How Italy Became a Nation
Italy has a long and rich history. People have lived there for thousands of years,
even predating the Roman Empire as well as the Etruscan and Greek civilizatons.
But Italy as a nation is not very old at all.
In fact, it is younger than the United States of America.
While the USA was still celebrating its centennial and enduring a Civil War, in 1861, that’s when Italy was born.
Before that the Italian peninsuila consisted of a number of city-states and lands controlled by the Roman Catholic Church.
Impetus for the unification of the various regions and cities up and down the ‘boot’ came
largely from the House of Savoy in Piedmont, the region surrounding Torino, and thanks
Portrait of Giuseppe Garibaldi
to the heroic exploits and feats of Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Thousand, Rome was captured and became the capital by 1870.
From 1870 until 1922, Italy was a constitutional monarchy with a parliament elected under limited suffrage.
The country fell into a dictatorship under Mussolini until near the end of World War II. Italy became a republic in 1946.