Lucca as described in Historic Encyclopedias



Brockhaus 1834-1837, Pierer 1857-1865





Brockhaus Damen-Conversations-Lexikon 1834-1837, Article : Luccat
The Republic Lucca, in central Italy, the capital of which shares the same name, has no more than 18 aquare miles and 120,000 inhabitants. The government used to be aristocratic; what is happening to it in the reorganization of Italy is difficult to say, but it is known that the aristocrats of Lucca favour annexation by Tuscany.
The Republic of Lucca is a land of extraordinary fertility, which has become prosperous because of the production of oil and silk; it was a very old state who could maintain her republican constitution since 1430. The head of the state, the Gonfaloniere, together with 9 elders governed the republic. At the beginning of the 19th century, amid a general revolution, the republic seemed to maintain her independence, as the constitution proclaimed on December 26th 1801 by French commissioners by and large left their constitution unchanged. Only in 1805 Lucca ceded to be an independent state, as Napoleon I. proclaimed it to be a principality dependent on the French crown, and granted it to his brother-in-law, the Prince of Piombino (since 1797 married to Elise, Imperial Frencgh princess), as an inheritable principaliy with female succession in case the male line ended. The principality is divided in 3 cantons. The code civile, the French coinage system and the concordat of the Kingdom of Italy were introduced as basic laws.
source A, source B in German, posted by Zeno


Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865


Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Lucca (I)
Until 1847 Lucca was an independent duchy in central Italy, and since it forms a prefecture within the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, with an area of 24.18 square miles and (1858) 279,730 inhabitants. It used to consist of a main part and a detached smaller part of about two geographic miles northwest, located between Modena and Tuscany; it is bordered by Modena, the Tuscan prefectures Florence and Pisa and the Mediterranean. Because of the Apennine it is partially mountainous, by and large fertile and well-cultivated. Rivers : only the raftable Serchio and a few tributaries (Lima), with many irrigation canals diverting water from them. Climate : on the coast swampy, humid, unhealthy, in the country dry, nice, healthy. Products : cattle, grain (not sufficient to cover local consumption), vegetables, rice, wine, chestnuts, olives (the Lucchesian oil is regarded the best in Italy), fruit, citrus fruit, mulberry trees, marble, alabaster, construction stones, trade with he products of the soil, especially oil (in the brands soprafino and di marino) and silk. Constitution : the only constitutional monarchy in Italy, this sovereign duchy with republican form of government, according to paragraphs 100 and 101 of the final act of the Vienna Congress, was based on the decree issued by Napoleon I. for Lucca on June 23rd 1805; the regent was a duke. he country was represented by a senate of 36 members, which convened annually for at least a month; every 4 years one third of the members was replaced. 2/3 of the members were property owners, 1/3 merchants or members of the intelligence. The senate discussed and decided on laws and taxes, examined the calculation of the budget and elected the judges. State Administration : the highest authority was the state council, composed of two minisers and 6 state counselors. The country was divided in 3 districts : Lucca, Via Reggio and Borgo, Mazzano, with 290 communes. Capital Lucca. Every district was headed by a district prefect; the rather autonomous municipal administration was headed by a Gonfaloniere and supervised the Podestas. The entirely independent jurisdiction, following the French codes, was administered by justices of peace in the various communes, 10 courts of the first instance, and two courts of appeal, one for civil, the other for penal cases, serving as courts of cassation for each other. The clergy is under the archbishop of Lucca. Military : the army was 713 men strong (after other sources 260 men), which was complemented by recruitment, and of a civil guard of 498 men from the best families, who served the regent. Finances : revenues and expenses were about 400,000 Thaler, the civil list 104,000 Thaler. Coat of Arms a lasur blue shield, two diagonal beams, between both the word Libertas; Flag yellow with horizontal red beam.
source in German, posted by Zeno





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First posted on March 5th 2009

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