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  History of Italy (1559–1814)

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PostSubject: History of Italy (1559–1814)    Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:16 am

History of Italy (1559–1814)

Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

The history of Italy in the Early Modern period was characterized by foreign domination: following the Italian Wars (1494 to 1559), Italy saw a long period of relative peace, first under Habsburg Spain (1559 to 1713) and then under Habsburg Austria (1713 to 1796).

The Black Death repeatedly returned to haunt Italy throughout the 14th to 17th centuries. The plague of 1575–77 claimed some 50,000 victims in Venice.[31] In the first half of the 17th century a plague claimed some 1,730,000 victims, or about 14% of Italy’s population.[32] The Great Plague of Milan occurred from 1629 through 1631 in northern Italy, with the cities of Lombardy and Venice experiencing particularly high death rates. In 1656 the plague killed about half of Naples' 300,000 inhabitants.[33]

During the Napoleonic Wars, the northern part of the country was invaded and reorganized as anew kingdom of Italy, that was a client state of the French Empire from 1796 to 1814, while the southern half of the peninsula was administered by Joachim Murat, Napoleon's brother in law, that was crowned as King of Naples. The Congress of Vienna (1814) restored the situation of the late 18th century, which was however quickly overturned by the incipient movement of Italian unification.

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