What was Italy under the Old Order?

Italy was divided into nine states (including Lombardy, the Sardinian kingdom, the Papal state, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Neapolitan kingdom), had a painful dependence on foreign states. The disaster for the inhabitants of the Apennine Peninsula turned into endless wars of rivals for influence in Europe and Italy itself states: for the Spanish inheritance (1701-1714), for the Polish inheritance (1733-1735), for the Austrian inheritance (1740-1748). As a result, their positions in Spain were noticeably weakened, but preserved in the south, in the Kingdom of Naples, where the rule of the Spanish Bourbono dynasty sharply increased the influence of Austria in the north and in the center of Italy. The Genoese and Venetian republics lost their former power. But the role of the Sardinian kingdom with a center in Piedmont increased, expanding its territory at the expense of France, the State of Milan and other neighbors.
The process of the initial accumulation and development of capitalist relations in Italy went painfully and difficult, exacerbating the deep economic and social crisis – a consequence of a self-serving policy of the nobility and clergy and the dominance of the feudal system. Only in the second half of the 18th century did the situation begin to improve, which was facilitated by reforms in the spirit of “enlightened absolutism” that took place in a number of Italian states. It was about the well-known streamlining of the financial and tax system, measures that favored the development of trade, the fight against embezzlement and corruption, etc. Reforms did not change the feudal-absolutist nature of these states. But nevertheless during this period more favorable conditions arose for the development of capitalist relations in trade and industry, especially in northern Italy. Strengthened by the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie, which longed for the abolition of the feudal system and overcoming the fragmentation that impeded economic development. Her interests in many respects coincided with the interests of the bourgeois nobility, which was gaining ever greater strength in Italy. The leading representatives of the intelligentsia – enlighteners, who considered themselves the heirs of the great traditions of the Italian Renaissance, following Dante, Petrarch and Machiavelli, saw the achievement of national independence and unity of the country as the most important condition for its renewal. At the same time, they connected all hopes for reorganization with the activities of enlightened monarchs.

Remember: The process of learning a person lasts a lifetime. The value of the same knowledge for different people may be different, it is determined by their individual characteristics and needs. Therefore, knowledge is always needed at any age and position.