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.
Ethnic groups of Italy (as defined by modern borders) in 400 BC
Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus
Early Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
Political map of Italy in the year 1000
Political map of Southern Italy in the year 1112
States of the Holy Roman Empire
States in Southern Italy
Late Middle Ages
The Italian Peninsula in 1499.
After the Italian Wars (1494–1559)
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, Sardinia, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples (inclusive of the State of Presidi) and the Duchy of Milan were under direct control of the Habsburg Spain. Therefore, the House of Habsburg became the main foreign force in the Italian peninsula.
After the Wars of Succession of the XVIII century
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.
Their populations and other vital statistics stood as follows in the late 18th century:
- Kingdom of Naples (including Sicily): 6,000,0000 (400,000 in Naples), army of 60,000 to 80,0000, 2 ships of the lines and some frigates
- Republic of Venice: 3,500,000 (140,000 in the city of Venice itself), standing army and navy of 30,000, 12-15 ships of at least 54 guns plus frigates and brigs
- Kingdom of Sardinia: 2,900,000 (2,400,000 on the mainland and 500,000 on the island), 12-15 fortified cities and towns (largest being Turin at 80,000), standing army of 25,000, which could be raised to 50,000 in a time of war and 100,000 with militia
- The Papal States: 2,400,000 (140,000 in the city of Rome), standing army of 6,000 to 7,000
- Austrian Lombardy (Duchy of Milan, Duchy of Mantua, and minor territories): 1,100,000 (40,000 in the city of Milan itself)
- Grand Duchy of Tuscany: 1,000,000 (80,000 in Florence), standing army of 6,000, navy of 3 frigates
- Republic of Genoa: 500,000 (100,000 in the city of Genoa itself)
- Duchy of Parma: 500,000 (40,000 in the city of Parma itself), standing army of 2,500 to 3,000
- Duchy of Modena: 350,000 (20,000 in the city of Modena itself), standing army of 5,000 to 6,000
- Republic of Lucca: 100,000
Total: 18.3 million
During Napoleonic times (1792–1815)
Political map of Italy in the year 1810
Sister republics of Revolutionary France
In personal union with France
Client states of the First French Empire
From the Restoration to the Unification
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.
The Italian Partisan Republics were the provisional state entities liberated by Italian partisans from the rule and occupation of Nazi Germany and the Italian Social Republic in 1944 during the Second World War. They were universally short-lived, with most of them being reconquered by the Wehrmacht within weeks of their formal establishments and re-incorporated into the Italian Social Republic.