Italian history

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Italian history

  1. 1. Italian History In brief
  2. 2. A first snapshot Overview 1500 to 800 BC: the Bronze Age 800 BC: the first 'Italians' are called Etruscans 800 to 500 BC: the Iron Age 500 BC to 500 AD (circa): The Roman Empire Top ten dates in Italian History (in chronological order) 1. 753 BC: Foundation of Rome (not of the Roman Empire) 2. 327 BC: Empire of Alexander the Great attacks India 3. 202 BC: Hannibal is beaten by Rome 500 AD to 1400 AD (circa): The Middle Ages 4. 27 BC: Foundation of the Roman Empire 15th and 16th Centuries AD: The Italian Renaissance 5. 312 AD: Roman Emperor Constantine converts to Christianity - spreads across Europe 1559 to 1814: Period of Foreign Domination and wars 6. 476 AD: The Roman Empire falls in the West and modern Europe begins. 1814 to 1861: Risorgimento; working towards a unified Italy 1861 to 1922: Italian Monarchy 1922 to 1945: Mussolini, fascism and WW2 1945 to today: Italian republic 7. 1088: First university founded in Bologna 8. 1492: Christopher Columbus discovers the New World 9. 1861: Italy becomes a unified country 10. 1948: The Italian Republic is born with the signing of the Constitution
  3. 3. Early History • Greeks Sicily and Southern Italy (800 BC) • Etruscans Tuscany, the Po River Valley and south to the Tiber River (800 BC)
  4. 4. The founding of Rome The ancient Romans loved to hear the story of Romulus and Remus. In their eyes, this story explained why Rome had the right to rule. According to the legend, Romulus and Remus justified their right to rule because their mother was a princess and their father was the war god Mars.
  5. 5. The legend of Romulus and Remus • Rhea was married to Mars, the Roman god of war. Rhea had twin sons. She loved her boys, but there were plots afoot by other gods and goddesses to harm her father, herself, her husband, and her children. To protect the boys, she set them adrift on the river, hoping someone would find them. Who would not love such beautiful boys? • Sure enough, first they were found by a she-wolf who fed them. Then a shepherd and his wife adopted the boys. • As the twins grew older, they decided they did not want to take care of sheep. They wanted to be kings. They decided to build a city on the shores of the Tiber. They both wanted to be the only king. They quarreled. In a fit of rage, Romulus picked up a rock, killed his brother, and made himself king. • That’s how Rome started.
  6. 6. The Roman Empire • Rise and expansion of the Empire • Roman world domination begins (172 BC) Greatest extent of the Empire (117 AD)
  7. 7. Ancient Italy and the Roman Empire
  8. 8. Constantine moves the capital to Constantinople, Turkey in 330 AD
  9. 9. Decline and Fall of Rome Invasions by the Goths & Vandals (400’sAD) Conquest of Italy by the Lombards (568 AD)
  10. 10. Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor (800 AD) In 843 AD, after Charlemagne’s death, the Empire was divided among his sons.
  11. 11. The Middle Ages  Rule by Germans or Austrians in north  Rule by Normans or Spanish in south  Rise of Feudalism Italian City-States • Control by wealthy families: – – – – – – Florence Ferrara Mantua Milan Rimini Venice the Medici the Este the Gonzaga the Sforza and the Visconti the Malatesta wealthy families elected Doges
  12. 12. The Renaissance: 1400-1600 • Rebirth of all the arts and culture begins in the City-States of Italy • Wealthy bankers and merchants support artists, architects, intellectuals, etc. • Italian ideals set enduring standards for art in the Western world, influenced writers & architects, and encouraged intellectual pursuits
  13. 13. The end of the Renaissance Rivalry of Spain and France over territories in Italy Political stress: France and Spain’s rivalry over Italy City-states passed among various European rulers through war, marriage, treaty, death The Papacy held on to the Papal States Spain the chief power in Italy: 1559-1713  House of Savoy rules Piedmont & Sardinia Italy: 1494 By 1544 Spain ruled Sicily, Naples & Milan
  14. 14. Napoleon conquers Italy in the 1790’s 1600-1815 Italy remains split into a dozen separate states while European nations are forming The feudal system lingers on in the south 1815: Italy after Napoleon After his defeat in 1815, most Italian states go back to their former rulers: • Lombardy-Venetia to Austria • Naples and Sicily to Spain
  15. 15. The Risorgimento Hatred of foreign rule increases Under King Victor Emanuel I, son of Charles Albert, Count Camillo Cavour, the prime minister, made a treaty with France against Austria. Liberation movement begun by Giuseppe Mazzini in Piedmont with the support of Charles  1859: Austria defeated Albert, king of Sardinia-Piedmont (House of Savoy)  Scattered revolts in 1848 were unsuccessful Italy gained Lombardy, but Austria kept Venetia
  16. 16. The House of Savoy King Umberto I, son of Victor Emanuel II, was assassinated Victor Emanuel III becomes King Constitutional Monarchy: 1870 – 1922  Birth of modern Italy  Heavy taxation to pay war debts  Parliamentary government new and strange to many Italians  Economic growth supported the changes
  17. 17. • Towards World War I • In the trenches • • • • • In an attempt to increase its international influence and prestige, Italy joined Germany and Austria in the Triple Alliance in 1882; During the 1890s Italy unsuccessfully tried to conquer Ethiopia; and in 1911 it declared war on Turkey to obtain the North African territory of Libya. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Italy remained neutral for almost a year while the government negotiated with both sides. In 1915, Italy finally joined the Allies, after having been promised territories that it regarded as "Italia irredenta" (un-liberated Italy). The country was unprepared for a major war, however; aside from a few victories in 1918, Italy suffered serious losses of men, material, and morale. Moreover, despite the efforts of Vittorio Emmanuele Orlando at the Paris Peace Conference, the treaties that followed the war gave Italy only Trentino and Trieste, a small part of the territories it had expected. These disappointments produced a powerful wave of nationalist sentiment against the Allies and the Italian government
  18. 18. The Rise and Expansionism of Fascism In 1919, in the midst of these unsettled conditions, Benito Mussolini, a former revolutionary socialist, founded a new movement called "Fascismo". Through a combination of shrewd political maneuvering and widespread violence perpetrated by Mussolini's Black Shirt squads, the Fascists gained increasing support. In October 1922, after the Fascists had marched on Rome, King Victor Emmanuel III named Mussolini prime minister. Within four years, Mussolini had become a dictator, destroying civil liberties, outlawing all other political parties, and imposing a totalitarian regime on the country by means of terror and constitutional subversion. Public works projects, propaganda, militarism, and the appearance of order gained Mussolini considerable prestige, and the Lateran Treaty with the papacy in 1929 gave the "duce" (as he was called) a wide measure of popularity. Mussolini's foreign policy, based on aggression and expansion, moved Italy closer to war during the 1930s. In 1935-36 the Italian army invaded and conquered Ethiopia, and in 1936, Italy sent troops to support Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Later that year Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist dictator of Germany, established the Rome-Berlin Axis. In 1939, Italy took Albania, and the two dictators then concluded a military alliance known as the Pact of Steel. In June 1940, nine months after the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Italy entered the conflict on Germany's side
  19. 19. World War II • • • • • • Mussolini's war effort met with setbacks and defeats on all fronts. In July 1943 the Allies invaded Sicily. The Fascist leadership turned against Mussolini, and the king forced him to resign. Rescued by German paratroopers, Mussolini escaped to Salò in northern Italy, where he established a puppet government (the Italian Social Republic) under German protection. In the south, the king and his new prime minister, Pietro Badoglio, surrendered to the Allies in September and then joined in the war against Germany. A fierce and heroic anti-Fascist resistance movement fought in the German-occupied north for two years while underground political leaders organized the anti-Fascists into the Committee of National Liberation (CLN). The Allies pushed the German armies out of Italy with great difficulty, and in April 1945 the partisans captured and executed Mussolini.
  20. 20. Postwar Italy • • • • • • • • • • Between 1945 and 1948 a new Italian nation emerged from the disaster of Fascism and war. On June 2nd, 1946 a popular election abolished the monarchy in favor of a republic; a new constitution was adopted the next year. The Christian Democrats, the Communists, and the Socialists became the leading political parties in the country. The largest of these parties, the Christian Democrats, first under the leadership of Alcide De Gasperi, dominated the Italian government after 1948. De Gasperi stressed industrial growth, agricultural reform, and close cooperation with the United States and the Vatican. With massive U.S. aid, Italy underwent a remarkable economic recovery that saw rapid industrial expansion and a sharp increase in the standard of living. Italy joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949, the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, and the European Common Market (European Community) in 1958. The 1960s were marked by continued prosperity and a lessening of tensions between right and left. In the early 1970s the Italian Communists, led by Enrico Berlinguer, became prominent advocates of Euro communism, a doctrine stressing independence of the USSR. In the late 1970s and early 1980s labor unrest, frequent government scandals, and the violence of extremist groups (especially the left-wing Red Brigades terrorists, who kidnapped and murdered former premier Aldo Moro in 1978), all contributed to a volatile political situation. The postwar system was modified somewhat under the long premiership (1983-87) of Socialist Bettino Craxi and was shaken to its foundations by revelations of widespread corruption involving leaders of all the major parties during 1992-93. New regional parties began to win support among the voters, who demanded fundamental political reforms. At the same time the government and the judiciary initiated a determined effort to break the power of the Mafia and other traditional criminal elements in southern Italy and Sicily. In the spring of 1994, Italian voters rejected the traditional parties. Media mogul Silvio Berlusconi became premier, leading a fragile conservative coalition called the Alliance for Freedom.
  21. 21. Thank You Very Much !!

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