Italy - Lombardia Placeholder
Italy - Lombardia



The name Lombardy comes from the name of the Lombards. In the Italian language the accent in the name of the province falls on the penultimate syllable: “Lombardy”. Within two centuries, the Lombards adopted the faith (before they were Arians) defeated; their tongues merged and the winners were subjected to strong cultural influence of the vanquished; in the IX century, the population was German, and Italian. When stopped the Italian branch of the Carolingians, Lombardy became the object of struggle between local Dukes and kings of Burgundy, until in the year 951 Otto I again added it to the Roman-German Empire. The dependence of the Empire was, however, purely fictitious. Surrounding Liege possession of a part willingly, part unwillingly obeyed her; the feudal lords willingly settled in the cities, where they are, having wealth and followers, could have a significant impact on management. Many cities amounted to “the Lombard cities Alliance”, the head of which was Milan. When Frederick I Barbarossa began his March on Italy, he met from the Union’s strong opposition. In 1158, however, Milan surrendered to the king, paid him tribute and gave hostages; Frederick got the opportunity to be crowned with the Lombard iron crown. Of the 28 commissioners from 14 of the Lombard cities and 4 lawyers of the University of Bologna, defended the idea of unlimited Imperial power, was compiled by the Committee, calculated to produce laws for the Lombard cities. New laws the king was granted the appointment of the Dukes, governors (podestà), and judges; the city denied the right to make alliances, to keep troops, to acquire new land. Peace on such conditions could not be durable, but the new war ended with the capture and destruction of Milan (1162 year). Two years later, many cities began the rebellion; the Imperial rulers had been driven out of the city and newly formed alliances, which soon merged into a single Lombard. Terrible defeat of Frederick I at Legnano in 1176 led first to a 6-year truce, and then to the world Council of Constance in 1183, the year for which the city regained its old liberty; for the Emperor was only a shadow of power. In the following decades of the Lombard cities grew rapidly and became rich that have been facilitated by the Crusades; his luxury, they were impressed by foreigners. The Lombard Union broke up; his place was taken by confederations, political centers which were in Lombardy to Milan and Pavia, and it is in the North of Italy, Florence, Bologna, Pisa, Genoa, Venice. The Confederation of these and some cities fought each other; the unions were, were changed and disintegrated; constantly there are new groups of cities, but against the pretensions of Imperial power in the first time they were all unanimous. Gradually, however, the party of Ghibellines, who stood for Imperial power, has gained predominance in many cities (among other things in Parma, Mantua, Ferrara, Verona, Piacenza, Reggio, Modena, Brescia); later, these cities made up a special Confederation; in other cities was dominated by the Guelphs, who stood for the independence of the cities and supporting the Pope. The campaigns of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in Lombardy opened a brilliant victory at Cortenuova in 1237 ended for him very sad; he was utterly defeated near Parma and fled from Italy in 1247. Legally Lombardy and Tuscany and then remained part of the German Empire, but in fact for 60 years the German kings not stated ambition for power. In the Lombard cities the power from the hands of the privileged classes gradually passed into the hands of the mass of citizens. Cities were ruled by elected officials, mostly representatives of old noble families, gaining the sympathy of the masses. In many cities, these persons are managed, based on democracy, to seize hereditary power. These rulers found it more convenient to join the party of the Ghibellines. In Milan therefore the government seized the family Visconti. In 1310 German king Henry VII made a new campaign through the Alps to Italy; this time in Milan, in which the rules of the Ghibelline Matteo Visconti, voluntarily opened their gates; Henry was crowned with the Lombard iron crown, and appointed Visconti Imperial vicar of Milan and the count. The Visconti dynasty in the following years extended his power to Pavia, Como, Piacenza, Cremona, Brescia etc. the Foundation of a powerful state of the Visconti in Lombardy caused discontent in other cities, remained loyal to the ancient traditions gulfsteam; Charles IV gave discord a reason to make a new campaign in Italy. In 1395, the Visconti Giangaleazzo took the title of Duke of Milan. The dynasty of the Visconti, has done a lot for education, for the development of Milan in literature and art, was extremely oppressive; the rulers resorted to the development of espionage, brutal torture and executions of political opponents; self-government and freedom has almost disappeared. In 1447 extinct dynasty of the Visconti, and her place was taken by the Sforza dynasty. In 1516, the Duchy of Milan was conquered by Francis I French, but the dynasty of the Habsburgs, counting his linen, made significant efforts to take it from France. In 1523 Milan, Lodi, Novara, Alessandria were taken by the troops of Charles V. In 1530 the Pope crowned Charles V of the Lombard iron crown, two days before the coronation of his Imperial crown. From now Lombardy became a Spanish province and was ruled by a Spanish Viceroy. Possession of Milan and Naples, Spain actually dominated all of Italy. After the war of the Spanish succession, one of the theatres which were Lombardy, the latter — more precisely, the Duchy of Milan (in its composition was not part of Bergamo, Brescia, but was part of Alessandria and Piacenza) — moved to Austria (1714). During the war of the Austrian succession Austria had to yield to the Sardinian Kingdom part of the Duchy (about 8000 km2), her left area of 21 000 km2. In 1797, Bonaparte formed from Lombardy Cisalpine Republic. Destroyed by Suvorov, but was soon restored, the Republic was annexed in 1802 for the Italian Republic, then to the Italian Kingdom. In 1815, Lombardy and Venice was returned to Austria and formed the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom. Peace of Zurich, 1859 Lombardy was annexed to Italy; since then, its political history blends with the history of the new Kingdom.