Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica

Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica

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The Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica (later, just the "Kingdom of Sardinia") was a constituent country
Constituent country
Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger entity. The term constituent country does not have any defined legal meaning, and is used simply to refer to a country which is a part Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts...

  of several States through six centuries. The idea of the kingdom was created whole cloth in 1297 CE by Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

, a hypothetical entity created for James II of Aragon
James II of Aragon
James II , called the Just was the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1296 and King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. In 1297 he was granted the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica...

 under a secret clause in the Treaty of Anagni
Treaty of Anagni
The Treaty of Anagni was an accord between the Pope Boniface VIII, James II of Aragon, Philip IV of France, Charles II of Naples, and James II of Majorca. It was signed on 20 June 1295 at Anagni, in what is now central Italy. The chief purpose was to confirm the Treaty of Tarascon of 1291, which...

, as an inducement to join in the effort to restore Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, then under the rule of James's brother Frederick III of Sicily
Frederick III of Sicily
Frederick II was the regent and subsequently King of Sicily from 1295 until his death. He was the third son of Peter III of Aragon and served in the War of the Sicilian Vespers on behalf of his father and brothers, Alfonso and James...

, to the Angevin dynasty over the oppositions of the Sicilians. The two islands proposed for this new kingdom were occupied by other states and fiefs at the time. In Sardinia, three of the four states that had succeeded Byzantine imperial
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 rule in the ninth century had passed through marriage and partition to Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 and Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 in the 40 years preceding the Anagni
Anagni
Anagni is an ancient town and comune in Latium, central Italy, in the hills east-southeast of Rome. It is a historical center in Ciociaria.-Geography:...

 treaty. Genoa had also ruled Corsica
Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

 since conquering the island nearly two centuries before (c. 1133 CE).

Aragonese Conquest of Sardinia


Although the "Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica" could be said to have started as a questionable and extraordinary de jure state in 1297 CE, its de facto existence began in 1324 CE when, in the course of war with the Republic of Pisa
Republic of Pisa
The Republic of Pisa was a de facto independent state centered on the Tuscan city of Pisa during the late tenth and eleventh centuries. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for a century before being surpassed and...

, James II seized the Pisan territories in the former states of Cagliari
Cagliari
Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, a region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. It has about 156,000 inhabitants, or about 480,000 including the outlying townships : Elmas, Assemini, Capoterra, Selargius, Sestu, Monserrato, Quartucciu, Quartu...

 and Gallura
Gallura
Gallura is a region of northern Sardinia, Italy.The name Gallùra means "area located on high ground".-Geography:...

 and asserted his papally approved title. In 1347 CE Aragon made war on Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

, which controlled most of the lands of the former Logudoro
Logudoro
The Logudoro is a large traditional region in central-northern Sardinia, Italy. The local dialect is known as Logudorese.Mostly composed of soft volcanic terrains, it is the most fertile area of the island. For this reason it was settled since early Prehistoric times, as shown by the presence of...

 state in north-western Sardinia, including the cities of Alghero
Alghero
Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

 and Castelgenovese
Castelsardo
Castelsardo is a town and comune in Sardinia, Italy, located in the northwest of the island within the Province of Sassari.-History:Archaeological excavations have showed the human presence in the area of Castelsardo since pre-Nuragic and Nuragic times, as well as during the Roman domination in...

, and added them to the domain.

The Giudicato of Arborea, the only Sardinian state that remained independent of foreign domination, proved far more difficult to subdue. (Guidicato is a Sardinian word equivalent in contemporary usage to "kingdom" or "duchy.") Threatened by the Aragonese claims of suzerainty and consolidation of the rest of the island, Arborea instigated popular uprisings against the neighboring territories beginning in 1353 CE. In 1368 CE an Aborea offensive succeeded in nearly driving the Aragonese from the island, reducing the "Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica" to just the port cities of Cagliari
Cagliari
Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, a region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. It has about 156,000 inhabitants, or about 480,000 including the outlying townships : Elmas, Assemini, Capoterra, Selargius, Sestu, Monserrato, Quartucciu, Quartu...

 and Alghero
Alghero
Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

, and incorporating everything else into their own kingdom. A peace treaty returned the Aragonese their previous possessions in 1388 CE, but tensions continued and 1382 CE the Arborean army led by Brancaleone Doria
Brancaleone Doria
Brancaleone Doria was the husband of Eleanor of Arborea. He was a scion of an influential family of the Republic of Genoa, the son of the elder Brancaleone and a woman named Giacomina...

 again swept the most of the island into Arborean rule. This situation lasted until the 1409 CE when the army of the giudicato of Arborea was finally defeated by the Catalan-Aragonese army in the Battle of Sanluri
Battle of Sanluri
The Battle of Sanluri was fought on June 30, 1409 between the armies of the Giudicato of Arborea and the Catalan-Sicilian army of King Martin I of Sicily....

. After the subsequent extinction of the Giudicato of Arborea in the 1420 CE, the "Kingdom of Sardinia" extended throughout the island. The subduing of Sardinia having taken a century, Corsica, which had not been wrested from the Genoese, was dropped from the formal title of the Kingdom.

Austrian Succession and Transfer to Savoy


Sardinia was too poor to attract the interest of other European states and 35 Aragonese, later Spanish viceroys followed for three centuries. The situation changed in 1700 when the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg ended, causing the War of the Spanish succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

, which divided the mainland from its eastern dependencies, Sardinia going to the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

, the other Habsburgs' State, under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

.

However, Austria was not interested in this remote dependency , and it found a big occasion when Spain rejected the peace conditions and invaded Sardinia and Sicily in 1717 and 1718. Sicily had been given to the Duchy of Savoy
Duchy of Savoy
From 1416 to 1847, the House of Savoy ruled the eponymous Duchy of Savoy . The Duchy was a state in the northern part of the Italian Peninsula, with some territories that are now in France. It was a continuation of the County of Savoy...

 since 1713, and Austria offered help to King Victor Amadeus II under a heavy condition: the final changeover of rich Sicily with poor Sardinia . Face to the risk of a total loss , Victor Amadeues was obliged to accept , and the War of the Quadruple Alliance
War of the Quadruple Alliance
The War of the Quadruple Alliance was a result of the ambitions of King Philip V of Spain, his wife, Elisabeth Farnese, and his chief minister Giulio Alberoni to retake territories in Italy and to claim the French throne. It saw the defeat of Spain by an alliance of Britain, France, Austria , and...

 led to the Spanish defeat. The Treaty of The Hague
Treaty of The Hague (1720)
The Treaty of The Hague was signed on February 17, 1720. The treaty ended the War of the Quadruple Alliance, a conflict that arose between King Philip V of Spain and an alliance of Great Britain, France, Austria and the Dutch Republic.Philip was confirmed king of Spain by the Treaty of Utrecht in...

 ratified the passage of Kingdom of Sardinia to Savoy in 1720.

Victor Amadeus tried other protests , but he accepted the final arrangement in 1723 when he changed the name of his State into Kingdom of Sardinia, Cyprus and Jerusalem
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

. Sardinia gave its name to the State because it had the higher title between all the countries of the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

, but it continued to be ruled by a viceroy, with the exception of the 1802–14 period when, the mainland having been conquered by Napoleon, King Victor Emmanuel I governed from Cagliari.

When liberal Charles Albert became king, Sardinian people started to ask to be part of the economic and legislative reforms of the mainland. So, in 1847, the king declared the perfect fusion
Perfect fusion
The Perfect Fusion was the 1847 act of King Charles Albert of Savoy which abolished the administrative differences between the constituent countries of the Kingdom of Sardinia, especially the governmental division between Sardinia and the mainland....

 of his State, which adopted a centralized system. As all other constituent countries, Sardinia disappeared as an administrative entity, being divided in three divisions, later called provinces
Provinces of Italy
In Italy, a province is an administrative division of intermediate level between a municipality and a region .-Overview:...

: Cagliari, Nuoro and Sassari. The Viceroyalty of Sardinia so disappeared and the 110th viceroy, Claudio Gabriele de Launay
Claudio Gabriele de Launay
Claudio Gabriele de Launay was prime minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 27 March to 7 May 1849. Previously he had been the last Viceroy of Sardinia from 1843 to 1848.-References:...

, ended his functions in 1848, being replaced by three different provincial prefects.

See also

  • List of monarchs of Sardinia
  • List of viceroys of Sardinia
  • Spanish Empire
    Spanish Empire
    The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....