Prior to the first irruption of what developed into French, and European, revolutionary unrest after the political shape of the Italian peninsula derived in large part from the influence of Papal diplomacy over the previous millennium where the Popes had tended to strongly support the existence of a number of small states in the north of the peninsula such that no strong power might presume to try to overshadow the papacy.
Such political decentralisation may have facilitated the emergence of a number of mercantile city states such as the Florence of the Medicis and the Milan of the Sforzas and to have allowed a scenario where ambitious men such as Cesare Borgia could attempt to establish themselves as rulers of territories won by statecraft and the sword.
The burgeoning wealth of these city states, despite much political turmoil, helped to fund that re-birth of classical learning and of artistic expression that is known as the Renaissance.
As time passed some of these mercantile states became reconstituted as Duchies and Grand Duchies. By the mid eighteenth century the north of the Italian peninsula featured a number of such dynastic states together with mercantile republics such as Genoa and Venice.
The former Duchy of Savoy meanwhile, originally based on limited territories north of the Alps, had expanded to also include Nice, Piedmont an extensive territory in the north-east of the Italian peninsula and the island of Sardinia and was known by its senior title as the Kingdom of Sardinia.
In the settlements to the Napoleonic Wars statesmen, in their efforts to restore political stability to Europe, reconstituted most of the Duchies and Grand Duchies often under rulers drawn from junior branches of the Habsburg dynasty or otherwise under Habsburg Austrian tutelage.
Habsburg Austria was awarded sovereignty over Lombardy and over the former Venetian Republic whilst the Republic of Genoa was similarly entrusted to the House of Savoy.
The territories of the church that straddled the central portion of the peninsula were again placed under Papal sovereignty whilst to the south the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Sicily and Naples was restored to a junior branch of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty.
Giuseppe Garibaldi, later famous as an Italian patriotic leader, recorded his introduction to the concept of "Italia" as having taken place during a voyage to Constantinople in During the course of this voyage he overheard an argument.
A young man had been talking about a secret organisation he had joined - La Giovine Italia - or Young Italy. One of his companions commented dismissively, "What do you mean Italy? The Italy of all the Italians. In response to this awakening to the idea of "Italia - Italy" he moved to shake the young man enthusiastically by the hand.
The belief that "Italia" was a desirable possibility can be associated with the change in perspectives that many people, particularly from the more affluent artisan, middle and minor aristocratic classes, underwent after the American and French revolutions away from an acceptance of more purely dynastic patterns of sovereignty and towards aspiration towards "liberal" constitutional, and possibly even overtly republican or national notions of sovereignty.
The central figure in the origin of "Young Italy" was one Giuseppe Mazziniwho in in Genoa had witnessed the distress of the "refugees of Italy" who were in the process of fleeing into exile after their failure of their revolutionary efforts at winning reform and, moved by their example, had chosen to devote his life to the cause of Italian independence and unity.
In he was initiated into Carbonari movement and was himself forced into exile in for revolutionary activity. In exile in the French seaport city of Marseilles, then something of a revolutionary hotbed, he advocated subversive activity "even when it ended in defeat" as a method of developing general "political consciousness.
He hoped for a new democratic and republican Italy that would lead other subject peoples to freedom and liberty and for a new Europe, controlled by the people and not by sovereigns, that would replace the old order. It means association, a new philosophy of life, a divine Ideal that shall move the world, the only means of regeneration vouchsafed to the human race.
In February he was active as a propagandist for Young Italy whilst employed as a sailor in the royal Piedmontese-Sardinian navy, his subversive activities were reported to the authorities and, although he evaded capture by the authorities, was sentenced to death in absentia by a Genoese court.
He subsequently spent more than twelve years in exile mostly in South America. From the 's a certain sympathy with the idea of a more politically integrated "Italia" was increasingly exhibited by members of the aristocracy and by members of the more affluent artisan, middle and professional classes in the various states of the Italian peninsula.
Camillo Benso Cavour was born at Turin on the 1st of August into the old Piedmontese feudal aristocracy. Being a younger son of a noble family social tradition steered him into the army such that he entered the military academy at Turin at the age of ten. On leaving the college at the age of sixteen - first of his class - he received a commission in the engineers.
He spent the next five years in the army but he spent his leisure hours in study, especially of the English language. During these years he developed strongly marked Liberal tendencies and an uncompromising dislike for absolutism and clericalism.The spread of early Christianity in throughout the Roman empire was based on what it wasn’t rather than what it was.
At the time Christianity began spreading through the Roman Empire, religion had fractured into the main Roman religion which was comprised of the Parthenon of Roman Gods and mystery cults. The Arab Empire took over the eastern half of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine, after Rome fell in the fifth century C.E.
and also held the modern-day Middle East, which consisted of various powers, including the Persian Empire. When Constantine became emperor of the Western Roman Empire in , he attributed his victory to the Christian God.
Many soldiers in his army were Christians, and his army was his base of power. With Licinius, (Eastern Roman emperor), he issued the Edict of Milan which mandated toleration of all religions in the empire. The edict had little effect on the attitudes of the people. The Filioque: A Church Dividing Issue?: An Agreed Statement which both now claimed to be the legitimate successors of the Roman Empire.
and Pope Innocent IV (). In spite of these efforts, the continuing effects of the Fourth Crusade and the threat of the Turks, along with the jurisdictional claims of the papacy in the East.
THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY. It was looked on with suspicion by Roman mainstream society because of: 1. its belief that the Empire (World) would end with second coming.
2. its Refusal to venerate Roman emperor. 3. 1. FREEDOM. Sir Kenneth Clark wrote and directed a series of movies on the History of Art which he called Civilisation (which is how the British spell it. They also drink a mixture of beer and cider and make the worst coffee in the world).