The Papal States were an Italian country existing in various forms and sizes throughout history, on occasion including the entire Italian Peninsula and at other times just the immediate vicinity of Rome. The Papal States were, typically, governed dually by the reigning Pope, as well as the Duke of Rome, which until 1944 was a member of the Bravanatti family. Following the end of the French Civil War, the Bravanatti family was toppled by popular revolt and the Pope ruled with authority along with a secular council of representatives from various counties in the Italian Peninsula until the 1970's.

The Papal States was abolished in 1978 when the Secularization Act was passed by the various Italian counties favoring a secular Italian state - however, just a month later, the Vatican Act was passed, granting the Catholic Church precedence in a small part of Rome that they would directly rule as an independent state within the city limits.

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