List of historic states of Italy

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History of Italy
Old map of Italian peninsula


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Italy, up until the Italian unification in 1861, was a conglomeration of city-states, republics, and other independent entities. The following is a list of the various Italian states during that period.

Archaic ItalyEdit

Ethnic groups of Italy (as defined by modern borders) in 400 BC

Classical ItalyEdit

Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus

Early Middle AgesEdit

High Middle AgesEdit

Political map of Italy in the year 1000
Political map of Southern Italy in the year 1112

States of the Holy Roman EmpireEdit

States in Southern ItalyEdit

Sardinian JudicatesEdit

Other statesEdit

Late Middle AgesEdit

Italy in 1454, right after the Peace of Lodi.
Italy in 1494, before the beginning of the Italian Wars.

After the Italian Wars (1494–1559)Edit

Map of Italy in 1559 after the Treaties of Cateau-Cambrésis. Possessions and Viceroyalties of the Spanish Habsburgs in yellow. Imperial fiefs in Italy of the Austrian Habsburgs in red borders.

Under the terms of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, at the end of the Italian Wars, only the Papacy and Venice remained fully independent. Sardinia, Sicily, Naples (inclusive of the State of Presidi) were under direct control of the Spanish Habsburgs. France ended its claims in Tuscany, Piedmont and Genoa, confirmed as Imperial fiefs in Italy of the Austrian Habsburgs ruled by local families. Milan was an Imperial fief held by Spain. Therefore, the House of Habsburg became the main foreign force in the Italian peninsula.

Major statesEdit

Minor statesEdit

After the Wars of Succession of the XVIII centuryEdit

Political map of Italy in the year 1789

Following the European wars of succession of the XVIII century, several states in central-north Italy were ruled by the Habsburg-Lorraine from Austria. Southern Italy passed to a cadet branch of the Spanish Bourbons.

During Napoleonic times (1792–1815)Edit

Political map of Italy in the year 1810

Sister republics of Revolutionary FranceEdit

In personal union with FranceEdit

Client states of the First French EmpireEdit

Other statesEdit

From the Restoration to the UnificationEdit

Political map of Italy in the year 1843

Following the defeat of Napoleon's France, the Congress of Vienna (1815) was convened to redraw the European continent. In Italy, the Congress restored the pre-Napoleonic patchwork of independent governments, either directly ruled or strongly influenced by the prevailing European powers, particularly Austria. The Congress also determined the end of two millenary republics: Genoa was annexed by the then Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia, and Venice was incorporated with Milan into a new kingdom of the Austrian Empire.

At the time, the struggle for Italian unification was perceived to be waged primarily against the Habsburgs, since they directly controlled the predominantly Italian-speaking northeastern part of present-day Italy and were the most powerful force against the Italian unification. The Austrian Empire vigorously repressed nationalist sentiment growing on the Italian peninsula, as well as in the other parts of Habsburg domains.


See alsoEdit