827-904; Norman conquest 1060-1090. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily included mainland territory, in 1282 separated as the Kingdom of Naples. Sicily in 1282 was conquered by Aragon, came in the early 16th century by inheritance to Spain. In 1714 ceded to Savoy-Piemont, in 1718/1720 to Austria; in 1734 conquered by Spain, merged with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, capital Naples, under a sideline of the Spanish Bourbon Dynasty (1734-1861). 1799, 1806-1815 Sicily was a separate kingdom under the Bourbon Dynasty, under British protection. Within the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, the Sicilians were rebellious (1820, 1860). Part of the Kingdom of Italy since 1860; home of the Mafia.

Siena, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di Siena. Archrival of the Republic of Florence in the 13th to 16th centuries, ruling over southern Tuscany. Conquered by the Spanish in 1557. The larger part of her territory, with the city of Siena, was ceded to the Duchy of Florence, which in 1559 was transformed into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

Stato
... Italian for state. The concept emerged in Renaissance Italy; it was opposed to the feudal definition of a state prevalent in Europe outside Italy; the state did not need any feudal levy, but instead relied on a bureaucracy and a paid army. Italy's cities were the model of the state.

Stato dei Presidii
... small coastal areas in Tuscany; conquered by the Spanish in 1557. Before they had been part of the Republic of Siena. They were annexed by the (Spanish) Kingdom of Naples. When the map of Europe after the Napoleonic years was discussed at the Vienna Congress, the former Stato dei Presidii was annexed by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

Trent, Princebishopric of
... in Italian : Principato Vescovile di Trento. Established 1027; in 1803 annexed by Tyrol (Austrian). The region is often referred to as the Trentino. Italian-speaking. Attempts to acquire political autonomy for the region failed in 1900. The Trentino was annexed by Italy in 1918.

Valtellina
... in German : Veltlin. Valley in the southern Alps, capital Sondrio. From 1516 to 1797 it was a territory subject to Graubünden. While most of Graubünden became protestant, the Valtellina, Italian-speaking, remained Catholic. Treated as subjects, in 1797 the inhabitants of Valtellina opted for separation from Graubünden and inclusion in the Cisalpine Republic.

Venice, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica di Venezia; byname Serenissima (the oldest). The city of Venice was established by people from the mainland who fled when the Lombards invaded. Early on, Venice was regarded an outpost of the Byzantine Empire, which, based on her strong fleet, in the 11th century began to pursue an independent policy. In the 13th century, Venice began to acquire possessions in the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean, in the 14th and 15th century the Terraferma. Venice lost her independence in 1797, when France and Austria partitioned her territory. Click here for more information


1494-1605 ..... go to narrative history of Italy, Genoa, Milan, Modena, Naples, Papal State, Parma, Piemont, Tuscany, Venice

Candia
... Venetian name for Crete. The island was under Venetian rule 1204-1645 (1669). Click here for more information

Carafa War
... 1556-1557, an invasion of the Kingdom of Naples by forces of the Papal State; it did not result in any political changes. Named after Pope Paul IV.'s family, the Carafa (from Naples). Click here for more information

Corfu
... Venetian (Italian) name for the Greek island of Kerkyra (Korkyra), the largesy of the Ionian islands. Venetian 1386-1797. In 1923, in 1940-1943 the Ionian islands were under Italian occupation. Click here for more information

Council of Trent
... in Italian : Concilio di Trento, 1545-1563. Decided on the Catholic Reform and on the Counterreformation; was dominated by Italian bishops. Click here for more information

Counterreformation
... in Italian : la Contro Riforma. Begun during the Council of Trent (1545-1563). A leading figure in the Counterreformation was Cardinal Borromeo of Milan. While in Italy protestantism had few supporters, the Counterreformation more had the effect of abolishing abuses within the Catholic church and intensifying the control the church had over society.

Cyprus
... in Italian : Cipro. Venetian 1489-1571. Click here for more information

Dalmatia
... in Italian : Dalmazia. at least partially Venetian 1202-1797; contested with Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia, later the Ottoman Empire. The cities of Zara (Zadar), Spalato (Split) were centers of Venetian control; Ragusa (Dubrovnik) long was an independent republic. In 1915, the Treaty of London promised Italy territory in Dalmatia; she got the city of Zara (until 1943).

Fuorusciti
... full term, in Italian : I Fuorusciti di Firenze (the Exiles of Florence). In 1537 Florentine exiles invaded the Duchy of Florence in an attempt to restore the Republic. Click here for more information

Holy League
... In Italian : Lega Santa. Following the success of the League of Cambrai, the threat of French hegemony in northern Italy was perceived by her rivals, and they founded the Holy League in 1510 (Papal State, Venice, Switzerland, Aragon-Castile, the Emperor, England). The War of the Holy League lasted until 1510. While the Allies made some territorial gains, they failed to dislodge the French from Milan. Click here for more information

Index of Forbidden Books
... or List of Forbidden Books, in Latin : Index Librorum Prohibitorum, in Italian : Indice dei Libri Proibiti. The first Roman index was published in 1564 and regularly updated until 1948. An instrument to prevent the spread of Protestantism, and of any literature regarded suspicious by the Catholic Church.

Inquisition
... in Italian : Inquisizione. Introduced in the time of the Council of Trent; responsible for dealing with perceived witches as well as with heretics (Protestants). A famous case was the trial against scientist Galileo Galilei. Because of Italy's political fragmentation at the time, the inquisition was less powerful in states like Venice and Tuscany, more powerful in the Papal State.

Italian Wars
... In Italian : Guerre Franco-Italiane. A series of wars fought over hegemony in Italy. Beginning with the French campaign into Italy 1494-1495 (Neapolitan War, followed by the Milanese and Neapolitan War 1499-1504, the War of the League of Cambrai 1508-1509, the War of the Holy League 1510-1516, the Franco-Habsburg War 1521-1529, the Franco-Habsburg War 1535-1538. While France and the Emperor continued to fight, by 1535 the Habsburgs had established hegemony in Italy and the wars were fought over other bones of contention.

Jesuits
... in Italian : Gesuiti. Order founded in 1534, confirmed 1537/1540; instrumental in preventing the spread of the Reformation and in implementing the Counterreformation. The Jesuit Order was active in higher education, running high schools, colleges, often was charged with censorship, closely connected with the inquisition. In the 1750es and 1760es the Jesuit Order came under political pressure (see expulsion of the Jesuits

League of Cambrai
... Established in 1508 to contain Venice; composed of the Papal State, France, the Swiss Federation, the Emperor, Castile-Aragon, Hungary, Savoy-Piemont, Mantua and Ferrara. The Battle of Agnadello decided the war, which was concluded in 1509. Click here for more information

Morea
... Italian for the Peloponnese. The peninsula was partitioned among a number of Crusader States 1204-late 15th century. Venice held coastal fortresses until 1540, then the whole of the peninsula came under Ottoman control. Venetian 1684-1715, then reconquered by the Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman Threat
... the Ottoman Empire was created by military conquest and as such was a remarkable success story, as its expansion by conquest proceeded over more than three centuries, from the early 14th century to the late 17th century. Click here for more information
The Italian peninsula was threatened by Ottoman naval attacks - Otranto 1480-1481, Castro 1537, Malta 1565. The much celebrated christian victory over the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto 1571 did remove the threat of a full-scale invasion, but sporadic Ottoman raids continued - Castro 1575, Calabrian Conspiracy 1599, Manfredonia 1620.

Reformation
... in Italian : Riforma. In Italy, the Lutheran and Calvinist Reformations had only marginal impact. For one, Luther's bible translation was into German, unintelligible for most Italians. Another reason may lie in the extraordinary density of bishoprics in Italy, which early on acted to prevent the spread of protestantism. There were incidental discussions of Lutheran theses, a Bishop of Trieste, a Duke of Ferrara open to Lutheran ideas; Poschiavo, an Italian-speaking community in Graubünden, became center of a Protestant Italian-language printing press - at a time when the neighbouring Italian states already implemented the policy of screening imported books for suspicious (protestant) material. The acceptance of the Piemontese Waldensians of the Swiss (Calvinist) Reformation in 1532 is the only example of the establishment of a lasting Protestant community in Italy (until 1690). Click here for more information.

Sacco di Roma
... or Sack of Rome, 1527. Pope Clement VII. in 1526 had joined the League of Cognac, an anti-Habsburg alliance. Emperor Charles V., with an army which included a good number of Lutherans, sacked Rome. Pope Clement fled, and never dared to challenge the Emperor again. Click here for more information

Serenissima
... literally : the Oldest (most venerable), a byname of the Republic of Venice

Terraferma
... literally : firm land; term describing the mainland possessions of the Republic of Venice in Lombardy, the Veneto, Friuli.

Tuscany, Grand Duchy of
... in Italian : Granducato di Toscana. The Republic of Florence had been transformed in the Duchy of Florence in 1530; after the acquisition of most of the Republic of Siena, Florence and Siena were merged to form the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1559. Medici Dynasty until 1737, Habsburg Dynasty 1737-1801; restored in 1815, annexed into Piemont-Sardinia (Kgd. of Italy) in 1859. Click here for more information

Uffizi
... palace in Florence, built by architect Giorgio Vasari for Cosimo I., Grand Duke of Tuscany, 1560-1581. Originally planned as an office, it contained an art gallery which was made accessible to the general public in 1765.

Venetian-Ottoman Wars
... 1416, 1425-1430, 1443-1453, 1463-1479, 1499-1503, 1537-1540, 1570-1573. Originally, Venice was the Mediterranean's leading maritime power; the Republic had possessions all over the eastern Mediterranean. The Ottoman Empire was a land power, expelling Venice from the Morea (1503/1540); the Serenissima only held on to a number of strongholds in Dalmatia, and to the islands. From the 1560es onward, the Ottoman Empire started challenging Venice's hold on the islands (Cyprus 1571, Crete 1645/1669). The wars were fought over Venice's Dalmatian, Albanian and Greek possessions, not in Venice or the Terraferma. Continued here

Waldensians
... in Italian : Valdesi. A church denomination which emerged in the 12th century in the Rhone valley. Declared a heresy, the Waldensians moved into remote Alpine valleys where they lived in relative seclusion. In 1532 a Waldensian synod decided to join the Swiss Reformation. The Waldensian communities in the Provence (France) and in Piemont suffered from hostilities; in 1686-1690 the Piemontese Waldensians were expelled (see Dragonnades). Click here for more information


1605-1792 ..... go to narrative history of Italy

Bourbon-Parma, House of
... in Italian : Casa Borbone-Parma. Founded by Philip I., son of Spanish King Philip V., in 1748. In 1801 Ludovico I. ceded Parma to France and was made King of Etruria instead (1801-1807). In 1815 the Dukes of Bourbon-Parma were compensated with the Duchy of Lucca; in 1847 they returned to Parma, ceding Lucca to Tuscany. In 1859 the House Bourbon-Parma was toppled and Parma annexed by Piemont.

Bourbon-Naples, House of
... in Italian : Casa Borbone-Napoli. In the War of Polish Succession Spain regained the Kingdoms of Sicily and of Naples. Both were merged in 1738 to form the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, placed under Don Carlos, son of Spanish King Philip V.; the Kingdom of Two Sicilies henceforth (until 1861) was ruled by a sideline of the Spanish Bourbon Dynasty.

Corsican Rebellions
... from the 12th/13th century until 1768, Corsica was a possession of the Republic of Genoa. In the 18th century, Genoan rule was regarded as oppressive, and the island as almost permanently in revolt (1729-1732, 1733-1743, 1745-1753, 1755-1768. Then Genoa sold the island to France.

Dragonnades
... the usage of regular army to harrass the country's protestant population, confronting them with a choice - convert, resist or emigrate. First implemented by France c.1685; implemented by Piemont against her Waldensian minority 1686-1689. Click here for more information

Enlighternment
... in Italian : Illuminismo. The center of Italian Enlightenment was the north of the peninsula, Florence, Milan, Turin. In the Papal State and in Naples/ Sicily/the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, the church long maintained control and was able to keep free thinkers in line. Cesare Beccaria, from Milan (On Crime and Punishment) is regarded the greatest Italian contributor to Enlightenment thought.

Expulsion of the Jesuits
... In Italian : Espulsione dei Gesuiti. From the Kingdom of Two Sicilies in 1765, from the Duchy of Parma and from Malta 1768.. Pope Clement XIII. dissolved the Jesuit Order in 1773.

Freemasonry
... in Italian : Massoneria. In 1738 the Catholic Church condemned masonry, threatening Catholic masons with excommunication. These measures were undertaken after a masonic lodge in Florence was investigated. Under Fascism, freemasons were persecuted.

Free Ports
... in an early step promoting free trade / breaking with the traditional economy based on privileges, Grand Duke Ferdinand I. of Tuscany proclaimed Livorno (in contemporary English called Leghorn) a free port in 1590. Emperor Charles VI. proclaimed Trieste a free port in 1719. Such free ports attracted traffic away from traditional port cities - Trieste from Venice.

Gorizia Peasant Rebellion
... 1713. A rebellion which broke out in the County of Gorizia, one of many Habsburg possessions; suppressed by Austrian troops. It was caused by severe taxation and conscription (the War of Spanish Succession was going on). Click here for more information

Macchia Conspiracy
... or Macchia Plot, 1701, in Naples. The War of Spanish Succession was in its early stage; the conspirators, Neapolitan nobles, attempted to establish control of Naples and place city and Kingdom under Austrian rule.

Messina Revolt
... 1672-1678. The revolt took place during the Dutch War of Louis XIV.; the rebels were supported by France. When this support was withdrawn in 1678, the rebellion was suppressed. Messina was part of the Kingdom of Sicily. Click here for more information

Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia
... Savoy and Piemont had been in dynastic union under the House of Savoy since 1046 and acquired the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1718/1720. The state, consisting of all three territories, often was referred to after Savoy, as this was where her dynasty originated; it was often named after Piemont, as Turin was its capital and economic center, and often named after Sardinia, because the title King of Sardinia outranked those of Prince of Piemont and Duke of Savoy. During the process of Italian unification, the name Savoy was dropped, as the region was ceded to France in 1861 in exchange for Lombardy. In 1861 this confusing terminology was replaced by King / Kingdom of Italy.

Synod of Pistoia
... In Italian : Sinodo di Pistoia. 1786. A synod attended by the bishops of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. They claimed the Gallican liberties for Tuscany, i.e. the synod claimed to administrate the Tuscan church without interference by the pope.

Two Sicilies, Kingdom of
... in Italian : Regno delle Due Sicilie. Established by the Bourbon Dynasty in 1735, after the Bourbons conquered the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily from Austria in the War of Polish Succession (1733-1735). 1799, 1806-1815 split; in 1815 restored under Bourbon rule by the Vienna Congress. in 1860-1861 conquered by Garibaldi's volunteers, then annexed into the Kingdom of Italy. Click here for more information

Venetian-Ottoman Wars
... 1645-1669, War over Candia; Venice lost Crete to Ottoman Empire
... 1684-1699 Venetian Conquest of Morea
... 1714-1718 Ottoman Reconquest of Morea

War of Austrian Succession
... 1741-1748; in Italian : Guerra per la Successione Austriaca, or Guerra Successione Austriaca. For Italy most important was the Spanish-Austrian War 1744-1748; Bourbon Spain, allied with France and Genoa, failed in her bid to retake Milan from the Austrians. Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia was allied with Austria. In 1748, Austria ceded Parma to Spain. Click here for more information

War of Gradisca
... 1615-1617, War between Austria and Venice fought in Friuli (Gorizia). Caused by pirate raids of Uskoks, living on Austrian (Croatian) soil, conducted against Venetian shipping. Mlitarily, the Venetians had the uper hand; the Uskoks were resettled in the interior. Click here for more information

War of Polish Succession
... 1733-1735, in Italian : Guerra per la Successione Polacca, or Guerra Successione Polacca. Spanish forces retook the Kingdoms of Sicily and Naples; Franco-Savoyard troops occupied Milan. In the peace treaty of 1735/1738, Austria agreed to the French disposal of Lorraine and ceded the Kingdoms of Sicily and Naples to Spain. Click here for more information

War of the Quadruple Alliance
... 1718-1720, in Italian : Guerra di Quadruplice Alleanza. Bourbon Spain attempted to regain her former Italian possessions, in 1714 reluctantly ceded to Savoy-Piemont and Austria. Initially militarily successful, Spanish actions caused Austria, Britain, France and the Dutch Republic to form an anti-Spanish alliance; Spain had to return her conquests (Sardinia, Sicily) and accept the status quo ante. Click here for more information

War of Spanish Succession
... 1701-1714, in Italian : Guerra per la Successione Spagnola, or Guerra Successione Spagnola. Austrian troops, in alliance with Savoy-Piemont and Britain, took Milan (1706) and Naples (1707), expelling Bourbon Spanish forces from Italy. In 1714, Spain ceded Milan, Parma, Sardinia and Naples to Austria, Sicily to Savoy-Piemont. Click here for more information


1792-1815 ..... go to narrative history of Italy

Campoformio, Treaty of
... in Italian : Trattato di Campoformio, spelling variety Campo Formio, signed October 17th 1797 by Austria and France (Napoleon Bonaparte). It ended the First War of the Coalition. The terms were dictated by Napoleon Bonaparte; the Republic of Venice war abolished, her territory partitioned. Austria formally ceded the Austrian Netherlands and the Duchy of Milan, gained Venetia and the Venetian possessions in Istria and Dalmatia as compensation; the Venetian territory west of the Adige river were annexed by the Cisalpine Republic.

Cisalpine Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Cisalpina. Established on June 9th 1797 by the merger of the Cispadan and Transpadan Republics. Capital Milan. In 1797 annexation of the Venetian Terraferma west of the Adige ( Treaty of Campoformio). In 1797 annexation of Valtellina, Bormio and Chiavenna (Hitherto subject territories of Graubünden). August 1799-June 1800 defunct (Austrian occupation, during Second War of the Coalition); 1801 annexation of the Veneto, of the Marches (from Papal State). In 1802 renamed Republic of Italy. French satellite state.

Cispadan Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Cispadana. Formed by Modena and Emilia-Romagna in October 1796; merged with the Transpadan Republic to form the Cisalpine Republic on June 9th 1797. French satellite state.

Code Civile
... or Code Napoleon, in Italian : Codice Civile. In France promulgated in 1804; introduced in the French provinces in Italy as well as in Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy. Cancelled with the reintroduction of the Ancien Regime (1814).

Concordat of 1801
... a peace treaty concluded by France and the Papal State (Napoleon Bonaparte, Pius VII., ending for both the state of war with each other (Second War of the Coalition). France recognized the sovereignty of the Papal State (truncated, wiithout Venaissin, Romagna, Marches); Pope Pius VII. recognized the annexation of the Venaissin, Romagna, Marches; the confiscation of church property in France etc.

Etruria, Kingdom of
... established in 1801 (territory of the former Grand Duchy of Tuscany); granted to the Duke of Parma in exchange for the Duchy of Parma, which was annexed by France in 1802. The Kingdom of Etruria was annexed by France in 1807.

Italy, Kingdom of
... in Italian : Regno d'Italia. In 1805, the Republic of Italy (capital Milan) was transformed into the Kingdom of Italy (Napoleon Bonaparte king). In 1810 Tyrol south of the Brenner was annexed. Terminated in 1814. Click here for more information.

Italy, Republic of
... in Italian : Repubblica Italiana. The Second War of the Coalition had brought the temporary occupation of the territory of the Cisalpine Republic by coalition forces, which regarded the republic illegitimate and restored the Duchy of Milan. In the Treaty of Luneville 1801, Austria recognized French hegemony in northern Italy. The Cisalpine Republic was restored (June 1800); in 1802 renamed Republic of Italy. Capital was Milan; the republic was a French satellite state. In 1805 it was transformed into the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon Bonaparte as king.

Ligurian Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Ligure. In 1797, the Genoan Republic was renamed Ligurian Republic, French-style reforms were introduced and the country became a French satellite state. In 1805, it was annexed by France. Click here for more information.

Lombard Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Lombarda. The Duchy of Milan, during the First War of the Coalition, on the occasion of occupation by French troops (May 15th 1796) transformed into a French satellite republic. Shortly afterward it was reoccupied by Austrian troops, the Lombard Republic abolished, the Duchy of Milan restored. When French troops retook Milan, instead of recreating the Lombard Republic, the Transpadan Republic was established (Nov. 15th 1796).

Neapolitan Republic
... see under Parthenopean Republic

Parthenopean Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Partenopea. Alternative name : Repubblica Napoletana (Neapolitan Republic); established in January 1799; terminated in June 1799. French satellite state. Click here for more information.

Piemontese Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Piemontese. Established in Dec. 1798, capital Turin. Dissolved in June 1799. French satellite state; battleground in the Second War of the Coalition. Click here for more information

Roman Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Romana, proclaimed in February 1798 by French troops invading the Papal State. As they did not succeed in occupying Rome before November 1798, the Anconitan and Tiberine Republics were established in areas held by the French. Following the occupation of Rome, the Tiberine Republic was integrated into the Roman Republic. During the Second War of the Coalition, the Roman Republic proved intenable for French forces; they left Rome in September 1799; Neapolitan troops occupied Rome at the end of the month, restoring the Papal State. In the Concordat (1801), France (Napoleon Bonaparte) recognized the truncated Papal State (without Venaissin, Romagna, Marches)

Sanfedisti
... a peasant army raised by Cardinal Ruffo, to fight the Parthenopean Republic (est. Jan 1799). Full name : Esercito Cristiano della Santa Fede (Christian Army of Holy Faith); by June 1799 they had achieved their goal.

Subalpine Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Subalpina, a French satellite state comprising of the territory of Piemont, capital Turin. Established in 1800, annexed by France in 1802. Click here for more information

Transpadan Republic
... in Italian : Repubblica Transpadana. The former Duchies of Milan and Mantua, merged and transformed into a French-style republic in Nov. 1796; merged with the Cispadan Republic on June 9th 1797, to form the Cisalpine Republic. French satellite state. Click here for more information

War of the Coalition, First
... In Italian : Guerra di Prima Coalizione. 1792-1797. The war began with an attempt of the coalition to suppress the revolution in France. In 1795, Spain and Prussia concluded separate peace with France; in 1796, Piemont did the same; Lombardy, Mantua and Venetia were theatre of war 1796-1797. The war was concluded by the Treaty of Campoformio in October 1797. It had resulted in French dominance in Northern Italy (satellite republics : Piemontese Republic, Ligurian Republic, Cisalpine Republic) and the termination of the Republic of Venice. Click here for more information

War of the Coalition, Second
... In Italian : Guerra di Seconda Coalizione. 1799-1803. France now faced Austria, Russia and Britain as enemies. Briefly, the Kingdom of Naples was battleground (see Parthenopaean Republic); then the theatre of war moved to northern Italy and Switzerland, where the Russian army under Suworov achieved a number of victories. The Cisalpine Republic was overrun, the Piemontese Republic terminated. When Russia, disgruntled about British actions, left the coalition, the rench regained the upper hand, established the Subalpine Republic (annexed 1802) and restored the Cisalpine Republic (in 1802 renamed Italian Republic). The war was concluded with the Treaties of Luneville (with Austria, 1801) and of Amiens (with Britain, 1803). Click here for more information


1815-1861 ..... go to narrative history of Italy, Modena, Papal State, Parma, Piemont, Tuscany, Two Sicilies

Carbonari
... literally : coalmen. A secret organization aiming at overthrowing the Ancien Regime in Italy's various states in the 1820es. Among their members were Garibaldi and Mazzini, who developed the goal of Italian unification (Young Italy, 1831). The Carbonari were held responsible for the movements which brought about liberal constitutions in Sicily 1820, in Piemont in 1821, both cancelled upon Austrian (Holy Alliance) pressure.

Expedition of the Thousand
... in Italian : Spedizione dei Mille. Austrian defeat in the Second War of Italian Independence was a major step toward Italian unification, but a number of obstacles remained, one of them being the large Kingdom of Two Sicilies. Italian patriots rebelled in Messina and Palermo, but alone were unable to overthrow the dynasty. Piemont-Sardinia did not want to directly get involved, as the unification of Italy had to appear as based on the desire of the Italian people, not on the force of Piemontese arms. Thus, Guiseppe Garibaldi, at the head of the Thousand (i Mille di Garibaldi, the Redshirts) embarked in Genoa and shipped to Sicily (March 13th 1860), where their ranks were joined by local volunteers. The expedition enjoyed the support of the British Navy. Palermo fell by March 27th; Naples by September 7th. The fortress of Gaeta held out until Feb. 13th 1861. In the Handshake of Teano, Garibaldi handed over his conquest to the King of Piemont-Sardinia, soon to be King of Italy.

Franco-German War
... in Italian : Guerra Franco-Prussiana, 1870-1871, in English often referred to as the Franco-Prussian War. Click here for more information. France withdrew her forces from Lazio, as they were needed at home. Italian troops occupied Lazio (la Presa di Roma), which was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy.

Handshake of Teano
... in Italian : l'Incontro di Teano (the Encounter of Teano), October 26th 1860. Guiseppe Garibaldi met King Victor Emmanuel II., handing over his conquest in progress (the fortress of Gaeta was still holding out).

Holy Alliance
... In Italian : La Santa Alleanza. Established at the Congress of Vienna 1815. The Holy Alliance (Concert of Europe) was an organization of Europe's (absolute) monarchies promising each other military aid in order to preserve the Ancien Regime. At the Congress of Laibach, Austria was empowered to interfere in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies in order to cancel the liberal constitution there; in 1821 Austria pressed Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia to cancel her liberal constitution. In 1831 Austrian troops, at papal request, terminated revolution in the Romagna; in 1849 Austrian troops terminated revolutions in Parma, Modena, Tuscany and the Papal State. The failure by Prussia and Austria to aid Russia in the Crimean War 1853-1856 meant the end of the Holy Alliance.

Italian Unification
... Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) blamed the weakness of Italy on the political fragmentation of the country. In the wake of the French Revolution came Italian national awakening, the Risorgimento. Guiseppe Mazzini dreamt of a unified Republic of Italy; this dream failed in the Revolutions of 1848-1849. Then Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia made the dream of Italian unification (as a monarchy) their declared policy (PM Cavour). In a series of wars, obstacles to Italian unification were removed : Second War of Italian Independence, annexation of Lombardy, Parma, Modena, Romagna and Tuscany (1859); Expedition of the Thousand (1860-1861), annexation of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, of Umbria and the Marches; Third War of Italian Independence (1866), annexation of Venetia; Franco-German War (without Italian participation, 1870), annexation of Lazio. Piemont-Sardinia, with all her territorial acquisitions, was renamed Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Lazio
... in Latin : Latium. Region surrounding Rome; from the 8th century to 1860 core region of the Papal State. In 1860 occupied by French troops. Lazio, under French administration, was also referred to as the Patrimonium Petri, although it was not identical with the historical Patrimonium Petri. During the Franco-German War 1870, France withdrew her forces and Italian troops marched in. Lazio was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy; Rome became her capital.

Lazzaroni
... Term describing a segment of the Neapolitan poor who depended on handouts by the ruling Bourbon Dynasty. In the 19th century, they remained loyal supporters of the House of Bourbon-Naples.

League of Italian States
... founded by Tuscany, Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia and the Papal State in 1847 as an Italian customs union (the German Zollverein being the model). In 1848, with Milan rebelling against Austrian rule, the League was politicized. Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia sent troops into (Austrian) Lombardo-Venetia to support the rebelling Milanese and called on her fellow League members to do the same. Tuscany and Two Sicilies hesitated; the pope sent troops but then ordered them to halt. The League faltered. See First War of Italian Independence.

Lombardo-Venetia
... Kingdom in northern Italy, created by the Vienna Congress in 1815. United in Dynastic Union with Austria; capital Milan. During the Revolution of 1848-1849 battleground fought over by Italian nationalists and the Austrian army. Following the Second War of Italian Independence, in the Armistice of Villafranca (1859), Austria ceded Lombardy to France, while holding on to Venetia (until 1866).

Lombardy
... in Italian : Lombardia. Historic region, in the 19th century describing the former Duchy of Milan, the former Duchy of Mantua, the Valtellino, Chiavenna, Bormio and the western areas of the former Venetian Terraferma. 1815-1859 part of Lombardo-Venetia; 1859 annexed by Piemont-Sardinia (Kgd. of Italy).

Marches
... in Italian : Marche. Historically, the eastern region of the Papal State, capital Ancona. In 1860 occupied by Piemontese troops, annexed by Piemont-Sardinia (in 1861 renamed Kingdom of Italy).

Nizza
... in French : Nice; city and historic county, located in what is now SE France. Historically part of the Duchy of Provence; when the latter was partitioned in 1483 by France and Piemont, the county was allocated to the latter. French from 1798 to 1815; part of Piemont 1815-1861, then ceded to France. Hometown of Guiseppe Garibaldi.

La Presa di Roma
... From 1860 to 1870 French troops occupied Lazio, prevented the core of the Papal State from being annexed by Italy. In 1870 France had to withdraw her troops due to the Franco-German War, and Italy's forces occupied Lazio without encountering resistance. Lazio was annexed into the Kingdom of Italy, Italy's capital moved from Florence to Rome.

Redshirts
... in Italian : Camicie Rosse. A uniform worn by Garibaldi's volunteers in the Sicilian campaign (Expedition of the Thousand); actually, the number of original volunteers was 1089.

Revolution of 1848
... in March 1848, in Italy revolutions broke out in Palermo, Messina and Milan. While the first two were directed against the Bourbon Dynasty ruling the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, the one in Milan intended to overthrow Austrian rule. Italian patriots looked upon the League of Italian States to come to the aid of the Milanese; Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia did, the pope and Italy's other princes failed to meet the patriots' expectations. Now Florence and Rome rose in rebellion; the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Pope fled. In 1849 the revolutions were suppressed by the Austrian army, the previous rulers restored to power.

Risorgimento
... literally : resurgence. A term applied to the process from the emergence of Italian national consciousness to Italian Unification; concluded with the acquisition of Rome in 1870. Further ambition of acquisition of regions inhabited by Italian-speakers, after 1870. is referred to as Irredentism. Early Risorgimento envisioned the establishment of an Italian Republic (Mazzini); from 1849 onward, Cavour, Piemontese PM used the prevalent sentiment of Italian patriotism to expand the monarchy of Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia.

Romagna
... northern region of the Papal State, capital Bologna. In the 19th century, a center of liberal sentiment. In 1859 the inhabitants of the Romagna rebelled against papal rule and, in a plebiscite, approved annexation of the Romagna by Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia (in 1861 renamed Kingdom of Italy).

Savoy
... in Italian : Savoia, in French : Savoie, in Latin : Sabaudia. Historical region located in the Alps. The Duchy of Savoy emerged out of the partition of the Kingdom of Burgundy (Arelat); the Dukes of Savoy acquired, in dynastic union, the Principality of Piemont and the Kingdom of Sardinia. In the 17th century, Savoy-Piemont gained importance because of her small, but well-trained army, and because of her strategic position (control of Alpine passes). The capital was established at Turin (Piemont). France annexed Savoy in 1798 (until 1815). In 1861, Italy ceded Savoy to France; the region is French-speaking.

Solferino, Battle of
... in Italian : Battaglia di Solferino, fought on June 24th 1859 between Austrian forces on one side, French and Piemontese forces on the other. Decisive battle in the Second War of Italian Independence. When Swiss entrepreneur Henri Dunant saw many wounded soldiers unattended on the battlefield, he was inspired to found the International Red Cross (1864).

Umbria
... Historically, the central region of the Papal State, bordering on the Marches, Tuscany and Lazio (the Patrimonium Petri). In 1860 occupied by Piemontese troops, annexed by Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia (in 1861 renamed Kingdom of Italy).

Venetia
... in Italian : Veneto. Historically, Venice with the Terraferma east of the Adige. Annexed by Austria in 1797, ceded to the Kingdom of Italy in 1805, again Austrian as part of the Kingdom of Lombardo-Venetia 1815-1859, a separate Austrian territory 1859-1866, then ceded to the Kingdom of Italy.

Villafranca, Armistice of
... in Italian : Armistizio di Villafranca. concluded by France and Austria on July 11th 1859, without the participation of representatives of Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia. Austria agreed to cede Lombardy to France, which later ceded it to Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia in return for Savoy and Nizza.

War of Italian Independence, First
... in Italian : Prima Guerra d'Indipendenza Italiana. When revolution broke out in (Austrian-held) Milan in March 1848, Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia declared war on Austria, expecting to be supported by the members of the League of Italian States, most notably the Papal State and the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. The latter two hesitated; Austrian forces ultimatively prevailed (1849).

War of Italian Independence, Second
... in Italian : Guerra d'Indipendenza Italiana, Seconda; 1859, fought between Austria on one, France and Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia on the other side. The Austrians were defeated in the Battle of Solferino; the war was ended in the Armistice of Villafranca, in which Austria ceded Lombardy to France. Italian historians regard Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand as another phase of the Second War of Italian Independence; now Garibaldi's volunteers, logistically supported by the British Navy, fought the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1860-1861). In a third phase the Papal State was occupied by French and Italian (Piemontese) forces (1860), without resistance.

War of Italian Independence, Third
... in Italian : Guerra d'Indipendenza Italiana, Terza. In English, better known as the Seven Weeks War (1866), in which Prussia and Italy fought Austria. Although Italy was militarily defeated (Battle of Lissa), Austria, defeated by Prussia, in the Peace of Nikolsburg, ceded Venetia to Italy.

Young Italy
... in Italian : Giovine Italia. A political organization founded by Guiseppe Garibaldi in Marseille in 1831, which aimed at spreading the idea of Italian nationalism, denied the legitimacy of Italy's monarchies as well as of the Papal State, aimed at their overthrow and at the establishment of a unified Republic of Italy, for most of the time, as an illegal underground organization (in the various Italian states). The organization lost importance in 1849, at which time her basic aims had been adopted by many Italians. Giovine Italia served as a role model for similar organizations throughout Europe.


1861-1922 ..... go to narrative history of Italy

Adowa, Battle of
... (of Adwa, of Adua), in Italian : Battaglia di Adua. Fought in 1896 during the First Italo-Abyssinian War. The Abyssinians (supplied with modern rifles by the French) defeated an invading Italian army and thus maintained their independence. Fascist propaganda would use revenge for the humiliation at Adowa as an argument to legitimate the Italian attack on Abyssinia in 1935.

Adua, Battle of
... see under Adowa, Battle of

Adwa, Battle of
... see under Adowa, Battle of

Alto Adige
... the southern part of the former County of Tyrol (in Italian : Tirolo, in German : Tirol). Austrian until 1918 (it had briefly formed part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy 1810-1813). At the end of World War I, Italian forces occupied all of Tyrol, annecting the region south of Brenner Pass; the annexed territory, reluctantly ceded by Austria in the Treaty of St. Germain, consisted of two parts, the Italian-speaking Trentino in the south and the German-speaking Südtirol in the north. Fascist Italy pursued the policy of Italianization of the latter; after World War II the region (Trentino + Südtirol) was granted political autonomy.
. . . see Unwin 1996 pp.13-14

Benadir
... see under Somalia

Colonial Empire, Italian
... in Italian : Impero Coloniale Italiano. Chartered companies began to acquire territory in Eritrea in 1882, in Somalia in 1889; the Italian government took over Eritrea in 1890, Somalia in 1905. In 1912, following the Italo-Ottoman War, Italy acquired Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and the Dodecanese. In 1934, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were merged to form Libya; in 1936 Italy annexed Ethiopia and merged Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia to Italian East Africa; the latter was occupied by the British in 1941, Libya in 1943, the Dodecanese in 1944. In 1950 Somalia was returned under Italian administration; with Somalia granted independence in 1960, the Italian Colonial Empire ceased to exist.

Colonialism
... in Italian : Colonialismo. A political system, under which chartered colonial companies, or colonial powers, rule countries, in most cases overseas. The incentives for the establishment / acquisition of colonies were multifold - securing control of raw materials and of markets for the national industry, the acquisition of land to be settled, strategic reasons, even colonial possessions as a status symbol. In Italy, after unification, there were voices calling for the establishment of an Italian Colonial Empire; when France proclaimed a protectorate over Tunisia in 1881 / 1883, many Italians felt humiliated, as they regarded Tunisia as a likely object for Italy to acquire. In 1882, an Italian chartered company acquired her first territory in Eritrea.

Communist Party
... see under PCI

Cyrenaica
... in Italian : Cirenaica; prior to the Italian conquest (1911-1912) called Barka, until 1911 an Ottoman province. Capital Benghazi. In 1934, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania were merged to form Libya. The Kufra oasis came under Italian control only in the mid 1930es. Cyrenaica was occupied by the British in 1943; Libya became independent in 1951. Click here for more information

Dodecanese
... archipelago consisting of 12 major islands, located in the southeastern corner of the Aegaean Sea; the largest island is Rhodos (Rhodes; in Italian : Rodi). Ruled by the Knights Hospitaller until 1522, by the Ottomans from 1522 to 1912; occupied by Italians in the Italo-Ottoman War of 1911-1912. Initially. Italy seems to have regarded the Dodecanese as a bait, to be returned to the Ottoman Empire if the latter, in a peace treaty, would cede Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to Italy. The First Balkans War changed the geopolitical situation, as the Ottomans preferred Italian rule over the archipelago over Greek rule over these islands. During World War I, Italy agreed to cede most of the archipelago (except for Rhodos) to Greece, expecting to be compensated in SW Anatolia. As this compensation did not materialize, Italy held on to the archipelago. Occupied by the British in 1944; ceded to Greece in 1947. Click here for more information

Destra Storico
... translates to the Historic Right. Political faction established by Count Camillo Benso di Cavour in Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia in 1849; moderately liberal. Dominated Italian politics until 1876.

Eritrea
... state in Africa, on the shore of the Red Sea. In 1882, a chartered Italian company acquired territory in Eritrea; in 1890 Italy took over the company's possessions and organized them in the Colony of Eritrea. An attempt to expand the colony by conquering Ethiopia in 1896 failed (Battle of Adowa). In 1936 merged with Ethiopia and Somalia to form Italian East Africa; in 1941 occupied by the British. In 1952 annexed by Ethiopia; Eritrea's autonomy was cancelled in 1962. After a long war for independence; the latter was established political reality by 1991. Click here for more information

Fasci di Combattimento
... full name Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, political organization (not a political party) founded by Benito Mussolini in March 1919. It focussed on addressing the perceived threat posed by the ongoing revolution (Red Biennium)

Fiume
... city on the east coast of the Adriatic, located in Croatia, where it is called Rijeka. Until 1918 part of the Kingdom of Hungary; declared a free port in the early 18th century. After World War I, the city was claimed both by Italy and by the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SHS). The city was proclaimed a Free City, belonging to neither Italy nor SHS (1920). That year, Italian adventurer and nationalist poet Gabriele d'Annunzio, with his supporters, took power in Fiume; soon after he was ousted by the Italian Army. Italy annexed Fiume in 1924. In 1945 annexed by Yugoslavia, integrated into the state of Croatia.

Industrialization
... Italy, lacking coal deposits, lagged behind in industrialization; Italy's industries were concentrated in the north, developed in the late 19th century. World War I saw the emergence of new industries - car and airplane production. Torino, Milan, Bologna emerged as industrial centers, Milan as Italy's commercial capital.

Irredentism
... in Italian : Irredentismo. While Italian unification was completed in 1870 with the annexation of Lazio, minor territories with an Italian- speaking population majority remained outside the borders of the Kingdom of Italy - Trentino, Gorizia, coastal cities in Dalmatia. Italian nationalists referred to these as Italia Irredenta. When Italy pursued a neutral policy early in World War I, Allied propaganda offered Italy such territories if she entered the war on her side.

Italo-Ottoman War
... of 1911-1912, also called the Italo-Turkish War; in Italian known as Guerra Italo-Turca or Guerra di Libia. Having entered into a secret agreement with France earlier, in which Italy recognized France's claim on Morocco while France recognized Italy's claim on the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania (with Fezzan) and Cyrenaica, Italy declared war, occupied Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and the Dodecanese Islands. The Ottoman Empire, then facing a coalition of Balkan States in the First Balkan War, agreed to sign a treaty recognizing the Italian acquisitions.

Italo-Turkish War
... see under Italo-Ottoman War

Kingdom of Italy
... in Italian : Regno d'Italia. Proclaimed on March 17th 1861; terminated following a referendum in 1947. In 1861, the Kingdom of Italy historically succeeded the Duchy of Piemont / Kingdom of Sardinia, under the House of Savoy. Italy's capital was first Turin (-1865), then Florence (1865-1870), since 1870 Rome. Technically, Italy was a constitutional monarchy; yet Victor Emmanuel III's refusal to sign a decree placing Rome under the state of siege in 1922 caused the resignation of the cabinet and brought Mussolini into power in 1922; in 1943, the same king dismissed Mussolini. The monarchy was blamed for having condoned Fascism, and abolished by plebiscite in 1947; Italy became a republic.

Latin Monetary Union
... in Italian : Unione Monetaria Latina. Established in 1865 by France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland, later joined by other nations. Their currencies were of equal value (1 French Franc = 1 Swiss Franc = 1 Belgian Franc = 1 Lira); their coins could be used in all member countries. During World War I the union became disfunctional; it was officially terminated in 1927.

Liberalism
... in Italian : Liberalismo. Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia, the nucleus of the Kingdom of Italy, adopted a liberal constitution in 1848. In 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, as a constitutional monarchy. The literacy clause in Italy's election laws (until 1918) prevented the mass of the poor from voting; the call by the pope on Italy's practising Catholics not to accept office, not to run for office and not to vote in Italian elections eliminated most non-liberal political groupings. Italy pursued a free market policy. Italy's liberals got organized in the Sinistra Storica (1876-1882), the Radical Party (PR 1878-1926), the Italian Liberal Party (PLI 1922-1926); Liberals got reorganized after World War II.

Liberal Party, Italian
... see under PLI

Lira
... plural : Lire. Introduced as Italy's national, unified currency in 1861. San Marino and the Vatican State, while minting their own coins, use the same currency. When Italy joined the Latin Monetary Union in 1865, it was placed on par with the French Franc. During and after World War I, and even more during and after World War II the exchange rate for the Italian Lira dropped dramatically. The Italian Lira was abolished in 2004, when it was replaced by the Euro.

Literacy Clause
... prior to the introduction of universal adult manhood suffrage in Italy, just after World War I, in Italy election regulations contained a literacy clause; adult men had to be literate in order to be allowed to vote. This eliminated illiterate peasants and workers at the voting booth; in effect their interests were underrepresented.

Metric System
... in the French provinces of Italy, in the Kingdom of Italy applied 1802-1812; in 1875 Italy was among the signatory powers of the Paris Meter Convention.

PCI
... Partito Comunista Italiano (Italian Communist Party). Broke away from the PSI in 1921; banned in 1926, reestablished in 1943, terminated in 1991. For her post-war history, see under Eurocommunism
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.233

PLI
... Italian Liberal Party, in Italian : Partito Liberale Italiano. Established in 1922, dissolved in 1926. Predecessors : Sinistra Storica, Radical Party (PR). The PLI was reestablished in 1943 as an undergroyund organization; legal since 1945, dissolved in consequence of Tangentopoli in 1992.

Popular Party
... see under PPI

PPI
... Italian Popular Party, in Italian : Partito Popolare Italiano. By 1919 the pope gave up the policy of forbidding practicing Catholics to hold office, run for office and even to vote in Italian elections (since 1860/1870) and permitted the establishment of a Catholic party - the PPI, lead by Don Sturzo. In 1923 he criticized the Fascist program; in 1926 Don Sturzo was ordered, by the pope, to dissolve the PPI. In 1942 Alcide de Gasperi founded the DC as successor to the PPI.

PR
... Partito Radicale Storico (Radical Party), split off Sinistra Storico in 1878; was terminated in 1921. Advocated complete separation of church and state, decentralization, promoted the concept of the United States of Europe, was opposed to nationalism, imperialism and colonialism, wanted local administrations to operate independent of political forces, the abolition of the death penalty, progressive taxation, universal suffrage for men and women, emancipation of the woman in society and in the workplace, free and mandatory education, a public works program in order to reduce unemployment, subsidies, indemnities, pensions and social security for workers, reduction of the daily wiork hours and of the size of the armed forces. In 1955, a new PR was founded.

Proportional Representation
... a principle according to which the percentage of seats held by a political party held in parliament roughly coincides with the percentage of votes the party collected in the election. In Italy introduced after World War I, and applied ever since.

PSI
... Partito Socialista Italiano (Italian Socialist Party), established in 1892. Until universal adult manhood suffrage as introduced, the party was at a disadvantage because of the literacy clause barring many peasants and workers from voting. In 1921 the PCI (Communist Party) split off; the PSI was banned in 1926. Reestablished as PSUP in 1943, renamed PSI in 1947; in post-war Italy mostly junior partner in Italy's government. Identified with Tangentopoli; dissolved in 1994.
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.234

Radical Party
... see under PR

Ras
... Term describing the leaders of local Fascist organizations in the early 1920es, exercising the authority of military officers over their respecting organizations, but showing contempt for Italy's democratic institutions and their representatives, and a considerable degree of independence toward Benito Mussolini, nominal head of the Fascist Party (PNF). Only in 1925 did Mussolini establish his authority over the ras.

Red Biennium
... in Italian : il Biennio Rosso; describing the years 1919 and 1920. Italy underwent a political and economic crisis; the introduction of universal adult manhood suffrage and of proportional representation had thoroughly altered the political rules of the game; a host of new political parties had emerged. Inflation and unemployment were high. Northern Italy saw a revolution, on a local level; many factories, city halls were occupied by the revolutionaries (socialists) who established socialist administrations. They were overthrown by the Squadristi.

Sacred Egoism
... in Italian : Sacro Egoismo. When Italy entered World War I on the side of the Entente in 1915, she had to defend herself against the accusation of turning on her former Ally in the Triple Alliance (Austria-Hungary). Sacred Egoism, her territorial aspirations (see Irredentism) was given as the central argument to legitimize the measure.

Sinistra Storico
... translates to Historic Left. Political faction, lead by Agostino Depretis; succeeded the Destra Storico in power in 1876; lost power in 1882.

Socialist Party
... see under PSI

Somalia
... Italy placed a coastal stretch on the Somali coast, called Benadir, under her protection in 1889. In 1905, the Italian state took over the administration of the colony, now called Somalia; capital Mogadishu. In 1925 Jubaland, ceded by the U.K., was annexed. In 1936, Somalia was integrated into Italian East Africa; in 1941 occupied by the British, in 1950 returned under Italian administration; the country, upon gaining independence in 1960 merged with former British Somaliland. Click here for more information

Squadrismo
... term referring to a phase in early Fascism; local militias called squadre d'azione (squadrons of action), often composed of conservative patriotic veteran soldiers, formed in order to fight the Italian Revolution (Red Biennium) in what can be described as a low-scale civil war. Benito Mussolini formed these local organizations into the Fascist movement (see Fasci di Combattimento, PNF).

Treaty of London
... in Italian : Trattato di Londra; also called London Pact / Patto do Londra, 1915. Britain and France, in the treaty, promised Italy the ollowing territories if she entered the war on the side of the Allies : Trieste, Trentino, Istria, Gorizia, territory in Dalmatia, including the city of Zadar, the Dodecanese (which Italy had occupied in 1912), a protectorate over Albania and a share of the German colonies. Italy, claiming Sacred Egoism, then declared war on Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire.

Triple Alliance
... in Italian : Triplice Alleanza. Concluded in 1882, it was a defensive alliance; if one of her members was attacked by a third party, her allies were obliged to come to her aid. In August 1914, Italy declared the treaty not to apply, as it was Austria who declared war on Serbia, and not vice versa. Italy's declaration of war against Austria in 1915 made the Triple Alliance obsolete.

Tripolitania
... Ottoman until 1911-1912, when it was conquered by the Italians. Capital Tripoli (Arab.: Tarabulus). In 1934, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were merged to form Libya. In 1943, coastal Tripolitania came under British military administration, Fezzan and Ghadames in the interior under French administration. In 1951, Libya was reunited and granted independence. Click here for more information

Universal Adult Manhood Suffrage
... introduced in Italy after World War I.

War of the Poor
... in Italian : Guerra dei Poveri; 1860-1865. Refers to a series of campaigns of the Italian army against 'brigands' in the Mezzogiorno. The former Kingdom of Two Sicilies, within the Kingdom of Italy, was at a disadvantage because the policy of free trade pursued by the central government deprived her agriculture and industry from protection against cheaper imports; hence the phenomenon of poverty causing banditry.

World War I
... (First World War; the Great War), in Italian : Prima Guerra Mondiale or Il Grande Guerra. In August 1914 Italy declared the conditions of the Triple Alliance not to apply, as Austria-Hungary had declared war, and as not attacked; Italy, under P.M. Giolitti, remained neutral. Entente propaganda, appealing to irredentist sentiment, resulted in the new Italian government under Antonio Salandra, in 1915, declaring war on Austria-Hungary, legitimizing her action by Sacred Egoism. In the Treaty of London, Italy was promised a number of Austrian, Hungarian, Ottoman and German territories (1915). Militarily, Italy suffered a humiliation at the hands of the Austrians (defeat at Camporetto; establishment of the Piave front). Only toward the end of the war did Italy succeed in turning the tide (victory at Vittorio Veneto). The Entente, with Italy, emerged victorious. The war years had proved a heavy burden on Italy's economy and society; it had also laid the roots for new industries.


1922-1945 ..... go to narrative history of Italy

Allied Military Government
... see under Italy since 1945

Acerbo Law
... in Italian : Legge Acerbo. In the early 1920es, Italy's political landscape was very fragmented. Both the introduction of universal adult manhood suffrage and proportional representation had resulted in the traditional political parties losing many seats in parliament, to new and unexperienced political parties. Coalition governments had to be formed which had to agree on a common policy based on compromise; this at a time of severe economic problems and political unrest. Once installed in the office of prime minister, Benito Mussolini proposed the Acerbo Law, which would grant 50 % of the seats in parliament plus one to the strongest party, thus providing a strong government not depending to such an extent on coalition partners and capable of addressing economic and social problems. The law passed in July 1923, and the PNF was the beneficiary at the following elections.

Albania
... Balkans nation; gained independence in 1913. Italy, in the Treaty of London 1915, was promised a protectorate over Albania. King Zog (1925-1939) enjoyed Italian protection; in 1939 Italy formally annexed Albania. From Albanian territrory, the Italian army invaded Greece in 1940. Following the armistice in 1943, Albania was occupied by German forces. Click here for more information

Anti-Comintern Pact
... originally signed by Japan and Germany in 1936; also referred to as the Axis Pact. Italy declared to join the pact in 1937. In 1941 the pact was confirmed; this time Italy, Finland, Spain, as well as a number of German and Japanese allies and satellites were among the signatories. In Italian : Patto Anticomintern.

Ardeatine Massacre
... in Italian : Eccidio delle Fosse Ardeatine. In response to an event where 33 German soldiers were killed by the Italian resistance, the SS, on 24th of March 1944, in the Ardeatine caves near Rome, executed 335 Italian civilians.

Armistice
... in Italian : Armisticio di Cassibile. By summer 1943, public sentiment in Italy was that of war fatigue. Since Italy had joined the war in 1940, it had suffered humiliating defeats, and the Germans had to intervene to achieve the goal (Greece) or at least stabilize the front (North Africa). By 1941, Italian East Africa was lost, by May 1943, North Africa was lost, in July the Allies landed in Sicily, in September on the Italian mainland. Mussolini, prime minister since 1922, was sacked, the PNF dissolved; the new government signed an armistice on September 8th 1943. While the Germans liberated Mussolini (imprisoned at Gran Sasso) and installed him as president of the Republic of Salo, the armistice marks an important turning point in Italian history.

Autarchy
... or autarky, in Italian : Autarchia. An economic utopia - a country which produces all her needs and does not rely on imports. Fascist Italy pursued a policy of trying to achieve autarchy; the most prominent campaign serving this policy was the Battle for Grain. The policy, while achieving an increase in the production of a number of products, has to be regarded as an overall failure.

Axis Powers
... in Italian : Potenze dell'Asse. The signatories of the Anti-Comintern Pact; Germany, Japan, Italy, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Manchukuo, the Japanese puppet administration of China. An exception was Spain, which signed the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1941, but, while sending volunteers to fight the USSR, remained neutral in WW II.

Battle for Births
... a campaign intended to raise the birth rate in Italy, launched in 1927. Mussolini believed that Italy needed more sons to fight future wars. Large families were given preferential treatment when new housing was allocated; mothers of four sons or more were awarded medals. While it is difficult to assert the success of this campaign, there was no dramatic increase in the birth rate, for one because many families in Italy found it difficult to make ends meet.

Battle for Grain
... in Italian : Battaglia del Grano. A widely propagated effort to turn Italy into a self-sufficient producer of grain. This was attempted by extending the land under the plow, in part by draining swamps (Pontine Marshes), in part by turning vineyards into wheat fields; the campaign, begun in 1927, while expanding grain production, failed in achieving her ambitious goal.

Battle for Land
... A widely propagated effort to extend land arable or suitable for human settlement. The Pontine Marches, the drainage of which was begun in 1928, was the most celebrated success story. The project also provided work for state-run employment schemes, helping to reduce unemployment.

Battle of the Lira
... a policy, combined with a propaganda campaign, intending to raise the value of the Italian currency, the Lira; begun in 1926. Mussolini regarded a strong Lira an indicator of a strong Italy; Italy reintroduced the Gold Standard. Measures were undertaken to manipulate the exchange rate in a way to bolster the exchange rate. This, however, proved harmful to Italy's economy as it encouraged imports and made it difficult for Italian products to compete on fioreign markets.

Blackshirts
... Fascist militia recognizable by their black shirts, organized in the early 1920es, dissolved in 1945. In Italian : Caminie Nere.

Concentration Camps
... in Italian : Campi di Concentramento. They were established in 1939-1942 and operated until liberation. The 39 camps had on average several hundred to several thousand inmates; the number of inmates who died in the camp of Rab is estimated at c.2000.

Corporate Economy
... (Corporatism, Corporativism, in It. : Corporativismo). When Mussolini was appointed PM in 1922, Italy suffered from political instability, inflation, unemployment, frequent labour conflicts. Mussolini devised the concept of a corporate economy; syndicates were to be formed of both employers and trade unions; labour conflicts were to be settled within these syndicates, by negotiation and without interruption of production.

Duce Cult
... a form of Cult of Personality (Culto della Personalita), centered on "il Duce", Benito Mussolini. The latter was described by Fascist propaganda as focussed, energetic, a jack-of-all-trades, simply the man to trust and to support. His byname, "il Duce", translates to 'the leader'.

Economic Sanctions
... in Italian : Sanzioni. When Italy, in 1935, attacked Abyssinia (Ethiopia), a fellow member of the League of Nations, the latter called on her members to implement economic sanctions against the aggressor. The U.S., not a League member, never implemented the sanctions; Britain originally did, but terminated them in 1936. France, Italy's most important trading partner, strictly implemented the sanctions. Germany offered to come to Italy's aid. The event ended Italy's status as an ally of France and Britain and marks the begin of Italo-German cooperation.

Ethiopia
... country in East Africa, until 1935 called Abyssinia (in Italian : Abissinia). Abyssinia defeated a first Italian attempt to establish colonial rule in 1896 (Battle of Adowa). In 1923, Abyssinia was accepted as a member of the League of Nations. In 1935 Italian troops invaded Abyssinia; the country was conquered in 1936. The Negus (Emperor) fled into exile, to London. Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea were combined to form Italian East Africa. In 1941 British troops occupied Ethiopia; the country soon after was released into independence. Click here for more information

Fascism. Italian
... named after Fasces, a Roman symbol for justice adopted by the fascist movement. Mussolini defined fascism; elements were willingness to break the law when opportune (victims Socialists, Communists, members of ethnic minorities); despise for the democratic system and willingness to establish a party dictatorship, state-regulated economy, militarism and expansionism, usage of propaganda, promotion of births, striving for autarchy. Mussolini was regarded role model by many, by Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, Juan Peron and others.
While the parallels with Nazism are obvious, a few differences have to be stressed. Mussolini never was in fll control of the PNF; in 1943 he was ousted by the Grand Council of the PNF. The Italian Fascists were occasionally brutal, but not as systematically brutal as the Nazis. Italy did pass Race Laws in 1938, did establish Concentration Camps in 1939, but did not engage in industrial-style genocide. Italy, until 1943, refused to deliver her Jews to be 'treated' in Auschwitz.
At the time of the armistice, the PNF and other Fascist organisations were totally discredited; in the Republic of Salo new German-style Fascist organisations were established, which were exceptionally brutal.

Fascist Italy
... Italy 1922-1943 (1945). The period can be divided into four phases : (A) 1919-1922, the phase in which Fascist organizations got organized, (b) a transitional phase 1922-1926, when Italy still was a multiparty democracy, the PNF being the leading force in a coalition government / forming government, (c) 1926-1943, Fascist one-party-state, (d) Fascism German-style in the Republic of Salo.

Fascist National Party
... see under PNF

Great Depression
... in Italian : Grande Depressione; triggered by the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Italy, being a predominantly agrarian, state-planned economy was affected in a different way than capitalist industrial economies; there was no massive rise in unemployment rates, as the Italian state took over bankrupt companies and continued to operate these, with deficit if necessary. Overall exports and imports dropped, the cost of living rose.

Holocaust
... as long as Fascist Italy was an ally of Germany, it did pass race laws in 1938, but refused to oblige with the German request to arrest her Jewish population and ship them to Auschwitz. In January 1943 the Italians refused to have the Jews in the Italian zone of occupied France arrested. The Republic of Salo, a German satellite state, however, did comply with German requests, and the Jewish population of Italy, in the years 1943 to 1945, was subjected to arrest, deportation and genocide; an estimated 7,500 Italian Jews died in the Holocaust.

Italian East Africa
... in Italian : Africa Orientale Italiana. In 1936, following the Italian conquest of Ethiopia, the three colonies of Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia were merged to form Italian East Africa; by 1941 it was occupied by the British, and in all practicality dissolved in 1943.

Jubaland
... in Italian : Oltre Giuba. A stretch of territory which until 1925 formed part of (British) Kenya, and which in that year was ceded to Italy, to compensate the latter for territory she was promised in the Treaty of London (1915) but did not get. The most important city of Jubaland is Kisimayo; Jubaland was integrated into Somalia.

Lateran Pacts
... in Italian : Patti Lateranensi. A series of treaties signed by Italy and the Holy See on Feb. 11th 1929. The pope promised not to interfere in Italian domestic politics; Italy recognized the sovereignty of Vatican State and agreed to pay compensation for the annexation of most of the Papal State in 1870. The treaties also included a concordat.

League of Nations
... in Italian : Societa delle Nazioni. Italy, as one of the victorious Allies, as one of the founding members (1920). When Italy invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935, the League of Nations condemned this act of aggression against a fellow member and called on her members to implement Economic Sanctions against Italy (1935); the sanctions were lifted in 1936. Italy withdrew from the League in 1937. In 1946 the League of Nations was dissolved, succeeded by the United Nations

Libya
... in Italian : Libia. The two colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, Italian since 1911/1912, in 1932 were merged to form the colony of Libya. It continued to have two capitals, Tripoli and Benghazi. Click here for more information

March on Rome
... in Italian : Marcia su Roma. A coordinated march of Fascists, beginning in various Italian cities on October 24th 1922, and scheduled to arrive in Rome simultaneously on October 1924. This demonstrative event was combined with the demand for the democratic government to step down, and thus an illegal act. The government declared the state of siege for Rome, but King Victor Emmanuel III. did not sign the decree; in consequence the king asked Benito Mussolini, head of the Fascist Party, to form a new government coalition. The March on Rome is regarded a coup d'etat and marks the beginning of Fascist rule in Italy (although Fascist dictatorship does not begin before 1925).

Monte Cassino, Battle of
... in Italian : Battaglia di Monte Cassino; fought January-May 1944. Monte Cassino was a strategic position held by the German forces; here Allied advance was stalled for several months. Only after several defeats and severe losses did the Allies succeed in dislodging the Germans; (French) Moroccan paratroopers and a regiment of Polish infantry accomplished the task. In the course of the battle, the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino, established in 529 A.D., was utterly destroyed.

National Fascist Party
... see under PNF

Open City
... in Italian : Citta Aperta. A military term, describing a city which will not be defended. Rome was declared an open city during the later phase of World War II. Allied forces, long held up at Monte Cassino, liberated Rome on June 5th 1944. The measure to declare a city open intends to avoid the loss of human life among its civilian population and the destruction of historical monuments as well as vital installations. Immediately after the liberation, Roberto Rosselini directed a movie titled 'Open City', describing events in Rome just before liberation.

Pact of Steel
... in Italian : Patto d'Acciaio. Agreement entered in by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, signed on May 22nd 1939; it was on military cooperation; both countries promised to aid the other if it was attacked.

Partisan Republics
... following the establishment of the Republic of Salo in September 1943, partisan activity flared up in northern Italy. Temporarily, partisans established local government in liberated areas, the so-called partisan republics; the most famous of which was Ossola (Sept.-Oct. 1944). These partisan republics were short lived, mostly suppressed within one to three months.

Partisans
... in Italian : Partigiani. A term describing Italian resistance fighters during World War II. The Republic of Salo was unpopular with the Italian population, and her Italian leadership utterly discredited. Many Italians, from a diverse social and political background, joined the partisans, many in the hope soon to be liberated. The forces of the Republic of Salo, supported by the Germans, dealt harshly with the partisans; see also under 'Partisan Republics'. In the last days of the war, a partisan patrol arrested, tried and executed Benito Mussolini when he tried to flee to Switzerland.

PFR
... see under PNF

PNF
... Partito Nazionale Fascista (National Fascist Party); established on November 7th 1921, as a nationwide, legitimate party organizing the grassroots Fascist militias (Fasci di Combattimento). In government since October 1922; ruling without coalition partners since 1925, and soon after the sole legitimate political party. Benito Mussolini was party leader; yet in 1943 the Fascist Grand Council turned against him; he was ousted and a new government was formed which signed an armistice agreement, and dissolved the PNF. In the Republic of Salo, a new Fascist Party - the Partito Fascista Repubblicano (PFR) was founded (until 1945).

Pontine Marshes
... in Italian : Agri Pontini; swampland the drainage of which was begun in 1928. This served several purposes, to turn swampland into arable land (Battle for Grain), to provide space for a number of new towns (Littoria, Sabaudia, Pontinia, Aprilia, Pomezia, 1932-1939) and to combat malaria.

Propaganda
... the Fascist party used propaganda to propagate their political views; in the early 1920es mainly posters, postcards with political motives. Once a Fascist dictatorship was established, Fascism was the only political set of views which could be advertised in Italy; other media, such as the movie, were found. Italian Fascist propaganda portrayed Mussolini as a courageous, energetic, focussed jack-of-all-trades (Duce Cult), advertised the image of optimistic, healthy Italians in good shape, promoted sports and sports events, promoted campaigns such as the Battle for Grain, for Births etc., called upon the Italians to support the national effort during the war against Ethiopia. Negative propaganda bedevilled Bolzhevism, during WW II also the western Allies. From 1925 to 1943 (1945) there was no artistic freedom in Italy; art had to serve propagandistic purposes or be unpolitical.

Race Laws
... in Italian : Leggi Razziali. Passed in 1937, an Italian adaptation of the German race laws of 1935; they defined an 'Italian race', deprived Italians of Jewish ancestry of their citizenship. The laws caused mass emigration of Italian Jews in 1938.

Republic of Salo
... in Italian : Repubblica di Salo, term used by historians to describe the puppet regime established by the Germans in Northern Italy after Italy's government signed an armistice with the Allies (Sept. 1943). In historical records, the term Repubblica Sociale Italiana (Italian Social Republic) is used. The capital was Salo; the republic was headed by Mussolini, who now had to implement Nazi policies, such as having Italy's Jewish population sent to concentration camps. The Black Brigades (Brigate Nere) were established as elite regiments, in imitation of Germany's SS regiments. The Republic of Salo faced partisan resistance; it ended on April 25th 1945. Click here for more information

Soccer
... in Italian : Calcio. Fascist Italy promoted sports for two reasons : to raise a generation of Italians fit for war, and to provide a distraction to the Italians, who were deprived of their rights as citizens in a democracy, and who may have suffered hardship. Italy introduced the Seria A championship in 1930; Italy organized the second Soccer World Cup in 1934; Italy's team, the squadra azurra, won the world cups of 1934 and 1938.

Spanish Civil War
... in Italian : Guerra Fratricida in Spagna, 1936-1939. France, the United Kingdom, Britain and Italy agreed to patrol the borders of Spain, in order to prevent the import of arms. While this ostensibly was a measure to contain the conflict, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy did not maintain a neutral position, but took sides, supplying Franco with arms (in violation of the agreement). In 1937 Italy sent 50,000 regular soldiers, as 'volunteers', to Spain to fight on Franco's side. On the other hand, the Italian volunteers (political opponents of Fascism) fighting on the side of the Spanish Republic were only outnumbered by French and German volunteers. The war ended with Franco's victory. Click here for more information

Syndicates
... see under Corporate Economy

Vatican State
... When Italian Unification was completed with Italian troops occupying the remainder of the Papal State in 1870, Italian troops refrained from entering the area of the present Vatican State, which always remained under the administration of the pope. As the popes long refused to recognize the Kingdom of Italy, the status of the Vatican remained undefined; this was changed in the Lateran Treaties of 1929, in which the Italian State recognized the political independence of Vatican State (in Italian : Citta del Vaticano), the world's smallest state.

World War II
... in Italian : Seconda Guerra Mondiale. When German troops invaded Poland on Sept. 1st 1939, Italy remained neutral. Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom on June 10th 1940 (at a time when France was facing defeat); Italian invasions of Egypt and Greece met with defeat. By May 1943, Italy's colonies had been occupied by the enemy and North Africa had fallen; in July 1943 Sicily fell, in September the Allies landed in the south of mainland Italy. Mussolini was dismissed and arrested; the new Italian government signed an Armistice; yet the Germans took ousted the new government and held on to most of Italy (Republic of Salo); at Monte Cassino allied advance was halted for several months. In Italy, World War II ended on April 25th 1945.


since 1945 ..... go to narrative history of Italy

Abortion
... in Italian : Aborto. In Italy conditionally legalized in 1978, during the first 90 days of the pregnancy, if the psychic health of the mother is threatened or if the baby is likely to be born deformed. The mother / parents are required to undergo consulting before abortion is performed.

Albanian Exodus
... in Italian : Esodo Albanese. The collapse of communism resulted in Albania in a sudden rise of prices, a shortage of food, fuel, essential products, as well as political insecurity. Many Albanians tried to leave the country, some across the border into Greece, others by boat across the Adriatic to Italy (since 1990, climax 1991). Several thousand were reluctantly admitted, as their boats were in poor condition and a number of the refugees needed medical attention.

Allied Military Government
... established in June 1943, when the first stretches of Italian territory came under Allied occupation. In January 1947, the administration of Italy was transferred to Italian authorities, except for A.M.G. V.G. (Venezia Giulia, until Sept. 1947) and A.M.G.F.T.T. (Free Territory Trieste, Sept. 1947 until 1954)

DC
... full name : Democrazia Cristiana (Christian Democracy). A Catholic political party, founded by Alcide de Gasperi in 1942 (while political parties other than the PNF were still banned in Italy). It built up on the tradition of Don Sturzo's PPI (dissolved 1926). The DC became the dominant political force in post-war Italy, gaining c.40 % of the votes and participating in government coalitions 1946-1992. In connection with the Tangentopoli scandal, in the early 1990es the DC was completely discredited; dissolved in 1994.
. . . see Unwin 1996 pp.72-73

Democrazia Cristiana
... see under DC

Divorce
... in Italian : Divorzio. In Italy legalized in 1970. The Lateran Pacts of 1929 had recognized the Catholic Church as the official church in Italy, and long prevented legislation in this field.

EC
... European Community, in Italian : Comunita Europea. The Treaty of Maastricht (1992) renamed the European Economic Community by eliminating the word 'Economic". Italy had been a member of the EEC since her establishment in 1958.

Economic Miracle
... in Italian : Miracolo Economico. The term refers to the years 1958-1963.

ECSC
... European Coal and Steel Community; in Italian : Comunita Europea del Carbone e dell'Acciaio. Established by the Treaty of Paris in 1951; in 1957 upgraded to the EEC. Italy was a founding member, together with France, the BeNeLux countries and the FRG.

EEC
... European Economic Community, in Italian : Comunita Economica Europea. Established by the Treaty of Rome, 1958; renamed European Union (Comunita Europea) in 1992. Predecessor the ECSC; Italy was a founding member. In essence a customs union; Italy benefitted from the EEC's agrarian policy (subsidies for agrarian products), from subsidies to support the economic development of underdevelopped regions (such as the Mezzogiorno).

EU
... European Union, in Italian : Unione Europea. Emerged in 2004 as successor to the EC (European Community). Italy founding member.

Euro
... currency introduced by the countries making up the Euro Zone (including Italy) in 2002; the various national currencies (in Italy : the Lira) were abolished in 2004.

Eurocommunism
... in Italian : Eurocomunismo. A version of communism independent from, and critical of the Soviet Union. It emerged after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The PCI (Italian Communist Party), together with her French counterpart, were the main protagonists of Eurocommunism. Eurocommunists declared themselves supporters of a multiparty democracy.
. . . see Unwin 1996 pp.143-144

Historic Compromise
... in Italian : Compromesso Storico. A policy of the PCI (Italian Communist Party) in which the latter opted to be less doctrinal and to cooperate with Italy's other major political force, the DC, for practical purpose; 1970es, discontinued in 1978.
. . . see Unwin 1996 pp.219-220

Korean War
... in Italian : Guerra di Corea. Fought 1950-1953. Following the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the UN called on her members to support the south; Italy sent a field hospital.

Lega Nord
... Political party formed in 1991 by amalgamating a number of predecessor organizations, among them the Lombard League of 1987. The party was regionalist and appealed to voters on the far right; it toyed with the idea of secession (see under Padania). As the traditional political parties had experienced a sharp drop in reputation, due to corruption (see under Tangentopoli), the Lega Nord was seen as one of a number of 'clean' political movements. In 1994-1996, 2001 the Lega Nord entered into a coalition government with Berlusconi's Forza Italia.
. . . see Unwin 1996 pp.303-304

Maastricht Criteria
... The Treaty of Maastricht (1992) not only renamed the EEC into EC but foresaw the creation of a single currency, the Euro. This required the member nations to accept fiscal discipline; originally it was not expected that Italy, at that time undergoing major political restructuring (Tangentopoli-affair), to meet the criteria. However, Italy then appeared to have the model European government, and she was permitted to join the Euro zone in 2002/2004.

Mafiocracy
... see under Tangentopoli.

Mani Pulite Investigations
... Mani pulite (It.) translates to clean hands. Juridical investigations, which in the years 1992-1994 uncovered the extent of corruption within Italy's politics. The leading figure in the investigations was judge Antonio di Pietro. The traditional political parties, in combination with Tangentopoli, were in such a poor state that they underwent a transformation, broke up or at least were renamed.

Marshall Plan
... in Italian : Piano Marshall. The official name was European Recovery Program (ERP), in Italian : Piano per la Ripresa Europea. Intended to quicken Europe's economic recovery by the U.S. investing large sums of money, and to contain the support socialism enjoyed among the population of the free countries in Europe, it was launched in 1948 and lasted until 1951. Italy received the third largest amount among the beneficiary nations, 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Mezzogiorno
... an expression describing Italy's south, roughly the former Kingdom of Two Sicilies. The least industrialized region of Italy. Here social structures were different from those of northern Italy (large families, padrones; the Mafia). Hopes that regional underdevelopment could result in the region catching up with the north failed, partially due to corruption, and this failure caused some in the industrial north to develop the concept of a northern Italian state (see under Lega Nord, Padania). Most of Italy's emigrants originate from the Mezzogiorno
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.278

Migrant Labour
... also referred to as foreign labour, expatriate. in the 1950es, with the economy of many countries of Western Europe booming, many Italian workers left Italy to work in countries such as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany (FRG), Switzerland and the United Kingdom; they usually left Italy with the intention to return.

Neo-Fascism
... In 1946, the Movimento Sociale Italiane was established, widely associated with policies of Benito Mussolini (-1945). A political party on the far right, critical of parliamentarian democracy, permanently in the opposition. While the MSI was generally labelled as Neo-Fascist, the organization did not refer to herself as such. When the democratic parties were associated with corruption, in the late 1960es and 1970es, the Neo-Fascists were regarded a 'clean' party and gained in both votes and seats in parliament. The MSI was dissolved, the Alleanza Nazionale (AN) founded as her successor; the latter declared to accept the democratic system; the AN soon entered into a coalition government, together with Forza Italia and Lega Nord.

Northern League
... see under Lega Nord.

Padania
... in the early 1990es, name suggested for a state comprising of Northern Italy (the economically most productive region of the country); propagated mainly by the Lega Nord. Named after the Po river (in Latin : Padus); consisting of Piemont with Val d'Aosta and Liguria, Lombardy, South Tyrol and the Trentino, Friuli-Venetia with Trieste, Emilia-Romagna. The inclusion of Tuscany was left as an option. The secession was much discussed, in 1996 suggested, but never seriously attempted.

PR
... Partito Radicale (Radical Party), established in 1955, in 1989 renamed Partito Radicale Transnazionale; not to be confused with Partito Radicale Storico (1878-1921).
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.335

Red Brigades
... in Italian : Brigate Rosse. A marxist terrorist organization established in 1970 (urban terrorism); climax her abdication and murder of DC politician Aldo Moro in 1978. Split in 1984; lingered on until 1989.
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.339

Second Republic
... in Italian : Seconda Repubblica. The exposure of Tangentopoli lead to a thorough restructuring of the Italian political landscape (1992-1997); most of Italy's traditional political parties were so utterly discredited, that they were dissolved; new political parties were formed, such as Berlusconi's Forza Italia, the moderate leftist Olive Tree Coalition, and the ultraright Lega Nord; they were to dominate politics in what was perceived (but not formally declared) as Italy's Second Republic.

South Tyrol
... in German : Südtirol, in Italian part of Alto Adige. Part of the County of Tirol until 1918; predominantly German-speaking region. In 1918 annexed by Italy; in 1946 promised regional autonomy. From 1956 to 1988 there was a wave of anti-Italian terrorist acts, most of which were directed against structures; all in all, 21 persons were killed. Local politics is dominated by the Südtiroler Volkspartei; the region enjoys a high degree of political autonomy.

Tangentopoli
... a term which came up in 1992, describing the corruption prevalent in Italian society in the previous decades. In English also referred to as Mafiocracy. Post-war Italy saw two political parties (DC, PCI) dominate, both taking c. 40 % of the votes. As the Communists were regarded incapable of governing, the democratic parties, long lead by the DC, had to form coalition governments; the Italian voters did not really have a choice. A number of key democratic politicians did accept bribes.
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.384

Trieste
... This city used to be the main port of the Austrian half of Austria-Hungary and underwent significant development in the 18th and 19th centuries. Annexed by Italy in 1918, it was cut off from her Austrian hinterland. Following World War II, Trieste and her immediate hinterland were claimed by Yugoslavia; the area came under Allied Military Government. It was then divided into Zones Trieste A (the city and a small coastal strip, in 1954 reintegrated into Italy) and Zone B (S.S.T. Vuja, in 1954 annexed by Yugoslavia; for the larger part integrated into Slovenia). Population Italian, Slovenian minority.
. . . see Unwin 1996 p.394

United Nations
... in Italian : Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite. Established in 1945 as successor of the League of Nations; Italy, while cooperating earlier, became full member in 1955.

Women's Suffrage
... in Italy introduced in 1946.








Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics