The United Duchies of Italy (Italian: Ducati Uniti de' Italia) is a nation on Southern Europe. It got independence from the United Kingdom of Iberia and Italy, dismantling it, after the Treaty of Florence (October 6, 1946) that ended World War II.
Main article: History of Italy
See also: List of Leaders of Italy
The Middle Ages
Italy fell into partial chaos after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476. Italy was controlled by Ostrogoths, then Byzantines, then Lombards, and then (its north) by the Carolingian Empire, before once again falling into anarchy. By 1000, several main nations that in one form or another would control Italy for the next three hundred years were formed: the Venetian Republic, the Duchy of Milan, the Kingdom of Savoy, then called the Second Kingdom of Burgundy or Kingdom of Arelat, the Papal State, the Kingdom of Sicily and the Marquisate of Tuscany (later divided into the Florentine Republic/Duchy of Florence, the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Siena). Other smaller states, such as Amalfi, Aquileia, or Beneveneto were formed, yet the states were small and poor in comparison with the rest.
Italy was one of the states hardest hit during the Black Death in the mid-XIV Century. Its population did not recover until 1520.
Italy, more specifically, Florence, was the center of the European Renaissance. The richness, power, and culture of Italy spread gigantically.
The Republic and Duchy of FlorenceThe Republic of Florence was the center of the Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante Aligheri, Galileo Galilei, and many others, were born during the age of the Republic's and Duchy's late age.
Cosimo I de' Medici, born in made his family the de facto ruler of Florence. He started patronizing arts and other, and soon the Florentine Renaissance received a boost unseen ever before. However, this was partly stopped with the rebellions occurring under Piero I de' Medici in Florence, led by rich Florentines who thought that Cosimo's death was the best place to re-gain power.
The revolts ended when Lorenzo de' Medici convinced Luca Pitti, the leader of the anti-Piero side, to join the Medici side. This effectively ended the rebellion. Lorenzo, which now governed a Florence in an unusual case of peace that hadn't been seen since Cosimo's death in 1466, was able to restart funding the Florentine art and architecture programs, which made Florence an extremely rich nation. In 1490, the Florentine Republic became the Duchy of Florence, and the Medici became both the de facto and the de jure rulers of Florence. Florence invaded Granada the following year, and forced it to give them Ceuta. Morocco, scared at the until then unseen great military power of Florence, gave Ceuta to the Florentine Republic. In 1492, a Genoese discoverer under Florentine command named Cristoforo Colombo, trying to go to India, landed in the Antilles. The news soon spilled throughout Europe, and by 1495 there had been several expeditions from many countries to the Americas. However, the main explorer was the Florentine Republic. During Lorenzo's reign, several laws were passed. The first was called the Equality Law, now the First Equality Law, that stated that all ethnic groups and religions were equal. Lorenzo's Emancipation Act (or Emancipation Law) liberated all slaves of Florence in early 1500. Lorenzo also defended the Duchy in 1505 from a war with Genoa, which had decided that Florence was too dangerous now. Lorenzo, proving to be a military genius besides a diplomatic one, was able to defeat the Genoese in several decisive battles, even within the sea where the Genoese navy was much superior in numbers and armament to the Florentine one. In 1507, Lorenzo conquered the whole Genoese Republic and added it to the Florentine one. Lorenzo continuing improving Italian trade and commerce with everyone. When Lorenzo died, in 1520, he left an advanced and extremely rich state, the most powerful in all Italy and the richest in most of Western Europe. Even today, the New Year's Day is called the "Day of Lorenzo" in Italy, because Lorenzo was born that day.
Florence stagnated during Piero de' Lorenzo de' Medici's eight infamous years. Almost deposed by a revolution led by rich Florentines and the Medici's own advisor, Niccolò Machiavelli, plus other revolts led by the people along his reign. He also was a very devout Catholic, and repealed Lorenzo's Equality and Emancipation Laws, returning slavery and racism to Florence. He was a very unpopular leader and was finally killed. After Piero's death, Lorenzo II de' Medici or Little Lorenzo ascended to power. He began to recuperate the Duchy of Florence during his reign and brought it to Lorenzian standards, where it would stay and even rise through the next fifty years. The union of Urbino's and Florence's crowns during his reign was the next step of North Italian unification, that was the direct cause of the Spanish conquest of Italy. He also led a war against Milan, in which the Medici were victorious, and Milan was added to the Florentine Republic. He is considered one of the best dukes Florence had, but unfortunately he was killed in 1535.Under Alessandro de' Medici 's reign, Florence was plagued with rumors about the Medici's belief. Alessandro had been born and raised by a Moor servant of Lorenzo II, and rumors ran that he was a Muslim. Be the rumors right or wrong, Alessandro improved relationships with the Muslims, which had been opened under Lorenzo I, which had calified them as equal to us. Alessandro was also calified of as cruel and childish, and was hated by many. Although he tried to change public opinion by many, ways, including conquering Siena and Modena-Ferrara, he was hated and was killed in 1548. Following Alessandro was his son, Giulio de' Medici, was illegitimate, and therefore very unpopular. He also was weak, and was not able to withstand the necessities of Florence, leading to a slight decline during his reign. This decline was soon stopped by Cosimo II. Cosimo II was the last leader of independent Florence. He was a skilled ruler, although not the favorite of the people. After the Papal States were conquered by Spain in a gigantically controversial move that allowed the Pope to stay at Rome, but not as an independent domain, Cosimo II surrendered to the Spanish troops and in reward was given the leadership of the newly-founded Kingdom of Italy.
The Kingdom of Italy (Spaniard)
In 1573, Cosimo II died, and his son Lorenzo III de' Medici ascended to the throne. Lorenzo could be very well confused for a Spaniard. He was raised in Madrid, and his first language was Spanish. This got him the title of Il Spagnolo (the Spanish) by the Florentines. During Lorenzo III's reign, Iberia-Italy entered in war with France. He won many territories up throughout the Rhone and even further, which are the equivalent to OTL PACA and Rhône Alpes provinces. This also caused the last states of the north-west (the Venetian Republic and Tirol) to join Italy during the XVII Century. After Lorenzo III's death in 1600, his son, Piero III ascended to power. Piero was of Italian mother, and therefore, his first language was Italian, and local Italian rule was restored. Piero had always doubted in the Catholic Church, and in 1610, converted to Protestantism. From the moment on, most of Northern Italy and Tuscany would be Protestant, of a version that soon parted from the classic Lutheranism, and became the Church of Italy or Lombard Church. This later partly spread south and into Spain, and later new branches of Protestantism rose in around. Quickly, Protestantism eclipsed Roman Catholicism in much of Europe . Piero III's son, Lorenzo IV de' Medici, was a devout practivant of the Lombard Church, and spend most of his time implanting religious politics trying to convert Italians to the Lombard Church and spread it through the world. Although the Catholic Church was tolerated, there were privileges for the Lombard practicants, and therefore, the Protestant ratio of the Italian population rose from a mere 10% of the total population at Lorenzo IV's ascent in 1620 to a staggering 60% at his death in 1630. Lorenzo IV left a 8-year old son, Giuliano de' Medici. He was a very weak leader, but still did one great thing: Giuliano returned the constitutional monarchy of what once was the Duchy, instead of leaving it as the Kingdom, which had becomen an absolute monarchy at the ways of the Spanish noblemen. This was the second main act of Italian emancipation from Iberia, and was one of the main causes of independence, which would have been otherwise diverted under King Umberto I later on in 1946, who, although hated the Iberians profoundly, thought it would be better for the Italians if they remained part of the Florentine Republic..
Giuliano's son, Giovanni de' Medici ascended to power in 1645. A devout Catholic, he was a strong ruler, but didn't have almost any support. A popular rebellion led by a group of Protestant peasants temporarily deposed the Medici, and declared themselves independent from the Spanish Empire as the Italian Republic.
The Italian RepublicThe rebellion that deposed Giovanni de' Medici during his second year of reign was led by a group of Lombard Church peasants, who soon established a merchantile republic. This republic claimed all of the Kingdom of Italy and exterior colonies, but in fact never controlled much more territory than Central Italy, Tuscany and northernmost Corsica. The Republic was immediately declared war upon the short-lived United Kingdom of Iberia. The Spaniards defeated the Republicans in Rome, later in Pisa, Florence, and finally in Puglia. The Italian Republic was defeated at last and in 1648, the Medici returned to Florence.
The Second Kingdom of Italy
Giovanni de' Medici became the king of Italy again. The ravaging of Central Italy after the Italian Republic had much improved the support for Giovanni de' Medici, and soon, he was a popular leader. In 1650, the United Duchies of Iberia and Italy faced near breakdown when, following the example of the Italians, the governor of the Region of Catalonia in the Kingdom of Spain converted to Lutheranism. The Spaniards decided to end protestantism in the United Kingdom of Iberia and Italy, and sent hundreds of missionaries into Italy. But only on the mostly Catholic south was this accepted, and in the north the missionaries were killed. This made Giovanni get into trouble with the Kings of Spain and Portugal, but Giovanni didn't back down. Later he even sent his own missionaries into Spain and Southern Italy. This event was later named the "Missionary War", and greatly changed the overall religious overview of Europe. This forced many nations that were Catholic since long ago to become Protestant, and around this time the Spaniards created several new Catholic nations, such as the German Confederation, or forced the Irish Anwyl of Tywyn to convert to Catholicism, as they had been members of a reformed Celtic Christian religion. Within Italy itself, only the areas strictly around Lazio remained Catholic, with the rest of Italy becoming Protestant by 1670.
Italian people wished to become independent more by each day, but the Spaniards didn't want to give Italy independence. Instead of making Italy an independent nation or an autonomous protectorate, they started making the Italian government and its population happy. The colonies given to the Ibero-Italians by England a few years ago during the events of the Second Iberian-English War were placed under Italian jurisdiction, and so was the Vice royalty of New Granada (renamed New Florence) after the Reorganizing Law of 1679. Italians received reduced tax rates and many freedoms of being Protestant. This tolerance made the Italian population boom. Soon, Florence had surpassed all cities in the Spanish Empire and now was one of the most populated among the world's cities.
Giovanni I de' Medici died in 1680, and Lorenzo V ascended to the throne of Italy. A devout Protestant, although tolerating with other religions, Lorenzo V sent many missionaries onto the south and east of France and Germany, and the west of the Ottoman Empire and the newly-independent Second Byzantine Empire.
The War of Thirty Five Years
Main article: War of the Thirty Five Years
The Byzantine-Ottoman War of 1685-1720, also called the War of Thirty Five Years, faced Lorenzo V and his heir, Giovanni II. In it, they found the Ottomans and the Byzantines fighting for what the Kingdom of Italy considered within its sphere of influence. Realizing that it would be better if the Byzantines were helped, as the Ottomans were their enemies and were Muslim, while the Byzantines were a Christian nation neutral to Italy.
The Ottoman side, however, was not forgotten. The two main enemies of Iberia, the German Confederation and England, joined the war in December 14, 1690, just ten months after Iberia joined. This was the beginning of a long history of direct war between Iberia-Italy and the German Confederation.
The war started as a hold-out in all fronts, including the Ibero-German one. In 1690, however, with the northern lines stabilized by a series of fortresses through all crossble passes in the Alps, the Ibero-Italians could distract their forces to the south. Young Giovanni de' Medici, not yet king of Florence, landed a staggering army in Libya, that soon captured much territory. The army continued with no defeats, destroying large Ottoman armies at the battles of Tobruk, Cyrene, Siwa, Alexandria and Cairo. Soon, most of Ottoman North Africa was under Ibero-Italian reign.
The Giovanni de' Medici continued advancing through the south. He took Gaza in January 5, 1692. In January 20, 1692, he took over Jerusalem and the whole Judea fell at Ibero-Italian hands. He conquered Syria and Lebanon with the Siege of Damascus in June 5, 1692. Baghdad fell under Italian forces in 1693. The Italians signed a peace pact with the leaders of the Hedjazi provinces of the Ottoman Empire, making them a Muslim protectorate of Iberia-Italy. Giovanni de' Medici planned a new campaign into the mountains of Anatolia when the news reached him: Lorenzo V had died early the same year in the Battle of Split against Ottoman forces and he had to return to be crowned and to defend Dalmatia.
The war later returned to a stalemate. It looked like if the war had ended, and both sides used the time to lick their wounds and to produce military defenses. In 1708, the war returned, but not for long. A small battle near Constantinople proved the end of the war in 1710, when Byzantine forces captured it.
The peace treaty proved to be devastating to the Ottomans, and very enriching to Ibero-Italians. The Ottomans lost all of their Balkan territory: Istria, Dalmatia and Albania to Italians, the whole territory of Rumelia to the Byzantines, and Hungary was made an independent state. In the south, Iberia-Italy also won all conquered territory, and the Ottomans renounced to all claims to either it or to Hedjaz, which was made into a state for the holy Muslim sites under Ibero-Italian protection.
The sacking of many Muslim cities is one of the darkest episodes of Ibero-Italian history. As a Ibero-Italian historian whose name was lost to memory said:
|“||"For three days, the Muslim cities burned. They were sacked and pillaged, and few cities escaped this destruction. In Cairo were some of the worst scenes seen. Much of Cairo was burnt to the ground by a rebellious corps of [Iberian] troops. [...] In Baghdad, similar scenes were seen. Most Baghdad mosques were destroyed, and many Arabs killed, to a point that for days corpses ran around the city. It was truly a terrific sight [...] And so was Beirut. The tales tell about infantry covered in blood up to their knees. Fortunately the captains could stop their pillaging troops before more damage could be done [...] It is almost sure that the Burning of Cities of 1711 is the darkest episode of our history, and I personally hope it won't happen again".||”|
The XVIII and XIX Century
Iberia-Italy continued expanding within the Muslim world throughout the reigns of Giovanni II and his son, Cosimo III. During their reign, the Italian domains expanded to include the rest of the Middle East excepting for Arabia. Most of Central Asia was taken out of Russian hands during the Emperor's Wars of 1720-1722. By then Italy had reached its almost total territorial expansion, and few expansion was made after this. Under Lorenzo VI, Iberia-Italy started consolidating. The Kingdom of Italy made the Tolerance Decree, that dictated that every culture is equal and that all should be treated equally. Slavery was made illegal too in the same year. Although every culture had the same rights, the Muslims decreased in much of the Ibero-Italian territory. As seen on English historian 's work, The Re-Aramization of the Fertile Crescent and Other Changes in the Demography of Iberia-Italy during the Eighteenth Century, Islam was soon changed in much regions for Christianity: Copts in Egypt and Nestorian Christians in the Fertile Crescent. Zoroastrianism even faced a revival in much of coastal Persia, especially on Tabaristan, in the coast of the Caspian Sea. Lorenzo VI's son, Piero IV, continued Lorenzo's consolidation practices. He started trying to make parts of the Italian Empire more alike to Italy. Italian was made a mandatory second language if you didn't have it as your mother language, and missionaries were sent towards parts of the more heavily-populated empire, especially the areas of Istria and Dalmatia. The Italian treasury had enough money, and a new project of construction was started around the Empire. In the whole world, new schools, buildings, statues, museums and the likes were built. One of the most important project was the construction of a new Uffize, in the outskirts of Florence. Other notable buildings were the expansion of most cathedrals and churches in Florence, making them the largest cathedrals in Christianity through the next years, and the construction of the largest metallic statue of the world: The magnificent bronze and iron statue of Lorenzo I de' Medici that can be found in the center of Florence.
Piero's son, Francesco I, reigned longer than any other Italian leader to the age, reigning for a staggering 75 years (1735-1810). During Francesco I's reign, the Kingdom of Italy reached its largest territorial expansion, which it maintained for about 100 years, after the Seven Year's War (1775-1782) and Ibero-Russian War, that won Italy Persia and Central Asia. Francesco I was a very religious person, and although tolerant, sent many missionaries to the recently-conquered lands. Several buildings were made throughout the age. After Francesco's death in 1810, Alessandro II ascended to power. Alessandro II was a very inefficient ruler. He gave much more power to the King of Spain, comically reducing his own in his process. It is said that he had a plan for Italy to become the "Province of Italy". Fortunately for the Italians, he died only days after he started considering that in open, killed by an unknown assassin. His successor, Frederico I, placed the Italians in a lot of trouble when he declared that he was a part of the Italian independence movement. Although no independence declaration was made, there were several terrorist attacks upon Spanish and Portuguese holdings within the Iberian Union. This made the incidents between the Iberian police and local militias soar. A secession was avoided when Frederico died very suddenly, probably poisoned, just hours after a terrorist attack upon a Spanish military base near Naples.
The XX Century and the World Wars
Frederico II, Frederico's son, ascended to power in 1850. He was the second longest reigning king of Italy, reigning for 69 years until 1919. During Frederico II's reign, the First World War (1913-1919) happened. During the First World War, Italian forces were very successful, being able to expel the gigantic German attacks in 1916 and later being the main force during the Allied Campaigns of 1917-1919. After World War I , although Italy didn't win any territory, it won almost 2.5 billion Iberos (four billion British Pounds on OTL), which were awarded to the Kingdom of Italy alone after the Repartition Act of 1920 between the three kingdoms of Iberia-Italy.
The American Revolution (Italian: Revoluzione Americana) of 1922 was the start of decolonization of Italian territories. It was also the first of the many errors in the 30-year long reign of Umberto I, which started in 1920. The revolutionaries only wanted a lower amount of taxes, but later, after the Massacre of Nuova Roma, the Declaration of Independence was made. The Ibero-Italian government was forced to acknowledge it in 1925, and the Republic of the East Coast and Louisiana was born. Later revolts emancipated the region of New Granda (1932), where a different branch of the Medici family assumed power over the United Duchies of New Granada, ending large-scale colonialism over the American continent. Later, Umberto I lost Tunisia and Libya as the new Republic of the Maghreb, mostly Muslim, at the Emancipation Act of 1927, which also liberated the Pharaohdom of Egypt, led by Copt Egyptians. All of these nations later signed the Commonwealth Act, which declared all nations to be equal in a new Italian union of governments, the Italosphere. Iberia-Italy continued liberating Italian colonies, the last colonies that still existed under Ibero-Italian government (Portuguese Africa had been liberated in 1910 and the Spaniard colonies had all been lost before 1898). This stopped temporarily when, in 1938, World War II broke out. World War II started well for the Allied Powers (a reformed Triple Alliance) but then, the Berlin-Moscow-Beijing Axis (which included much more than those three countries whose capitals are mentioned) started gaining more and more land. This was helped by an independentist revolt started by Germans in most Italian cities. The most notably affected was Florence, where the Medici were declared an oppressed royal family that has been forced to remain loyal to Spain, and proclaimed Doges of a new United Duchies of Italy. The United Duchies were made a reality when the Germans signed the Treaty of Salzburg in 1946, which also disbanded the Kingdom of Iberia-Italy.
The United Duchies of Italy
Italy did not lose any mainland territory nor it was forced to pay any war compensations, but all of the Middle East was forced to be liberated as the following nations: the Uzbek Emirate, the Shahdom of Persia, the United Kingdoms of Aram, the Phoenician Republic, the Arab Republic of Northern Syria, and the Israeli Republic. All this nations joined the Italosphere by the Extension Act of 1947. The same year, the Ibero-Italian Commonwealth was created to conjoin all nations formerly within Ibero-Italian control in a similar way to that of the Italosphere. Umberto I died in January 1, 1950, leaving a smaller Italy, but one that was much richer, and, for the first time in almost 2000 years, an united yet independent one.
Umberto's son, Piero V, implanted a Support Act, in which Italy applied for the newly-created European Economic Organization. It was accepted in April 22, 1950, and soon was an integral part of it.
In 1952, the United Duchies was one of the funding nations of the European Union, a military and economic alliance and the official successor of the European Economic Organization. Italy's economical, military and cultural influences on the world skyrocketed.
This golden age, however, was short-lived, as the Muscow Pact, the predecessor to the modern Alliance of Absolutist Nations and one of the two factions of the Cold War (the other being the European Union), begun funding pro-absolutist militias in the Italian south.
The original few militia problems came to be a crisis when, in August 20 1955, the rebels took over the city of Naples and declared independence of the Kingdom of Napoli. The uprisings later came to be known as the War of Naples, which ended in an Italian defeat and the recognition of the Kingdom of Naples in the southern half of the Italian nation.
After Piero's death, his fifth (and only legitimate) son, Cosimo IV, and Cosimo's firstborn son, Carlo I 's reigns were much like Piero's own. The economy continued to boom, making Italy one of the richest nations in the world. Carlo I died in 2001, and Lorenzo VII, the current king, ascended to the throne.
To the modern day, Italy claims being the sole government in the Italian peninsula, although that claim is not aknowledged by anybody and it is not an important question in Italian politics.
There are two important mountain ranges in Italy. This are the Alps and the Apennine Mountains.
The Alps are the longest and highest mountain ranges in the whole of Europe. The highest point is the Mont Blanc (4850 meters over sea level). The Italian Alps are divided according to the geographical locations into:
- the Ligurian Alps - the Ligurian Alps are located completely within Italy. They are separated by the nearby Maritime Alps because of the Col de Tende pass. They are also separated from the Apennine Mountains by the Colle di Cadibona pass. The highest point in the Ligurian Alps is the Punta Marguareis (2651 m)
- the Maritime Alps - the Maritime Alps are also located completely within Italy. They are separated from the Ligurian Alps by the Col de Tende pass, and from the Cottian Alps by the Maddalena Pass. The highest point is Monte Argentera (3297 meters).
- the Cottian Alps - the Cottian Alps are, again, totally and completely within the United Duchies of Italy. The Col Du Mont Cenis separates them from the Graian Alps, the Col du Galibier separates them from the Dauphiné Alps. The highest point is Monte Viso (3841 m).
- the Dauphiné Alps - the Dauphiné Alps, again totally within Italy are the next mountain range. The Graian Alps are separated from it by the River Arc, the Cottian Alps by the Col Du Mont Cenis. The highest point is Barre des Écrins (4102 m).
- the Graian Alps - the Graian Alps are located between the canton of in Switzerland (part of the German Confederation) and the Dauphiné Alps. The Graian Alps are the highest part of the Alps, and its highest point is no other than Mont Blanc (4810 m).
- the Chalabis Alps - The Chalabis Alps are located between Switzerland and Italy. It starts just after Mont Blanc and ends in the Rhone River. Its highest point is the Haute Cime (3257 m).
- the Pennine Alps - The Pennine Alps are located between Switzerland and Italy. It starts just after the Col Ferret and ends before the Dora Baltea. Its highest point is Monte Rosa (4634 m).
- the Lepontine Alps - the Lepontine Alps are located between Switzerland (part of the German Confederation) and Italy. The Rhone Pass passes between them and the Bernine Alps: The Simplon Pass separates it from the Pennine Alps. The highest point is Monte Leone (3552 m).
The Apennine mountains are a very long chain of mountains crossing through much of the Italian Peninsula. They measure 1,200 km from north to south, and 250 km from west to east. They are composed in several parts:
- The Ligurian Apennines - the Ligurian Apennines
- the Tuscan Apennines - the Tuscan Apennines, also known as Tuscan-Emilian Apennines,
- the Umbrian Apennines - the Umbrian Appenines,
- the March Apennines - the March Apennines, also known as Umbria-Marche Appenines,
There are several rivers in Italian territory. The most important of these are the Po River, the Rhone River and the Tiber River. Other rivers also exist, like the Arno River in Florence.
the Rhone River
The Rhone River is the westernmost of all of the major Italian rivers. Although 80% of its territory is in Italy, it doesn't start within this nation. In fact, it starts within the Greater German Confederation, from the Alps and Lake Ginevre in the Swiss part of the confederation. It runs through most of the Italian west riviera until Arles, where it parts in two just before dropping its water in the Atlantic Ocean. The Rhone counts with the largest Francophone population of the whole United Duchies.
The Po River
The Po River is the northernmost major Italian river. It starts within the northern Alps of Italy. It crosses through most of Northern Italy from west to east, finally dropping its waters in the Adriatic Sea within the province of Veneto.
the Tiber River
The Tiber River is the southernmost of all major rivers in Italy. Starting within the Apenine mountains, it stretches around the southernmost Central Italy until it lands, within the Greater Rome comune. In the Tiber River's shores, there's the highest amount of Roman Catholic agglomerations. Along all of its way, the Catholic levels are over 52%, rising to nearly 100% in Rome, close to the Vatican City.
Italy has no official religion and all religions are treated equally according to the constitution, and so has it been since 1490-1522, and then again since 1725.
Religious people form a 51% of the population, making Italy the third nation with the least amount of non-religious people (after Bohemia and Slovakia and Finland). The number has been steadily decreasing since 1922, and the Italian Census predict that non-religious people will outnumber religious people by 2015.
Of the religious population, approximately 78% follow the Lombard Church, also called the Church of Italy. This religion is claimed to have been started (cryptically) by Lorenzo de' Medici, but it was not an official religion until Piero III officially converted to the religion.
The second most common religion in Italy, with 10% of the population, is Roman Catholicism, which is followed by Lutheranism, with a 5%. The next religion is the Greek Orthodox Church with a 2.5% of the population, and later by Islam (mostly Shi'ite) with a 0.5% of the population. The remaining 4% is composed of a myriad of religions, the most important of which are Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Neo-Paganism.
The non-religious population (49%) is divided much more simply. 75% of the non-religious people are Agnostics, of different varieties. 35% is Atheist, and approximately 5% is Deist.
Most of the population (over 70%) is of Italian ethnicity. This group is followed by the Iberian ethnic group, which composes about 10% of the population. Another 10% is of French or German origins. 5% is of Arabic origin, and the last 5% is divided into many other ethnic groups, mostly Greeks, Turks, and Aramaic.
Italy's official, and most spoken language, is Italian, most specifically the Toscano variety, although most other dialects still thrive. Nearly every Italian citizen knows how to speak Italian.
The second most widely spoken language in Italy, with 40% of the Italian population, is French, which in the Italian census is classified together with Occitan and other important southwestern French languages. It is mostly spoken around the Rhone Valley.
French is followed by Spanish (with 35% of the population claiming to speak it), German (30%), English (25%), Croatian (20%) and Portuguese (15%). Catalan is also spoken as a vernacular language in a few small towns in western Sardinia, although most of the region is Italian-speaking (under 2% of the Italian population knows to speak Catalan). Other common languages in Italy are Romanian, Greek, Arabic, Sicilian, Slovenian and Venetian.
See main article: Government and Politics of Italy
The United Duchies of Italy is a constitutional federalist monarchy, which means that the king doesn't have absolute powers and that different regions have high levels of autonomy. The head of state in Italy is the Doge (currently Lorenzo VII ), which together with the Prime Minister (also called Duce) exercises executive powers. The Doge also divides the executive power between several ministries. The executive ministries are:
- the Ministry of Agriculture and Food
- the Ministry of the Colonies
- the Ministry of Communication
- the Ministry of Culture
- the Ministry of Defense
- the Ministry of Economic Development
- the Ministry of Education
- the Ministry of Education (Public)
- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
- the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- the Ministry of Justice
The Duchy's Court, the Senate and the Parliament administer the United Duchies' legislative government.
See main article: Duchies of Italy The United Duchies of Italy are divided into duchies (Italian: Ducatti). They are:
Italy also contains one Capital District (Italian: ), which is the Capital District of Florence (Distritto Capitale de' Firenze).
The Italian Armed Forces are divided into three sections: The Ducal Army (Italian: ), the Ducal Navy (Italian: ) and the Ducal Air Force (Italian: ).
Italy is a major partner in trade, especially over Europe. Italy's main trading partners are, in order: The rest of the Italian Commonwealth, Germany, Iberia, France, Ireland and Greece, with minor trade coming mostly from Bohemia, the Ottoman Empire, Zaporizhie, Russia, Denmark, and England. Italy's main exports are
Agriculture is vitally important among the Italian populace, although it has recently been at least partly phased out with industry and commerce in the last half century. Industry still remains as the moving force of economy in parts of Sicily, Apulia, Umbria and Basilicata, and a very important part of it in Calabria, Campania, Marche, Tuscany, Molise and Abruzzo.
Industrialized territories have marked the territory of northern Italy for the last century and half. Especially surrounding the Arno and Po Rivers, but relatively general in most of the Italian territory north of the Tiber, Italian industry is divided into two ways: Light industry and heavy industry. Light industry is the industry that . Heavy industry is the industry that . Light industry occurs mostly within Tuscany, Liguria, Veneto and Tirol, between others, while heavy industry occurs mostly within Lombardy, Piedmont, Aosta and the Rhone river Valley. However, industrialization in the south has happened in the last 50 years and now Southern Italy is also rich in industrial development.
Tourism is very important in the Italian economy.
Italy has several territorial disputes concerning other nations. The main are:
- Minorca: the island of Minorca, given to the Italian crown in 1733 and administered by the United Duchies of Italy ever since its independence, is currently claimed by the Realm of the Pyrenees as part of its national territory. The Minorca dispute has been one of the most controversial disputes on Italian history, since Italy and the Realm almost went to war during the Cold War in order to get it several times.
- Ticino: Italy shortly claimed the Italian-speaking Ticino Canton of Switzerland between its independence and the Treaty of Campione d'Italia in 1950. The claim has been mentioned as the policy of several ultra-nationalist parties, yet it is no longer an official Italian claim.
- Tunisian Coast: Controlled by Italy ever since independence, the coast of Tunis is currently claimed by the Maghrebi Republic as part of its sovereign territory. Continued claims to the coast have cost the Republic a temporary suspension of its membership in the Italosphere.
- Naples: The southern half of the Italian peninsula (including Lazio, Sardinia and Sicily), is currently the independent Kingdom of Napoli. The Italians continue placing a claim on the territories, although the claim is not enforced and few parties (even less than those which claim Ticino) continue mentioning reclaiming Naples, for many would consider Naples a disadvantage due to its inferior economy and lower standard of living.