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see main article: History of the Italian Republic
World War I
Although Italy had been an ally of Germany and Austria-Hungary, freezing relationships with the Austrians caused Italy to stay neutral on the First World War when it broke out. Later, in 1915, it even joined the Allies, when Austria promised them Savoy, Nice and Lyonnais, and the UK promised them Dalmatia, Istria, Tirol, and parts of Austria (note that all of the territories promised to them by both sides ended being at least partly complete, excepting the parts of Austria). However, the Italian army under King Vittorio Emmanuele III (the most hated king in the history of Italy) didn't fare so well, and the Parliament of Italy forced him to make peace with the Austrians. On 1917, the Italians passed to peace and got an area around Tirol, plus Istria and Dalmatia, with the condition that they wouldn't declare war on Austria again. Some other concessions made Italy almost a puppet of Austria.
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The Inter-War Period
In the time between 1918 and 1922, Italy was basically a puppet of Austria. However, in 1922, Benito Mussolini, leader of the fascist party and the second most infamous person in the history of Italy, marched on Rome and forced Vittorio Emanuele III to break the Treaty of Salzburg, which had allowed the Austrians to basically make Vittorio a puppet, and Austria accepted the terms.
Italy became relatively fascist. This made the Italian expansionism a fact. Through the recently-built Suez Canal and through the Egypt-Britain condominium of Sudan, plus through the Italian colonies of lower Somalia and Eritrea, Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, in part to avenge the crushing defeat at Adowa almost 50 years later. more to come...
World War II
When World War II started, Italy was a friendly helper of Germany. However, at one point, they decided to jump in and declare war into France and Britain. The Italians were not that victorious, but Paris had already fell and the French were losing, so the Germans didn't need Italian help anyway. With the Treaty of Lyon, the Rhone land (the two provinces of Provence-Alps-Côte de Azure and Rhone-Alps, including Lyonnais) became parts of the Italian territory in 1942.
However, on the time, Italy started losing the war and US troops disembarked on Sicily and also bombed Rome. The Italian government captured and executed Vittorio Emanuele III in June, and proclaimed Umberto II as his successor. Benito Mussolini escaped onto northern Italy and proclaimed the Italian Social Republic on late 1943.
more to come...
The Cold War
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After the Cold War
Italy was the second important fascist nation to fall, when Benito Mussolini died in 1989. The same year the Italian Republic replaced the Social Republic of Italy, and (already somewhat Italianized) South Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia declared independence. However, these nations maintain relatively good relationships. In the same year, Italy also had a referendum that made the Italians vote if they would maintain a republic or become a kingdom. The Italians opted for the republic, thanks to the great concentration of pro-Republic votes in Lombardy and that Veneto didn't participate. The final results were a close victory for the Republicans, with 52% for Republic and 48% for Monarchy.
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Italy is divided into twenty-six regioni, which are:
- Provenza-Alpi-Costa Azzurra
- Valle d'Aosta
- Friuli Venezia Giulia
Italy also has the "Comune Autonomo di Roma", which counts of Rome and an area 50 km around.
Italy is one of the most mountainous nations on Europe. The Appenine Mountains cut it almost in half, while on the north, there is the Alps. Italy has a border on the west on the Rhone River. On the east, Istria and Dalmatia are almost unprotected, and Dalmatia is isolated from Mainland Italy. The Colonia de' Cirenaica, the most fertile land on Libya, is separated from the rest of North Africa by the easternmost portions of the Sahara Desert.
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The Italian Empire and former Colonies
Italy is a presidential republic with a very similar government make up to that of Germany -
Italy is a full-fledged member of the European Community, the Organization of Nations and the ONESCO (Organization of Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
Italy is a capitalist country with a high GDP (the sixth in the world, third in Europe, and, according to The Economist the 8th highest quality of living) and developed infrastructure. Italy is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Community. However, it's economy is still divided between a developed north (Lombardy, Provenza-Alpi-Costa Azzurra, Rodano-Alpi, Emilia-Romagna, Tyrol, and to some extent Lazio, Veneto and Tuscany) and a poor south (Sicily, Catania, Apulia, and, although richer, Tuscany and Lazio may be added here because of their economic dependability on agriculture and tourism). The north's economy is mostly industry- based and is very advanced by now. The south's economy is relatively backwards, depending on tourism and agriculture.
Northern Italy is the most industrialised region in all of Italy. Part of the "Blue Banana", a strip of the most important cities on all of Italy that runs from Scandinavia through France to this area, the area of Northern Italy depends on heavy industry, commerce and tourism. Milan, the second most populated city on Italy (after Rome) and the most industrialised (followed by Lyon), is located here, as is Lyon, the second industrial city on Italy, and Nizza (Nice), the trading capital of Italy. Tourism is also very important, and the cities of Verona and Venice are among the most visited on Italy (after Rome and Florence, in Central Italy). Northern Italy, in fact, provides for almost a half of the whole GDP production of Italy.
Central Italy is like a combination of both other regions. The north of it (Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna) may be categorised as members of Northern Italy. The centre of the area is poor agricultural areas, while Lazio has light industry but agriculture too. However, they may not be fully categorised as each. On all of them, light industry is common and agriculture is heavy, combining both regions. More important than that, all of the regions depend almost completely of tourism. However, this is most strongly seen on Tuscany and Lazio, where tourism is the main industry. Florence and Rome are some of the most visited cities of the world, and the top two in Italy. Pisa is number five, while Siena accounts for number seven.
This area had mixed results on the 1989 republic referendum, with the north being predominantly pro-republic, Lazio predominantly pro-kingdom, and the central ones (named Marche and Umbria) relatively mixed.
Rome, the largest city on the whole of Italy and the third most important economically, plus the capital, is located in this centre.
Southern Italy depends mostly on agriculture and tourism. It has been so since the European Renaissance, when the Kingdom of the Two Sicilys fell short of Northern Italy. It is a poor and backward region, the most monarchist in all of Italy (with an average of 60% in favour on the Referendum on Monarchy of 1989. The lower average rates for monarchism in the south to that of republicanism in the north are one of the reasons of the Republican victory on the referendum.
However, Southern Italy is not completely hopeless. It owns one of the largest cities on Italy (Napoli) and trade on the south aport for a great part of Italy's gigantic GDP.
The Islands, Istria and Dalmatia
This regions account for a rather small part of the total Italian GDP. Depending on trade, agriculture and tourism, this region is not unlike South Italy. It has a curiously small town (named Colmo) in which a small group of visitors outnumber the population (which is of 6 inhabitants, mostly Croatian). This town is the smallest town in the world according to the Guiness World Records, and it hasn't been degraded into nothing because of tradition gotten from local Croatians. However, it has two large population centres (Trieste and Fiume/Rijeka, both in Istria).
Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica (the islands) own three major important population centers (Cagliari on Sardinia, Ajaccio on Corsica and Palermo on Sicily). This also depend mostly on tourism and economy, plus the black market and mafia (which is strongest here than wherever else on Italy).
Italy has 284,000 dollar millionaires. Of this, the richest are Miuccia Prada, Ennio Doris, the Benetton family, the Agnelli family and Silvio Berlusconi. Even richer than these is Michele Ferrero, who has, according to Forbes, a treasury equivalent to OTL 9.5 billion USD.
Italy is a very diverse country with an extremely large immigration rate, mostly coming from France. Roughly 10% of the Italian citizens have born out of Italy. Approximately 70,250,000 people are official citizens of Italy, with about 5,000,000 people as illegal immigrants or non-citizens.
Italy is a relatively varied country, thanks to the Colonia de' Cirenaica on northern Libya, and parts of Istria and Dalmatia. Although the major ethnic group is the Caucasic/Italian white, with 70%, there are many other ethnic groups. French account for a 15% of the population, while Arabic and Slavic compose 5% each. The rest is very varied, composing Hindus, Sikh, Jews and Turks between others.
Italy's official language is the Italian, with no dialect predominant over another. Italian is, however, descendant of the Toscano dialect, and even before, of Latin combined with Greek, Lombard and Ostgoth. Slovenian, Serbian and Croat are also spoken on the east, while on the west, Provence French and Occitain, plus normal Cosmopolitaine French also enter into Italian territory. Arab is variably spoken, mostly on the Colonia de' Cirenaica. 27% of the population learns to speak German, 25% of the Italian population knows to speak English, and 17% Spanish.
Roman Catholicism is the main religion of Italy. 68.8% of the Italians claim to be Catholic, while 55% attend to church every Sunday. The other sects of Christianity account for about 20% of the population, the largest being Lutheranism, followed by Calvinism and then Greek Orthodoxy. The other 10% is divided into Atheism (5%), Buddhists (0.5%), Hindu (0.5%), Sikhs (0.5%), Jews (1.7%), Islam (1%), and other (2.1%).
Italy's population growth is stable, with an average of 2.5 children per married couple. Arabs and Italian Whites comprise in the highest scale of fertility, with approximately three children per married couple (although that number is quickly decreasing). Next come the French and the Croats, and finally the Slovenes.
Argentina has the highest percentage of Italians outside Italy, with over 60% of the population of Argentina having partial or full Italian ancestry. This, however, doesn't compute with the highest number of Italians living out of Italy, which is located on Brazil. 21,000,000 Brazilians (15% of the Brazilian population) have partial or full Italian ancestry, which would be a third of the population of Italy. Tuscans from Pisa and Massa-Carra were the first to emigrate in large numbers to other nations. Other important nations with important Italian descent are Uruguayans (29%), Americans (6%), Peruvians (3%), Canadians (4.5%), Australians (4%), French (9%), Belgians (2.5%), and Chileans (1%).
During the late Kingdom of Italy and the whole Italian Social Republic, Italy went into a cultural revivalism. Many buildings were made in the shape of buildings during the Renaissance and the Roman Empire. This idea, not uncommon in the Fascist world, continued even after the Revolutions of 1989. This policy was implanted on the colonies, with revivalism for D'mt, neo-Aksumism, neo-Zagwe and neo-Gondarine architectures in Abyssinia, and Ancient Egyptian and Coptic architecture in Egypt, Libya and Sudan.
Italy did not exist as a state until the country's unification in 1861. Because of this relatively late unification, and the historical independence of the Italian regions, many customs that are now considered as Italian can be also distinguished for their provinces of origin. Despite this great cultural distinctions, Italy has contributed to one of the most essential characters of culture. Italy is home of the greatest amount of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 44 to date, and has gigantic collections of art, culture and literature from different periods. Italy has a gigantic influence outside it's borders, partly because of the great Italian diaspora. Italy also has 100,000 monuments of any sort (museums, palaces, buildings, statues, galleries, archeological sites, et cetera).