Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
ITALY, Kingdom of. I. Unification. The kingdom of Italy has an area of 114, 296 square miles, with a population of 28,200,000 (26,801,154, census of 1871), or 237 inhabitants to the square mile, with an increase of 7.1 per cent. every ten years. On Dec. 31, 1861, the average population per square kilometre was 84, with an excess of males over females in the proportion of 1,000 to 996. In 1882 the population per English square mile was 248. We shall relate succinctly the events which preceded the establishment of the kingdom of Italy, up to the time of Rome becoming the capital. Before 1859 the provinces which now compose this kingdom were grouped into several states After a fortunate war with Austria, the French and Sardinian troops, the latter re-enforced by volunteers from all Italy, expelled the Austrians from Lombardy. July 11, 1859, in the preliminary treaty of Villafranca (on the Mincio) the emperor of Austria ceded that province to the emperor of the French, who made it over to the king of Sardinia. The annexation of these provinces to Sardinia had been already voted by 561,002 in favor of it to 681 against it, in the plebiscitum of June 8, 1848, the effects of which had been suspended by the victories of the Austrian armies, and the reoccupation of the country which followed them. The preliminaries of Villafranca were ratified at Zurich by the treaty bearing the name of that city, and the date of Nov. 10, 1859.
—While the struggle was going on in Lombardy, Tuscany, Parma and Modena and the northeastern portion of the States of the Church rose in insurrection. The grand duchy of Tuscany and the duchy of Modena were governed by the sovereigns of the house of Hapsburg Lorraine; at Parma reigned a branch of the Spanish bourbons. In the month of September. 1859, four bodies, elected by universal suffrage, met at Florence, at Parma, at Modena and at Bologna; these voted, 1, the abolition of their old form of government; 2, annexation to the kingdom of Sardinia, under the constitutional monarchy of Victor Emmanuel II. of the house of Savoy. These unanimous decisions of the four assemblies were submitted to a direct vote of the people in March, 1860. They were ratified by 792,577 votes, out of 807,502 votes cast. This vote of annexation was accepted by the king of Sardinia, upon whom his old parliament had conferred full powers, April 23, 1859. The annexation of Parma, Modena and the northeastern portion of the States of the Church which had been united under a provisional government, was decreed March 18, 1860; that of Tuscany, the 22d of the same month. At the same time the election of deputies was proceeded with, who were to represent the annexed provinces in the parliament of Sardinia. The elections took place Feb. 29, 1860. Parliament opened at Turin, April 2, and again ratified the annexation vote in its session of April 13.
—The old kingdom of Sardinia (which had before the war 5,000,000 inhabitants, and from which Savoy and the arrondissement of Nice had been detached by the treaty of March 24, approved by the law of June 11, 1860, and followed by the annexation vote,) contained, including the annexed provinces, a population of 11,000,000 in June, 1860.
—But the march of events did not stop here. In various parts of Sicily feeble attempts at insurrection took place, which failed. A few bands of insurgents sustained themselves in that island, when Gen. Garibaldi, who had distinguished himself in the war of the preceding year, embarked with 1,000 volunteers at Genoa, May 5, 1860, on two merchant steamers. He ran the gauntlet of the Neapolitan cruisers, and disembarked under their fire at Marsala, Sicily. on May 11. Upon reaching land, he formally took possession of the government of the island, in the name of Victor Emmanuel II., king of Italy. May 15, 1860, there was a bloody fight at Calatafini, where the troops of the king of Naples were repulsed After a series of fights and marches, Garibaldi entered Palermo, the capital of the island, the garrison having capitulated June 5. Of the royal troops there remained only a garrison in the citadel of Messina, when Garibaldi descended into Calabria. Aug. 21. Sept. 7, 1860, he became master of Naples, without firing a shot.
—While this was taking place in the south, the corps of the royal army of Sardinia advanced through Roman territory, in which was assembled a corps under the orders of General Lamorciére. After the battle of Castelfidardo, (Sept. 18, 1860), the pontifical army was dispersed. The garrison of Ancona sustained a siege by land and sea for some days. On the 29th of the month it was forced to surrender.
—The army, with King Victor Emmanuel himself at its head, next advanced to ward the frontiers of the old kingdom of Naples Oct. 17 there was a skirmish at Isernia, and on the 26th, one at Teano. Several bloody fights had taken place between Garibaldi's volunteers and the Neapolitan troops, in the country surrounding Capua, then in a state of siege. This city surrendered on Nov. 2, and King Victor Emmanuel entered Naples on the 7th. Francis II. had shut himself up in the stronghold of Gaëta, with a very respectable army; the garrisons of Civitella del Tronto, in Abruzzo, and of Messina still held out for him; Gaëta surrendered Jan. 13, Messina on the same day, and the citadel of Civitella del Tronto on March 20, 1861.
—While these military movements were taking place, the people of Marches, Umbria, Naples and Sicily came together Oct. 21, 1860, to decide upon a form of government. The plebiscitum of Marches pronounced in favor of their annexation to the constitutional monarchy of Victor Emmanuel, king of Sardinia, by 133,077 against 1,212 votes. The plebiscitum of Umbria gave 97,040 votes for and 380 against annexation. In the plebiscitum of Naples and Sicily the Italian formula was adopted, "one and indivisible," under King Victor Emmanuel and his legitimate descendants. This formula obtained 1,302,064 votes in the Neapolitan provinces, and 432,053 in Sicily, or, in all, 1,734,117 votes against 10,979. The king, to whom parliament had given full power in the matter, in the sessions of Oct. 31 and Dec. 3, 1860, accepted these plebiscita, and sanctioned the uniting of these provinces into one state by royal decree, Dec. 17. Jan. 23, new general elections were held. Parliament assembled at Turin, Feb. 17, and one month after (March 17, 1861) was cast the vote of the two chambers, proclaiming the kingdom of Italy, with a population then of 21,776,953. Count Camille de Cavour, Victor Emmanuel's first minister, the mighty inspirer of the policy which resulted in the unity of Italy, died June 6 Baron Bettino Ricasoli, who had been dictator in Tuscany, before the annexation of that province to Sardinia, and who formed a new ministry, succeeded him. Baron Ricasoli, resigned March 2, 1862. His successor was M. Urban Ratazzi, head of a new ministry, which lasted until Dec. 8. Then still another was formed, under the leadership of Louis Charles Farini, formerly dictator in the provinces of Parma. Modena and the northeastern part of the States of the Church. M. Farini retired March 24, and the leadership of the ministerial council devolved upon M. Mark Minghetti, minister of finance.
—Since 1849 France had maintained an armed force at Rome: by a treaty signed at Paris Sept. 15, 1864, between the two governments of France and Italy, it was stipulated that France should withdraw her troops as fast as the organization of the army of the pope could be proceeded with; the evacuation to take place. however. within two years. Italy agreed, on her part, not to attack the pope's territory. and even to repel any attack upon it from without, and she became responsible for a proportionate part of the debt of the old States of the Church. By a subsequent agreement the Italian government engaged to transfer the capital of the kingdom from Turin to Florence. Unfortunately things had not gone smoothly nor without bloodshed at Turin The ministry led by M. Minghetti gave place, Sept. 24, to a new administration directed by Gen. La Marmora The transfer of the seat of government to Florence was nevertheless sanctioned by the law of Dec. 11, 1864. The central administrations began to remove toward the middle of the following year. Parliament was opened Nov. 18, 1865, in the new capital of the kingdom.
—June 17, 1866, war having broken out between Prussia and Austria, Italy, which had bound itself to Prussia by a secret treaty. declared war against Austria. After the battles of Sadowa in Bohemia, and Custozza in Italy, hostilities were suspended. July 5, the emperor of Austria ceded Venetia to the French emperor, who declared that it had been taken from Italy, and should be restored to her in time of peace. There were held negotiations on the part of Italy, for the cession of Trentin, or Tyrolean Italy, which came to naught. The treaty of peace between Austria and Prussia was signed Aug. 23, 1866, and between Austria and Italy, Oct 3 of the same year. As the consent of the people to these measures had been stipulated, they were consulted Oct. 21 and 22, and gave 647.246 votes for union with the kingdom of Italy. and 69 against. The annexation of Venetia was sanctioned by royal decree, Nov. 4, 1866, and ratified by the law of July 18, 1867.
—The Ricasoli ministry, which had succeeded the La Marmora government at the breaking out of hostilities, handed in their resignations, April 4, 1867. A new ministry under Ratazzi succeeded it. The evacuation of the pontifical states, stipulated in the agreement of Sept. 24, 1864, had been accomplished within the specified time. In September, 1867, Gen. Garibaldi proposed to attack them with bands of volunteers; the royal government not succeeding in preventing an armed invasion. the French interfered, and the Garibaldians were defeated and put to rout at Mentana, (Nov. 3, 1867). From the effect of these events the Ratazzi ministry had fallen. Gen. Menabrea became chief of the new cabinet, appointed Oct. 24, and which remained in power until Dec. 14, 1869 From that time until July, 1873, the administration was intrusted to the Sanza ministry Then it passed into the hands of the Minghetti ministry, which embraced several members of the former cabinet.
—In 1870 war broke out between France and Prussia. After the first disasters France recalled her troops from Rome. Passion ran high; the national will clamored loudly for Rome, its natural capital. Parliament had already unanimously recognized it as such, March. 1861. A new outbreak was inevitable, an armed repression would only have arrayed the government against the country, and would perhaps have been unsuccessful. A plenipotentiary was sent to negotiate with the pope. but could come to no agreement with him. Then a division. commanded by Gen. Cadorna, advanced upon Rome; the assault was made Sept. 20. A breach was already opened when the foreign troops forming the pontifical army capitulated.
—Oct. 2, 1870, the Roman plebiscitum was held, which resulted in 133, 681 for, and 1,507 against. A royal decree of Oct. 9, 1870, declared Rome and its provinces integral parts of the kingdom; it guaranteed to the pope his dignity, inviolability, the personal prerogatives due to a sovereign, and reserved the right to establish, by a special law, the necessary guarantees for the independence of the holy father, and the exercise of the spiritual authority of the holy see. The annexation of Rome and its provinces was ratified by law, Dec. 31, 1870. The guarantees of the holy father and the holy see were sanctioned by the law of May 13, 1871. The removal of the government to Rome was decreed by law, Feb. 3, 1871. The new legislature, the eleventh since the promulgation of the constitutional statute by Charles Albert, king of Sardinia, the fourth since the proclamation of the kingdom of Italy, began its session there Nov. 27, 1871.
—II. Constitution. The charter, granted by Charles Albert, March 4, 1848, to the kingdom of Sardinia, was accepted the same year in Lombardy by the "act of fusion." It was also accepted by the plebiscita, which we have just referred to. This charter is therefore the constitutional charter of the kingdom of Italy. The following are its provisions: The government is monarchical and representative; the succession is regulated by the salic law. The king attains his majority at the age of eighteen During his minority the regency devolves upon his nearest male relative; or, male relatives failing, upon the queen mother. At the commencement of each reign, and for its entire duration, the civil list is fixed by vote of parliament. The old dotation in the state budget was augmented after the proclamation of the kingdom of Italy. Later it was reduced, by consent of the king, and is now (1882) 16,250,000 francs. The dotation of the crown, not personal property. consists of villas, palaces and castles. The allowances of the princes of the royal family amounted to 1,600,000 francs in 1873. The legistive power is divided between the king and the two chambers, the senate and chamber of deputies. The construction of the laws is also within the province of the legislative power. The executive power belongs to the king, who has supreme command of the army, declares war, makes treaties of peace, of alliance and of commerce, with the assent of the chambers, when they involve special expense or changes in the territory of the state. The king appoints responsible ministers. and no act of the king is valid unless countersigned by one of these. The king appoints also to all the offices of state, gives his sanction to laws, and sees to their execution. He has the right of pardon. The two chambers are convoked each year by the king. He can prorogue them, and can even dissolve the chamber of deputies. But in the latter case he must call a new one within three months. The initiative in the making of laws belongs to the two chambers as well as to the king. Nevertheless, all laws imposing taxes must first be passed by the chamber of deputies. The Catholic religion, professed by the vast majority of the citizens, is the religion of the state; other religions are tolerated. Nevertheless, the principle of toleration toward dissenting religions is in reality liberty of conscience. All citizens are equal before the law; they enjoy the same civil and political rights, and must contribute to the expenses of the state in proportion to their means. Personal liberty is guaranteed; domicile is inviolable, the press is free, and the right of assembly acknowledged Property is inviolable, save in the case of the exercise of the right of eminent domain. when damages are allowed. Taxes can only be imposed by law, and every citizen has the right to petition the chambers. The princes of the royal family are senators, with the right of a seat in the senate at the age of twenty-one; they vote at the age of twenty-five. The other senators. to an unlimited number, are appointed for life by the king. They must be at least forty years old. Senators are appointed from among bishops, archbishops. deputies, ministers, ambassadors, magistrates of the court of appeals, general officers; councilors of state and chancellors of the exchequer: prefects; men who have done honor in any way to their country; and those who pay more than 3,000 francs direct taxes. In 1880 the senate was composed of 270 members. The senate is the high court of justice, for the trial of crimes of high treason, and of ministers impeached by the chamber of deputies. To be a deputy, a person must be a citizen of the kingdom in the full exercise of his civil and political rights, and must have completed his thirtieth year. The deputy's term of office is five years. The chamber of deputies alone has the right to impeach ministers. The two chambers sit at the same time. Each chamber governs itself. Senators and deputies are not salaried The sessions are public. Resolutions are adopted by an absolute majority of votes. Members of the two chambers can not be held accountable for opinions delivered or votes cast during session. Each chamber judges of the validity of the nomination or election of its members. At each new session the president and vice presidents of the senate are appointed by the king. The other members of the board of officers are elected by the senators. The chamber of deputies names its own board of officers, including the president. Except in case of flagrante delicto, a senator can not be arrested. It is the same with the deputies, during the session of the chamber. Nevertheless, the two chambers can consent to the arrest of their members at the request of judicial authority. Both senators and deputies take before their respective chambers the oath of fidelity to king, country and laws. Judges and magistrates are appointed by the king; they are irremovable three years after their nomination. There can be no special courts nor jurisdiction. Sessions of courts are public.
—Such are the general principles of the constitution of the kingdom of Italy, embodied in the statute granted March 4, 1848. The electoral law proclaimed shortly after the statute of March 4. gave one deputy to every 25,000 inhabitants, which made 204 deputies for the old kingdom of Sardinia. After the annexation of Lombardy, a law of Nov. 20, 1859, modified this proportion, and provided for one deputy to every 30,000 inhabitants; so that there were, after the other annexations from central Italy, 387 deputies. After the plebiscita of 1860, the proportion was changed again, and it is now (1882) one deputy to every 40,000 inhabitants. After the annexation of Venetia and Rome the number of deputies increased. In 1873 it was 507, and in 1880, 508. To enjoy the electoral right, one must be a citizen by birth or naturalization, be twenty-five years of age, and know how to read and write. The electors of certain provinces, designated in the electoral law, are provisionally exempt from compliance with this last condition. Electors must, besides, pay forty francs annually in direct taxes, or pay for the hiring of a location for the carrying on of commerce, art, or some business, a fixed rent, varying, however, according to the population of the communes where the industry is established.
—The conditions of the electoral law are not imposed upon the following persons: members of academies; members of chambers of industry and commerce; professors of arts, sciences and letters; civil and military employés; persons decorated with a national order; laureates of universities; persons exercising the liberal professions; and brokers approved by the government. Nor are the above conditions necessary to eligibility to the position of deputy; the exercise of civil and political rights and to be thirty years of age are sufficient Functionaries and employés paid by the state are not eligible. Nevertheless, functionaries and employés belonging to the following categories can be admitted to the chamber of deputies. to the extent of one fifth of the whole number. Ministers of state. who are not counted in this fifth, and secretaries general of the ministries; members of the council of state, and of the courts of cassation and appeal. to the exclusion of those charged with the administration of public affairs, superior officers of the army and navy. provided they be elected outside of the district of their command: members of the superior council of public instruction, public health, public works and mines: finally, professors in universities. The members of the clergy are not eligible when they have charge of souls or a fixed residence, for example, bishops, vicars, chapter-canons, etc.
—The electoral lists are prepared by the municipalities. and they are subjected to annual revision by the same authority. Those interested may object to the formation of these lists; in case of refusal on the part of the municipalities to right the matter, the person so objecting can petition the court of appeals. Each electoral college may be divided into several sections. The electoral colleges are convoked by royal decree. within three months from the expiration of the quinquennial mandate, or of the dissolution of the chamber, within one month, in case of vacancy by death, resignation or any other cause. To be elected on the first ballot, the candidate must get a number of votes equal to one-third of the electors registered. and one-half of those voting In default of which, eight days after, those two candidates are voted for who obtained the highest number of votes the first time In both cases the president of the board of officers proclaims the deputy elected. provided it be ratified by the chamber, to which are now sent his credentials, together with protests and objections, if there be any.
—III. Administration. The executive power belongs to the king. who wields it through nine responsible ministers, to wit. Minister of foreign affairs; of the interior; of finance; of pardon, justice and worship; of public instruction; of war; of the navy. of public works; of agriculture. industry and commerce. One of these ministers presides at the meetings of the ministries. The powers and privileges of each are determined by law Nearly the whole system of administrative laws has been renewed since the foundation of the kingdom of Italy. On March 20, 1865, were enacted the laws for the administration of communes and provinces, public safety, public health, the council of state and public works. From April 29. 1869, dates the law for the administration and general accountability of the state. The executive power is based upon a council of state, which has a consulting voice in all affairs referred to it by ministers, or which are within its province by law. The administration decides no legal controversies. Its power to do so was abolished by law, March 20, 1863. Every question of a civil or political right, even where the state is interested, is within the province of the ordinary courts. The council of state is called on to settle controversies concerning jurisdiction.
—The kingdom is divided into 69 provinces; these are subdivided into 274 arrondissements, and the arrondissements into 9,438 communes Each province is administered by a prefect, each arrondissement by a subprefect. In the Venetian provinces each district is administered by a commissioner. The syndic (mayor) is chief of the municipal administration. He is appointed by the king from among the municipal councilors. Each prefect is assisted by a council, whose members are nominated by the king. Side by side with the "prefecture," there is an elective council for the province, having an administrative representation in the provincial deputation. In the arrondissement, besides the prefect or subprefect, there is a questor, a delegate or commissioner of public safety. In each chief town of a province there is a recruiting commission, and in the capitals of provinces and districts commissions of public health meet, and there is a board of education In the capital of a canton there is a judge and a commissioner of public safety. In each commune there is an elective municipal council, with an administrative committee, composed of assessors, presided over by the mayor. Each province has its own budget. The provincial council votes it; the provincial deputation, appointed by the provincial council, administers it. The sources of revenue of the provinces are made up of the incomes from patrimonial estates and trifling additions to the state taxes. The commune also has its budget. The municipal council votes it; the committee of assessors (junta) and the mayor administer it. The sources of revenue of the commune are like those of the province, and, besides, the commune has tolls and local taxes.
—The councils, both of commune and province, by the law of March 20, 1865, are elected by a relative majority of votes. The duration of their office is five years. At the close of every year, one-fifth of the council goes out. In the first four years the members retiring are chosen by lot; in the subsequent years, by seniority. Retiring members are indefinitely re-eligible. They receive no remuneration. The king can dissolve communal and provincial councils, in the interest of public order, but must cause them to be renewed within three months. During the interval, communal and provincial affairs are administered by a royal commissioner. The legal age of an administrative elector is twenty-one years; the other electoral conditions are almost the same as for political elections. Nevertheless, the amount of taxes qualifying an elector is but twenty-five francs in communes of more than 60,000 inhabitants; twenty francs in those of from 20,000 to 60,000 inhabitants; fifteen francs in those of from 10,000 to 20,000; ten francs in those of from 3,000 to 10,000; and five francs in those of less than 3,000 inhabitants. A person may be an administrative elector in one or several communes, in one or several provinces, if he have a residence, estate or establishment there. The administrative electoral lists are drawn up and revised like the political electoral lists, and the electors have the same right of objection.
—The communal council is composed of eighty members in communes of more than 250,000 inhabitants, of sixty in those of more than 60,000, of forty in those of from 30,000 to 60,000, of thirty in those of from 10,000 to 30,000, of twenty in those of from 3,000 to 10,000, and of fifteen in the smallest communes. The junta, or board of assessors, is appointed by the council, by absolute majority of votes. The assessors are ten in number, with four substitutes, in cities of 250,000 inhabitants; eight, with four substitutes, in those of more than 60,000; six, with two substitutes, in those of more than 30,000; four in those of from 3,000 to 30,000 inhabitants; and two in communes of less than 3,000 inhabitants, with two substitutes. The communal councils assemble in ordinary session twice in the year, in spring and in autumn. In extraordinary session they may come together at any time, subject to the authorization of the prefect of the province.
—The council, not the junta, appoints and dismisses all employés of the commune; deliberates upon all administrative matters, contracts and everything touching the interests of the commune. It passes laws concerning local magistracies, institutions of benevolence and instruction, police and local sanitary matters; also laws for the collection of local taxes. All available funds must be employed Among the obligatory communal expenses the law enumerates the salary of a secretary, office expense, cost of recovering taxes, cost of preserving the property of the communal patrimony, the construction of roads, the keeping in repair of roads and public places, elementary instruction, the national guard, lighting, cemeteries, subscription to the "bulletin of laws," electoral boards and local police. The council is obliged to concur with the state or the province, and with the union or consorzio of the communes interested, in certain expenses fixed by law. All other expense is optional. The budgets for the communes of 1870 amounted to, receipts, 338,978,834 francs, and expenses, 341,150,600 francs. The subprefect decides whether or not the deliberations are conformable with the laws. He can suspend the execution of them, except in case of urgent need; the prefect may, in case of need annul the deliberations of the council. The law determines what deliberations of the communal councils must be approved by the provincial deputation, or by the king. From the decision of the prefect, or of the provincial deputation presided over by the prefect, there is an appeal to the king, who submits the question to the council of state.
—The provincial councils (general councils) are composed of sixty members in provinces of more than 600,000 inhabitants, fifty in those of from 400,000 to 600,000, forty in those of from 200,000 to 400,000, and twenty in all others. The provincial councils assemble regularly in ordinary session the first Monday in September of each year; they can be convoked in extraordinary session by the prefect. Their deliberations usually concern the founding of public provincial establishments; secondary and technical instruction; provincial roads; the support of the insane and of foundlings; the preservation of monuments and archives; the regulation of the streams, etc., and, in general, all the administrative affairs in which the province has an interest. The provincial council takes charge of the charitable, benevolent and religious institutions; gives its opinion upon proposed changes of territorial limits, on the construction of roads, on tolls and markets, and on the establishment of associations between communes, and between tax payers (consorzii). The provincial deputation, which has the "guardianship" of the communes, is composed of ten members in provinces of more than 600,000 inhabitants, eight in those of more than 300,000, and six in the others, with substitutes to the number of four in the first class and two in the others. The provincial budgets, not including that of the province of Rome, amounted, in 1870, to 78,766,736 francs, receipts, and to 79,109,567 francs, expenditures.
—IV. Finance. The law of April 29, 1869, established the general principles of the financial administration The minister of finance prepares each year the general plan of the budget of the receipts and expenditures of the state. For this purpose each of the other ministers transmits to him the plan for the particular budget of his own department. In the budget ordinary receipts and expenditures are first entered, followed by the extraordinary. Every item of extraordinary expenditure exceeding the sum of 30,000 francs must first be approved by special law.
—The financial year coincides with the solar year (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31). It is never longer, and the account of the financial year relates only to the actual receipts and expenditures of that year. In the first two weeks of March the minister of finance must present to parliament a scheme for the budget of each ministry, and one including all of these, indicating the provisions made for the receipts and expenditures of the following year. These estimates are approved before Jan. 1. During the same two weeks in March the minister of finance must present a general and definitive budget for the current year, together with the modifications of the provisions of the first budget, already approved, and giving account of the balances of the preceding year. To this definitive budget is added a statement of the condition of the treasury.
—The collection of direct taxes has been regulated, since Jan. 1, 1873, by the law of April 20, 1871 By virtue of this law there must be a collector of taxes for each commune or union of communes (consorzio). He is paid by the communes; the office is by them awarded to the highest bidder, for a term of five years. The collector is also charged with the collection of the taxes of the state, as well as those of the communes and provinces, according to lists which are furnished him. He is responsible for the sum total of his lists, even for the sums which he may not have collected. In the chief city of each province a receiver general collects the sums due by the collectors of taxes for the state and province, and is responsible for them, even for those not collected. The office of receiver general is sold at auction for a term of five years, and he is remunerated from the provincial funds. The taxes on landed property have been made uniform by the laws of July 14, 1864, and May 25, 1865. The whole financial system was then unified, and now all citizens are subjected to the same taxes throughout all the provinces of the kingdom; though the islands of Sardmia and Sicily are exempt from the duty on salt, and the latter from that on tobacco even, the cultivation and sale of this plant having remained free there. The taxes of the kingdom may be divided as follows: 1, taxes on landed property: 2. taxes on the income from personal property; 3. taxes on the grinding of cereals. 4. taxes on affairs, such as the right of registration on civil acts, on the right of succession and judicial acts, stamp duties, etc; 5. taxes on the cultivation of tobacco, except in Sicily, and on the manufacture of beer, soda waters and alcoholic drinks; 6. taxes on articles of consumption in city and country communes. (with the exception of flour, meat and drinks, all articles of consumption may be subjected to communal dues, and besides, the commune can add its own taxes to those of the government). 7. taxes on foreign commerce, customs and rights of navigation. (raw material is exempt from all impost laws, and the tariff on the other products of industry and manufacture is extremely moderate—no prohibition nor differential law is insisted upon); 8. the government monopolies, such as the sale of salt and tobacco. 9. lotteries; 10, the profits of the public services, such as the postal system, telegraph, etc; 11, the revenues from domains, and the receipts of the railroads operated by the state, 12, contingent revenues of divers kinds; 13, reimbursements and regular receipts; 14, ecclesiastical revenues.
—V. Administration of Justice. The kingdom of Italy obtained a uniform civil legislation by the code promulgated June 25, 1865; in it, civil marriage and the equality of males and females in the right of inheritance were established. Tuscany only has her own peculiar penal code, whereas all the other provinces have one and the same, the penal code was modified in a few respects for the Neapolitan provinces, for the purpose of lightening the penalties imposed for certain offenses. Capital punishment is effaced from the code of Tuscany. Commercial legislation, as well as codes of procedure, are the same throughout the kingdom; the codes of commerce and civil procedure date from June 25, 1865; those of criminal procedure from Nov. 26, 1865. Nevertheless, there are five courts of cassation. They are held at Milan, Florence, Naples, Palermo and Rome, and are called upon to decide, in matters civil and criminal, cases of violation or false application of the law. The courts of appeal do not render final judgment, but reject the opinion or reverse the decision of the first judges and send the case to another tribunal. The law of Dec. 6, 1865, made the judicial organization uniform throughout the realm. It embraces the court of appeals, appellate courts, courts of assize, tribunals of commerce, civil and correctional courts and pretors In each commune there is a justice of the peace, in the large communes, several There is a public prosecutor for the court of appeals, as well as for the civil and correctional courts. Justices of the peace are appointed by the king. Their services are gratuitous They decide without the formality of procedure, and render final judgment in petty cases, involving personal or real property to a sum of not more than thirty francs. They act as arbiters when their advice is demanded in disputes between residents of the same commune. Where there is no justice of the peace these duties devolve upon the syndic, or mayor Every judicial district (the judicial district consists of one or several communes and even of part of one) has a pretor, who decides in the first instance in civil and commercial cases involving as much as 1,500 francs, and in offenses against police regulations. The civil and correctional tribunals have jurisdiction over one or several administrative districts. There are 162 of them. They pronounce in the second instance upon the decisions of the pretors, and in the first instance upon civil matters, which are relegated to them by law, as well as crimes. Connected with these tribunals there are one or several judges, charged with the examination of criminal matters.
—The members of the tribunals of commerce are appointed by the king on the recommendation of the chambers of commerce respectively: there are sixty-eight of these in the whole kingdom. The tribunals decide in cases deferred to them by the commercial code and other laws. The courts of appeal are twenty in number, of which three have altogether four detached sections, which sit outside of the city, the residence of the court. Thus, there are twenty-four cities with a court of appeals, or a section of one. The courts of appeal take cognizance in the second instance of cases already judged by the district and commercial courts, and of complaints in matters of election. They decide, moreover, on the acts relative to the record of crimes to be sent before the court of assize. Each court and even separate section of appeals consist of three chambers, viz. civil chamber, chamber of correction and chamber of accusation. Five councilors at least must be present in civil cases, six in correctional appeals, and three in the chamber of accusation, to make a decision valid. The courts of assize are convened every year by royal decree at the time and place determined by law. The jurisdiction of each court of assize embraces that of one or of several tribunals. Each court of assize is composed of three councilors of the court of appeal, to which the decisions of the court of assize may be carried for approval or reversal: they are charged with the making up of the record of cases, and the application of the law after the verdict of the jury. The jury is composed of twelve men, chosen by lot from among the electors of fully thirty years of age, and able to read and write. The court of assize has cognizance of ordinary crimes, misdemeanors of the press and political misdemeanors. Appeal can be taken against the decision of the court of assize.
—Crimes of high treason and political trials of ministers come under the jurisdiction of the senate, which is erected into a high court of justice on such occasions The public ministry represents the executive power in relation to judicial authority. The functions of the public ministry are exercised in relation to the judges of districts by the delegate of public surety (police commissioner), or by the mayor, or by a fiscal procurator In the tribunals of the arrondissements the public ministry is represented by the procurator of the king; before appellate courts and the court of appeals, by the attorney general. The public ministry has charge of state actions against criminals. It has the right of appeal to the higher court in the interest of public order and law.
—The defense, by courtesy, of the poor, in civil and penal cases before tribunals and courts (judicial aid) is confided by the president of the tribunal or of the court to some lawyer practicing within its jurisdiction. Counsel for defendants, under such circumstances, who take the case without remuneration, have to defend, in both civil and criminal courts, individuals and moral bodies admitted to judicial aid, according to rules determined by law.
—VI. Worship; Relations of Church and State Almost all Italians (99.7 per cent.) profess the Catholic religion. In the north a few valleys of the Alps, on the side of Pignerol, are inhabited by Vaudois, descended from the partisans of Peter Valdès. They have a temple at Turin. A few ancient Albanians, living in scattered localities in southern Italy, along the shore of the Adriatic, profess the United Greek faith. There are 40,000 or 50,000 Jews and 30,000 to 40,000 Protestants. Altogether, the members of non Catholic religions do not number over 100,000 The principle of toleration in religion is embodied in the constitution of March 4, 1848, and has been interpreted and widely applied in the most liberal sense. Churches and temples may be erected by non-Catholics and kept open to the public, but the permission of the government must first be had. This permission is not necessary for the Catholics. The discussion of religious matters is entirely free.
—The relation of church and state are regulated by the law of May 13, 1871, which at the same time determines the prerogatives of the sovereign pontiff and the holy see. According to this law the person of the pope is sacred and inviolable. Attempts against his person or instigation to such action, as well as public insult and injury, are punished with the same penalties as are the same crimes and misdemeanors against the person of the king. These crimes come under public jurisdiction and are taken cognizance of by the high court of assize. The Italian government renders the sovereign pontiff within the territory of the realm the sovereign honors and pre-eminence of honor accorded to him by Catholic sovereigns. The pope has the power of retaining the usual number of guards attached to his person and palace. The holy see is made the same allowance—3,225,000 francs—that it received in the budget of the pontifical states; this allowance is inscribed on the ledger of the public debt as a perpetual annuity, and inalienable in the name of the holy see, payable even during the vacancy of the holy see; and it is exempt from all sorts of taxes and burdens, whether governmental, provincial or communal. It is provided that the sovereign pontiff shall continue to enjoy the palaces of the Vatican and of the Lateran with all their dependencies; as well as the villa of Castel Gondolfo. The said palaces, villa and surroundings, with their museums, libraries and art collections, are inalienable, exempt from all taxes, and not subject to the exercise of the right of eminent domain by the state. During the vacancy of the holy see no authority can, for any reason whatsoever, interfere with or restrict the personal liberty of the cardinals; the government is pledged to see that the conclave and the œcumenical councils are troubled by no violence. The representative or agent of public authority can penetrate into the palaces and places which are the habitual residence or temporary dwelling of the sovereign pontiff, or in which may be assembled a conclave or an œcumenical council. It is prohibited to pay visits of examination, search, or to remove papers, documents, books or registers, in the pontifical offices or congregations, when such are of a purely spiritual character. The sovereign pontiff is entirely free to perform all the functions of his spiritual ministry, and to cause to be affixed to the doors of the basilicas and churches of Rome the acts of that ministry Those ecclesiastics, who, in the exercise of their functions, participate in the production of these acts, are subject to no search, investigation or prosecution by reason of them; any strangers at Rome, invested with ecclesiastical functions, enjoy the personal guarantees of Italian citizens. The ambassadors of foreign governments to the holy see enjoy all the prerogatives and privileges of diplomatic agents, granted by international law. The representatives of the see at foreign courts are insured the same guarantees and immunities, both going and coming.
—It is provided that the sovereign pontiff shall have the right to correspond freely with the episcopacy and the whole Catholic world, without any interference on the part of the Italian government. He can establish at the Vatican or his other residences, post and telegraph offices with his own employes. The pontifical postoffice may correspond directly, in sealed envelope, with the offices of foreign administrations, or deliver its own correspondence through the Italian office. In both cases the transportation of the pontifical mail is exempt from all taxation or expense on Italian territory. Couriers expedited in the name of the sovereign pontiff are put on the same footing as those of the ministries of foreign governments. It is also provided that the pontifical telegraph office shall be connected with the general system of the realm, at the expense of the state; that its telegrams shall be received and sent as telegrams of the state, and shall be free of charge; that the same advantages shall be granted in the case of messages presented at any regular office by order of the pope, and messages addressed to him shall be exempt from the charges made against the person to whom the telegram is sent.
—In the city of Rome and its six suburban sees, the seminaries, academies, colleges and other Catholic institutions, established for the purpose of ecclesiastical education, depend solely on the holy see, without any interference on the part of the school authorities of the realm. All restrictions on the right of assembly of the Catholic clergy are removed. The government renounces the right of nomination to and patronage of the major benefices; bishops are not obliged to take the oath of fidelity to the king. The major and minor benefices can only be conferred upon citizens of the realm except in the city of Rome and in its suburban sees.
—The royal exequatur and placet have been abolished; likewise every other form of governmental authorization of the publication and execution of the acts of ecclesiastical authority Nevertheless, until the reorganization, preservation and administration of ecclesiastical property shall have been provided for by a special law, the acts of the ecclesiastical authorities, having for their object the disposal of church property, and provision for major and minor benefices, except those of Rome and its suburban sees, shall remain subject to the exequatur and placet. In matters spiritual and disciplinary, there is no appeal from the acts of the ecclesiastical authorities, on the other hand, they can not execute their decrees by the aid of the state. Cognizance of the legal effects of such acts and of every act of ecclesiastical authority belongs to civil jurisdiction; these acts are devoid of all force and effect, if contrary to the laws of the state, to public order, or if they violate the rights of individuals; if they constitute a crime, they come under a penal code. The royal decree of June 23. 1871. regulates the concession of the placet and exequatur; by article five of this decree, a person invested with a benefice can not take possession of it until his title be provided with the royal placet or exequatur.
—A law of July 7, 1866, suppressed all orders, all religious corporations and congregations. The members of these moral bodies, even mendicants, were allowed a life pension of 600 francs or less, according to the age of the pensioners. Their possessions were made over to the state.
—The number of archbishops having dioceses is 47; of bishops, 217; in all, 264. It may be well to note here that in the diocese of Milan the Ambrosian rite is still in use. The Milanese or Ambrosian church, although one with the Roman Catholic, is distinct from the latter in its ritual, its celebration of the mass, the breviary, and especially in the administration of the sacraments, beginning with baptism by immersion. The revenue of the property of the secular clergy, administered by themselves, is estimated at 55,000,000 francs at the very least. To this we must add the tithes levied by the clergy upon the harvests in several provinces, and the fees for baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc.
—VII. Public Instruction. The fundamental law of public instruction is that of Nov. 13, 1859, modified for the provinces of Tuscany and the old kingdom of Naples at the time of its promulgation in those countries. A few other modifications have been effected by laws common to the whole kingdom. Education is of three degrees. namely: elementary, secondary and superior. Secondary instruction is divided into classical and technical. Higher education comes within the province of the universities and higher institutions of learning. Secondary classical instruction is given in the lyceums and gymnasia (colleges); secondary technic instruction, in the schools and institutes of technology; elementary instruction is given in the communal schools. We have enumerated elementary instruction as among the obligatory communal expenses. Universities and lyceums are supported by the state. Gymnasia and schools of technology are at the charge of the communes in which they are established. Technological institutes are maintained by the provinces. However, in the case of the two latter categories, the state contributes toward their expenses to the amount of half the salaries of the faculties.
—VIII. Public Charity. Benevolent institutions are numerous in Italy. Every commune supports one or more. They are regulated by the law of Aug. 3, 1862. Provinces maintain at their expense foundling and insane asylums These institutions are administered by a bureau of charity in each commune. This bureau is appointed by the municipal council, and has a president, with four or eight members, according to the population of the place. The president's term of office is four consecutive years; the other members' service expires, one each year for four years; but they are always re-eligible. The municipal council may elect a special board or bureau for an institution, when the board of charity does not suffice. Institutions, whose manner of administration has been predetermined by the act establishing them, are without the jurisdiction of the latter. Every year a budget of receipts and expenditures is prepared. This is approved by the provincial deputation, to whom are also referred the rules of government, the sales, purchases, acceptances or refusals of bequests and the authorization to sue. However, permission to acquire property through legacies is definitely granted by the government. When an institution is subventioned by the state, its budget must have the approval of the minister of the interior. The latter has, moreover, the right of surveillance and control of the administration of all charities. In cases provided for by law, institutions may be reformed, or even transformed, when they no longer serve their purpose. This has been done in the case of asylums for pilgrims and neophytes, institutions created for the ransoming of Christian slaves in heathen countries, etc. The demand for reform or transformation is addressed to the council of the province by the municipal council. The prefect then submits it to the minister of the interior, who acts upon the instruction of the state council. All new foundations of benevolent or charitable institutions must be authorized by the government.
—IX. Military Organization. The kingdom comprises sixteen territorial divisions. There are twenty-eight fortresses and fifty-three military districts. Four general commands of army corps are established in Rome, Verona, Naples and Palermo. By the Sardinian law of March 20, 1854, which, after the annexation, went into force throughout the whole kingdom, every citizen is subject to conscription as soon as he has completed his twentieth year, and even before that age in case of war. All the young men born in the same year form a class from which is drawn the yearly contingent, fixed by law. This contingent is distributed by arrondissements, in proportion to the number of those inscribed upon the lists of the class, which is chosen by lot to enter the army. The direction of the conscription, according to the law of March 29, 1865, is confided to a functionary of the administration, to the prefects and the subprefects; its execution devolves upon a council of conscription in each arrondissement. The latter is composed of the prefect or subprefect, two provincial councilors and two army officers. It is assisted by the administrative officer and a doctor The mayors of each commune enroll the name of the young men upon the recruiting lists. After these have been published, lots are drawn; after that, the council of conscription visits the enlisted and pronounces upon their right to claim exemption from the service. The men chosen by lot to form the annual contingent from the first category. They are called to the army, and are assigned according to their aptitudes, to one or another corps of the army; the rest form the second category, and are subject to military services for forty days in each year.
—The law of July 19, 1871, modified the organic recruiting law, and instituted a provincial militia. It provides for the voluntary enlistment for one year, under certain conditions, of young men who wish to become proficient in the art of arms. All exemption from military service has been done away with, except the substitution of a brother, and this liberation, dependent upon the payment of a premium fixed by law (2,600 francs in 1871 and 1872), only transfers the young man from the first to the second category. University students, students of medicine, pharmacy, surgery and veterinary pupils enrolled in the second category, are exempt at their request from military instruction; but they are liable, in time of war, to be called upon to serve in their capacity of doctor, surgeon, etc., up to the age of thirty-four years. A like exemption may be claimed by ecclesiastical students. Both classes are deprived of this right of exemption, if, at the age of full twenty-five years, they have not received their professional diplomas, or taken higher orders. The volunteers of one year receive no pay. At the end of their time, if they have given proof of sufficient military knowledge, they may claim exemption upon paying a premium not exceeding one-third of that fixed in ordinary cases; or they may be transferred into the provincial militia, even with the rank of officer, after an examination as to fitness. Besides the voluntary enlistment of a year, there is, for young men of, at the least, seventeen years of age, a kind of volunteering called permanent, that is, for eight years of service; also a form called temporary enlistment. Aliens, and in general all volunteers not included in the recruiting lists, are accepted only for eight years of service. Soldiers, discharged at the close of their term of obligatory service, may re-enlist voluntarily for a term of not less than three years. In time of war volunteers for the duration of the war are enrolled. All citizens are subject to military service. The provincial militia is composed of men of the first category, who are in the three or four last years of their service, and men of the second category, who are in the four or five last years of service. The government may claim the services of soldiers of the militia to re-enforce the active army in time of war. Cavalrymen, artillerymen and men of the artillery train and sanitary corps are attached to the active army during their entire term of service. The officers are chosen from among soldiers who have quit active service by reason of retirement, voluntary resignation or permanent leave, and who wish to join the provincial militia. They receive an allowance, to which may be added a pension.
—By the law of military organization passed Sept. 30, 1873, the standing army of Italy is divided into seven general commands, or corps d'armée, each consisting of three divisions, and each division of two brigades; four or six battalions of "bersaglieri." or riflemen, two regiments of cavalry, and from six to nine companies of artillery. The actual strength of the rank and file of the army at the end of December, 1878, was 199,537 men (peace footing), and 444,509 men (war footing). with 15,110 officers. The national militia is composed of 232 battalions of infantry, each of four companies, of fifteen battalions of "bersaglieri" cavalry; of sixty battalions of artillery; and of ten companies of engineers. The time of service in the standing army is three years in the infantry and five years in the cavalry. A certain number. distinguished as "soldati d'ordinanza," to which class belong the carabinieri and some of the administrative troops, have the option to serve eight years complete, and are then liberated without further liability to arms. In the army of reserve the time of service is nine years.
—The naval army, that is, the gunners and marine infantry, is recruited from among the young men forming the yearly military contingent. There is a special conscription for sailors and mechanics of the navy. The term of service of conscription in the navy is eight years; of volunteers, until they are forty years old.
—The navy of the kingdom of Italy consisted, at the end of December. 1881, of 88 steamers, afloat or building, armed with 684 guns. The navy was manned in 1880 by 11,200 sailors, and 660 engineers and working men, with 1,271 officers, the chief of them one admiral, one vice-admiral, 10 rear-admirals and 83 captains. The marines consisted of two regiments, comprising 205 officers and 2,700 soldiers. The merchant marine comprises 18,800 sailing vessels, with a tonnage of 990,000, and carrying a total of 184,000 seamen. The number of steam vessels is rapidly increasing. In 1872 there were 120 of these, with a tonnage of 33,000. The regular and coral fisheries give employment to 11,600 boats and 31,000 men.
—X. Economic and Commercial History. The economic and commercial history of the times that extend from the crusades to the discovery of America, is in great measure Italian history. There will certainly be no one who will dare to call a useless work or a vain complacency of learned men, this investigation in the volume of history of the titles of Italian one time supremacy. The picture of the glory and of the treasures acquired by Italians, in the countries where they traded, ought to serve as a stimulus to imitation. After the changes that have happened he would be foolish who should dream of new domains on the coasts of the seas of the east. But the navigation of these seas is open, and if the times which Providence is preparing will be so favorable to the nations living on the shores of the Mediterranean that a part of the commerce with Asia shall take again its former route, it will then be known how profitable the results will be. It suffices to call to mind the geographical position of the Italian peninsula that we may recognize how Italian traders were naturally invited to be the first to take in hand the production of Asia and Africa, from the ports of Egypt and Syria or of the Black sea; and how, transporting them along the Mediterranean, they could furnish all christendom therewith, while greatly advantaging themselves.
—At this epoch America had no existence for Europe; all the products in which the latter was lacking, and therefore obliged to demand of other parts of the world, came from Asia and Africa only. The countries of the east, in which nature has with so much liberality lavished her gifts, are in part bathed by those same seas that surround Italy. Greece, Syria and all Asia Minor offered to Italian traders excellent dépôts for the storing or exchange of their goods. The countries situated in proximity to the Black sea were almost all barbarous, and therefore could ill compete with the hardy Italian navigators, who visited the colonies founded by their valorous fellow-citizens around the Euxine, to receive the merchandise which caravans had brought from the central regions of Asia and even from the remote shores of the gulfs of Arabia and Bengal—merchandise which was then by them distributed through all Europe. Let us remember these conditions, in part natural and physical, in part economic and civil, to which of necessity their commerce was subject, and we shall be able to form some idea of the necessary and spontaneous superiority which these conferred on the merchants of Italy.
—If we examine on the map the respective positions of the various provinces of Italy we shall see that lower Italy and Sicily must have been, at the time of which we speak, the principal seats and richest emporiums of this trade. On one side Naples commanded the Tyrrhenian sea. Tarento on the other side, and the cities of Puglia and Calabria, were those whose navigators could most immediately communicate, by passing through the Ionian sea, with the islands of the Archipelago and the ports of the Levant. Sicily, in turn, saw extending before her the coasts of Africa and Egypt, forming one of the principal routes of commerce. And yet history, reserving only the brief period during which Amalfi deservedly proclaimed herself queen of the seas, far from presenting lower Italy as having the palms of commerce, places her below Pisa, Genoa and Venice. Although this fact may at first sight appear strange enough, it will not be difficult to find a reasonable explanation thereof.
—Sad consequences to commerce proceeded from feudalism, that form of social administration in which is to be found the real cause of the mercantile inferiority of Naples and Sicily. The isolation, says Giuliano Ricci, in which they live in the midst of the state, withdraws both plebeians and patricians from extended commerce and perfected industry, interrupting or rendering slow and difficult all communications and relations of interest, at the same time that it paralyzes undertakings of every kind. Hence it is that Norman feudalism withered the municipalities in the south of Italy, and paralyzed that commerce and those manufactures which prospered in the north, and which might have found in the south, through the convenience of its ports and the nearness of the springs and routes of commerce, favor and encouragement. If feudalism was not the cause, how is it that from Briudisi mistress of the mouths of the Adriatic, commerce thrust itself to the lagoons of Venice from Syracuse and Amalfi to Pisa and Genoa? But, as above indicated, Amalfi, situated on the gulf of Salerno, had its period of prosperity. It is even the first Italian city of which we can infer with certainty the maritime commerce with the Levant. Obliged to contend against the Arabs and Saracens, its navigation received an extraordinary increase; and in the year 849 saved Rome from a threatening invasion. At Palermo, at Syracuse, at Messina, its traders possessed store houses and agencies; and the vessels of Amalfi, from the tenth century, were to be met in the ports of Beyroot and Alexandria, employed in the transportation of pilgrims to the Holy Land and in mercantile operations. By the route of Durazzo they trafficked meantime with the Greek empire, and at Constantinople obtained conspicuous privileges. During the brief periods of its prosperity Amalfi could count 50,000 inhabitants; its money was current throughout all Italy and the Levant, and the famous Tavole Amalfilane formed a maritime code imitated by later and foreign legislation. Of Flavio Gioïa, a citizen of Amalfi, and of the mariner's compass, we need say nothing here. But foreign conquest and military fury soon brought to ruin this great prosperity. The Normans, in 1131, deprived Amalfi of its liberty; and, soon after, a fleet from Pisa assaulted and sacked it, reducing it to a heap of ruins. Amalfi fell at the very moment in which Italian commerce generally was rising, and Pisa and Genoa obtained the rich heritage.
—From the tenth to the twelfth century Pisa was the principal commercial mart of Italy. The Arno, then navigable right under its walls, made almost a maritime city of it, while at the same time opening up a channel into the interior of Tuscany Pisa, in whose deserted streets to-day the grass is growing, had, in the times of its splendor, as many as 200,000 inhabitants. The frequent irruptions of the Saracens, from one of which it was freed by the prowess of its heroine, Cinzica Sismondi, had obliged Pisans to acquire skill also in the use of arms; and the common peril had induced the Genoese to unite with their rivals against the infidels, from whom the two republics snatched the dominion of Sardinia, which was afterward to become the apple of discord. In 1087 the Genoese and Pisans combined made an expedition against Tunis; and the Tuscan navigators made conquests besides on their own account, among others those of Corsica and the Balearic isles, from which able mariners were recruited.
—That which distinguished Pisa from the other Italian republics was the liberal policy with which its ports were opened to strangers. But the Genoese contemplated with an evil eye the dominion of the Mediterranean being contended for by the Pisans, for whom they were reserving the same fate which the latter had inflicted on Amalfi. The possession of Corsica and Sardinia was the occasion and pretext of war; a war of extermination, from which the greater profit was drawn by the queen of the Adriatic, which with secret joy beheld, as a spectator, the terrible injuries which its two sisters on opposite shores were inflicting on each other.
—In the first and second crusades the Pisans had taken a leading part, obtaining, as a reward, great privileges in the Levant, and fortresses and establishments upon all the coasts of Syria and Asia Minor. Jaffa, St. John d'Acre. Tripoli, Laodicea and Antioch were almost entirely in their power. At Tyre they had founded a company, religious and at the same time mercantile, called, as if by antiphrasis, that of the Humble, (sociatas humiliorum) devoted to trade, principally to the weaving of wools.
—These great successes increased all the more the rancor and envy of the Ligurian metropolis which, toward the end of the twelfth century, definitively took away from Pisa the two islands so long disputed: and in 1283, near the reef of Meloria, the Pisan fleet and grandeur were destroyed. And not even content with this, the Genoese stirred up internal factions, which soon covered with blood the banks of the Arno; and, to deliver a last blow to their former rivals, and excite a formidable competition to the Pisan port, in 1421 they sold to Florence the harbor of Leghorn for 100,000 gold crowns.
—The discords of the Italian cities were always the principal cause that prevented the peninsula not only from uniting to form a powerful nation, but likewise from preserving the palms of civilization and commerce acquired with so much toil and blood. And yet it must be confessed, that, in the history of the world, those intestine strifes themselves were the occasion of some good and the cause of a progress which otherwise would with difficulty have been obtained. From the most painful evils Providence knows how to draw out germs of future advantage for the human family. Previous to the great epoch of the Italian republics, war was carried on ordinarily through mere thirst for conquest, by barbarous and ferocious soldiers, who fought only for the sake of fighting and destroying. Italian communes, on the contrary, introduced a new kind of wars, commercial ones, from motives of interest; they destroyed but for the sake of producing, of accumulating; wealth was their object, as much at least as glory. Besides, but for the profound rivalry which divided those municipalities into inimical camps, and obliged them to perform deeds of prodigious heroism, can we believe they would have become so great? In order to be great it is necessary to be able to love strongly and hate strongly; and it is quite doubtful whether hatred or love contributed most to the greatness of Italy. Heaven forbid that we should say this as a justification or apology for the miserable fratricidal arms, the eternal cause of Italian weakness and shame at this time; but impartial history must explain the facts it relates and not shrink from confessing the benefits which often had their origin in the most deplorable misfortunes; and we can have no doubt that these mercantile wars were a notable social progress in comparison with former wars of conquest and invasion.
—Genoa and Venice alone remained to contend for the empire of the seas. It is known how Venice arose. Attila had passed the Alps, sacked and reduced Aquileia to ashes; he was threatening to descend on Rome. The inhabitants of the destroyed city and of the neighboring country sought refuge on the sandy islets of the lagoons, and founded there, in the year 450 after Christ, a species of federative republic, in which each of the isles was governed by its own tribunes. Fishing and the production of salt were the first industries of the little nation. The security they enjoyed, in the midst of the sea upon their rocks, invited new colonists, and little by little this became so conspicuous as to be able to neutralize the importance of Ravenna, the capital of the empire of the Ostrogoths. When Justinian, emperor of the east, declared war against the latter, and sent his generals, Belisarius and Natsetes, to subdue them. Venice afforded to the Greeks the aid of its fleet. The battle of Vesuvius put an end to the Gothic dominion, and the exarchate of Ravenna inherited its power. But, hard pressed by the Lombards, the conquerors of the valley of the Po, the exarchs sought to make friends of a city that could do them great service, and granted Venice important privileges and commercial liberties. When Charlemagne descended into Italy to wrench the iron crown from King Desiderio, the Venetians, most skillful in profiting by every propitious occasion, won to themselves the friendship of the new Cæsar by aiding him in the siege of Pavia, and obtained as their reward the right of trading in his Italian states. Meanwhile the Greek empire, menaced by the Arabs, the Bulgarians and the Hungarians, was going to decay; and Venice, quick at all times to take advantage of circumstances, offered subsidies which were dearly requited. Fiscal exemptions, agencies and establishments in Roumelia and Constantinople itself, the conquest of Dalmatia—such were the rewards granted to the Venetians. In proportion as the circle of their political power was enlarged did they feel the necessity of modifying their internal constitution, giving it greater force and unity. They had already substituted the authority of a single doge for that of several tribunes. The Venetian oligarchy, glorious and illustrious, succeeded the democracy, and became the granite base upon which was to rest the whole machinery of the state. Ancona and Comacchio, which in the matter of trade had shown some disposition to rival Venice, had fallen under the blows of the Saracens and the Narientien pirates, and the queen of the Adriatic let them succumb without aiding them.
—The Grecian emperors had helped to promote the crusades, but were not long in repenting of it. The Frank warriors, who remained for some time in Byzantium, committed violence and abuses; the Italian traders obtained important privileges, which Constantinople granted through fear of the Turks and from a desire to make powerful friendships. The Venetian agency (fattoria) in the suburb of Pera, had about 10,000 inhabitants and formed a little state, capable at times of neutralizing the power and authority of the local government. The tortuous and disloyal policy of the Byzantine emperors could not long remain faithful to treaties concluded with neighbors so formidable. And their perfidy, already long suspected, appeared manifest in the conduct of the emperor, Emmanuel Commenus, who in 1172, being refused by the Venetians their aid in his affair with William, king of Sicily, caused to be confiscated all their vessels with their cargoes, and all they possessed in his states, arresting even a great number of their citizens.
—The republic of St. Mark was not one to tolerate such an unjust affront, and the opportunity of obtaining revenge for it did not long delay. When the fourth crusade was undertaken in 1202, Venice not only took upon itself the transport of the whole army, but prepared, besides, an expedition of its own, under the command of the doge, Enrico Dandolo. But not against the Turks, rather against the Greeks were these troops directed. Constantinople was taken, and the Latin empire was substituted there in 1204. The entire suburb of Pera, the Morea with the most fertile islands of the Archipelago, fell to the lot of Venice; which, in this manner, became once more preponderant in the commerce of the Levant, in which the Genoese and Pisans, at a former period, had been its victorious rivals.
—Genoa, though prosperous and rich, had until now remained second to Venice. The industrious character of the Ligurians, and the advantages of the site they occupy, ill adapted to agriculture and marvelously litted for navigation, had early made them a people of traders, to such a degree that a proverb ran: Genuensis, ergo mercator. They were burning with the desire to supplant the Venetians in the Levant and to substitute their own power there. Able and astute politicians, the Genoese saw that Venetian power rested principally on the duration and force of the Latin empire of Byzantium: and that this destroyed, the other would also fall. They resolved, therefore, to use every means for the restoration of the Greek emperors; and they succeeded in their well-imagined enterprise.
—Michele VIII., Paleologus, implored the aid of the Genoese, who carried him in a fleet in 1261 to Constantinople, whence the Franks and Venetians were driven out; and Genoa obtained of the new lord all the possessions and privileges which its rival had enjoyed. Thus the capital of Liguria became the first commercial power of Europe; and, as Scherer justly observes, if the enterprising audacity and the fearless courage of its inhabitants had been governed by a wiser policy, they might long have preserved their supremacy. But the internal administration of Genoa was profoundly unlike that of Venice, and the Genoese were different men. The Venetian government represented a system strong, permanent, lasting; it was an edifice soundly established on the basis of an aristocracy prudent and ambitious. That of Genoa, on the contrary, was uncertain, fluctuating, torn by continual factions, and led from one novelty to another. If the comparison is allowable, we would say that Venice was the England and Genoa the France of Italy. Hence it happened that Genoa, having reached the summit of grandeur and prosperity, was not long in falling into decay, while Venice, on the contrary, though passing through the most contrary vicissitudes, knew how to maintain itself strong and respected.
—If the Genoese had allied themselves with the schismatic Greeks to make war on the Venetians, the latter, less delicate still and less scrupulous, had leagued themselves with the Turks to bring the Genoese to ruin. Those trading peoples knew well how to compromise with their conscience and faith whenever their interests were at stake, or whenever they wished to satisfy their mutual hatred. But, in order to explain this point of Italian history, a few considerations are needed. There were then two principal routes by which the goods from Asia could reach the seas of Europe. One of these, from the Persian gulf, along the course of the Euphrates and the Tigris, extended as far as Trebizond and the other ports of the Black sea. And of this the Genoese, after the last revolution, had become masters. The other was that which, by means of the Red sea and Egypt, ended at Alexandria, where although the Genoese had their agencies, there was still a possibility of competing with them. And all the more since the first of the two routes, in consequence of the commencing decadence of the caliphate, had become insecure on account of the brigands who infested it: while, on the contrary, in Egypt, under the military rule of the mamelukes, order and security reigned. Whence it was that when the Genoese seized the trade of Constantinople and the Black sea, the Venetians turned all their attention to the possession of Alexandria.
—Papal Rome had, by a pontifical edict, forbidden any direct relations with the infidels. But Venice, by the astuteness of diplomacy and rich presents, knew how to obtain a special dispensation, thanks to which the Roman court granted to those traders permission to send a limited number of vessels to Egypt and Syria. But soon even that last clause limiting the vessels fell into disuse, and Venice directed to those ports the principal efforts of its policy and navigation, and concluded several advantageous treaties with the mameluke sultans. It must be said that Genoa had not been a whit more particular than its rival, and had, some thirty years before, signed a treaty with the Tunisians.
—Thanks to this new commercial revolution, favored by the Venetians, Alexandria became, at the commencement of the fourteenth century, the centre and emporium of Indian trade. The Venetians carried there the productions of Italian industry, such as wool, arms, mirrors, glass, and the wares of other European countries; and exported thence drugs, spices, pearls, precious stones, ivory, cotton, Indian silk, and the indigenous products of Egypt.
—The Genoese, though preponderant on the Bosphorus and the Euxine, could not long remain indifferent to the sturdy competition of the Venetians in the Italian seas. They also tried to obtain privileges in Egypt; and inasmuch as the sultans were interested in giving permission to every trading people who could bring abundance to their markets, they were not backward in satisfying them, so that the two great rivals soon met face to face on the banks of the Nile. On the other hand, the Venetians had not left their competitors tranquil on the Black sea; and in Trebizond they had strengthened themselves anew. From these causes there arose a mortal war between the two republics, which lasted from 1356 to 1380, and which terminated, after various vicissitudes, with the discomfiture of the Genoese. and the prostration of the contending parties, to the profit of the common enemy the Turk, who threatened to advance and confound in the same ruin the conqueror and the conquered.
—But before occupying ourselves with the decadence of Italian commerce, we think it opportune to inform our readers with respect to some most important points appertaining to the epoch of its grandeur. We have related, according to chronological order, the vicissitudes of that memorable epoch; but let us stop to consider the various characters that distinguished it. And first of all it is well to make special mention of the Genoese colonies; which we do all the more willingly in as much as the government and legislation of these in many respects may truly be adduced as models.
—The Black sea had, as we have indicated above, come almost entirely into the power of the Genoese. Taking possession of ancient Theodosia, they named it Caffa, from the name of one of the family, Caffaro, which gave to Genoa one of its best historians. The vicinity of the Mongol Tartars obliged the Genoese to fortify the city of Tauris and surround it with walls; but well knowing that the power and security of states rest upon good and strong internal regulations more than on bulwarks, they busied themselves in constituting there a regular and free government, composed of a consul, two councils, greater and lesser, a parliament, intendants, purveyors, a mint, chancellors, keepers of the keys, agents, captains of the town, of the port, of the market, and of stores.
—All the consuls of the Genoese colonies, the first day they entered office, swore to observe the regulations of the republic, and to render justice to all. The consul of Caffa remained in office one year, which being finished, he was to lay aside his dignity immediately under penalty of 500 Genoese lire; but if his successor had not already come, three days before the expiration of his term he was to convoke the greater council (of twenty-four members), and invite it to elect the consul. The one chosen remained in office only three months, and could be reconfirmed until the arrival of the one sent from Genoa. The consul could not undertake anything without the approval of said council, which had to concur, at least by a two-thirds vote, for the sanction of any scheme. The greater council elected two key-bearers, who had charge of the money of the commune of Caffa. The lesser council (of six members) appointed every three months two agents and every six months two comptrollers. That which was especially laudable was that Genoa left to its colonies a sufficient liberty of internal administration. The magistrates of the republic were forbidden to meddle with the election of those of Caffa, except, as has been stated, the consul and his chancellor, representing the executive power of the colony. The consul was prohibited receiving any gift whose value should exceed the sum of ten soldi (cents) under penalty of four times the value. A month after his return to Genoa he came before the auditors, and before showing the operations of his administration the auditors (or syndics) were to consult with two or four of the best merchants of Caffa The auditors of the colony had the duty of inspecting the acts of the other magistrates. The officials over merchandise, victuals, money, etc., superintended these various branches of colonial police.
—Similar to that of Caffa was arranged the administration of the other Genoese establishments on the Black sea, such as Cambalo (Balaclava), Trebizond, Amastri, Tana and Soudah.
—The trade of Tauris contributed much to the wealth of Genoa; the Genoese exported thence salt, corn, timber, commodities which abounded there. In similar manner the skins and wool of the Crimea were exchanged for other merchandise of Greece and Roumania, especially wines. The Russians brought skins of the ermine, the lynx and other animals. The Tartars furnished linens, cottons and silk goods. By the caravans of Astracan there came the hair of Augora, used in the weaving of camlets. which the Genoese manufactured in a masterly way and sold at Constantinople, Cyprus, Alexandria and Nicosia. Finally. the colonists carried on a commerce of an infamous kind, carrying away from the Caucasus young creatures of tender age and both sexes and selling them as slaves to barbarous nations, chiefly to the sultan of Egypt. This traffic had been carried on by the Greeks, and was exercised by the Genoese, the Venetians and the Turks, who continued it until, in 1829, the treaty of Adrianople put an end to it The daring of the Genoese, shown in penetrating and spreading themselves everywhere with their commerce, is truly worthy of marvel. Along the mountains that flank the empire of Trebizond, toward its southern and eastern part, they went as far as Erzeroum, in Armenia, and thence to Tauris, in Persia. Marco Polo found them navigating the Caspian. As far as Tauris their caravans carried the wares obtained from Caffa and Galata, and exchanged them for those which the Asiatics brought along the Euphrates and through the deserts. But often it happened that instead of intrusting their goods to other hands, the Ligurian traders would themselves venture into the regions to the south and east of Persia. According to the testimony of the Englishman Anderson, the Genoese coins were very common at Calicut, on the coast of Malabar; and from a letter written in 1326 by Andrea da Perugia, and referred to in volume fifth of the annals of Vadding, we learn that the traders of Genoa went as far as the port of Zaytoun, in China. Of some other large mercantile stations of the Genoese we shall speak presently in the proper place.
—We now turn to the commercial organization of Venice and its principle operations in trade. A peculiar and distinctive character of that republic was the extreme interference of the government in economic and industrial matters. These were affairs of the state. Maritime equipments and charters of vessels were not left to private will, but the government regulated the epochs and conditions of the contracts, the nature and composition of the cargoes, the payments, and the mode of carrying out the speculations. It ordinarily furnished the timber for naval constructions, and most severe laws were in force as to the cutting of forests. The crew and oarsmen (ciurma) of an Italian galley were of 220 to 300 men, and they calculated, at Genoa as at Venice, the annual expense of maintaining it at sea, at 120,000 lire. It must be remembered that the ciurma, or oarsmen, to the number of 110 to 180 (usually galley slaves), were not paid, and were very poorly fed.
—We have no very exact statistics of the Venetian marine, it is calculated, however, that in the prosperous times of the republic it possessed 3,000 merchant vessels and forty-five galleys, with crews of 36,000 men. In the arsenal there were 160,000 workmen occupied. At the epoch of its decay, that is, from 1660 to 1797, this arsenal gave to the sea ninety-two ships of the line and twenty-four frigates. He who considers these figures, and remembers that Genoa in 1253 armed 193 galleys against Pisa, and in 1295 equipped against Venice 200, manned by 45,000 combatants, can form an idea of the immense naval force which Italy had then at its disposal.
—In the Adriatic an admiral exercised supreme authority, under the title of captain of the gulf, and other similar officers were stationed in the Black sea and in the parts near Cyprus. As long as it was a question of voyaging in the Adriatic, isolated vessels could undertake it, but to go beyond the gulf a great number of vessels united in a convoy and sailed in company, lending each other assistance. The time for departure was fixed by law; the fleet for the Low Countries sailed in April; that for the Black sea in July; that for Alexandria in September, etc. The captain of a ship could not carry goods on his own account on the vessel he commanded, but was allowed to do so on another craft. As soon as the fleet arrived at its port of destination, the authority of the admiral or captain, as far as the trade was concerned, expired, to give place to that of the consul furnished with full powers.
—The creation of consuls abroad is likewise of Italian origin. To establish a national authority in the midst of foreign states which, in this respect, renounced in part their territorial authority in favor of the representative of a foreign state, was a thing as difficult as it was necessary to a people which, like the Italian, had so gradually extended the sphere of their relations. Genoa obtained this privilege at Antioch in 1098: at Jaffa, Cesarea and St. John d'Acre in 1105; at Tripoli in 1109; at Laodicca in 1108 and 1127. Pisa obtained the same permission in the principal stations of the Levant in 1105 Venice had consuls at Jaffa from 1099, at Jerusalem in 1111 and 1113, at Antioch in 1167, at Beyroot in 1221. The custom of having consuls abroad, now general, was only introduced at a later date among other nations; and among the towns not Italian, Marseilles and Barcelona were the first to follow, in this, the example of Italian maritime republics.
—The Venetian treasury did not claim duties on the goods imported from the Levant by the armed galleys, but those which arrived on unarmed vessels, belonging to private individuals, paid an ad valorem duty of 3 percent. In general, goods could be exported free. A mass of minute prescriptions emanated from the grand council as to commerce and navigation; and woe to the captain or merchant who dared to detract from that inflexible authority. But such was the habit of conforming to the regulations. such the universal conviction that trade was the first of state affairs, that the most noble families. at Venice as at Genoa. willingly educated their sons to commerce, although thus restrained. And it was a misfortune that the Italians of those days accustomed themselves to that protecting government in such a way, because when, the times having changed, it became necessary for individuals to act for themselves, they found themselves unfitted to meet the competition of nations newly entered into the lists, and fell behind like men from whom the daily care of their guardian had taken away the full and free use of their members.
—From the year 1172 the republic of St. Mark created a tribunal charged with the superintendence of arts and trades. The quality and quantity of raw materials were exposed to severe examination. It was forbidden to any workman to engage in more than one industry, so that, with the division of labor, perfection might be assured. Weaving had made very great progress. and it was at Venice, in 1429, that was made public the first collection of receipts and processes employed for the dyeing of stuffs. The trade in drugs had propagated among the people a great deal of practical knowledge of chemistry. Skins were prepared and gilded in that market with a superiority that all admitted. The laces known as Venice point, hardware, sugar refineries, the works for the manufacture of glass and mirrors, feared no rivals. There was a law prohibiting a Venetian artisan from leaving his own country, for fear he might carry to foreigners a knowledge of industrial progress; whoever infringed this regulation received, in the first place, an order to return; if he resisted, his nearest relatives were arrested and remained in custody until the guilty one could be reached by assassins who slew him. A strange mixture of barbarism and civilization truly was the organization of the Italian republics!
—One of the most potent instruments of commerce and production is credit, which accelerates the circulation of capital and gives a value to the capital, time. Venice was the first city that saw rise in its own bosom one of those institutions of credit which were then called monti or banchi, and are now named banks (banche). In 1171 was founded that bank of deposit which opened credits to whomsoever would entrust to it sums of money to facilitate its payments and transfers of cash. The office did not make any charge for custody or commission, nor did it pay any interest to depositors, but its certificates of deposit were accepted in circulation as if they were money. The bank paid at sight, in coin, the drafts that were presented and accepted. It was established as a principle that the bank, on receiving sums deposited, should credit the depositor only the intrinsic value, that is, the weight in fine metal, without taking account of the extrinsic value, in order to avoid the losses that occurred from the frequent monetary alterations which foreign governments did not scruple to make. And in consonance therewith it was decided that payments should only be made in effective ducats, whose quality was finer and less subject to alteration than other coins. Hence it was that the paper of the bank obtained a favor, a premium over all other titles of credit, and even over other representatives of coined money. Economy in the use of coin, promptness of payments by means of transfers upon their registers, stability of value in not being exposed to the perpetual oscillations of the market: such were the three supreme advantages which the bank of Venice offered, since then imitated in the greater number of commercial countries.
—The traffic in salt was one of the principal branches of the Venetian administration. It was collected from Istria, Dalmatia, Sicily and the coast of Africa; and Venice became the great emporium of salt for all the south and east of Europe. At first this traffic was free to all on the payment only of a tenth; subsequently the state took it into its own hands.
—There exists a discourse, pronounced in 1421 before the grand council by the doge Tommaso Mocenigo, which throws much light upon the finances and commerce of Venice. We see from it, among other things, that the duchy of Milan had to settle every year at Venice accounts that amounted to 1,600,000 ducats; and that 94,000 pieces of cloth were exported during the same period to that province The total value of the Venetian commerce with Lombardy was estimated at 28,800,000 ducats. It must be remembered that while Venice was carrying on a trade so gigantic, it possessed at the same time to an eminent degree the genius of polities, of the fine arts, of letters and the sciences The fatherland of Marco Polo, of Giosafatte Barbaro. and other great voyagers and merchants, was likewise that of painters like Titian, of men of science and letters like Frà Paolo Sarpi.
—Before descending to an examination of the causes that precipitated from so lofty a height the Italian maritime republics. it is well to cast a rapid glance upon the communes of the interior of Italy.
—Tuscany was, in common with Flanders and Brabant, the most industrial European country of the middle ages; and if Pisa, Genoa and Venice took the lead on the sea. Florence was ahead in manufactures and banking. The silk and wool fabrics of Florence enjoyed great fame as far back as the thirteenth century, and in order to procure the necessary supply of wool. the Florentines possessed agencies and branch houses in the principal emporiums. the single family of the Alberti had, about the middle of the fourteenth century. establishments at Bruges, Avignon. Naples, Barletta and Venice. From England and France came the common wools. and the fine qualities from Spain. In 1338 there existed at Florence 200 woolen factories, producing yearly 80,000 pieces From France, Great Britain and the Low Countries were collected rough cloths to a value of 300,000 gold crowns, which received in Florence a new preparation, of which the Florentines possessed the secret, in keeping with the taste of the Levantine markets for which they were destined. Indigo, cochineal, orchal and other substances had been for a long time employed by the Florentine dyers who were famous throughout Europe. Up to the fifteenth century Florence had been compelled to make use of other nations as intermediaries for the transportation of its productions Not having any port of its own, it was accustomed to use that of Pisa, which had granted to the sister town freedom from fiscal dues. But this privilege was taken away as soon as the rapid development of its commerce aroused the jealousy of the Pisans; and then Florence saw itself constrained to come to terms with Sienna to export its products from the port of Talamore. When Pisa, ruined by its wars with Genoa. felt itself in decadence, it sought anew the friendship of Florence. which once more began to make use of the former's port. But every friendly relation between the two Tuscan republics ceased when Genoa in 1421 had sold to Florence the port of Leghorn Placed thus in contact with the sea, the Florentine republic could devote itself to navigation; it created a special administration under the title of "magistracy of the consuls of the sea;" built an arsenal and dockyard; obtained at Alexandria in Egypt the same privileges which Pisa had first enjoyed there; ordained that twelve young men of the most conspicuous families should embark every year to initiate themselves, in the respective countries, in the trade of the Levant. The mercantile fleet of Florence was divided into two squadrons, that of the east and that of the west, but the total force never exceeded eleven great and fifteen small galleys.
—Banking in Florence was carried on on a very large scale, and the bankers of that metropolis had correspondents, agents and branches in the principal seats of commerce of the then known world. In Italy alone one could count eighty Florentine houses exclusively devoted to this lucrative business. The princes of nearly the whole of christendom were debtors in important sums to the bankers of Florence, and the greater part of the historic patrician families descend from those mercantile houses. The Pazzis, the Capponis, the Buondelmontis, the Corsinis, the Falconieris, the Portinaris and the Medicis, were devoted to commerce. But unable to resist the temptations of a fortune always constant, and blinded by their success, the bankers of Florence enlarged to excess the sphere of their operations, and were involved in an immense bankruptcy, whose consequences were felt in the most distant seats of trade.
—We can not take leave of the past of Florence without indicating how it occupied, on other grounds, an important place in the history of commerce and political economy. It was the first town, perhaps, which contributed valuable authors to mercantile science. Three Florentine traders, Pegoletti, Antonio da Uzzano and Bernardo Davanzati, have left the most ancient treatises on commercial matters. The first two arranged, with great order and method, in their works, varied information upon goods, moneys, weights and measures, usages, bookkeeping, insurance and charters. The third, celebrated for his translation of Tacitus, composed two lessons upon moneys and exchange, which are, even at the present day, models of clearness and elegance for writings of that class.
—For flourishing agriculture, for active commerce and for good social organization, Lombardy was famous in the times of Italian grandeur. When the renowned confederation of the towns of upper Italy, formed under the name of the "Lombard League," came out victorious from the long war of Frederic Barbarossa, and constrained the haughty emperor to acknowledge and sanction the independence of those municipalities by the peace of Constance (1183), the world saw of what marvels Italy would be capable if united in one single will. But victory separated those valorous communities which danger had united, and the former strife recommenced once more, so that their political power was of but short duration. Their industries, however, remained prosperous and their accumulated wealth was increasing.
—In foreign countries Lombard was synonymous with merchant and banker, and to-day still, in London and other metropolitan cities, they preserve the name of Lombard street for one of the principal thoroughfares. They, in fact, in the twelfth century, were the first to compete with the Jews in the art of exchange and lending at interest; in which profession, however, they soon met the competition of the Caorsini, so-called by antonomasia because the inhabitants of the town of Cahors in Languedoc also had devoted themselves quite early to this lucrative branch of trade. They lent upon security, exacting for their money an interest proportioned to the risk incurred; and as this was great in those calamitous times, the interest was consequently very high. In order to protect poor debtors religion then came to the rescue: two monks, Barnaba da Terni and Bernardino da Feltre, founded the first monti di pietà, charitable establishments that lent gratuitously upon pledge, which, however, were not long in degenerating and becoming usurious, so that Barianno slily vituperated them by naming them monti di empietà (impiety).
—One of the economic glories of Lombardy was the construction of those navigable and irrigating canals which served as models for the hydraulic works of foreign nations. As far back as 1179 the Milanese made a commencement of the canal which was called Ticinello and after ward Naviglio Grande.
—But it is necessary to pause in the description of the commercial and economic glories of the Italians of the middle ages; and it will be well at present to inquire what causes of decadence were so potent as to drag such grandeur down to ruin. According to some, one must needs blame as the only cause the single fact of the maritime discoveries of the Portuguese and Spaniards occurring toward the close of the fifteenth century; which, by changing the routes of commerce, took away from Italians their superiority in the trade of the Levant and transferred it to western nations. The passage to India by the cape of Good Hope and the discovery of the new world were, according to them, the sole reasons by which Genoa and Venice were precipitated from the summit of grandeur. This opinion we deem superficial, derived principally from the unfortunate tendency which Italians have to hope for too much, and to fear to excess events that are fortuitous or independent of them. A soothing thing it is to human sluggishness and national vanity to say, if we were great and now have descended from our former splendor, the fault is not ours, but rather that of fate or chance, which chooses to give to other nations the pre-eminence which we have lost without any fault of our own. Now we believe but little in the effects of chance upon the destiny of nations, and much, on the contrary, in the away of natural, economic laws.
—Undoubtedly those discoveries contributed to accelerate the decadence of the Italian communes, because the geographical and political relations of the diverse portions of the world being changed, the navigation being diverted from the Mediterranean to the ocean, Italians were no longer the only ones to traffic with eastern countries, and to serve as intermediaries between them and the west. But the decadence, by this cause hastened and converted into regular ruin, had already some time before commenced; and Italians would have been quite able to overcome foreign competition as they had already conquered other obstacles not less important, if they had still been young and vigorous, in place of nourishing with in their own bosoms the germs of senile corruption. In addition to the discoveries of the Iberians, there were, in our opinion, three causes of the decay of Italian commerce. The first is to be sought in the weakening of Italian public spirit. In the fifteenth century the states of the peninsula had reached the summit of civilization and were commencing to descend the great are of which they had touched the top. In the fortunate period from 1100 to 1400 the Italian communes, having achieved their liberties, afforded the most celebrated examples to be found in history of activity, skill, diligence, virtue and heroism. Not in commerce alone, but in every art and branch of science were Italians then first and unique While Italian navigators were victoriously scouring the seas, and Italian bankers establishing agencies and houses in the most distant countries; while moles were hardily constructed and lighthouses erected, and canals and harbors excavated; while industries were flourishing and commerce was enriching Italy; at that very period all hearts were palpitating with the love of country. and were ready to swear it in Pontis and to combat for it at Legnano or Campaldino; warriors, men of science, citizens, Italians, were great none the less that they were merchants. And it is this simultaneousness of all the glories that constitutes the profound difference between the Italian communes and the Hanseatic Flemings. The latter for a long time were nothing but traders; Italians were all they chose to be, and wished to excel in everything, But, little by little, such great virtue became corrupt; minds became less jealous for liberty; to the strong and sublime literature of Dante succeeded the soft and effeminate kind of which Petrarch had been the innocent initiator; customs degenerated from their former austerity; luxury and dissipation squandered capital and contaminated morality; and to such a state as this were Italians reduced when the news reached them that Vasco de Gama had weathered the "cape of tempests" and Columbus had landed at San Salvador. What wonder if they allowed themselves to be surprised by these great facts and found themselves powerless to profit by them! If Genoa and Venice had still been what they were in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, they would have equipped their fleets and despatched them beyond the pillars of Hercules, and would have known how to reap their part as well, and certainly not the smallest. in the new conquests of Europeans.
—The second cause that rendered Italians feeble and unfit to resist unforeseen misfortune, sprang from the intestine wars of which Italy was at all times the theatre. Her great cities considered each other always as so many states not only separated, but as enemies. The idea that they belonged to the same nation never dawned upon the minds of the doges of Genoa and Venice. Pisa brought rain upon Amalfi, Genoa cast Pisa to the ground; the war of Chioggia exhausted Genoa and left Venice weakened. Florence was at war with Pisa and Sienna; Milan with Pavia; and so it continued for three or four centuries, this Iliad of Italian woes. But why speak alone of contests between the various cities? Each municipality was divided and lacerated by many parties; the victory of one was the signal for the exile of the other. The houses of the vanquished were razed to the ground, and their wealth dispersed. So far from remaining astonished at the decadence of Italian greatness, Italians ought rather to wonder at its long duration. They had been able for three or four centuries to fill the world with their name, while in the fatherland they were killing each other in turn' These wars were the principal cause of the weakening and rain of Italy. a ruin which the coming of Charles VIII., of Louis XII., of Charles V., of Francis I, the league of Cambray, the policy of the Sforzas, the Medici and the Farnese, did much to accelerate.
—In the third place, a great political and military event, of which the Levant was the bloody theatre, contributed to take away Italian supremacy The Turks, for a long time at war with the Greeks, increasing in strength and boldness since their Astatic rivals, the descendants of Timour, had re-entered their steppes, after having established themselves in Roumania. were threatening Constantinople, which in 1453 was occupied by Mohammed II The Genoese colony of Galata fell with Byzantium; and the other Italian establishments in the Archipelago, Asia Minor and the Black sea, fluctuated for some time, exposed to continual peril, until they also came under the power of the infidel. By the events which placed the Black sea under the authority of the Genoese, this republic, more than its rival Venice, had to suffer from an event so mournful. Venice. besides, had been able at an early date to come to terms with the Turks, and its potent oligarchy, with varying fortune, was still able to govern and make itself respected after that catastrophe.
—If intellectual culture would suffice to constitute the civilization of a people, and if the splendor of letters, of science and the arts, were sufficient to render a nation happy, no other country could have the right to a more legitimate pride than that which Italians could nourish as to their own deeds in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But poets, sculptors, painters, and men of science themselves do not avail to make a country great, when by the side of a few eminent celebrities lives a common people ignorant and idle; when tyranny and corruption are weakening, debasing and profoundly vitiating the national character. When a country has given birth to a Columbus, a Vespucci, a Cabot, a Verazzani, and permits these great men to achieve their sublime undertakings under a foreign flag, that country has ceased to take part in commercial history. Pigafetta of Vicenza, the companion of Magellan in his circumnavigation, described his memorable voyage; and the Venetian Ramusio published the recitals of illustrious discoveries: both these historians unwittingly cast a slur upon their own country, which, unmindful that it had once ruled the seas, was then yielding to other nations the palm of victory.
—XI. Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial Resources. The kingdom of Italy comprises 25,000,000 hectares of productive land, and 4,500,000 hectares covered by mountains, rivers, roads, cities, etc. These 25,000,000 hectares form about 5,000,000 estates or properties, and may be subdivided as follows: arable land and vineyards, 12,000,000 hectares; meadow land, mostly irrigated, 1,200,000 hectares; rice fields, 150,000 hectares; olive orchards, 590,000 hectares; chestnut plots, 600,000 hectares; forests, 4,400,000 hectares; pasturage. 5,600,000 hectares; marshy and uncultivated land, 4,000,000 hectares.
—The average net income of a landed proprietor is computed to be 80 francs per hectare: which would be 2,000,000,000 francs for the total ground rent of Italy. This capitalized at 4 per cent. would amount to a principal of 50,000,000,000 francs. The average annual wheat production is estimated at 36,000,000 hectolitres; of rice, 1,600,000 hectolitres; of maize. 19,000,000 hectolitres. Adding the production of barley, oats, chestnuts, potatoes, etc., we have an annual production of 91,000,000 hectolitres.
—The wine production is very abundant, and the qualities various. The wines most highly esteemed are those of Asti, in Piedmont, Montepulcians and Broglio in Tuscany, Capri and Lacryma Christi at Naples, those of Syracuse and Marsala in Sicily. The average production of wine is 26,000,000 hectolitres yearly. The cultivation of hemp is restricted principally within the provinces of Bologna, Ferrara, Forli and Ravenna. The product is estimated at 4,500,000 kilogrammes. The cultivation of tobacco is free in Sicily and Sardinia; it is also grown in Ancona, Pesaro, Umbria, Benevento and Terra d'Otranto Little cotton is grown as yet; a few fine bales were nevertheless sent to the London exposition of 1862. The American civil war, or the cotton crisis resulting from it, gave a lively impetus to its cultivation. The zone favorable to the growth of cotton commences at the forty-third degree, or the mouth of the Tronto, on the Adriatic, and extends along the southern coast to the promontory of Piombino, on the Mediterranean; it embraces the Neapolitan provinces, Sicily and Sardinia. Limiting this zone to lands in the vicinity of the sea, we would have 2,000,000 hectares suitable to the growth of cotton; 450 kilogrammes per hectare may be harvested in Italy; the costs of production come to about 200 francs, and the cotton can be ordinarily sold at from 1.30 francs to 1.50 francs per kilogramme.
—Italian industry does not rank high in Europe, but is, notwithstanding, of some importance. Her mines yield iron, (especially in the island of Elba), beautiful marbles, lead and copper (in Sardinia), sulphur (in Sicily and Romania), salt, borax, etc. Among the most extensive industries we may cite that of silk culture (210 kilogrammes of cocoons or 13,200,000 kilogrammes of raw silk in 1871). The value of the pottery, porcelain and glassware manufactured in 2,300 establishments by 80.000 workmen, is estimated at 50,000,000 francs. The exportation of straw hats from Tuscany amounts to 15,000,000 francs annually. Tissues of all sorts are also made, arms, and many other things.