History of Italy

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, the permanent population of the Apennine Peninsula had developed by the 8th century. BC. In the 4th-2nd centuries. BC. Rome rises, an empire arises that extends far beyond the borders of modern Italy. In the 5th-6th centuries. AD barbarian invasions completely ruin the country, political fragmentation reigns. Starting from 962, the attempts of the emperors of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” to assert their power in the territory of the north and center of Italy were opposed by the 8th century. Papal States. In the south, captured by the Normans, in the 12th century. the Kingdom of Sicily arises, entering into an alliance with the papal throne. In 1176, the Lombard League of northern Italian cities, strengthened by trade with the East, with the support of the pope, won a victory at Legnano over Frederick I Barbarossa.

The economic prosperity of the north is accompanied by the establishment of the power of tyrannical dynasties in most of the city-republics. Genoa, Florence, Venice and Milan are fighting for dominance in the peninsula. Florentine bankers, with their advanced financial techniques, are emerging as leaders in Europe. In the 14th-16th centuries. Italy becomes the birthplace of the European Renaissance; deeply rooted political particularism only contributes to the multiplication of centers for the development of art and culture, the diversity of art schools and traditions. At the same time, the Inquisition arose, trying, along with heresies, to eradicate criticism that denounced the depraved mores of the papal court and religious orders.

From con. 15th c. politically fragmented Italy becomes the object of the struggle between Spain and France, leading in 1559 to the capture of most of the peninsula by Spanish troops. Along with this kingdom, the Italian lands experienced its protracted decline, and then became the scene of the “War of the Spanish Succession” (1701-13), as a result of which most of them came under the rule of the Austrian Habsburgs. The struggle of both reigning houses for Italian possessions continues until the middle of 18th century. See ehistorylib for more about Italy history.

Since 1794, the Italian political map has been redrawn during the military expeditions of Napoleon Bonaparte, who by 1809 controlled the entire peninsula. Napoleon pursued a policy of destroying the “old order” by introducing legislation that abolished feudal privileges and secularized the possessions of the church. The Vienna Congress of 1815 restores the rule of the Austrian Habsburgs in Italy; but the Kingdom of Naples, the Papal States and the Kingdom of Sardinia (centered in Piedmont) remain independent. The ideas of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution feed the bourgeois-democratic (Mazzini) and liberal (Gioberti, D’Azeglio) liberation movements. In 1830 and 1848, popular performances took place in many cities. In Piedmont, the liberal party, led by C. Cavour (Prime Minister since 1852) is pursuing a policy of uniting Italian lands around the Savoy dynasty. In May 1860, this policy was strongly supported by the military expedition of G. Garibaldi. In March 1861, the creation of the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed; in 1871, the unification of Italy was completed by the annexation of Rome and the abolition of the secular power of the popes.

At the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. the economy is on the rise, but the unresolved agrarian problem causes an increase in social tension. The atmosphere of inter-imperialist rivalry in Europe also seizes Italy: it initiates wars with Turkey, seizes Libya and the Dodecanese Islands, enters World War I and annexes a number of territories on its borders. In the conditions of the growing crisis of the post-war political system and the revolutionary unrest in the country, the big bourgeoisie decides to support B. Mussolini, who, with the consent of King Vittorio Emmanuele III, establishes a fascist dictatorship in 1925. This period of Italian history is characterized by a radical restructuring of economic and political institutions on the basis of dirigisme and autarchy, the widespread use of national populist rhetoric, the strengthening of the positions of monopoly capital and the militarization of the country. In the field of foreign policy, Italy is heading for an aggressive redrawing of the political map of the world in alliance with kindred regimes. In July 1940 it declares war on Great Britain and France, and in 1941 it goes to war with the USSR.

The fall of the Mussolini regime in July 1943 and the military defeat of the Axis countries ushered in the democratic stage of Italy’s development. On June 10, 1946, a republic was proclaimed, and in 1947 a democratic constitution was adopted. The policy of the country’s new leadership proceeds from the principles of “Europeanism” in conjunction with “Atlanticism”. In 1949 Italy joined NATO, in 1951 the European Coal and Steel Community, in 1957 became one of the founding countries of the Common Market (Treaty of Rome), and in 1955 joined the UN. The adoption of the Marshall Plan helps to quickly restore the economy destroyed by the war. In the south, an agrarian reform has been carried out since 1950, as a result of which a numerous class of small landowners has appeared; the state body Kassa Yuga is being created, which finances large investments in the infrastructure and industry of this region; within the framework of the Vanoni Plan (1955–64), public works were carried out and hundreds of thousands of jobs were created. At the turn of the 1950-60s. economic growth accelerates sharply (“Italian miracle”), the foundations of a modern social state are being laid. Over the next decade, the country becomes industrial-agrarian and enters the circle of the leading powers of the Western world.

In the 1970s in Italy, permanently led by the Christian Democratic Party (CDA), the political struggle around the problem of the democratic use of the potential of the public sector, to which approx. 60% of the national economy, and the participation of leftist forces in the government of the country. In 1976 the Italian Communist Party (PCI) wins a major victory in the parliamentary elections; the head of the left wing of the CDA, A. Moro, is inclined to create a government with the participation of the communists, but he is killed by the “red brigades”. In 1979, the leader of the Italian Socialist Party (SPI), B. Craxi, entered the government for the first time as prime minister. However, the latent development of the political crisis continues, and in the beginning. 1990s there are systemic upheavals (operation “clean hands”), culminating in a complete change in the political landscape.

History of Italy