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ITALY

In The News

Pope's assailant, on trial in Turkey, callsVatican 'enemy of God


Though they are often glamourised by movies and entertainment, their existence impacts Italy on a political, economic, and social level, and their effects vary from region to region.

Though the term &ldquomafia&rdquo is now widely used to describe organized crime groups in Italy, it originally referred to someone who was suspicious of authority.

As an island, Sicily was subjected to ever-changing foreign occupation in the centuries preceding Italy&rsquos unification. In the 19th century, groups of Sicilian mafiosi joined forces to become a self-governing body.

The Sicilian Mafia, also known as Cosa Nostra, gained power and profit through land extortion. After Italy&rsquos unification in 1861, Cosa Nostra maintained its control in Sicily by helping the newfound Italian government control smaller criminal groups in exchange for temporary immunity. In the 1900s, various families involved with Cosa Nostra banded together to form a structured crime organization, complete with initiation rituals and a strict code of conduct.

Since its humble beginnings, Cosa Nostra has expanded its power and profit through a combination of illegal activities, including drug trafficking, arms trafficking, political corruption, money laundering, racketeering, and usury.

In 1992, under boss Totò Riina&rsquos direction, Cosa Nostra murdered Italian Magistrate Giovanni Falcone, along with his wife and three policemen. Falcone was replaced by Paolo Borsellino, who was killed by Cosa Nostra two months later. The tragic, high-profile murders put a national spotlight on organized crime, so Cosa Nostra temporarily retreated to the shadows.

According to the Guardian, since 1992, more than 4,000 Sicilian Mafia members have been arrested, including Riina, who died in prison in 2017. As a result of his death, in combination with Italy&rsquos economic crisis and the rise of new mafia groups, Cosa Nostra seems to be losing its political grip on Sicily. Many former members are now working as police informants.


How long has the Italian flag existed?

The Italian flag precedes Italy&rsquos unification. Before unification in 1861, each republic in Italy had a different flag.When Napoleon began conquering Italian states after the French Revolution began in 1789, he changed the landscape of Italy, creating new republics and destroying former territories.

Following France&rsquos call for national unity, many Italians formed political and military groups to focus efforts on creating unity within their republics.

The colors green, white, and red were originally taken from the civic militia in the Transpadane Republic, an unofficial government in Milan. Militia members wore the colors on their uniforms.In 1797, the Cispadane Republic in Modena, established by Napoleon, designed its flag with the trio of colors in horizontal stripes and a central emblem.

When the Cispadane Republic merged with nearby regions to create the new Cisalpine Republic, the stripes were rotated counterclockwise to the vertical stripes they are today, with green on the left, white in the middle, and red on the right.

However, this was not the final form of the Italian flag. Later, the short-lived region known as the Italian Republic, located in the north of Italy, also had a green, white, and red flag, but organized in a geometric pattern.

The geometric pattern mirrored patterns from Napoleonic military flags. When the Italian Republic became the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as its emperor, the flag design was slightly altered, and a golden Napoleonic eagle was placed in the center.


Corruption probe

1992 - Revelations of high level corruption spark several years of arrests and investigations.

Top anti-Mafia prosecutor, Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards killed in car bomb attack.

1993 - Bribery scandal leads to Mr Craxi's resignation as leader of Socialist Party. He later flees the country, is tried and sentenced in absentia to imprisonment but dies in Tunisia in 2000.

1994 March - Freedom Alliance wins election. The coalition, which includes Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, the Northern League and the neo-Fascist National Alliance, collapses by end of year following clashes with anti-corruption magistrates and a battle with trade unions over pension reform.

1995-96 - Lamberto Dini heads government of technocrats. Austerity budget.

1996 - Centre-left Olive Tree alliance wins election. Romano Prodi becomes prime minister.

1997 - Earthquakes strike Umbria region, causing extensive damage to Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. Four killed.


  • OFFICIAL NAME: Italian Republic
  • FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Republic
  • CAPITAL: Rome
  • POPULATION: 62,246,674
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Italian
  • MONEY: Euro
  • AREA: 116,324 square miles (301,277 square kilometers)
  • MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES: Alps, Apennines
  • MAJOR RIVERS: Po, Adige, Arno, Tiber

GEOGRAPHY

Italy is a boot-shaped peninsula that juts out of southern Europe into the Adriatic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and other waters. Its location has played an important role in its history.

The sea surrounds Italy, and mountains crisscross the interior, dividing it into regions. The Alps cut across the top of the country and are streaked with long, thin glacial lakes. From the western end of the Alps, the Apennines mountains stretch south down the entire peninsula.

West of the Apennines are wooded hills that are home to many of Italy's historic cities, including Rome. In the south are hot, dry coastlands and fertile plains where olives, almonds, and figs are grown.

Map created by National Geographic Maps

PEOPLE & CULTURE

Since the rise of the Roman Empire, Italian art, architecture, and culture have had an influence around the world. Famed Italian painters include Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Italy is also at the heart of the Catholic Church, which is governed from Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome.

The family is at the center of Italian society. Young people often live at home until they are in their 30s, even if they have a job. When parents retire, they often go to live with their children.

NATURE

For 22 centuries, Italians and their ancestors have cleared fields, grazed livestock, and hunted wild animals. Forests that once covered large areas are gone. But the country's remote places and many national parks still have wilderness largely untouched by humans.

The lower slopes of Italy's Alps are covered with forests. Above these woodlands are meadows that explode with specially adapted wildflowers in the spring. Throughout Italy, millions of birds stop to rest during their annual migration to Africa.

GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY

In Italy, politics can often be exciting and noisy. Crowds gather in the streets to protest government policies or to show support for their party.

Since World War II, Italy has enjoyed an economic transformation. Industry grew, and by the mid-1960s, Italy had become one of the world's leading economies. Its main exports are clothing, shoes, food, and wine.

HISTORY

Italy's location on the Mediterranean linked it with the trade routes of the ancient civilizations that developed in the region. With the city of Rome's rise to power, the Italian peninsula became the center of a huge empire that lasted for centuries.

Italy's first societies emerged around 1200 B.C. Around 800 B.C. Greeks settled in the south and Etruscans arose in central Italy. By the sixth century B.C., the Etruscans had created a group of states called Etruria. Meanwhile, Latin and Sabine people south of Etruria merged to form a strong city-state called Rome.

Etruscan kings ruled Rome for nearly a hundred years. But Romans tossed out the Etruscans in 510 B.C. and went on to conquer the whole peninsula. They then set out to build a vast empire. At its greatest extent, in A.D. 117, the Roman Empire stretched from Portugal to Syria to Britain to North Africa.

The first sole emperor of Rome, Octavian, took power in 27 B.C. and took the name Augustus Caesar. For more than 400 years, the empire flourished. But by the fourth century A.D., it was in decline. In 395, the empire was split in two, and in 476, Germanic tribes from the north toppled the last emperor.

In the 12th century, Italian city-states began to rise again and grow rich on trade. But Italy remained a patchwork of territories, some of which were controlled by foreign dynasties. Beginning in 1859, an uprising forced the foreigners out, and in 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed.


Assorted References

The Roman Empire was an international political system in which Italy was only a part, though an important part. When the empire fell, a series of barbarian kingdoms initially ruled the peninsula, but, after the Lombard invasion of 568–569,…

…resolve, particularly in Germany and Italy, where the repeated invasions by the French during the revolutionary period had led to reforms and stimulated alike royal and popular ambitions. In these two regions, liberalism and nationalism merged into one unceasing agitation that involved not merely the politically militant but the intellectual…

The original Mediterranean population of Italy was completely altered by repeated superimpositions of peoples of Indo-European stock. The first Indo-European migrants, who belonged to the Italic tribes, moved across the eastern Alpine passes into the plain of the Po River about 1800 bce . Later they crossed the Apennines and eventually…

When Italy emerged into the light of history about 700 bc , it was already inhabited by various peoples of different cultures and languages. Most natives of the country lived in villages or small towns, supported themselves by agriculture or animal husbandry (Italia means “Calf…

The 90s also saw dangerous developments in Italy. In the 2nd century bc , Italians as a whole had shown little desire for Roman citizenship and had been remarkably submissive under exploitation and ill-treatment. The most active of their governing class flourished in overseas business,…

25, 1936) and then between Italy, Germany, and Japan (Nov. 6, 1937), ostensibly directed against the Communist International (Comintern) but, by implication, specifically against the Soviet Union.

…of the Bourbon fortunes in Italy. The eldest son of Philip V’s second marriage, he became duke of Parma in 1731 by right of his mother, heiress of the last Farnese dukes, and in 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession, he conquered the Kingdom of Naples-Sicily (Kingdom of…

…534 and 535 in Ostrogothic Italy made it the most likely victim after the fall of Vandal North Africa. When Theodoric died in 526, he was succeeded by a minor grandson for whom Theodoric’s daughter, Amalasuntha, acted as regent. Upon the boy’s death, Amalasuntha attempted to seize power in her…

…both of whom retired to Italy as cardinals of the Roman Church. Bessarion’s learning and library helped to encourage further Western interest in Greek scholarship. The union of Florence also helped to stimulate a Crusade against the Turks. Once again it was led by the king of Hungary, Władysław III…

…European trade largely with the Italian republics (e.g., Genoa, Venice). To the Italians, trade with the East was so important that the Practica della mercatura, a handbook on foreign trade, included the description of trade routes to China.

…supplied, and the mines of Italy led to the choice of bronze for the earliest coinage of Rome. With the development of internal economies and external trade, gold, silver, and copper or bronze quickly came to be used side by side Philip II of Macedon popularized gold in Greece, but…

In Italy rough lumps of bronze (aes rude) formed a currency from early times, being succeeded by bars of regular weight and Julius Caesar’s record of the ancient British use of iron bars as currency (following his raids on Britain in 55 and 54 bc ) is…

It was in Italy and Sicily that the finest work appeared. In Italy, Tarentine silver continued its type of Taras on a dolphin. In the middle of the 5th century the agonistic type showing a horseman appeared the celebrated Tarentine cavalry was thus commemorated down to the middle…

In Italy, too, Communists threatened to gain power by parliamentary means. All suffered from underproduction, a shortage of capital, and energy shortages exacerbated by the severe winter of 1946–47. Marshall therefore put forward a plan for cash grants to a joint European economic council “to assist…

In northern and central Italy (and parts of southern France) the absence of powerful centralizing political authority and, to a lesser extent, the precocious economic development of the towns enabled the commune to acquire a degree of self-government that easily surpassed the transaction of municipal affairs. Here the towns…

) of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, and its terms were to be secret. It provided that in the event of an attack on France by Germany or by Italy supported by Germany, Russia would field 700,000 to 800,000 men to fight Germany in the event of an attack on Russia…

…to see the monuments of Italy, or perhaps to listen to the music that they might recognize as the inspiration of some of the best of their own, were likely to return convinced that the country was backward. Its intellectual life might remain a closed book. As elsewhere, the Enlightenment…

…Papal States were annexed by Italy (September 20, 1870), thereby completing that nation’s unification. The Germans’ crushing victory over France in the war consolidated their faith in Prussian militarism, which would remain a dominant force in German society until 1945. (Additionally, the Prussian system of conscript armies controlled by a…

…December 1627 created dangers in Italy that the Spaniards were unable to ignore and temptations that they were unable to resist. Hoping to forestall intervention by others, Spanish forces from Lombardy launched an invasion, but the garrisons of Mantua and Montferrat declared for the late duke’s relative, the French-born duke…

Italian bourgeois family that ruled Florence and, later, Tuscany during most of the period from 1434 to 1737, except for two brief intervals (from 1494 to 1512 and from 1527 to 1530). It provided the Roman Catholic Church with four popes (Leo X, Clement VII,…

…was dominated by France and Italy. At Pathé Frères, director general Ferdinand Zecca perfected the course comique, a uniquely Gallic version of the chase film, which inspired Mack Sennett’s Keystone Kops, while the immensely popular Max Linder created a comic persona that would deeply influence the work of

…scattered territories in Germany and Italy, and the welter of divided states was never restored. These developments, but also resentment at Napoleonic rule, sparked growing nationalism in these regions and also in Spain and Poland. Prussia and Russia, less touched by new ideologies, nevertheless introduced important political reforms as a…

Italy, however, was not to be left behind. With a comparatively low starting point, plentiful labour, and new discoveries of oil and, especially, natural gas, it was able to increase the gross national product by 32.9 percent between 1950 and 1954. In Italian industry between…

Italy ceded the Dodecanese islands to Greece and surrendered its overseas colonies, although a Soviet demand for a trusteeship over Libya was denied. Trieste was contested by Italy and Yugoslavia and remained under Western occupation until 1954. The major change affected Poland, which was figuratively…

In Italy sectarian and heretical movements had proliferated throughout the Middle Ages. But one by one they had been crushed or absorbed by the church. Furthermore, the Reformation failed to take hold in Italy because of the tradition of moral preaching by the friars. Another consideration…

The pace quickened when Italy explored radio in 1924, followed by Japan, Mexico, Norway, and Poland in 1925. All these countries varied in how they authorized and organized radio services, with governments usually playing a far more central role than was the case in the United States.

…stations in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Italy, facing a severe shortage of medium-range frequencies, followed suit, providing its first FM services in the early 1950s. A decade later, multiple FM transmitters were operating in Belgium, Britain, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden.

…1970s in both France and Italy. A number of unlicensed small FM stations went on the air in Italy in late 1974 and into 1975. When an Italian court held that the state broadcasting authority did not have a monopoly on local radio, hundreds of new stations followed, and by…

…were soon also stationed off Italy, France, and New Zealand. All the affected countries passed laws to limit advertiser support and provision of supplies to such broadcasters, but the transmissions continued, rapidly building huge audiences. Land-based pirate stations appeared in several countries (several hundred in France alone, for example), but…

…Rosse, militant left-wing organization in Italy that gained notoriety in the 1970s for kidnappings, murders, and sabotage. Its self-proclaimed aim was to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for a Marxist upheaval led by a “revolutionary proletariat.”

In Italy, at first, the revolution only took the form of a nationalist rising against Austria led by the king of Sardinia under the Italian tricolour, the “white, red, and green.” The republic was proclaimed in 1849, and then only in Rome and Tuscany. Within the…

…of the south and the Italians, who had made an alliance with Prussia.

In the Middle Ages, Italian ports—Venice and Genoa in particular—dominated trade with the Middle East and supplied Europe with Eastern wares and spices. In the north, German cities, organized into a loose federation known as the Hanseatic League, similarly dominated Baltic trade. When the Portuguese in 1498 opened direct…

In Italy, Piedmont absorbed Genoa Tuscany and Modena went to an Austrian archduke and the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza was given to Marie-Louise, consort of the deposed Napoleon. The Papal States were restored to the pope, and Naples went to the Sicilian Bourbons

…and the rest of Spanish Italy, as well as the Basque province of Guipúzcoa, was to go to the dauphin Louis.

20th-century diplomacy

…relations were the conflict with Italy over Südtirol (southern Tirol now part of the Italian Trentino–Alto Adige region) and the problem of association with the European Economic Community (EEC later succeeded by the European Union). During the Paris Peace Conference of 1946, an agreement had been signed guaranteeing the rights…

Exhausted Italy was even less able than France to absorb the costs of war. Labour unrest compounded the usual ministerial instability and enhanced the public appeal of anti-Communist nationalists like Benito Mussolini. But the hope that the war would prove somehow worthwhile put peace aims at…

Germany and Italy then turned their Axis into a military alliance known as the Pact of Steel on May 22.

…post-World War I controversy between Italy and Yugoslavia over the control of the Adriatic port of Fiume (known in Croatia as Rijeka q.v.).

…British possession of Cyprus and Italian possession of the Dodecanese. The Allies dropped their demands of autonomy for Turkish Kurdistan and Turkish cession of territory to Armenia, abandoned claims to spheres of influence in Turkey, and imposed no controls over Turkey’s finances or armed forces. The Turkish straits between the…

Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy mutually guaranteed peace in western Europe. The treaties were initialed at Locarno, Switz., on October 16 and signed in London on December 1.

…of the United States, France, Italy, and Japan. At the end of three months of meetings, general agreement had been secured on the regulation of submarine warfare and a five-year moratorium on the construction of capital ships. The limitation of aircraft carriers, provided for by the Washington Five-Power Treaty (1922),…

…1915) secret treaty between neutral Italy and the Allied forces of France, Britain, and Russia to bring Italy into World War I. The Allies wanted Italy’s participation because of its border with Austria. Italy was promised Trieste, southern Tyrol, northern Dalmatia, and other territories in return for a pledge to…

Great Britain, France, and Italy that permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia.

, and Italian heads of government and foreign ministers—respectively, Georges Clemenceau and Stephen Pichon Lloyd George and Arthur James Balfour Woodrow Wilson (who fell ill at the conference, probably having contracted the flu as the influenza pandemic of 1918–19 raged) and Robert Lansing and

…States, and Vittorio Orlando of Italy. The first three in particular made the important decisions. None of the defeated nations had any say in shaping the treaty, and even the associated Allied powers played only a minor role. The German delegates were presented with a fait accompli. They were shocked…

Ancient Italy

Italy, Latin Italia, in Roman antiquity, the Italian Peninsula from the Apennines in the north to the “boot” in the south. In 42 bc Cisalpine Gaul, north of the Apennines, was added and in the late 3rd century ad Italy came to include the islands…

…to make his way to Italy, overthrow its barbarian ruler Odoacer, and govern the peninsula in the Emperor’s name. With his people, who may have numbered 100,000 persons, Theodoric arrived in Italy in late August 489. In the following year he defeated Odoacer in three pitched battles and won control…

Colonies, protectorates, and overseas exploration

…largely into the hands of Italian cities.

During World War II Italy lost its entire colonial domain. Ethiopia was restored as an independent empire, and the other colonies eventually came under UN jurisdiction, in the first step toward decolonization in the African continent.

…including northern Dalmatia, to the Italians in return for their support. This treaty embittered negotiations for a peace settlement. Finally, the Treaty of Rapallo (November 12, 1920) between Italy and Yugoslavia gave all Dalmatia to the Yugoslavs except the mainland Zadar (Italian: Zara) enclave and the coastal islands of Cres,…

…led to a dispute between Italy and Greece over which nation should have jurisdiction over the islands. In 1919 an agreement was reached whereby Italy would cede the Dodecanese to Greece with the exception of Rhodes, which was to have broad local autonomy. Subsequent Italian governments, however, unilaterally denounced the…

Between 1869 and 1880 the Italian Rubattino Navigation Company purchased from the local Afar sultan stretches of the Red Sea coast adjoining the village of Asseb. In 1882 these acquisitions were transferred to the Italian state, and in 1885 Italian troops landed at Massawa, Asseb, and other locations. There was…

Emperor Menilek II and Italian forces. The Ethiopian army’s victory checked Italy’s attempt to build an empire in Africa. The victory had further significance for being the first crushing defeat of a European power by African forces during the colonial era.

>Italian rule. Often seen as one of the episodes that prepared the way for World War II, the war demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations when League decisions were not supported by the great powers.

Italian adventurers, scientists, and missionaries helped organize a route, outside imperial control, that took Shewan caravans to the coast, where Menilek’s ivory, gold, hides, and furs could be sold for a sizable (and untaxed) profit.

…1896, when it defeated colonial Italy in the Battle of Adwa, and again in 1935–36, when it was invaded and occupied by fascist Italy. Liberation during World War II by the Allied powers set the stage for Ethiopia to play a more prominent role in world affairs. Ethiopia was among…

…he was unable to prevent Italy from disembarking troops at Mitsiwa (now Massawa) in February 1885. In order to weaken the emperor, Rome tried to buy Sahle Miriam’s cooperation with thousands of rifles. The Shewan king remained faithful to Yohannes but took the opportunity in January 1887 to incorporate Harer…

Africa Orientale Italiana, group of Italian possessions in East Africa in the period 1936–41. It comprised Ethiopia (annexed by Italy on May 9, 1936, and was proclaimed a part of Italian East Africa that June 1) together with the Italian colonies of Eritrea, now part of Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland,…

…and was colonized by the Italians in the 1930s. The settlements, interrupted during World War II and later deserted, have now been reoccupied by Libyans. Livestock herding (camels, goats, and sheep) among the mountains involves a degree of nomadism, and there is limited agriculture, notably in the al-Marj plain and…

…Italo-Turkish War of 1911–12, the Italians occupied Tripoli in 1911 and acquired all of Tripolitania from Turkey in 1912. Together with Cyrenaica and Fezzan, Tripolitania was incorporated into the kingdom of Italy in 1939. Tripolitania was the scene of fierce fighting between British and German armoured forces in 1942 during…

…reform in 1911, however, the Italians, who had banking and other interests in the country, launched an invasion.

…Menilek appeared to befriend the Italians, but a quarrel later developed. The Italians interpreted Article XVII of the Treaty of Wichale (Uccialli), concluded in 1889 by the Italians and Menilek, as giving Italy a protectorate over Ethiopia. It is quite inconceivable that Menilek would have agreed to his historic country…

Italy occupied the Welwel (Walwal) oasis in the early 1930s and launched a full-scale invasion of the Ogaden from Somaliland in 1935. The next year Ethiopia, including the Ogaden, was proclaimed part of Italian East Africa. Although Ethiopia was liberated by Free French and British…

…port was leased to the Italians in 1892 and sold to them in 1905 under pressure from the British, who had established a protectorate over the Sultanate of Zanzibar. Subsequently the capital of Italian Somaliland and of the Somalia trust territory, Mogadishu became the capital of independent Somalia in 1960.…

…of competition between Great Britain, Italy, and France. On the African continent itself Egypt also was involved, and later Ethiopia, expanding and consolidating its realm under the guiding leadership of the emperors Tewodros II, Yohannes IV, and Menilek II. Britain’s interest in the northern Somali coast followed the establishment in

…last-minute marriage between the former Italian trust territory and the former British protectorate. Urgent improvements in communication between the two areas were necessary, as were readjustments in their legal and judicial systems. The first independent government was formed by a coalition of the southern-based Somali Youth League (SYL) and the…

…pact excited the ambitions of Italy, to whom it was communicated in August 1916, after the Italian declaration of war against Germany, with the result that it had to be supplemented, in April 1917, by the Agreement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, whereby Great Britain and France promised southern and southwestern Anatolia to…

…at Wichale, Ethiopia, by the Italians and Menilek II of Ethiopia, whereby Italy was granted the northern Ethiopian territories of Bogos, Hamasen, and Akale-Guzai (modern Eritrea and northern Tigray) in exchange for a sum of money and the provision of 30,000 muskets and 28 cannons.

…relation, sent by the famous Italian Medici family to be their spokesman to the king of France. On returning, Vespucci entered the “bank” of Lorenzo and Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici and gained the confidence of his employers. At the end of 1491 their agent, Giannotto Berardi, appears to have…

Foreign relations

…a number of accords with Italy. These provided transitory financial relief to Albania, but they effected no basic change in its economy, especially under the conditions of the worldwide Great Depression of the 1930s.

…suppressing liberalism and radicalism in Italy. In 1821 Austrian troops put down risings in Naples and Piedmont in 1831 rebellions in Parma, Modena, and the Papal States likewise ended in suppression by Austrian soldiers. The Austrian regime became the nemesis of the Carbonari and Young Italy, two movements associated with…

…serious national rising occurred in Italy. Since 1815 many Italians had looked upon the Habsburgs as foreign occupiers or oppressors, so when news of revolution reached their lands, the banner of revolt went up in many places, especially Milan and Venice. Outside the Habsburg lands, liberal uprisings also swept Rome…

And when, in 1882, Italy approached Germany to find a partner in its anti-French policy, Bismarck used the opportunity to neutralize another European trouble spot. He told the Italian foreign minister that the road to Berlin led through Vienna, with the result that the Triple Alliance (comprising Italy, Germany,…

In 1923 Italian forces bombarded and held Corfu briefly, following the murder of an Italian boundary delegation. In World War II the city was again bombed by the Italians and occupied in succession (1941–44) by Italians and Germans. Many of its buildings and other landmarks were destroyed…

…Treaty of London, which promised Italy extensive Habsburg territories on the Adriatic in return for entering the war on the Allied side. Representatives of the Habsburg South Slavs in exile, led by the former Croat-Serb Coalition politicians Ante Trumbić and Frano Supilo, set up the Yugoslav Committee to promote the…

…occupation by the German and Italian armies, Pavelić’s Ustaša was put into power—a takeover facilitated by the refusal of Maček to take part in a puppet government and by the passivity of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Zagreb, Alojzije Stepinac. Initially there was enthusiasm for the independent state, but once…

Relations with Italy, originally friendly, deteriorated after Benito Mussolini’s rise to power in 1922. Czech anticlerical feeling precluded the negotiation of a concordat with the papacy until 1928, when an agreement settled the most serious disputes between church and state. Ultimately, it was Germany that most strongly…

…an “Axis” composed of Hungary, Italy, and Germany, since his two proposed partners were then at loggerheads over Austria. Gömbös, one of whose first acts had been to dash to Rome and breathe new life into Hungary’s friendship with Italy, now found himself drawn into the “Rome Triangle” (Italy, Austria,…

…with Germany and later with Italy. This was replaced by the Tripartite Pact in September 1940, which recognized Japan as the leader of a new order in Asia Japan, Germany, and Italy agreed to assist each other if they were attacked by any additional power not yet at war with…

Before the arrival of the Slav peoples in the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries ce , the area now known as Montenegro was inhabited principally by people known as Illyrians. Little is known of their origins or language, but they are…

Italy seized Tripoli (Libya) and occupied the Dodecanese, a group of islands in the Aegean Sea by the Treaty of Lausanne (October 18, 1912) Italy retained the former but agreed to evacuate the Dodecanese. In fact, however, it continued to occupy them.

Domestic problems induced Italy to begin withdrawal from the territory it occupied, and, by the Treaty of Ankara (Franklin-Bouillon Agreement, October 20, 1921), France agreed to evacuate the southern region of Cilicia. Finally, by the Armistice of Mudanya, the Allies agreed to Turkish reoccupation of Istanbul and eastern…

…Spain for the control of Italy, leaving Habsburg Spain the dominant power there for the next 150 years. In the last phase of the war, fought mostly outside of Italy, France was beaten at the battles of Saint-Quentin (1557) and Gravelines (1558). These defeats, coupled with the beginning of the…

…April 1915 by which the Italians were promised Istria and large areas of Slovenia and Dalmatia in return for their participation on the Entente side. The stagnation of the war during 1916 and early 1917 added to the general indifference of the major Entente powers to the fate of the…

…opted to pursue ambitions in Italy and generally neglected his peninsular domains. After occupying the Kingdom of Naples in 1442, he hoped to lord it over the rest of Italy and to extend his influence and power into the eastern Mediterranean. A spirit of discontent fostered by his long absence…

…emperor, France, Spain, and the Italian powers over control of the duchy of Milan. The Swiss had more than a passing interest in this area, having followed Uri and extended their control into the southern Alpine valleys while fighting against the Milanese during the 15th century. The elites of the…

Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed in May 1882 and renewed periodically until World War I. Germany and Austria-Hungary had been closely allied since 1879. Italy sought their support against France shortly after losing North African ambitions to the French. The treaty provided that Germany and Austria-Hungary were to…

…War, (1911–12), war undertaken by Italy to gain colonies in North Africa by conquering the Turkish provinces of Tripolitana and Cyrenaica (modern Libya). The conflict upset the precarious international balance of power just prior to World War I by revealing the weakness of Turkey and, within Italy, unleashed the nationalist-expansionist…

In August 1935 Italy attacked the empire of Ethiopia in Africa, announcing that it had apprised Britain and France at Stresa of its intentions of doing so. British public opinion was torn between a desire to avoid war and an unwillingness to sanction unprovoked aggression. The compromise was…

As Italy prepared to invade Ethiopia, Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1935, embargoing shipment of arms to either aggressor or victim. Stronger legislation followed the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, in effect penalizing the Spanish government, whose fascist enemies were

French Revolution

…French army under Bonaparte entered Italy (1796), Sardinia came quickly to terms. Austria was the last to give in (Treaty of Campo Formio, 1797). Most of the countries occupied by the French were organized as “sister republics,” with institutions modeled on those of Revolutionary France.

…troops of Napoleon’s Army of Italy and K.P. Sebottendorf’s 10,000 troops, the rear guard of Jean-Pierre Beaulieu’s Austrian army. After knocking the kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont) out of the war in April, Napoleon turned northeastward against Beaulieu. Beaulieu refused to stand and fight, afraid to lose his army in a…

…at Campo Formio (now Campoformido, Italy), a village in Venezia Giulia southwest of Udine, following the defeat of Austria in Napoleon Bonaparte’s first Italian campaign.

…excluded Austria from influence in Italy. The treaty was an integral part of Napoleon’s policy of creating a ring of French client states beyond the Rhine, the Alps, and the Pyrenees.

…excluded the Austrians from northern Italy. The city was easy to besiege: the only access to it was via five causeways over the Mincio River. The two Austrian commanders, Count Dagobert Siegmund Graf von Wurmser and Baron Josef Alvintzy, in four successive tries, repeated the same mistakes of giving priority…

Holy Roman Empire

…its constituent kingdoms, Germany and Italy, though clearly they are interrelated. The constituent territories retained their identity the emperors, in addition to the imperial crown, also wore the crowns of their kingdoms. Finally, whereas none of the earlier emperors from Otto I had assumed the imperial title until actually crowned…

…of the 14th) and in Italy (Marsilius of Padua and Dante), but the emperor Charles IV, a sober realist, drew the necessary conclusions. By then the axiom that “the king is emperor in his kingdom” was firmly established it marked the end of any universalist dream. Charles set out accordingly…

…Ariberto crowned him king of Italy. After brief fighting, Conrad overcame the opposition of some towns and nobles and managed to reach Rome, where he was crowned emperor by Pope John XIX on Easter 1027. When a renewed rebellion in Germany forced him to return, he subdued the rebels and…

…in the Mediterranean and in Italy. Southern Italy and Sicily were united in the Norman kingdom of Roger II. The cities of the Lombards, which had been little more than a nuisance to the earlier emperors, had now become more powerful.

…campaign, he marched into northern Italy to subdue Arduin of Ivrea, who had styled himself king of Italy. His sudden interference led to bitter fighting and atrocities, and although Henry was crowned king in Pavia on May 15, 1004, he returned home, without defeating Arduin, to pursue his campaigns against…

…league of cities in northern Italy that, in the 12th and 13th centuries, resisted attempts by the Holy Roman emperors to reduce the liberties and jurisdiction of the communes of Lombardy. Originally formed for a period of 20 years on Dec. 1, 1167, the Lombard League initially consisted of 16…

Italy (1494) upset the European balance of power. Maximilian allied himself with the pope, Spain, Venice, and Milan in the so-called Holy League (1495) to drive out the French, who were conquering Naples. He campaigned in Italy in 1496, but, although the French were expelled,…

…Adelaide, the widowed queen of Italy whom the margrave Berengar of Ivrea had taken prisoner, appealed to him for help, Otto marched into Italy in 951, assumed the title of king of the Lombards, and married Adelaide himself, his first wife having died in 946. In 952 Berengar did homage…

Kingdom of

…became the ruling house of Italy in the mid-19th century and remained so until overthrown with the establishment of the Italian Republic in 1946.

…which became the kingdom of Italy in 1861.

…of the new kingdom of Italy proclaimed by the first Italian parliament on March 17, 1861. Charles Albert’s son, Victor Emmanuel II, became the first king of unified Italy. See also Savoy, house of.

…the southern part of the Italian peninsula with the island of Sicily between the mid-15th and the mid-19th centuries. (For a brief history of the state, see Naples, Kingdom of.) United by the Normans in the 11th century, the two areas were divided in 1282 between the Angevin (French) dynasty…

Middle Ages

Basil’s plans for Italy involved him in negotiations with the Frankish emperor Louis II, the great-grandson of Charlemagne. The Byzantine position in southern Italy was strengthened with the help of the Lombard duchy of Benevento, and the campaigns of Nicephorus Phocas the Elder did much to consolidate this.…

The Italians had acquired exceptional privileges in the ports because they supplied the indispensable naval aid and shipping essential to regular contact with Europe. These privileges usually included a quarter that they maintained as a virtually independent enclave. Its status was guaranteed by treaty between the…

…widow of the king of Italy, who had been jailed by Berengar II, the king of Italy. Otto defeated Berengar, secured Adelaide’s release, and then married her. His first Italian campaign was also motivated by political developments in Germany, including the competing ambitions in Italy of his son Liudolf, duke…

…the 12th century—Lombardy and central Italy—the emperors and their military following alone counted. Indeed, from the very start of his reign, Frederick Barbarossa sought to recover and exploit regalian and imperial rights over the growing Lombard city communes and the rest of Italy. The connection between the German crown, the…

…opposing factions in German and Italian politics during the Middle Ages. The split between the Guelfs, who were sympathetic to the papacy, and the Ghibellines, who were sympathetic to the German (Holy Roman) emperors, contributed to chronic strife within the cities of northern Italy in the 13th and 14th centuries.

…history of medieval and Renaissance Italy. The family first came to the front in the wars between the Guelfs and Ghibellines during the 13th century. As leaders of the Guelfs, Estensi princes received at different times Ferrara, Modena, Reggio, and other fiefs and territories. Members of the family ruled in…

In Italy, the mother province of the Roman Empire in which the older capital city (Rome) was situated, Justinian found a situation similar to that in North Africa and particularly favourable to his ambitions. Under his immediate predecessors, Italy had been ruled by a barbarian, the…

…Lombards decided to migrate into Italy, which had been left almost defenseless after the Byzantine Empire’s armies had overthrown the Ostrogothic kingdom there. In the spring of 568 the Lombards crossed the Julian Alps. Their invasion of northern Italy was almost unopposed, and by late 569 they had conquered all…

The pope returned to Italy accompanied by Pippin and his army. A fierce battle was fought in the Alps against Aistulf and the Lombards. The Lombard king fled back to his capital, Pavia Pippin and his men plundered the land around Pavia until Aistulf promised to restore to papal…

Pippin campaigned in Italy against the Lombards twice (754–755 756) on the appeal of the pope and laid the foundations for the Papal States with the so-called Donation of Pippin. He exchanged ambassadors with the great powers of the eastern Mediterranean—the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate of Baghdad.…

…or Potestà, (“power”), in medieval Italian communes, the highest judicial and military magistrate. The office was instituted by the Holy Roman emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in an attempt to govern rebellious Lombard cities. From the end of the 12th century the communes became somewhat more independent of the emperor, and…

…the communes (city-states) of 13th-century Italy, a pressure group instituted to protect the interests of the commoners (actually, wealthy merchants and businessmen) against the nobility that up to then had exclusively controlled commune governments. It was one of a number of groups competing for power in the commune and in…

…settled in Apulia, in southern Italy, about 1047 and became duke of Apulia (1059). He eventually extended Norman rule over Naples, Calabria, and Sicily and laid the foundations of the kingdom of Sicily.

(Italian: “lordship”), in the medieval and Renaissance Italian city-states, a government run by a signore (lord, or despot) that replaced republican institutions either by force or by agreement. It was the characteristic form of government in Italy from the middle of the 13th century until…

Organized crime

Italian secret society of criminals that grew to power in Naples during the 19th century. Its origins are uncertain, but it may have existed in Spain as early as the 15th century and been transported thence to Italy. As the Camorra grew in influence and…

…society of criminals of primarily Italian or Sicilian birth or extraction. The term applies to the traditional criminal organization in Sicily and also to a criminal organization in the United States.

Political movements

Fascism

… founded the fascist party in Italy. Its emblem, the fasces (a bundle of rods with an axe in the centre), was a symbol of state power adopted from ancient Rome. Explicitly anticommunist, it was as opposed to the withering away of the state as it was to individualistic liberalism. “For…

One of the largest neofascist movements in western Europe in the 1990s was the Italian Social Movement (Movimento Sociale Italiano [MSI] renamed the National Alliance [Alleanza Nazionale] in 1994). Founded in 1946, it was led at various times by Giorgio Almirante, Augusto De Marsanich,…

…Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy, had followed suit (though it was reintroduced in Italy under the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini). By the mid-1960s some 25 countries had abolished the death penalty for murder, though only about half of them also had abolished it for offenses against the state…

…had a considerable following in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the Rhône valley of France—but had modified Proudhonian teachings into a doctrine later known as collectivism. Bakunin accepted Proudhon’s federalism and his insistence on the need for working-class direct action, but he argued that the modified property rights Proudhon allowed were

…the Italian Communist Party remained Italy’s second largest party, partly by stressing its independence of Moscow. Its foreign contacts and sympathies seemed to lie more with the European social democrats and labour parties, and in 1991 it changed its name to Democratic Party of the Left (shortened to Democrats of…

In Italy clerical interests remained strongly represented in the Christian Democratic Party (from 1993 the Italian Popular Party), which dominated governments in that country for four decades from 1945. This party never possessed a coherent policy, however, because it was little more than a disparate alliance…

In Italy, conservatives and liberals were so similar that commentators noted a process of transformism (trasformismo), by which parliamentary deputies, regardless of their electoral platforms, were transformed into virtually identical power seekers once in Rome.

Renaissance

Although town revival was a general feature of 10th- and 11th-century Europe (associated with an upsurge in population that is not completely understood), in Italy the urban imprint of Roman times had never been erased. By the 11th century, the towers…

…mother, and galloped off to Italy.

…[Italy]—died June 21, 1527, Florence), Italian Renaissance political philosopher and statesman, secretary of the Florentine republic, whose most famous work, The Prince (Il Principe), brought him a reputation as an atheist and an immoral cynic.

Spanish Civil War involvement

…called, received aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union as well as from the International Brigades, composed of volunteers from Europe and the United States.

Germany and Benito Mussolini’s Italy, Franco was the obvious choice. In part because he was not a typical Spanish “political general,” Franco became head of state of the new Nationalist regime on October 1, 1936. The rebel government did not, however, gain complete control of the country for more…

World War I

Italy had confirmed the Triple Alliance on December 7, 1912, but could now propound formal arguments for disregarding it: first, Italy was not obliged to support its allies in a war of aggression second, the original treaty of 1882 had stated expressly that the alliance…

…secret Treaty of London with Italy, inducing the latter to discard the obligations of the Triple Alliance and to enter the war on the side of the Allies by the promise of territorial aggrandizement at Austria-Hungary’s expense. Italy was offered not only the Italian-populated Trentino and Trieste but also South…

…the triumph of nationalism in Italy and Germany (1871), the establishment of universal manhood suffrage in Germany (1867), equality for the Hungarians in the Habsburg monarchy (1867), emancipation of the serfs in Russia (1861), and the adoption of free trade by the major European states all seemed to justify faith…

…case, the British, French, and Italians (fearing Wilsonian leniency and angry about not being consulted after the first note) insisted that their military commands be consulted on the armistice terms. This in turn gave the Allies a chance to ensure that Germany be rendered unable to take up resistance again…

…the eastern sector of the Italian Front in World War I.

World War II

…war, believing that a neutral Italy would cease to be regarded as a Great Power and that he needed war in order to fulfill his expansionist fantasies and permit the full triumph of Fascism at home. Yet in August 1939 he demanded from Germany 6,000,000 tons of coal, 2,000,000 tons…

The new Italian government, far from exiting the war, was obliged to do a volte-face and declare war on Germany on October 13. The Allies did not take Naples until October 1 and made no dent in the Germans’ reinforced Gustav Line until 1944.

Italy had been unprepared for war when Hitler attacked Poland, but if the Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was to reap any positive advantages from partnership with Hitler it seemed that Italy would have to abandon its…

headed by Germany, Italy, and Japan that opposed the Allied powers in World War II. The alliance originated in a series of agreements between Germany and Italy, followed by the proclamation of an “axis” binding Rome and Berlin (October 25, 1936), with the two powers claiming that the…

The crisis that developed when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 found Churchill ill prepared, divided between a desire to build up the League of Nations around the concept of collective security and the fear that collective action would drive Benito Mussolini into the arms of Hitler. The Spanish Civil War…

On June 10, 1940, Italy declared war on Britain and France. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was wholly unprepared to take advantage of Germany’s invasion of Poland, and, if Italy were to derive any benefit from the…

In 1911, when Italy attacked the Ottoman Empire—in the process occupying the largely Greek-populated Dodecanese—Greece, no less than the other Balkan states, wanted its share of the spoils from the ever more likely collapse of Ottoman rule in the Balkans. However, Greece’s situation differed from that of its…

He saw fascist Italy as his natural ally in this crusade. Britain was a possible ally, provided that it would abandon its traditional policy of maintaining the balance of power in Europe and limit itself to its interests overseas. In the west France remained the natural enemy of…

…April 28, 1945, near Dongo), Italian prime minister (1922–43) and the first of 20th-century Europe’s fascist dictators.

When Benito Mussolini took Italy into the war, the Italian forces in North and East Africa were overwhelmingly superior in numbers to the scanty British forces opposing them. Commanding the British was Gen. Archibald Wavell, who had been appointed to the newly created post of commander in chief for…

…the near collapse of the Italians’ hold on North Africa.

…the British engaged the main Italian force on February 6. Although the Italians boasted 100 cruiser tanks and the British could field fewer than one-third of that number, British tank commanders utilized the terrain far more skillfully. When night fell, 60 of the Italian tanks had been crippled, and the…

…more slowly by two new Italian divisions. British forces hastily fell back in confusion and on April 3 evacuated Benghazi. O’Connor was sent to advise the local commander, but his unescorted staff car ran into a German advance group on the night of April 6, and he was taken prisoner.…

…German divisions, followed by an Italian armoured division and an Italian motorized infantry division. He left four unmotorized Italian divisions as a holding force opposite the Gazala line. The British response was piecemeal, but Rommel could not complete a drive to the sea that would have enveloped the British on…

…paratroops and a division of Italian paratroops. He had about 200 medium tanks in his two panzer divisions and 240 in two Italian armoured divisions. While the Italian tanks were older models, Rommel’s force included 74 Panzer IIIs mounted with 50-mm guns and 26 Panzer IVs mounted with new 75-mm…

…the forthcoming Allied invasions of Italy and France and was attended by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Differences between U.S. and British strategists about the coordination of the Italian campaign with Operation Overlord (the

…the war, the Allies awarded Italy all the coastal areas that had given Slovenes access to the sea—including Gorizia (Gorica), Trieste, and Istria. The Yugoslav kingdom was given the Prekmurje region and southern Styria but only a small part of southern Carinthia. Yugoslav troops occupied much of the Klagenfurt basin,…


Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

1842-03-26 Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi (34) weds Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro (20) in Montevideo

Wedding of Interest

1869-10-18 Sardinia king Victor Emmanuel II (49) weds his mistress Rosa Vercellana (36) in Italy

Wedding of Interest

1918-08-18 Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (45) weds socialite Dorothy Benjamin (25)

Wedding of Interest

1928-07-19 Physicist Enrico Fermi (26) weds writer Laura Capon in Rome, Italy

Wedding of Interest

1936-02-02 Physicist Emilio G. Segrè (31) weds jewish woman Elfriede Spiro at the Great Synagogue of Rome in Italy

Wedding of Interest

1943-10-30 Italian director Federico Fellini marries actress Giulietta Masina

Wedding of Interest

1956-05-22 Swedish actress Anita Ekberg (24) weds actor and singer Anthony Steel (36) in Florence, Italy divorce in 1959

Wedding of Interest

1957-09-17 Italian actress Sophia Loren (22) weds legally married Italian film producer Carlo Ponti (56), by proxy in Juarez, Mexico annulled in 1962 remarry in 1966

Wedding of Interest

1986-09-26 Fashion designer Calvin Klein (43) weds assistant Kelly Rector in a civil ceremony in Italy

Wedding of Interest

1997-06-21 "Bridget Jones' Diary" actor Colin Firth (36) weds Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli (27) in Tuscany, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2002-06-09 "In Your Eyes" singer Peter Gabriel (51) weds Meah Flynn at Li Capanni Hotel in Italy

Wedding of Interest

2003-07-19 "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" actress Melissa Joan Hart (27) weds "Course of Nature" lead singer-guitarist Mark Wilkerson (26) in Florence, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2003-12-13 Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti (68) weds Nicoletta Mantovani at Modena Italy's Teatro Comunale

    Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Kevin Nealon (51) weds actress Susan Yeagley (33) inside the town hall in Bellagio, Italy "30 Minute Meals" TV host Rachael Ray (37) weds "The Cringe" lead singer John Cusimano in Montalcino, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2005-10-09 Italian pop singer Alexia (38) weds Giorgio Armani's nephew Andrea Camerana at Church of San Martino in Piacenza, Italy

    Model Bianca Balti (22) weds Italian photographer assistant Christian Lucidi Emmy-winning "Medium" actress Patricia Arquette (38) weds actor Thomas Jane (37) at the Palazzo Contarini in Venice, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2006-11-18 American film actor and producer Tom Cruise (44) weds actress Katie Holmes (27) at Odescalchi Castle, Bracciano, Italy

    "Desperate Housewives" actor Dougray Scott (41) weds actress Claire Forlani (35) at the Council Common Hall in Pievebobigliana, Italy Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck (57) weds handbag designer Gelila Assefa (38) in a three-day celebration on the Italian island of Capri The first Apprentice winner Bill Rancic (36) weds E! News anchor Giuliana DePandi (32) at the Church of Santa Sofia in Capri, Italy "7th Heaven" actress Beverley Mitchell (27) weds Michael Cameron (27) at the Church of Santa Maria a Gradillo in Ravello, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2009-05-02 Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (32) weds film and stage actor Peter Sarsgaard (38) in a small chapel in Brindisi, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2009-08-15 Actor Joseph Fiennes (39) weds model María Dolores Diéguez in Tuscany, Italy

    "American Beauty" actress Mena Suvari (31) weds concert producer Simone Sestito (25) at Santo Stefano degli Abissini in Vatican City, Italy Actress Emily Blunt (29) weds actor John Krasinski (32) at the luxurious Villa D'este hotel in Como, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2010-08-31 Actress Leelee Sobieski (27) weds fashion designer Adam Kimmel in Italy

    Italian Canadian singer Michael Buble (35) weds actress and model Luisana Lopilato (23) in Buenos Aires Oscar winner Sofia Coppola (41) weds vocalist of French indie rock band "Phoenix" Thomas Mars at the family villa, Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2012-10-19 Grammy Award-winning singer Justin Timberlake (31) weds "Total Recall" actress Jessica Biel (30) at the Borgo Egnazia resort in Fasano, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2013-09-14 Singer-songwriter John Legend (34) weds model Chrissy Teigen (27) at Villa Pizzo in Lake Como, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2014-05-24 Rapper and record producer Kanye West (36) weds model Kim Kardashian (33) at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy

Wedding of Interest

2014-09-27 Actor George Clooney (53) weds lawyer Amal Alamuddin (36) at the seven-star Aman Canal Grande hotel in Venice, Italy

    Actress and singer Aly Michalka (26) weds film producer Stephen Ringer at Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy Actor Adam Rodriguez (41) weds longtime love Grace Gail in a romantic ceremony in Tuscany, Italy Former Sugababes singer Heidi Range (33) weds Alex Partakis in Tuscany, Italy Actress and film producer Jessica Chastain (40) weds Moncler executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo in the northern Italian city of Treviso, Villa Tiepolo Passi

Roman Empire

Between the sixth to third centuries BCE, the Italian city of Rome conquered Peninsular Italy over the next few centuries, this empire spread to dominate the Mediterranean and Western Europe. The Roman Empire would go on to define much of Europe's history, leaving a mark on culture and society that outlasted the military and political machinations of its leadership.

After the Italian part of the Roman Empire declined and “fell” in the fifth century (an event no one at the time realized was so significant), Italy was the target of several invasions. The previously united region broke apart into several smaller bodies, including the Papal States, governed by the Catholic Pope.


'Massive' Bones of Viking Descendants Found in an Italian Graveyard

Around 800 years ago, 10 people were laid to rest in a cemetery on the Italian island of Sicily. Three were women, two were children. But it was the male skeletons that caught the attention of local archaeologists who uncovered the bones earlier this year. They were far larger than the bones of “normal” Sicilians, with what one archaeologist called a “massive” build.

These hulking skeletons are believed to have been the descendants of Vikings who colonized northern France and, later, southern Italy and Sicily.

A new paper published in the journal Science in Poland describes how a team of researchers uncovered the skeletons𠅊nd how the Norse seafarers made it all the way to Sicily.

Throughout the 8th and 9th century, Vikings began traveling south from Scandinavia to raid the monasteries and towns of what is today France. By 911, they were so present, and ferocious, that the French king was forced to cede part of northern France to them. Some Vikings settled there permanently, eventually becoming known as the Normans—Norse men—of Normandy. Later, the same Viking spirit saw them traveling throughout the continent, on expeditions to the United Kingdom and southern Italy.

“In the second half of the 11th century,” lead researcher Sᐪwomir Moឭzioch explained in a statement, “[Sicily] was recaptured from the Arabs by a Norman nobleman, Roger de Hauteville.”

Large bones found at an Italian excavation site are believed to belong to Viking descendants. (Photo: P. Mo៍zioch)


Contents

Avvisi, or gazettes , were a mid-16th-century Venice phenomenon. They were issued on single sheets, folded to form four pages, and issued on a weekly schedule. These publications reached a larger audience than handwritten news had in early Rome. Their format and appearance at regular intervals were two major influences on the newspaper as we know it today. The idea of a weekly, handwritten newssheet went from Italy to Germany and then to Holland. [2]

First newspapers Edit

The term newspaper became common in the 17th century. However, in Germany, publications that we would today consider to be newspaper publications, were appearing as early as the 16th century. They were discernibly newspapers for the following reasons: they were printed, dated, appeared at regular and frequent publication intervals, and included a variety of news items (unlike single item news mentioned above). Early forms of news periodicals were the so-called Messrelationen ("trade fair reports") which were compiled twice a year for the large annual book fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig, starting in the 1580s. Nevertheless, the German-language Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, printed from 1605 onwards by Johann Carolus in Strasbourg, is commonly accepted to have been the first newspaper. The emergence of the new media branch was based on the spread of the printing press from which the publishing press derives its name. Historian Johannes Weber says, "At the same time, then, as the printing press in the physical, technological sense was invented, 'the press' in the extended sense of the word also entered the historical stage." [3]

Other early papers include the Dutch Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c., founded by Caspar van Hilten in 1618. This Amsterdam newspaper was the first periodical to appear in folio- rather than quarto-size. [4] [5] As a center of world trade, Amsterdam quickly became home to many foreign newspapers as well, that were originally styled in much the same way as Van Hilten's publication, sometimes even having a similar name.

In 1618, the Wöchentliche Zeitung aus mancherley Orten (Weekly news from many places) began to appear in Gdańsk (the oldest newspaper in Poland and the region of the Baltic Sea). Despite the title, it appeared irregularly, sometimes even three times a week.

The first English-language newspaper, Corrant out of Italy, Germany, etc., was published in Amsterdam in 1620. A year and a half later, Corante, or weekely newes from Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bohemia, France and the Low Countreys. was published in England by an "N.B." (generally thought to be either Nathaniel Butter or Nicholas Bourne) and Thomas Archer. [6]

The first newspaper in France was published in 1631, La Gazette (originally published as Gazette de France). [7]

The first newspaper in Portugal, A Gazeta da Restauração, was published in 1641 in Lisbon. The first Spanish newspaper, Gaceta de Madrid, was published in 1661.

Post- och Inrikes Tidningar (founded as Ordinari Post Tijdender) was first published in Sweden in 1645, and is the oldest newspaper still in existence, though it now publishes solely online. [8]

Merkuriusz Polski Ordynaryjny was published in Kraków, Poland in 1661.

The first successful English daily, The Daily Courant, was published from 1702 to 1735. The first editor, for 10 days in March 1702, was Elizabeth Mallet, who for years had operated her late husband's printing business. [9] [10] [11]

News was highly selective and often propagandistic. Readers were eager for sensationalism, such as accounts of magic, public executions and disasters this material did not pose a threat to the state, because it did not pose criticism of the state.

Dutch Republic Edit

One of the most distinctive features of Dutch 'corantos' is their format. It was in corantos that the highly illustrated German title page was replaced with a heading on the upper first page of the publication: the masthead, common in today's periodicals. In line with this more sober page layout, corantos show an optimal use of space for text. Dutch corantos had two text columns, which covered almost the whole page, unlike the previous German papers, which adopted a single text column with book-like margins. The more economical use of space is also reflected in the minimal indications of paragraphs and the absence of completely blank lines. Different messages were only highlighted with a heading in a slightly bigger type, which usually included the city or country from which the news had come down to the publisher. A final novel feature of the format of corantos was their size: they were the first newspapers to be issued in folio, instead of halfsheet. [12] An example of a coranto in this format, besides the already mentioned Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c., is the Opregte Haarlemsche Courant. This Haarlem-based newspaper was first published in 1656 by Abraham Casteleyn and his wife Margaretha van Bancken, and still exists today, albeit in a tabloid format, rather than in the original folio.

British newspapers Edit

On 7 November 1665, The London Gazette (at first called The Oxford Gazette) began publication. [13] It decisively changed the look of English news printing, echoing the coranto format of two columns, a clear title, and a clear date. It was published twice a week. [14] Other English papers started to publish three times a week, and later the first daily papers emerged. [15]

The newspapers typically included short articles, ephemeral topics, some illustrations and service articles (classifieds). They were often written by multiple authors, although the authors' identities were often obscured. They began to contain some advertisements, and they did not yet include sections. Mass market papers emerged, including Sunday papers for workers to read in their leisure time. The Times adopted new technologies and set the standards for other newspapers. This newspaper covered major wars, among other major events.

North America Edit

In Boston in 1690, Benjamin Harris published Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick. This is considered the first newspaper in the American colonies even though only one edition was published before the paper was suppressed by the colonial officials, possibly due to censorship and control issues. It followed the two-column format and was a single sheet, printed on both sides.

In 1704, the governor allowed The Boston News-Letter, a weekly, to be published, and it became the first continuously published newspaper in the colonies. Soon after, weekly papers began publishing in New York and Philadelphia. The second English-language newspaper in the Americas was the Weekly Jamaica Courant. [16] These early newspapers followed the British format and were usually four pages long. They mostly carried news from Britain and content depended on the editor's interests. In 1783, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first American daily.

In 1751, John Bushell published the Halifax Gazette, the first Canadian newspaper.

German states Edit

Although printing had existed in China since at least 849 AD and the printing press was invented there, Germany was the first country in Europe to adopt its use, and the first newspapers were produced there. However, Germany was divided into so many competing states that before unification in 1871, no newspaper played a dominant role. One example of this type of merchant was the 16th-century German financialist, Fugger. He not only received business news from his correspondents, but also sensationalist and gossip news as well. It is evident in the correspondence of Fugger with his network that fiction and fact were both significant parts of early news publications. 16th century Germany also saw subscription-based, handwritten news. Those who subscribed to these publications were generally low-level government officials and also merchants. They could not afford other types of news publications, but had enough money to pay for a subscription, which was still expensive for the time. [17]

In the 16th and 17th century, there appeared numerous printed news sheets summarizing accounts of battles, treaties, king, epidemics, and special events. In 1609, Johann Carolus published the first regular newspaper in Strassburg, comprising brief news bulletins. By the 1620s, numerous major cities had newspapers of 4 to 8 pages appearing at irregular intervals all were strictly censored. The first daily newspaper appeared in 1660 in Leipzig. Prussia increasingly became the largest and most dominant of the German states, but it had weak newspapers that were kept under very tight control. Advertising was forbidden, and budgets were very small. [18]

India Edit

In 1766, a Dutch adventurer, William Bolts, proposed starting a newspaper for the English audience in Calcutta. He was deported by the East India Company, before his plans could come to fruition.

In January 1780, James Augustus Hicky published Hicky's Bengal Gazette, the first newspaper in India. The size of that four-page newspaper was 12"x8". Hicky accused the members of the East India Company, including Governor General Warren Hastings of corruption. In retaliation Hastings prohibited the post office from carrying Hicky's Bengal Gazette, and later sued Hicky for libel. In November 1780, the India Gazette appeared it supported the Company government.

Technology Edit

In 1814 the Times acquired a printing press capable of making 1,100 impressions per hour.( [19] ) It was soon adapted to print on both sides of a page at once. This innovation made newspapers cheaper and thus available to a larger part of the population. In 1830, the first penny press newspaper came to the market: Lynde M. Walter's Boston Transcript. [20] Penny press papers cost about one-sixth the price of other newspapers and appealed to a wider audience. [21] Newspaper editors exchanged copies and freely reprinted material. By the late 1840s telegraph networks linked major and minor cities and permitted overnight news reporting. [22] The invention of wood pulp papermaking in the 1840s significantly reduced the cost of newsprint, having previously been made from rags. Increasing literacy in the 19th century also increased the size of newspapers' audiences. [23]

News agencies Edit

Only a few large newspapers could afford bureaus outside their home city. They relied instead on news agencies, founded around 1859, especially Havas in France and the Associated Press in the U.S. Agenzia Stefani covered Italy. Former Havas employees founded Reuters in Britain and Wolff in Germany. Havas is now Agence France-Presse (AFP). [24] For international news, the agencies pooled their resources, so that Havas, for example, covered the French Empire, South America and the Balkans and shared the news with the other national agencies. In France the typical contract with Havas provided a provincial newspaper with 1800 lines of telegraphed text daily, for an annual subscription rate of 10,000 francs. Other agencies provided features and fiction for their subscribers. [25] The major news agencies have always operated on a basic philosophy of providing a single objective news feed to all subscribers. For example, they do not provide separate feeds for conservative or liberal newspapers. Fenby explains the philosophy:

to achieve such wide acceptability, the agencies avoid overt partiality. Demonstrably correct information is their stock in trade. Traditionally, they report at a reduced level of responsibility, attributing their information to a spokesman, the press, or other sources. They avoid making judgments and steer clear of doubt and ambiguity. Though their founders did not use the word, objectivity is the philosophical basis for their enterprises – or failing that, widely acceptable neutrality. [26]

Britain Edit

With literacy rising sharply, the rapidly growing demand for news, led to changes in the physical size, visual appeal, heavy use of war reporting, brisk writing style, and an omnipresent emphasis on speedy reporting thanks to the telegraph. London set the pace before 1870 but by the 1880s critics noted how London was echoing the emerging New York style of journalism. [27] The new news writing style first spread to the provincial press through the Midland Daily Telegraph around 1900. [28]

By the early 19th century, there were 52 London papers and over 100 other titles. In 1802, and 1815 the tax on newspapers was increased to three pence and then four pence. Unable or unwilling to pay this fee, between 1831 and 1835 hundreds of untaxed newspapers made their appearance. The political tone of most of them was fiercely revolutionary. Their publishers were prosecuted but this failed to get rid of them. It was chiefly Milner Gibson and Richard Cobden who advocated the case in parliament to first reduce in 1836 and in 1855 totally repeal of the tax on newspapers. After the reduction of the stamp tax in 1836 from four pence to one penny, the circulation of English newspapers rose from 39,000,000 to 122,000,000 by 1854 a trend further exacerbated by technological improvements in rail transportation and telegraphic communication combined with growing literacy.

The Times Edit

The paper began in 1785 and in 1788 was renamed The Times. In 1817, Thomas Barnes was appointed general editor he was a political radical, a sharp critic of parliamentary hypocrisy and a champion of freedom of the press. Under Barnes and his successor in 1841, John Thadeus Delane, the influence of The Times rose to great heights, especially in politics and amongst the City of London. It spoke for reform. [29] Peter Fraser and Edward Sterling were two noted journalists, and gained for The Times the pompous/satirical nickname 'The Thunderer' (from "We thundered out the other day an article on social and political reform.") The paper was the first in the world to reach mass circulation due to its early adoption of the steam-driven rotary printing press. It was also the first properly national newspaper, as it was distributed via the new steam railways to rapidly growing concentrations of urban populations across the country. This helped ensure the profitability of the paper and its growing influence. [30]

The Times was the first newspaper to send war correspondents to cover wars. W. H. Russell, the paper's correspondent with the army in the Crimean War of the mid-1850s, wrote immensely influential dispatches for the first time the public could read about the reality of warfare. In particular, on September 20, 1854, Russell wrote a missive about one battle that highlighted the surgeons' "humane barbarity" and the lack of ambulance care for wounded troops. Shocked and outraged, the public's backlash led to major reforms. [31] The Times became famous for its influential leaders (editorials). For example, Robert Lowe wrote them between 1851 and 1868 on a wide range of economic topics such as free trade (which he favored). [32]

Allan Nevins, the historian of journalism, in 1959 analyzed the importance of The Times in shaping views:

For much more than a century The Times has been an integral and important part of the political structure of Great Britain. Its news and its editorial comment have in general been carefully coordinated, and have at most times been handled with an earnest sense of responsibility. While the paper has admitted some trivia to its columns, its whole emphasis has been on important public affairs treated with an eye to the best interests of Britain. To guide this treatment, the editors have for long periods been in close touch with 10 Downing Street. [33]

Other main papers Edit

The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen. Its most famous editor, Charles Prestwich Scott, made the Guardian into a world-famous newspaper in the 1890s. [34]

The Daily Telegraph began on June 29, 1855 and was bought by Joseph Moses Levy the next year. Levy produced it as the first penny newspaper in London. His son, Edward Lawson soon became editor, a post he held until 1885. It became a gauge of middle class opinion and could claim the largest circulation in the world in 1890. It backed the Liberal Party's mainstream views until opposing what became the party's decades-long Gladstonian, largely consensual foreign policy in 1878. It turned Unionist. [35]

New Journalism of the 1890s Edit

The New Journalism reached out not to the elite but to a popular audience. [36] Especially influential was William Thomas Stead, a controversial journalist and editor who pioneered the art of investigative journalism. Stead's 'new journalism' paved the way for the modern tabloid. He was influential in demonstrating how the press could be used to influence public opinion and government policy, and advocated "government by journalism". He was also well known for his reportage on child welfare, social legislation and reformation of England's criminal codes. [37]

Stead became assistant editor of the Liberal Pall Mall Gazette in 1880 where he set about revolutionizing a traditionally conservative newspaper "written by gentlemen for gentlemen". Over the next seven years Stead would develop what Matthew Arnold dubbed 'The New Journalism'. His innovations as editor of the Gazette included incorporating maps and diagrams into a newspaper for the first time, breaking up longer articles with eye-catching subheadings and blending his own opinions with those of the people he interviewed. He made a feature of the Pall Mall extras, and his enterprise and originality exercised a potent influence on contemporary journalism and politics. Stead introduced the interview, creating a new dimension in British journalism when he interviewed General Gordon in 1884. He originated the modern journalistic technique of creating a news event rather than just reporting it, with his most famous 'investigation', the Eliza Armstrong case. [38]

Arnold, a leading critic, declared in 1887 that the New Journalism, "is full of ability, novelty, variety, sensation, sympathy, generous instincts". However, he added, its "one great fault is that it is feather-brained". [39]

Northcliffe's revolution Edit

The turn of the century saw the rise of popular journalism. These are papers aimed at the lower to lower-middle income earners demoting minutely reasoned news and analysis, which remain the focus of party- or ideology-oriented newspapers. Instead the papers are inclusive by emphasis on sports, crime, sensationalism and gossip about celebrities. Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe (1865–1922) was the chief innovator. He used his Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror to transform the media along the American model of "Yellow Journalism". Lord Beaverbrook said he was "the greatest figure who ever strode down Fleet Street". [40] P. P. Catterall and Colin Seymour-Ure conclude that:

More than anyone [he] . shaped the modern press. Developments he introduced or harnessed remain central: broad contents, exploitation of advertising revenue to subsidize prices, aggressive marketing, subordinate regional markets, independence from party control. [41]

Interwar Britain Edit

After the war, the major newspapers engaged in a large-scale circulation race. The political parties, which long had sponsored their own papers, could not keep up, and one after another their outlets were sold or closed down. [42] Sales in the millions depended on popular stories, with a strong human interesting theme, as well as detailed sports reports with the latest scores. Serious news was a niche market and added very little to the circulation base. The niche was dominated by The Times and, to a lesser extent, The Daily Telegraph. Consolidation was rampant, as local dailies were bought up and added to chains based in London. James Curran and Jean Seaton report:

after the death of Lord Northcliffe in 1922, four men–Lords Beaverbrook (1879–1964), Rothermere (1868–1940), Camrose (1879–1954) and Kemsley (1883–1968)–became the dominant figures in the inter-war press. In 1937, for instance, they owned nearly one in every two national and local daily papers sold in Britain, as well as one in every three Sunday papers that were sold. The combined circulation of all their newspapers amounted to over thirteen million.

The Times of London was long the most influential prestige newspaper, although far from having the largest circulation. It gave far more attention to serious political and cultural news. [44] In 1922, John Jacob Astor (1886–1971), son of the 1st Viscount Astor (1849–1919), bought The Times from the Northcliffe estate. The paper advocated appeasement of Hitler's demands. Its editor Geoffrey Dawson was closely allied with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, and pushed hard for the Munich Agreement in 1938. Candid news reports by Norman Ebbut from Berlin that warned of warmongering were rewritten in London to support the appeasement policy. In March 1939, however, it reversed course and called for urgent war preparations. [45] [46]

Denmark Edit

Danish news media date back to the 1540s, when handwritten fly sheets reported on the news. In 1666, Anders Bording, the father of Danish journalism, began a state paper. The royal privilege to bring out a newspaper was issued to Joachim Wielandt in 1720. University officials handled the censorship, but in 1770 Denmark became one of the first nations of the world to provide for press freedom it ended in 1799. In 1834, the first liberal newspaper appeared, one that gave much more emphasis to actual news content rather than opinions. The newspapers championed the Revolution of 1848 in Denmark. The new constitution of 1849 liberated the Danish press.

Newspapers flourished in the second half of the 19th century, usually tied to one or another political party or labor union. Modernization, bringing in new features and mechanical techniques, appeared after 1900. The total circulation was 500,000 daily in 1901, more than doubling to 1.2 million in 1925. The German occupation brought informal censorship some offending newspaper buildings were simply blown up by the Nazis. During the war, the underground produced 550 newspapers—small, surreptitiously printed sheets that encouraged sabotage and resistance. [47]

Today Danish mass media and news programming are dominated by a few large corporations. In printed media JP/Politikens Hus and Berlingske Media, between them, control the largest newspapers Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten and major tabloids B.T. and Ekstra Bladet.

In the early 21st century, the 32 daily newspapers had a combined circulation of over 1 million. The largest was Jyllands-Posten (JP) with a circulation of 120,000. It gained international attention in 2005 by publishing cartoons critical of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Militant Muslims protested around the world, burning Denmark's embassies in Beirut and Damascus. There have been threats and attempted terrorist plots against the newspaper and its employees ever since. [48]

France Edit

In the Ancien Régime there were a small number of heavily censored newspapers that needed a royal license to operate. The first newspaper was the Gazette de France, established in 1632 by the king's physician Theophrastus Renaudot (1586–1653), with the patronage of Louis XIII. [49] All newspapers were subject to prepublication censorship, and served as instruments of propaganda for the monarchy. Dissidents used satire and hidden meanings to spread their political criticism. [50] [51]

Newspapers and pamphlets played role in The Enlightenment in France and they played a central role in stimulating and defining the Revolution. The meetings of the Estates-General in 1789 created an enormous demand for news, and over 130 newspapers appeared by the end of the year. The next decade saw 2000 newspapers founded, with 500 in Paris alone. Most lasted only a matter of weeks. Together they became the main communication medium, combined with the very large pamphlet literature. [52] Newspapers were read aloud in taverns and clubs, and circulated hand to hand. The press saw its lofty role to be the advancement of civic republicanism based on public service, and downplayed the liberal, individualistic goal of making a profit. [53] [54] [55] [56] In the Revolution the radicals were most active but the royalists flooded the country with their press the "Ami du Roi" (Friends of the King) until they were suppressed. [57] Napoleon only allowed one newspaper in each department and four in Paris, all under tight control.

In the revolutionary days of 1848 former Saint-Simoniennes founded a Club for the Emancipation of Women in 1848 it changed its name to La Société de la Voix des Femmes (Society for Women's Voice) in line with its new newspaper, La Voix des Femmes. It was France's first feminist daily and proclaimed itself "a socialist and political journal, the organ of the interests of all women". It lasted for only a few weeks as did two other feminist newspapers women occasionally contributed articles to the magazines, often under a pseudonym. [58]

The democratic political structure of France in 1870–1914 was supported by the proliferation of newspapers. The circulation of the daily press in Paris went from 1 million in 1870 to 5 million in 1910 it then leveled off and reached 6 million in 1939. Advertising grew rapidly, providing a steady financial basis. A new liberal press law of 1881 abandoned the restrictive practices that had been typical for a century. High-speed rotary Hoe presses, introduced in the 1860s, facilitated quick turnaround time and cheaper publication. New types of popular newspapers, especially Le Petit Journal reached an audience more interested in diverse entertainment and gossip rather than hard news. It captured a quarter of the Parisian market, and forced the rest to lower their prices. The main dailies employed their own journalists who competed for news flashes. All newspapers relied upon the Agence Havas (now Agence France-Presse), a telegraphic news service with a network of reporters and contracts with Reuters to provide world service. The staid old papers retained their loyal clientele because of their concentration on serious political issues. [59]

The Roman Catholic Assumptionist order revolutionized pressure group media by its national newspaper La Croix. It vigorously advocated for traditional Catholicism while at the same time innovating with the most modern technology and distribution systems, with regional editions tailored to local taste. Secularists and Republicans recognize the newspaper as their greatest enemy, especially when it took the lead in attacking Dreyfus as a traitor and stirred up anti-Semitism. When Dreyfus was pardoned, the Radical government in 1900 closed down the entire Assumptionist order and its newspaper. [60]

Corruption Edit

Businesses and banks secretly paid certain newspapers to promote particular financial interests, and hide or cover up possible misbehavior. Publishers took payments for favorable notices in news articles of commercial products. Sometimes, a newspaper would blackmail a business by threatening to publish unfavorable information unless the business immediately started advertising in the paper. Foreign governments, especially Russia and Turkey, secretly paid the press hundreds of thousands of francs a year to guarantee favorable coverage of the bonds it was selling in Paris. When the real news was bad about Russia, as during its 1905 Revolution or during its war with Japan, it raised the bribes it paid to millions of francs. Each ministry in Paris had a group of journalists whom it secretly paid and fed stories. [61] During the World War, newspapers became more of a propaganda agency on behalf of the war effort there was little critical commentary. The press seldom reported the achievements of the Allies instead they credited all the good news to the French army. In a word, the newspapers were not independent champions of the truth, but secretly paid advertisements for special interests and foreign governments. [62]

First World War Edit

The World War ended a golden era for the press. Their younger staff members were drafted and male replacements could not be found (women were not considered available) Rail transportation was rationed and less paper and ink came in, and fewer copies could be shipped out. Inflation raised the price of newsprint, which was always in short supply. The cover price went up, circulation fell and many of the 242 dailies published outside Paris closed down. The government set up the Interministerial Press Commission to closely supervise the press. A separate agency imposed tight censorship that led to blank spaces where news reports or editorials were disallowed. The dailies sometimes were limited to only two pages instead of the usual four, leading one satirical paper to try to report the war news in the same spirit:

War News. A half-zeppelin threw half its bombs on half-time combatants, resulting in one-quarter damaged. The zeppelin, halfways-attacked by a portion of half-anti aircraft guns, was half destroyed. [63]

Postwar stagnation Edit

The Parisian newspapers were largely stagnant after 1914. The major postwar success story was Paris Soir which lacked any political agenda and was dedicated to providing a mix of sensational reporting to aid circulation, and serious articles to build prestige. By 1939, its circulation was over 1.7 million, double that of its nearest rival the tabloid Le Petit Parisien. In addition to its daily paper Paris Soir sponsored a highly successful women's magazine Marie-Claire. Another magazine Match was modeled after the photojournalism of the American magazine Life. [64]

France was a democratic society in the 1930s, but the people were kept in the dark about critical issues of foreign policy. The government tightly controlled all of the media to promulgate propaganda to support the government's foreign policy of appeasement to the aggressions of Italy and especially Nazi Germany. There were 253 daily newspapers, all owned separately. The five major national papers based in Paris were all under the control of special interests, especially right-wing political and business interests that supported appeasement. They were all venal, taking large secret subsidies to promote the policies of various special interests. Many leading journalists were secretly on the government payroll. The regional and local newspapers were heavily dependent on government advertising and published news and editorials to suit Paris. Most of the international news was distributed through the Havas agency, which was largely controlled by the government. The goal was to tranquilize public opinion, to give it little or nothing to work with, so as not to interfere with the policies of the national government. When serious crises emerged such as the Munich crisis of 1938, people were puzzled and mystified by what was going on. When war came in 1939, the French people had little understanding of the issues, and little correct information. They suspiciously distrusted the government, with the result that French morale in the face of the war with Germany was badly prepared. [65]

In 1942, the occupying German forces took control of all of the Parisian newspapers and operated them with collaborators. In 1944, the Free French liberated Paris, and seized control of all of the collaborationist newspapers. They turned the presses and operations over to new teams of editors and publishers, and provided financial support. Thus for example The previously high-prestige Le Temps was replaced by the new daily Le Monde. [66] [67]

In the early 21st century, the best-selling daily was the regional Ouest-France in 47 local editions, followed by Le Progres of Lyon, La Voix du Nord in Lille, and Provençal in Marseille. In Paris the Communists published l'Humanite, while Le Monde and Figaro had local rivals in Le Parisien and the leftist Libération.

Germany Edit

The Germans read more newspapers than anyone else. [68] The most dramatic advance in quality came in 1780, with the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in Zürich, Switzerland. It set a new standard in objective, in-depth treatment of serious news stories, combined with high-level editorials, and in-depth coverage of music in the theater, as well as an advertising section. Its standards were emulated by the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (1861–1945) and the Frankfurter Zeitung (1856–1943), among others. [69]

Napoleon shut down existing German newspapers when he marched through, replacing them with his own, which echoed the official Parisian press. The upsurge of German nationalism after 1809 stimulated underground newspapers, calling for resistance to Napoleon. Johann Palm took the lead in Augsburg, but he was caught and executed. With the downfall of Napoleon, reactionaries came to power across Germany who had no tolerance for a free press. A repressive police system guaranteed that newspapers would not be criticizing the government.

The revolution of 1848 saw the overnight emergence of a liberal press demanding new freedoms, new constitutions and a free press. Multiple parties formed, and each had its own newspaper network. Neue Rheinische Zeitung was the first socialist newspaper it appeared in 1848–49, with Karl Marx as editor. The Revolution of 1848 failed in Germany, the reactionaries returned to power, and many liberal and radical journalists fled the country. [70] The Neue Preussische Zeitung (or Kreuz-Zeitung) became the organ of the Junker East Elbian landowners, the Lutheran clergy, and influential civil and military officials who upheld the King of Prussia. It became the leading Prussian conservative newspaper. Its slogan was "With God for king and fatherland." [71]

Berlin, the capital of Prussia, had the reputation of being "the newspaper city" ("Zeitungstadt") it published 32 dailies in 1862, along with 58 weekly newspapers. The main emphasis was not on news are reporting, but among commentary and political analysis. None of the newspapers, however, and none of their editors or journalists, was especially influential. However some were using their newspaper experience as a stepping stone to a political career. The audience was limited to about 5% of the adult men, chiefly from the upper and middle classes, who followed politics. Liberal papers outnumbered conservative ones by a wide margin. [72] [73]

Bismarck's leadership in Prussia in the 1860s, and after 1871 in the German Empire, was highly controversial. His position on domestic policies was conservative or reactionary, and newspapers were mostly liberal they attacked his defiance of the elected assembly. However, his success in wars against Denmark, Austria, and France made him highly popular, and his establishment of the German Empire was a dream come true for German nationalists. Bismarck kept a tight rein on the press. Bismarck never listened to public opinion, but he did try to shape it. He secretly subsidized newspapers, and the government gave financial help to small local papers, guaranteeing an overall favorable view. The press law of 1874 guaranteed press freedom, of a sort, but allowed for suppression if an issue contained "provocation to treason, incitement to violence, offense to the sovereign, or encouraged assistance of the government". Bismarck often used the code to threaten editors. [74] The press law of 1878 suspended any newspaper advocating socialism – a club Bismarck used to suppress the rapidly growing socialist political movement. He also set up several official propaganda bureaus that distributed foreign and national news to local newspapers. [75]

The newspapers primarily featured lengthy discussions and editorials regarding political conditions. They also included a "Unter dem Strich" ("Below the line") section that featured short stories, poetry, critical reviews of new books, evaluations of art exhibits, and reports on musical concerts and new plays. An especially popular feature was a novel, serialized with a new chapter every week. [76] In many ways more influential than the newspapers were the magazines, which proliferated after 1870. Eminent intellectuals favored this medium. By 1890, Berlin published over 600 weeklies, biweeklies, monthlies, and quarterlies, including scholarly journals that were essential reading for scientists everywhere. [77]

20th century Edit

When high-speed rotary presses became available, together with typesetting machinery, it became possible to have press runs in the hundreds of thousands, with frequent updates throughout the day. By 1912, there were 4000 newspapers, printing 5 to 6,000,000,000 copies of the year. New technology made illustrations more feasible, and photographs began appearing. Advertising was now an important feature. Nevertheless, all newspapers focused on their own city, and there was no national newspaper of the sort that flourished in Britain, nor chains owned by one company such as those becoming common in the United States. All the political parties relied heavily on their own newspapers to inform and rally their supporters. For example, there were 870 papers in 1912 pitched to conservative readers, 580 aimed at liberal elements, 480 aimed at the Roman Catholics of the Centre party, and 90 affiliated with the Socialist party. [78] [79]

The first German newspaper aimed at a mass audience was the Berliner Morgenpost, founded in 1898 by publisher Hermann Ullstein. It focused on local news, with very thorough coverage of its home city, ranging from the palaces to the tenements, along with lists of sporting events, streetcar schedules and shopping tips. By 1900, it reached 200,000 subscribers. A rival appeared in 1904, the BZ am Mittag, with a flair for the spectacular and sensational in city life, especially fires, crime and criminals. [80]

During the First World War (1914–1918), Germany published several newspapers and magazines for the enemy areas it occupied. The Gazette des Ardennes was designed for French readers in Belgium and France, Francophone prisoners of war, and generally as a propaganda vehicle in neutral and even enemy countries. Editor Fritz H. Schnitzer had a relatively free hand, and he tried to enhance his credibility by factual information. He realized until the closing days of the war that it was necessary to produce an increasingly optimistic report to hide the weakening position of the Central Powers in the summer and fall of 1918. [81]

The Nazis (in power 1933–1945) exercised total control over the press under the direction of Joseph Goebbels. He took control of the wire services and shut down 1000 of the 3000 newspapers, including all those operated by the socialist, communist, and Roman Catholic movements. The survivors received about two dozen press directives every week, which typically were followed very closely. [82] [83]

In 1945, the occupying powers took over all newspapers in Germany and purged them of Nazi influence. Each of the four zones had one newspaper: Die Welt in Hamburg, the British zone Die Neue Zeitung in Munich in the American zone and Tägliche Rundschau (1945–1955) in East Berlin in the Soviet zone. By 1949, there were 170 licensed newspapers, but newsprint was strictly rationed, and circulation remains small. The American occupation headquarters, the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) began its own newspaper based in Munich, Die Neue Zeitung. It was edited by German and Jewish émigrés who fled to the United States before the war, and reached a circulation of 1.6 million in 1946. Its mission was to encourage democracy by exposing Germans to how American culture operated. The paper was filled with details on American sports, politics, business, Hollywood, and fashions, as well as international affairs. [84] [85]

In the early 21st century, 78% of the population regularly read one of Germany's 1200 newspapers, most of which are now online. The heavily illustrated tabloid Bild had the largest circulation in Europe, at 2.5 million copies a day. It is published by Axel Springer AG, which has a chain of newspapers. Today, the conservative leaning Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has the highest reputation its main competitors are the left-wing Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich) and liberal-conservative Die Welt. Influential weekly opinion papers include Die Zeit, and until it closed in 2010, Rheinischer Merkur. [86]

Italy Edit

Between oppressive rulers, and a low rate of literacy, Italy had little in the way of a serious newspaper press for the 1840s. Gazzetta del Popolo (1848–1983) based in turn was the leading voice for an Italian unification. La Stampa (1867–present) in Turin competes with Corriere della Sera of Milan for primacy in Italian journalism, in terms of circulation numbers and depth of coverage. It was a strong supporter of Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti, who was denounced daily by Corriere della Sera.

The major newspapers were served by Agenzia Stefani (1853–1945). It was a News agency that collected news and feature items, and distributed them to subscribing newspapers by telegraph or by mail. It had exchange agreements with Reuters in London and Havas in Paris, and provided a steady flow of domestic and international news and features. [87] [88]

The series of crises and confrontations between the papacy and the kingdom of Italy in the 1870s focused especially on the question of who would control Rome, and what place the pope would have in the new Kingdom. A network of pro-papal newspapers in Italy vigorously supported papal rights and help mobilize the Catholic element. [89]

20th century Edit

In 1901, Alberto Bergamini, editor of Rome's Il Giornale d'Italia created the "la Terza Pagina" ("Third Page"), featuring essays in literature, philosophy, criticism, the arts, and politics. It was quickly emulated by the upscale press. [90] The most important newspaper was the liberal Corriere della Sera, founded in Milan in 1876. It reached a circulation of over 1 million under editor and co-owner Luigi Albertini (1900–1925). Albertini deliberately modeled his paper after the Times of London, where he had worked briefly. He commissioned leading liberal intellectuals to write essays. Albertini was a strong opponent of Socialism, of clericalism, and of Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti who was willing to compromise with those forces and corrupt Italian politics. Albertini's opposition to the Fascist regime forced the other co-owners to oust him in 1925. [91] [92]

Mussolini was a former editor his Fascist regime (1922–1943) took full control of the media in 1925. Opposition Journalists were physically maltreated two thirds of the dailies were shut down. An underground press was developed, using smuggled material. [93] All the major papers had been mouthpieces for a political party now all parties save one were abolished, and the newspapers all became its mouthpiece. In 1924, the fascists took control of Agenzia Stefani, and enlarged its scope and mission to make it their tool to control the news content in all of Italy's newspapers. By 1939, it operated 32 bureaus inside Italy and 16 abroad, with 261 correspondents in Italy and 65 abroad. Every day they processed over 1200 dispatches, from which Italian newspapers made up their news pages. [94] [95] [96]

British influence extended globally through its colonies and its informal business relationships with merchants in major cities. They needed up-to-date market and political information. El Seminario Republicano was the first non-official newspaper it appeared in Chile in 1813. El Mercurio was founded in Valparaiso, Chile, in 1827. The most influential newspaper in Peru, El Comercio, first appeared in 1839. The Jornal do Commercio was established in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1827. Much later Argentina founded its newspapers in Buenos Aires: La Prensa in 1869 and La Nación in 1870. [97]

China Edit

In China, early government-produced news sheets, called tipao, were commonly used among court officials during the late Han dynasty (2nd and 3rd centuries AD). Between 713 and 734, the Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court") of the Chinese Tang Dynasty published government news it was handwritten on silk and read by government officials. In 1582, privately published news sheets appeared in Beijing, during the late Ming Dynasty. [98]

From the late 19th century until 1949 the international community at Shanghai and Hong Kong sponsored a lively foreign language press that covered business and political news. Leaders included North China Daily News, Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury, and for Germans, Der Ostasiatischer Lloyd, and Deutsche Shanghai Zeitung. Before 1872, government gazettes printed occasional announcements by officials. In Shanghai English businessman Ernest Major (1841–1908) established the first Chinese language newspaper in 1872. [99] His Shen Bao employed Chinese editors and journalists and purchased stories by Chinese writers it also published letters from readers. Serialized novels were popular with readers and kept them loyal to the paper. [100] Shanghai's large and powerful International Settlement stimulated the growth of a public sphere of Chinese men of affairs who paid close attention to political and economic developments. Shanghai became China's media capital. Shen Bao was the most important Chinese-language newspaper until 1905 and was still important until the communists came to power 1949. [101]

Shen bao and other major newspapers saw public opinion as the driving force of historical change, of the sort that would bring progress reason and modernity to China. The editors portrayed public opinion as the final arbiter of justice for government officials. Thereby they broadened the public sphere to include the readership. The encouragement of the formation of public opinion stimulated activism and form the basis for popular support for the 1911 revolution. [102] Chinese newspaper journalism was modernized in the 1920s according to international standards, thanks to the influence of the New Culture Movement. The roles of journalist and editor were professionalized and became prestigious careers. The Ta Kung Pao expanded audiences with its impartial reporting on public affairs. The business side gained importance and with a greater emphasis on advertising and commercial news, the main papers, especially in Shanghai, moved away from the advocacy journalism that characterized the 1911 revolutionary period. [103] Outside the main centers the nationalism promoted in metropolitan dailies was not as distinctive as localism and culturalism. [104]

Today China has two news agencies, the Xinhua News Agency and the China News Service (Zhongguo Xinwenshe). Xinhua was the major source of news and photographs for central and local newspapers. In 2002, there were 2100 newspapers, compared to only 400 in 1980. The party's newspapers People's Daily and Guangming Daily, along with the Army's PLA Daily, had the largest circulation. Local papers focused on local news are popular. In 1981, the English-language China Daily began publication. It printed international news and sports from the major foreign wire services as well as interesting domestic news and feature articles. [105]

India Edit

Robert Knight (1825–1890), founded two English language daily papers, The Statesman in Calcutta, and The Times of India in Bombay. In 1860, he bought out the Indian shareholders, merged with rival Bombay Standard, and started India's first news agency. It wired news dispatches to papers across India and became the Indian agent for Reuters news service. In 1861, he changed the name from the Bombay Times and Standard to The Times of India. Knight fought for a press free of prior restraint or intimidation, frequently resisting the attempts by governments, business interests, and cultural spokesmen and led the paper to national prominence. Knight's papers promoted Indian self-rule and often criticized the policies of the British Raj. By 1890, the company employed more than 800 people and had a sizeable circulation in India and the British Empire. [106] [107] [108]

Japan Edit

Japanese newspapers began in the 17th century as yomiuri (読売、literally "to read and sell") or kawaraban (瓦版, literally "tile-block printing" referring to the use of clay printing blocks), which were printed handbills sold in major cities to commemorate major social gatherings or events.

The first modern newspaper was the Japan Herald published bi-weekly in Yokohama by the Englishman A. W. Hansard from 1861. In 1862, the Tokugawa shogunate began publishing the Kampan batabiya shinbun, a translated edition of a widely distributed Dutch newspaper. These two papers were published for foreigners, and contained only foreign news.

The first Japanese daily newspaper that covered foreign and domestic news was the Yokohama Mainichi Shinbun (横浜市毎日新聞), first published in 1871. The papers became organs of the political parties. The early readers of these newspapers mostly came from the ranks of the samurai class.

Koshinbun were more plebeian, popular newspapers that contained local news, human interest stories, and light fiction. Examples of koshinbun were the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, the predecessor of the present day Mainichi shinbun, which began in 1872 the Yomiuri shinbun, which began in 1874 and the Asahi shinbun, which began in 1879. They soonh became the dominant form.

In the democratic era of the 1910s to the 1920s, the government tried to suppress newspapers such as the Asahi shinbun for their critical stance against government bureaucracy that favored protecting citizens' rights and constitutional democracy. In the period of growing militarism in the 1930s to 1945, newspapers faced intense government censorship and control. After Japan's defeat, strict censorship of the press continued as the American occupiers used government control in order to inculcate democratic and anti-communist values. In 1951, the American occupiers finally returned freedom of the press to Japan, which is the situation today. [109]


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