Modena as described in Historic Encyclopedias

Brockhaus 1809-1811, Pierer 1857-1865

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Modena
Modena in Upper Italy, until recently a duchy, presently belongs to the Cisalpine Republic (which was formed by the merger of the two Italian new republics); see the Artickle Bologna in the supplement in volume 2. The Duke of Modena, according to article 18 of the Peace of Campo Formio, shall receive the Breisgau from the Emperor in compensation for the lands the prince and his heirs owned in Italy. He shall have the same rights in the Breisgau he had in Modena. Before the revolution the Modenese lands consisted of the Duchy of Modena, the Duchy of Reggio, the Duchy of Mirandola and the Principalities of Novellara, Corregio and Carpi. Beatrix, daughter of the olf duke Hercules Reinhold, since 1771 was married to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, until recently stadholder of Austrian Lombardy, whom she brought in the Modenese lands from the side of her father, the lands Massa and Carrara from the side of her mother. And while this marriage produced 5 sons, the House of Austria must be interested in this exchange. By the way, Modena has 90 square miles and 400,000 inhabitants, the Breisgau only 59 square miles and 150,000 inhabitants.
source in German, posted by Zeno

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Modena
Modena, (until 1859) an independent duchy in Upper Italy, consistent of the duchies of Modena, Reggio, Mirandola and Guastalla, the Principalities Novellara, Corregio, Carpi, and of Massa and Carrara; since 1860 annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia. Modena is located between Parma, the Lombardy, Venice, the Papal State, Tuscany and the Mediterranean, has an area of 109.94 square miles, with (1857) 604,500 inhabitants, mostly Catholics (200 protestants, 2700 Jews). Mountains : in the south the Apennine (peaks : Monte Cimone, 8500 feet, Doccia) with the Apuanic mountains, where marble is found. Rivers : the Po, for a short stretch forming the border in the north, and its tributaries, the Enza (border river in the west), Crostolo, Secchia, Panaro, in addition several canals (navigable only theTassoni Canal) and a few lakes. The land is plain and fertile in the north, the climate pleasant, but not quite like the beautiful Italian one. Occupation : agriculture, namely in the lower elevated areas, cultivation of vegetables (beans), hemp, rice, viticulture (primarily red wines), fruit, oil, livestock keeping (cattle for the production of milk, butter and cheese, pigs, a few horses), sericulture, mining, especially for marble in the Apuanic Mountains near Carrara, where the mountains from top to the base consist of marble, timber which is found much in the south; a few springs contain iron, others provide mountain oil. The industry is of little importance, the leading trading place Reggio, the total value of imports and exports combined is about 22 million Lire. The railroad Parma-Bologna traverses the land traverses the country and passes through Reggio and Modena. The constitution used to be an absolute monarchy. The unrestricted duke, as well as his princes, were addressed as 'his royal highness', were from an Austrian sideline, Austria-Este, succeeded after the law of primogeniture in direct line, was bound to the House laws of the dynasty Austria-Lorraine. By decree of August 28th 1814 the earlier conditions were restored, legislative and executive power combined. State Administration : the two highest central authorities were the state council which was to debate and control, and the state ministry divided in 4 separate ministries (foreign affairs, interior, finances, public securiy (buon governo)). The army command was regarded equal in rank to the ministries. The land was divided in 7 provinces : Modena, Reggio, Guastalla, Frignano, Garfagnana, Massa-Carrara and Lunigiana. The communes were represented by an elected municipal council; the 49 larger ones were headed by a podesta, the 463 smaller ones by a syndico. Jurisdiction jurisdiction followed the French system. Institutions of education : 1 university, 1 academy of knights, 4 gymnasia, 3 priest seminaries, a military school, an arts school and a painters' school. Little was done for the education of the ordinary people. Until 1859 the military consisted of 1 corps of trabants, one corps of dragoons, one corps of artillery, engineers and train, one regiment infantry, one batallion mountain infantry, a corps pioneers, a veteran corps, in total 5300 men and 3 regiments reserve militia, 14,486 men, organized and uniformed. Revenue 1851 : 8,413,622 Thaler, Expenses 8,728,133 Thaler. Coat of Arms crowned silver eagle in blue (Este), black Imperial double eagle with Imperial crown in gold hovering over the head (because Modena being an Imperial fief) and a red post with he Austrian family coat of arms, on the left the coat of arms of Massa and Carrara. Since December 1807 the currency was 1 Lire italiane = 100 centesimi. 52 Lire = one fine mark of silver. 1 Lire ital. = 8 silver Groschen 9,923 Pfennig Prussian. In the past the currency used to be 1 Lire di Modena = 20 Soldi of 12 Denari each, 135 1/2 old Lire = 1 fine mark of silver. 1 Lire di Modena = 3 silver Groschen 1,196 Pfennig Prussian. Minted coins lately : in gold : pieces iof 40 and 20 Lire Italiane; according to law in 9/10 fine silver : Scudi nuovi of 5, 2, 1, 1/2 and 1/4 Lira italiane (Lira Italiane on the French footing); since 1860 the Sardinian system of coinage is introduced, also measures and weights. The older Modenese measures and weights, which are still in use : length : the Piede di Modena = 634,34 mm, the Piede di Reggio = 517,71 mm, the Cavezzo = 6 Piede di Modena, the Braccio di Modena = 648,1 mm, the Braccio di Reggio = 529.84 mm; area measurement : the Biolca has 72 Tavole or 288 quadrate cavezzi; fruit measurement : the Staro or Stajo of 4 Quari, equals 70,24 liter; measurement of liquids : the Barile of wine = 20 Fiaschi of 2 Boccali each, 1 Boccale = 1.0414 liter. he Libbra has 12 Once of 12 Ferlini; weight for gold, silver and silk is the Bolognese Pound = 361.85 gram, medicinal weight the Modenese Libbra. Capital Modena.
Modena used to belong to the Exarchate, and then came to Tuscany. In 1092 Modena and Ferrara split from the rule of Mathilda. Modena and Ferrara had the same rulers, first from the House of Torelli, then from the House of Este. When in 1597 the line of legitimate rulers of Ferrara went extinct with Alphonse II., Cesar of Este was the last member of the family. He was a son of Alphonse I. born from a morganatic marriage with Laura Eustochia, a burgher's daughter from Ferrara. Alphonse II. had determined his cousin Cesare as his successor, with the approval of the Emperor. But after the death of Alphnse II., Cesare received only Modena, Reggio and Carpi, as Pope Clement VIII. confiscated the Duchy of Ferrara as a forfeit fief. Cesare established his residence in Modena; he died in 1628. He is the founder-father of the dukes of Modena. He was succeeded by his son Alphonse I. (III.), who entered a monastery in 1629 (where he died in 1644); he left the government to his brother Francis I. In order to secure himself in the War of Mantuan Succession, Francis constructed a citadel at Modena. For the aid he provided to the Spaniards in the war in 1633 Emperor Ferdinand enfieffed him with the Principality of Correggio, which he had purchased from the Spanish. In 1636, in alliance wih the Spanish, he attacked Parma. Dissatisfied with the Spanish who refused to wihdraw from Correggio, Francis in 1647 switched sides and allied with the French, but the Marquess of Caracena at the head of Spanish troops invaded Modena and laid the land waste. Francis had to conclude peace in 1649. Supported by France and Savoy, in 1655 Modena renewed the war with Spain; Francis I. died in 1658. His son Alphonse II. (IV.) terminated the alliance with France. In the Peace of the Pyrenees 1659 he was promised a Spanish withdrawal from Correggio and to be enfieffed with the later by the Emperor. He died in 1662 and was succeeded by his 2 year old son Francis II. under the regency of his mother, Laura Martinozzi. He assumd rule in 1674, supported arts and sciences (he founded the University of Modena) and died in 1694 wihout a male heir. So he was succeeded by his uncle, Cardinal Reinald; the Emperor confirmed his possession of Correggio in 1698, which was contested by Gilbert, a descendant of the princes of the old house. After he was expelled by the French in 1703, Modena was administrated by a French military governor. But the French were expelled by the Imperial troops in 1706, and Reinald returned to Modena in 1707. In 1710 he purchased the Duchy of Mirandola, which had been confiscated by the Emperor. In 1734 he once again had to flee the French and Spaniards; he took up residence in Bologna and returned in 1736, after his states had been liberated from occupation by the enemy. In 1737 he was enfieffed by the Emperor with the Duchy of Novekllara, which had been vacant since the death of Count Philipp of Gonzaga. Reinald died that year. His son Francis III. Maria succeeded him. In 1742 in the war between Austria and Spain he declared neutrality. When the Ausrians demanded hat he should side with them, the King of Sardinia invaded Modenese territory and the duke fled to Vienna, and Modena surrendered to the enemy. In consequence of the Treaty of Aachen 1748, Francis III. returned in 1748, in 1753 was appointed vice governor in the Austrian Lombardy, and died in 1780. His son Hercules III. Reinald in 1741 married the heiress of the Duchy of Massa and Carrara, Maria Theresia of Cibo-Malaspina, but in 1796 lost his land to the French, which added it to the Cisalpine Federation, and he was compensated in the Treaty of Luneville 1801 by the Breisgau. His only daughter and heiress, Maria Beatrice d'Este, since 1771 was married to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, a brother of the Emperors Joseph II. and Leopold II.; he left the administration of the Breisgau to the latter, and died in Treviso in 1803. Ferdinand Duke of Modena-Breisgau, who was not willing to recognize Napoleon as the Emperor of the French, in the Treaty of Pressburg also lost the Breisgau; he died in 1806.
His son Francis IV. in 1814 gained possession of the territories of his grandfather, also in Italy, and was confirmed in these by the Vienna Congress. He took on the name Este and thus became the new founder of the House of Austria-Este. At the same time his mother, Maria Beatrix, assumed the rule of the Duchy of Massa-Carrara (which she had inherited after the death of her mother in 1790), to which the Congress added the barony of Lunigiana, with the stipulation that after her death all three should fall to her son. On November 14th 1829 Maria Beatrix died and Francis IV. assumed the government here as well. Despising all institutions from the French period he had abolished these when he assumed the government, and the old institutions of government reintroduced. Therefore the center of dissatisfaction and of the secret societies in Upper Italy, besides the territories of the papal legations, was in Modena. When the July Revolution broke out in 1830, Duke Francis IV. was the only prince not recognizing King Louis Philippe. At the beginning of February 1831 an insurrection broke out in Modena, in the consequende of which the duke first fled to Mantua on February 4th, then to Vicenza and finally to Vienna. He protested against the acts of the provisional government which had been formed after his escape from Modena, and returned to Modena on March 9th, after the Austriansd had occupied the country. The participants in the rebellion were severely punished and the Jews, who had been given some privileges in 1795, were deprived of some of these. The years 1832 to 1835 passed with rumours of conspiracies and investigations about the latter; they mostly ended with he shedding of blood. In 1841 the Maltese knights were permitted to establish comturias in Modena, the Jesuits had been permitted back into the country in 1814. When Napoleon's widow, Marie Louise, died in 1844, in consequence ogf the Treaty of Paris 1817 and of the Convention of Florence the Duchy of Guastalla was restored to Modena, which meant for the latter a gain of 5.7 square miles and 51,000 inhabitants.
As in all other Italian states, the year 1846 marked the begin of a new era. Duke Francis IV. died on January 20th; his son Francis V. at first stuck to his father's system of government. but established a distance between himself and the people as he expressed his displeasure regarding the reforms implemented in the Papal State. The dissatisfaction among a part of the population of Modena turned even worse when, in consequence of the resignation of the Duke of Lucca on September 15th 1847, Lucca fell to Tuscany, Tuscany, in accordance with the Viennese treaties and the agreement of 1844 signed by Modena and Tuscany, was to cede Fivizzano to Modena. While Fivizzano refused to place itself under Modenese rule, the government of Modena had the land militarily occupied, and after negotiations, the land was formally handed over by Tuscany in December. In the meantime, discontent in the duchy had increased to such a degree that the duke called for Austrian protection, in consequence of which Modena and Reggo were occupied by Austrian troops. As nonetheless the cities of Modena were the sites of tumult, the Austrian troops were enforced, and the Austrian occupation was sanctioned by a treaty of mutual protection between Parma, Modena and Austria (February 1848). When the revolution broke out in Austria in March 1848, DukeFrancis V. fled he country. Immediately afterward, on March 24th, a column of volunteers from Bologna arrived in the city of Modena, led by Count Livio Zambeccari, and with their contribution the regency left behind by Duke Francis V. was dissolved, a provisional government formed and by the latter unon with Sardinia proclaimed. But already on July 18th and 19th, in consequence of the unfortunate campaign of Charles Albert, in Modena unrest appeared, where the republican and the Austrian Party collided. The Austrian victory on July 25th near Custozza resulted in the fall of the administration of the Revolutionary Party in Modena, and Duke Francis returned on April 10th in the company of Austrian troops, after having issued a proclamation in Mantua on April 8th in which he promised to focus on the concessions he was willing to make. After his return the duke issued a very limited amnesty. Despite the wide-reaching military preparations, unrest continued, and on November 18th the estate owner Rizzali attempted to assassinate the duke. When the war between Sardinia and Austria broke out again in March 1849, the Austrians withdrew their forces from Modena, the duke again left his residence on March 14th and went to Brescello; the ministry, under the protection provided by a batallion of Austrian and Modenese troops, stationd in the citadel, continued to govern in Modena. In May the duke returned to Modena. While the government implemented a number of measures which resulted in progress in the administration of the state, the return to the old ystem was so disadvantageous for the country, that the government could find support only in a military force which went far beyond the ability of the country to sustain it, and in leaning closely on Austria. By treaty of August 26th 1851 Modena joined the elcronic telegraph union concluded by Austria, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony on July 25th 1850, also on January 14th 1852 the Italian postal union founded by Austria, and in April 1853 Parma and Modena declared their accession to the Prusso-Austrian treaty on trade and tariffs of February 19th 1853. In the implementation of the plan of the construction of a central Italian railroad, which the Austrian government had suggested, besides Austria, the Papal State, Tuscany and Parma, also Modena participated. In regard to political conditions, Modena, as he oher Italian states, suffered from the influence of revolutionary movements, which France and Austria jointly tried to suppress. Following a number of political assassinations in the spring of 1856, an armed band crossed the border from Piemont and attempted to start an insurrection. They occupied 4 customs posts, but fled back onto Sardinian territory when troops closed in. Strict doctrinary absolutism implemented with severity on one side, the intrigues of secret societies on the other did not permit both the internal and external situation to calm down. The military tribunal in Massa sentenced many individuals to jail or to the galleys for being members of secret organizations of for being in the possession of arms, but the duke in most cases reduced the sentences and finally lifted the state of war on December 22nd 1856. Immediately confrontations between citizens and soldiers resumed, so that the stae of war again was declared on September 30th 1857. On July 2nd 1857 Pius IX. visited Modena and returned to Rome with the conviction that the ducal government would always go hand in hand with that of the Papal See and the Austrian government. A decree of May 2nd 1858 determined that Modenese subjects could study at foreign schools and universities only with the permission of the duke. Duke Francis V. applied the same strictness in foreign relations, and as he did not recognize the French Empire, he forbade anyone wearing the Helena Medal, which had been created by the French Emperor. The tension which had arisen in relations with Sardinia increased, as the Sardinian government refused to extradite political criminals, despite being obliged to do so by a treaty of 1817, and had stuck to her obligation until 1848. Already in February 1859 Piemontese had undertaken a hostile incursion, but had been beaten back by Modenese forces. When at the end of April the war erupted in Upper Italy, French troops arrived in Genova and volunteers of refugees and Piemontese again invaded, the duke withdrew his forces from Massa and Carrara, the provinces immediately were taken possession of by Sardinian officials. Soon the Sardinian government declared in official publications that it was at war with the duke, because the latter had given up his sovereignty in favour of Austria, as he had permitted Austrian troops on his territory. The duke responded that he only had a treaty of mutual protection with Austria, and, with the aid of these troops, he only hoped to regain his lost territory. Despite Austrian protection Reggio seceded and declared for Sardinia, so that the duke with the larger part of his troops, about 4000 men, left his capital and joined the Austrians in Lombardy, after having empowerde a regency on June 11th, and had decreed the formation of an urban security guard. In response the National Party proclaimed Vittorio Emanuele the country's regent; the latter dispatched the Piemontese member of parliament Farini, with provisional dictatorial powers, in his stead. Under his leadership a country assembly was elected by the people, which opened on August 17th. In contradiction of the peace agreements concluded between the Austrians and the French the assembly decided the unification of Modena with Sardinia, the temporary continuation of Farini's dictatorship, the deposition of the House Austria-Lorraine-Este and the exclusion of any other member of the House Austria-Lorraine from succession. Even the Modenese clergy, with a few singular exceptions, openly declared for Vitorio Emanuele. The Jesuits, whom the duke had shown special favour, were banned; their lands were rented out. On September 15th 1859 the representatives of Modena, Parma, Tuscany and the Romagna, all of whom had deposed their previous monarchies, expressed the desire of the population of their respective countries to be united with Sardinia, in Turin in front of Vittorio Emanuele, who responded that he will use the rights given to him by the will of the people in order to present their just cause to the great powers. Negotiations on peace in Italy between Austria on one side, France and Sardinia on the other, were still ongoing, the preliminarily accepted conditions of which required the return of the expelled monarchs, and also the peace treaty signed by France and Austria in Zürich on November 10th 1859 included the rightts of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Dukes of Parma and Modena. Under these conditions the provisional governments of Modena, Parma, Tuscany and the Romagna suggested that the Sardinian prince Carignan should take on the provisional governmen of all central Italian states, until the completion of the unification with Sardinia would be feasible. Prince Carignan rejected the offer, but instead suggested knight Buoncampagni who took on the administration as governor general in the name of Vittorio Emanuele. He placed Modena, Parma and the Romagna, as the Emilian Province, and Tuscany, under one unified administration, introduced the Sardinian constitution and did everything o prepare unification with the constitutional monarchy of the House of Savoy. Also the law regarding the election to the Sadinian parliament was set in force, according to which Parma, Modena and the Romagna together had to elect 70 deputees. In response to the comlaints Mortara, after the government had been convinced that the abduction of the Mortara boy had been ordered by inquisitor Faletti, the latter was arrested and an investigation begun against him for the suspicion of kidnapping. Also the duke, who had fled, was invited to stand the court, as he had used, and removed from the country, money and valuables which were regarded property of the country. Finally the cabinet in Turin and France agreed that Tuscvany and the Emilian province were to be united with Sardinia, Savoy and Nizza with France, after the populations had been consulted in the matter, and the majority had expressed their approval. This happened in early March 1860 in the lands of the House of Este, with an overwhelming majority, so that from then on, based on the plebiscite, and under French protection, Modena formed a part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, while the duke and his troops were still on Austrian territory.
See : Muratori, Delle antichita estensi ed Italiane, Modena 1717ff, 2 vols., Tiraboschi, Memorie storiche Modenesi con codice diplomatico, Modena 1811, 9 vols., Roncaglia, Statistica generale degli stati estensi, Modena 1829f, 2 vols., Campori, Annuario storico Modenese, Modena 1851, Scharfenberg, Geschichte des Herzogtums Modena, Mainz 1859

source in German, posted by Zeno


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First posted on March 5th 2009

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