Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Anthem: " La Leopolda "
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1815.
Northern Italy in 1815.
|Government||Unitary absolute monarchy|
|Cosimo I de' Medici (first)|
|Leopold II (last)|
• Duchy of Florence raised
to grand duchy
|27 August 1569|
• End of Medici rule
|9 July 1737|
|21 March 1801|
|9 June 1815|
• Deposition of the Habsburgs
|16 August 1859|
• Merged to form the United
Provinces of Central Italy
|8 December 1859|
• Formally annexed to
|22 March 1860|
|Currency|| Tuscan lira (to 1826)|
Tuscan fiorino (1826–1859)
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Italian : Granducato di Toscana; Latin : Magnus Ducatus Etruriae) was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence. Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a protected language in these countries. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in Southern Europe, and it is sometimes considered as part of Western Europe. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
A monarchy is a form of government in which a legal person, the monarch, holds sovereign authority until death or abdication. The governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic or partial, to restricted, to fully autocratic.
Initially, Tuscany was ruled by the House of Medici until the extinction of its senior branch in 1737. While not as internationally renowned as the old republic, the grand duchy thrived under the Medici and it bore witness to unprecedented economic and military success under Cosimo I and his sons, until the reign of Ferdinando II, which saw the beginning of the state's long economic decline. It peaked under Cosimo III. The Medicis' only advancement in the latter days of their existence was their elevation to royalty, by the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1691.
The House of Medici was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany, and prospered gradually until it was able to fund the Medici Bank. This bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, and it facilitated the Medicis' rise to political power in Florence, although they officially remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century.
Cosimo I de' Medici was the second Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, when he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, a title he held until his death.
Ferdinando II de' Medici was grand duke of Tuscany from 1621 to 1670. He was the eldest son of Cosimo II de' Medici and Maria Maddalena of Austria. His 49-year rule was punctuated by the beginning of Tuscany's long economic decline. He married Vittoria della Rovere, a first cousin, with whom he had two children who reached adulthood: Cosimo III de' Medici, his eventual successor, and Francesco Maria de' Medici, Duke of Rovere and Montefeltro, a cardinal.
Francis Stephen of Lorraine, a cognatic descendant of the Medici, succeeded the family and ascended the throne of his Medicean ancestors. Tuscany was governed by a viceroy, Marc de Beauvau-Craon, for his entire rule. His descendants ruled, and resided in, the grand duchy until its end in 1859, barring one interruption, when Napoleon Bonaparte gave Tuscany to the House of Bourbon-Parma (Kingdom of Etruria, 1801–7). Following the collapse of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the grand duchy was restored. The United Provinces of Central Italy, a client state of the Kingdom of Sardinia, annexed Tuscany in 1859. Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia in 1860, as a part of the unification of Italy, following a landslide referendum, in which 95% of voters approved.
Francis I was Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany, though his wife Maria Theresa effectively executed the real powers of those positions. They were the founders of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. From 1728 until 1737 he was Duke of Lorraine. Francis traded the duchy to the ex-Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński in exchange for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as one of the terms ending the War of the Polish Succession in November 1738. The duchy and the ducal title to Lorraine and Bar passed to King Louis XV of France upon Leszczynski's death in 1766, though Francis and his successors retained the right to style themselves as dukes of Lorraine and Bar.
François Vincent Marc de Beauvau,, Prince de Beauvau-Craon, was a Lorrainese nobleman and viceroy of Tuscany.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.
In 1569, Cosimo de' Medici had ruled the Duchy of Florence for 32 years. During his reign, Florence purchased the island of Elba from the Republic of Genoa (in 1548),conquered Siena (in 1555) and developed a well-equipped and powerful naval base on Elba. Cosimo also banned the clergy from holding administrative positions and promulgated laws of freedom of religion, which were unknown during his time. Cosimo also was a long-term supporter of Pope Pius V, who in the light of Florence's expansion in August 1569 declared Cosimo Grand Duke of Tuscany, a title unprecedented in Italy.
The Duchy of Florence was an Italian principality that was centred on the city of Florence, in Tuscany, Italy. The duchy was founded after Emperor Charles V restored Medici rule to Florence in 1530. Pope Clement VII, himself a Medici, appointed his relative Alessandro de' Medici as Duke of the Florentine Republic, thereby transforming the Republic of Florence into a hereditary monarchy.
Elba is a Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the coastal town of Piombino, and the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is also part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park, and the third largest island in Italy, after Sicily and Sardinia. It is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea about 50 kilometres (30 mi) east of the French island of Corsica.
The Republic of Genoa was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, incorporating Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean.
The international reaction to Cosimo's elevation was bleak. Queen Catherine of France, though herself a Medici, viewed Cosimo with the utmost disdain.Rumours circulated at the Viennese court that had Cosimo as a candidate for King of England. Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and his cousin King Philip II of Spain reacted quite angrily, as Florence was an Imperial fief and declared Pius V's actions invalid. However, Maximilian eventually confirmed the elevation with an Imperial diploma in 1576.
Catherine de' Medici, daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici and Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, was an Italian noblewoman who was queen of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II. As the mother of kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France. From 1560 to 1563, she ruled France as regent for her son Charles IX, King of France.
Maximilian II, a member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562 and elected King of Germany on 24 November 1562. On 8 September 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in the Hungarian capital Pressburg. On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
Philip II of Spain was King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.
During the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought against the Ottoman Empire, siding with the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy League inflicted a crushing defeat against the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto.Cosimo's reign was one of the most militaristic Tuscany had ever seen.
The Holy League of 1571 was arranged by Pope Pius V and included the major Catholic maritime states in the Mediterranean except France. It was intended to break the Ottoman Empire’s control of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and was formally concluded on 25 May 1571. Its members were:
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also included the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia and Kingdom of Italy, plus numerous other territories, and soon after the Kingdom of Burgundy was added. Its size gradually diminished over time, particularly from 1648 onward, and by the time of its dissolution, it largely contained only German-speaking territories, plus the Kingdom of Bohemia which was bordered by the German lands on three sides.
Cosimo experienced several personal tragedies during the later years of his reign. His wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562, along with four of his children due to a plague epidemic in Florence. These deaths were to affect him greatly, which, along with illness, forced Cosimo to unofficially abdicate in 1564. This left his eldest son, Francesco, to rule the duchy. Cosimo I died in 1574 of apoplexy, leaving a stable and extremely prosperous Tuscany behind him, having been the longest ruling Medici yet.
Francesco had little interest in governing his realm, instead participating in scientific experiments.The administration of the state was delegated to bureaucrats. He continued his father's Austrian/Imperial alliance, cementing it by marrying Johanna of Austria. Francesco is best remembered for dying on the same day as his second wife, Bianca Cappello, spurring rumours of poisoning. He was succeeded by Ferdinando de' Medici, his younger brother, whom he loathed.
Ferdinando eagerly assumed the government of Tuscany.He commanded the draining of the Tuscan marshlands, built a road network in Southern Tuscany, and cultivated trade in Livorno. To augment the Tuscan silk industry, he oversaw the planting of Mulberry trees along the major roads (silk worms feed on Mulberry leaves). He shifted Tuscany away from Habsburg hegemony by marrying the first non-Habsburg candidate since Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence, Christina of Lorraine, a granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici. The Spanish reaction was to construct a citadel on their portion of the island of Elba. To strengthen the new Tuscan alliance, he married the deceased Francesco's younger daughter, Marie, to Henry IV of France. Henry explicitly stated that he would defend Tuscany from Spanish aggression, but later reneged. Ferdinando was forced to marry his heir, Cosimo, to Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria to assuage Spain (where Maria Maddalena's sister was the incumbent Queen consort). Ferdinando sponsored a Tuscan colony in America, with the intention of establishing a Tuscan settlement in the area of what is now French Guiana. Despite all of these incentives to economic growth and prosperity, the population of Florence, at dawn of the 17th century, was a mere 75,000 souls, far smaller than the other capitals of Italy: Rome, Milan, Venice, Palermo and Naples. Francesco and Ferdinando, due to lax distinction between Medici and Tuscan state property, are thought to be wealthier than their ancestor, Cosimo de' Medici, the founder of the dynasty. The Grand Duke alone had the prerogative to exploit the state's mineral and salt resources. The fortunes of the Medici were directly tied to the Tuscan economy.
Ferdinando, despite no longer being a cardinal, exercised much influence at successive Papal conclaves; elections which chose the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church. In 1605, Ferdinando succeeded in getting his candidate, Alessandro de' Medici, elected as Pope Leo XI. Leo XI died less than a month later, but fortunately for the Medici his successor Pope Paul V was also pro-Medici.Ferdinando's pro-Papal foreign policy, however, had drawbacks. Tuscany was overcome with religious orders, all of whom were not obliged to pay taxes. Ferdinando died in 1609, leaving an affluent realm; however, his inaction in international affairs drew Tuscany into the provincial yolk of politics.
Ferdinando's elder son, Cosimo, mounted the throne following his death. Like his uncle, Francesco I, government held no appeal for him, and Tuscany was ruled by his ministers.Cosimo II's twelve-year reign was punctuated by his contented marriage with Maria Maddalena and his patronage of astronomer Galileo Galilei.
When Cosimo died, his oldest son, Ferdinando, was still a minor. This led to a regency of Ferdinand's grandmother, Dowager Grand Duchess Christina, and his mother, Maria Maddalena of Austria. Christina heavily relied on priests as advisors, lifting Cosimo I's ban on clergy holding administrative roles in government, and promoted monasticism. Christina dominated her grandson long after he came of age until her death in 1636.His mother and grandmother arranged a marriage with Vittoria della Rovere, a granddaughter of the Duke of Urbino, in 1634. Together they had two children: Cosimo, in 1642, and Francesco Maria de' Medici, Duke of Rovere and Montefeltro, in 1660.
Ferdinando was obsessed with new technology, and had several hygrometers, barometers, thermometers, and telescopes installed in the Pitti.In 1657, Leopoldo de' Medici, the Grand Duke's youngest brother, established the Accademia del Cimento, which set up to attract scientists from all over Tuscany to Florence for mutual study.
Tuscany participated in the Wars of Castro (the last time Medicean Tuscany proper was involved in a conflict) and inflicted a defeat on the forces of Urban VIII in 1643.The treasury was so empty that when the Castro mercenaries were paid for the state could no longer afford to pay interest on government bonds. The interest rate was lowered by 0.75%. The economy was so decrepit that barter trade became prevalent in rural market places. The exchequer was barely adequate to cover the state's current expenditure, resulting in a complete termination of banking operations for the Medici. Ferdinando II died in 1670, succeeded by his oldest surviving son Cosimo.
Cosimo III's reign was characterised by drastic changes and a sharp decline of the Grand Duchy. Cosimo III was of a puritan character, banning May celebrations, forcing prostitutes to pay for licenses and, beheading sodomites. He also instituted several laws censoring educationand introduced anti-Jewish legislation. He imposed crippling taxes while the country's population continued to decline. By 1705, the grand ducal treasury was virtually bankrupt, and the population of Florence had declined by approximately 50%, while the population of the entire grand duchy had decreased by an estimated 40%. The once powerful navy was reduced to a pitiful state.
Cosimo frequently paid the Holy Roman Emperor, his feudal overlord, high dues.He sent munitions to the Emperor during the Battle of Vienna. Tuscany was neutral during the War of the Spanish Succession, partly due to Tuscany's ramshackle military; a 1718 military review revealed that the army numbered less than 3,000 men, many of whom were infirm and elderly. Meanwhile, the state's capital, Florence, had become full of beggars. Europe heard of the perils of Tuscany, and Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor asserted a remote claim to the grand duchy (through some Medici descent), but died before he could press the matter.
Cosimo married Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a granddaughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici. Their union wrought a high level of discontentment, but despite the tension they had three children, Ferdinando, Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, Electress Palatine and the last Medicean grand duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone de' Medici. Neither of Cosimo's two sons was a suitable heir; Ferdinando was an alcoholic and epileptic, while his younger son, Gian Gastone, according to historian Paul Strathern, was not appropriate material[ clarification needed ] for the role of sovereign.
Cosimo contemplated restoring the Republic of Florence,a decision that was complicated by the Grand Duchy's feudal status: Florence was an Imperial fief, Siena a Spanish one. The plan was about to be approved by the powers convened at Geertruidenberg when Cosimo abruptly added that if himself and his two sons predeceased his daughter, the Electress Palatine, she should succeed and the republic be re-instituted following her death. The proposal sank, and ultimately died with Cosimo in 1723.
Cosimo III was succeeded by his son, Gian Gastone, who, for most of his life, kept to his bed and acted in an unregal manner, rarely appearing to his subjects, to the extent that, at times, he had been thought dead. Gian Gastone would repeal his father's puritan laws. 9 1737, Gian Gastone died; the last male Medici of the Grand Ducal line.In 1731, the Powers gathered at Vienna to decide who would succeed Gian Gastone. They drew up the Treaty of Vienna, which gave the grand ducal throne to Don Carlos, Duke of Parma. Gian Gastone was not as steadfast in negotiating Tuscany's future as his father was. He capitulated to foreign demands, and instead of endorsing the claim to the throne of his closest male relative, the prince of Ottajano, he allowed Tuscany to be bestowed upon Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Don Carlos became King of Naples shortly after his arrival in Florence in 1735, by the Treaty of Turin. Soon after, Francis Stephen of Lorraine became heir to the Tuscan throne. Gian Gastone had no say in events and had become quite attached to the Spanish Infante. The Tuscans despised the new occupying "Lorrainers", as they interfered with the Tuscan government, while the occupying Spaniards had not done so. On July
Francis I (as Francis Stephen became known) lived in Florence briefly with his wife, the Habsburg heiress Maria Theresa, who became Tuscany's grand duchess. Francis had to cede his ancestral Duchy of Lorraine in order to accommodate the deposed ruler of Poland, whose daughter Marie Leszczyńska became Queen of France and of Navarre in 1725. Marie's father Stanisław I of Poland ruled Lorraine as compensation for his loss of the Kingdom of Poland. Francis was reluctant to resign the duchy, but Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (Maria Theresa's father) stated that if he didn't relinquish his rights to Lorraine, he could not marry Maria Theresa. Francis did not live in his Tuscan realm, and lived in the capital of his wife's realm, Vienna. He was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1745. He died at Innsbruck from a stroke in 1765; his wife pledged the rest of her life to mourning him, while co-ruling with her son, and Francis' imperial successor Joseph II. Tuscany passed to another son, Leopold. I.The administrative structure of the grand duchy itself would see little change under Francis
Francis' second surviving son Peter Leopold became grand duke of Tuscany and ruled the country until his brother Joseph's death. He was unpopular among his subjects, though his many reforms brought the Grand Duchy to a level of stability that had not been seen in quite a while.
Leopold developed and supported many social and economic reforms. He revamped the taxation and tariff system. November 1786, after having de facto blocked capital executions (the last was in 1769), Leopold promulgated the reform of the penal code that abolished the death penalty and ordered the destruction of all the instruments for capital execution in his land. Torture was also banned.Smallpox vaccination was made systematically available (Leopold's mother Maria Theresa had been a huge supporter on inoculation against smallpox), and an early institution for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents was founded. Leopold also abolished capital punishment. On 30
Leopold also introduced radical reforms to the system of neglect and inhumane treatment of the mentally ill. On 23 January 1774, the legge sui pazzi (law regarding the insane) was established, the first of its kind to be introduced in Europe, allowing steps to be taken to hospitalize individuals deemed insane. A few years later Leopold undertook the project of building a new hospital, the Bonifacio. He used his skill at choosing collaborators to put a young physician, Vincenzo Chiarugi, at its head. Chiarugi and his collaborators introduced new humanitarian regulations in the running of the hospital and caring for the mentally ill patients, including banning the use of chains and physical punishment, and in so doing have been recognized as early pioneers of what later came to be known as the moral treatment movement.
Leopold attempted to secularize the property of the religious houses or to put the clergy entirely under the control of the government. These measures, which disturbed the deeply rooted convictions of his people and brought him into collision with the pope, were not successful.
Leopold also approved and collaborated on the development of a political constitution, said to have anticipated by many years the promulgation of the French constitution and which presented some similarities with the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1778. Leopold's concept of this was based on respect for the political rights of citizens and on a harmony of power between the executive and the legislative. However, the constitution was so radically new that it garnered opposition even from those who might have benefited from it. In 1790, Emperor Joseph II died without issue and Leopold was called to Vienna, to assume the rule of his family's Austrian dominions and become Emperor.His second son Ferdinand became ruler of the Grand Duchy. Leopold himself died in 1792.
Leopold was succeeded by Ferdinand III. Ferdinand was the son of the incumbent Grand Duke, and Grand Duchess Maria Louisa. He was forced out by the French during the French Revolutionary Wars, first in 1799, and then after the Treaty of Aranjuez (1801), becoming instead Elector of Salzburg, ruling the territory of the former archbishopric. The Grand Duchy was then dissolved, and replaced by the Kingdom of Etruria under the house of Bourbon-Parma, in compensation for their loss of Duchy of Parma. In 1803, the first King of Etruria, Louis I, died and was succeeded by his infant son, Charles Louis, under the regency of his mother, Queen María Luisa.
Etruria lasted less than a decade. By the Treaty of Fontainebleau (27 October 1807), Etruria was to be annexed by France. The negotiations had been between Spain and France, and the Etrurian regent was kept entirely in the dark, only being informed that she would have to leave her young son's kingdom on 23 November 1807. She and her court left on 10 December. On 30 May 1808, Etruria was formally annexed to France. An "Extraordinary Giunta" was placed in charge under General Jacques François Menou. Tuscany was divided into the départements of Arno, Méditerranée and Ombrone. In March 1809 a "General Government of the Departments of Tuscany" was set up, and Napoleon Bonaparte put his sister Elisa Bonaparte at its head, with the title of Grand Duchess of Tuscany.
The Napoleonic system collapsed in 1814, and the following territorial settlement, the Congress of Vienna, ceded the State of Presidi to a restored Tuscany. Ferdinand III resumed his rule, and died in 1824. Italian nationalism exploded in the post-Napoleonic years, leading to the establishment of secret societies bent on a unified Italy. Whence these leagues arrived in Tuscany, a concerned Ferdinand requisitioned an Austrian garrison, from his brother Emperor Francis of Austria, for the defence of the state. Ferdinand aligned Tuscany with Austria.
Following Ferdinand's death, his elder son, Leopold II, succeeded him. Leopold was contemporarily acknowledged as a liberal monarch.Despite his merits, his subjects dismissed him as a foreigner. His affinity for Austria was equally unpalatable. In 1847, Leopold, following the death of the then-incumbent Duchess of Parma, Marie Louise of Austria, annexed the Duchy of Lucca. (A state created solely to accommodate the House of Bourbon-Parma until they could re-assume their Parmese sovereignty). The same year, a Tuscan state council was brought into being.
In Leopold's years Italy was engulfed in popular rebellion, culminating in the Revolutions of 1848. The said revolution toppled the throne of France, and caused disarray across Europe. In Tuscany, Leopold II sanctioned a liberal constitution; and instituted a liberal ministry. Despite his attempts at acquiescence, street fighting in opposition to the regime sprang up in August, in Livorno. Leopold II lent his support to the Kingdom of Sardinia in the Austro-Sardinian War. In February 1849, Leopold II had to abandon Tuscany to Republicans and sought refuge in the Neapolitan city of Gaeta. A provisional republic was established in his stead. It was only with Austrian assistance that Leopold could return to Florence. The constitution was revoked in 1852.The Austrian garrison was withdrawn in 1855.
The Second Austro-Sardinian war broke out in the summer of 1859. Leopold felt obliged to espouse Austria's cause.Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia captured Tuscany in its entirety, and held it for the duration of the conflict; Leopold fled Tuscany as a result. The Peace of Villafranca allowed Leopold to return once more. Upon arrival, he abdicated in favour of his elder son, Ferdinand. Ferdinand IV's hypothetical reign didn't last long; the House of Habsburg-Lorraine was formally deposed by the National Assembly on 16 August 1859.
In December 1859, the Grand Duchy was joined to the Duchies of Modena and Parma to form the United Provinces of Central Italy, which were annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia a few months later. On 22 March 1860, after a referendum that voted overwhelmingly (95%) in favour of a union with Sardinia; Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia. Italy was unified in 1870, when the remains of the Papal States were annexed in that September, deposing Pope Pius IX.
Tuscany was divided into two main administrative districts: the stato nuovo (the new state) consisting of the former Republic of Siena, and the stato vecchio (the old state), the old Republic of Florence and her dependencies. The two areas were governed by separate laws. They were divided because the stato nuovo was a Spanish fief and the stato vecchio an Imperial one. Siena was ruled by a governor appointed by the grand duke. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor proclaimed Alessandro de' Medici, ruler of Florence "for his lifetime, and after his death to be succeeded by his sons, male heirs and successors, of his body, by order of primogeniture, and failing them by the closest male of the Medici family, and likewise in succession forever, by order of primogeniture."
Following the Republic's surrender in the Siege of Florence, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor issued a proclamation explicitly stating that he and he alone could determine the government of Florence.On 12 August 1530, the Emperor created the Medici hereditary rulers (capo) of the Republic of Florence. Pope Clement VII willed his relative Alessandro de' Medici to be the monarchical ruler of Florence, and went about requisitioning that dignity carefully; he wanted to give the impression that the Florentines democratically chose Alessandro to be their monarch. In April 1532, the Pope convinced the Balía, Florence's ruling commission, to draw up a new constitution. The document in question was officiated on the 27th of that month. It formally created a hereditary monarchy, abolished the age-old signoria (elective government) and the office of gonfaloniere (titular ruler of Florence elected for a two-month term); in their place was the consigliere, a four-man council elected for a three-month term, headed by the "Duke of the Florentine Republic" (and later the Grand Duke of Tuscany). The Senate, composed of forty-eight men, chosen by the constitutional reform commission, was vested with the prerogative of determining Florence's financial, security, and foreign policies. Additionally, the senate appointed the commissions of war and public security, and the governors of Pisa, Arezzo, Prato, Voltera and Cortona and ambassadors. To be eligible, one had to be male and a noble. The Council of Two Hundred was a petitions court; membership was for life. This constitution was still in effect through the Medicean grand duchy, albeit the institutions decayed and powerless by the rule of Ferdinando II.
Over time, the Medici acquired several territories, which included: the County of Pitigliano, purchased from the Orsini family in 1604; the County of Santa Fiora, acquired from the House of Sforza in 1633; Spain ceded Pontremoli in 1650, Silvia Piccolomini sold her estates, the Marquisate of Castiglione at the time of Cosimo I, Lordship of Pietra Santa, and the Duchy of Capistrano and the city of Penna in the Kingdom of Naples.Vittoria della Rovere brought the Duchies of Montefeltro and Rovere into the family in 1631, upon her death in 1694, they passed to her younger son, Francesco Maria de' Medici. They reverted to the crown with the ascension of Gian Gastone.
Gian Gastone, the last Medici, resigned the grand duchy to Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Under him, Tuscany was ruled by a viceroy, Marc de Beauvau-Craon, Prince de Craon. Francis Stephen altered the laws of succession in 1763, when he declared his second son, Leopold, heir to the grand duchy. If Leopold's line were to become extinct, it would revert to the main line. Every grand duke after Leopold resided in Florence. The grand duke Leopold II agreed to ratify a liberal constitution in 1848. The grand duke was briefly deposed by a provisional government in 1849. He was restored the same year by Austrian troops. The government was finally dissolved upon its annexation to the United Provinces of Central Italy in 1859.
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Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici was a Tuscan noblewoman who was the last lineal descendant of the main branch of the House of Medici. A patron of the arts, she bequeathed the Medici's large art collection, including the contents of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Medicean villas, which she inherited upon her brother Gian Gastone's death in 1737, and her Palatine treasures to the Tuscan state, on the condition that no part of it could be removed from "the Capital of the grand ducal State....[and from] the succession of His Serene Grand Duke."
Gian Gastone de' Medici was the seventh and last Medicean Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Tuscany is named after its pre-Roman inhabitants, the Etruscans. It was ruled by Rome for many centuries. In the Middle Ages, it saw many invasions, but in the Renaissance period it helped lead Europe back to civilization. Later, it settled down as a grand duchy. It was conquered by Napoleonic France in the late 18th century and became part of the Italian Republic in the 19th century.
Cosimo III de' Medici was the penultimate (sixth) Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany. He reigned from 1670 to 1723, and was the elder son of Grand Duke Ferdinando II. Cosimo's 53-year-long reign, the longest in Tuscan history, was marked by a series of ultra-reactionary laws which regulated prostitution and banned May celebrations. His reign also witnessed Tuscany's deterioration to previously unknown economic lows. He was succeeded by his elder surviving son, Gian Gastone, when he died, in 1723.
Cosimo II de' Medici was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1609 until his death. He was the elder son of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Christina of Lorraine.
Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609, having succeeded his older brother Francesco I.
Il Duca di Firenze, rendered in English as The Duke of Florence, was a title created in 1532 by Pope Clement VII. There were effectively only two dukes, Alessandro de' Medici and Cosimo de' Medici, the second duke being elevated to The Grand Duke of Tuscany, causing the Florentine title to become subordinate to the greater Tuscan title.
Ferdinando de' Medici was the eldest son of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Marguerite Louise d'Orléans. Ferdinando was heir to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, with the title Grand Prince, from his father's accession in 1670 until his death in 1713. He is remembered today primarily as a patron of music. An excellent musician himself, he attracted top musicians to Florence and thus made it an important musical center. Through his patronage of Bartolomeo Cristofori, Ferdinando made possible the invention of the piano.
Maria Maddalena of Austria was Grand Duchess of Tuscany from the accession of her husband, Cosimo II, in 1609 until his death in 1621. With him, she had eight children, including a duchess of Parma, a grand duke of Tuscany, and an archduchess of Further Austria. Born in Graz, she was the youngest daughter of Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria, and his wife Maria Anna of Bavaria. During the minority of her son, Grand Duke Ferdinando, she and her mother-in-law acted as regents from 1621 to 1628. She died on 1 November 1631 in Passau.
Vittoria della Rovere was Grand Duchess of Tuscany as the wife of Grand Duke Ferdinando II. She had four children with her husband, two of whom would survive infancy: the future Cosimo III, Tuscany's longest-reigning monarch, and Francesco Maria, a prince of the Church. At the death of her grandfather Francesco Maria della Rovere, she inherited the duchy of Urbino, at her death. She was later entrusted with the care of her three grandchildren. Her marriage brought a wealth of treasures to the House of Medici, which can today be seen in the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Francesco Maria de' Medici was a member of the House of Medici. He was successively a Governor of Siena, cardinal and later the heir of the duchy of Montefeltro by right of his mother.
The Order of Saint Stephen is a Roman Catholic Tuscan dynastic military order founded in 1561. The order was created by Cosimo I de' Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany. The last member of the Medici dynasty to be a leader of the order was Gian Gastone de Medici in 1737. The order was permanently abolished in 1859 by the annexation of Tuscany to the Kingdom of Sardinia. The former Kingdom of Italy and the current Italian Republic also did not recognize the order as a legal entity but tolerates it as a private body.
Marguerite Louise d'Orléans was a Princess of France who became Grand Duchess of Tuscany, as the wife of Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici.
Violante Beatrice of Bavaria was Grand Princess of Tuscany as the wife of Grand Prince Ferdinando of Tuscany and Governor of Siena from 1717 until her death. Born a Duchess of Bavaria, the youngest child of Elector Ferdinand Maria, she married the heir to the Tuscan throne, Ferdinando de' Medici, in 1689. Violante Beatrice loved him but Ferdinando did not return her affection, declaring her too ugly and too dull. Her brother-in-law, Prince Gian Gastone, befriended her out of sympathy, a friendship that lasted until Violante Beatrice's demise.
Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg was the legal Duchess of Saxe-Lauenburg in the eyes of the Holy Roman Emperor, the overlord of Saxe-Lauenburg, from 1689 until 1728; however, because her distant cousin George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, conquered the duchy by force in 1689, she exercised no control over the territory, instead living in her manors in Bohemia.
The Grand Ducal Crown of Tuscany was a ducal crown created by the Medicean Grand Dukes of Tuscany.
Giuliano Dami was the favourite and valet of Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He is known for the "magnetic influence" he exercised on the last Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, and for his relationship with him.