Italy under the Spanish Domination – Between the 16th and 17th Centuries Part 2

Italy under the Spanish Domination – Between the 16th and 17th Centuries Part 2

Thought not of him alone, in this time. But if other princes, such as Ferdinando de ‘Medici, drew reason to approach the empire and solicit a more active participation of him in Italian affairs, in order to be able to counterbalance the other two; Carlo Emanuele, from that renewed vitality of France and from the new antagonism between the two houses, a greater probability of movement was expected, easier opportunities to take advantage. Politics, in general, essentially anti-Spanish: since only it, after the buy-back of Saluzzo, offered the possibility of enlargement. Therefore he took a few steps towards Henry IV, while Henry took some towards him: even at the same time that the duke recommended to his son to get along well with the Italian princes, as the closest to any danger that threatened and the most interested in the preservation of the Savoy state in the face of foreign powers. He therefore regretted the conflict that had broken out between Rome and Venice, in which he saw only the advantage of France and Spain; he worked to marry his house with Modena and Mantua and Tuscany; he sought to draw Venice and Genoa into the bundle of these states. But his directives and practices, towards the Italian princes and towards the Francía, did not contradict each other, in the secret thoughts of the duke. For the defense against Spain or others, one could well count on the solidarity of the other Italian princes; but for an offensive war, only on France. Those, useful for the conservation, this, for the growth of the state; those, to ensure peace, this, to make war possible. Therefore, in negotiating with Venice, to overcome its reluctance to make an alliance, he insists on the defensive nature of the agreement, indeed on Italy’s need for peace. In reality, the agreement with the Italian princes was a desperate undertaking. Lega sounded, to their ears, almost synonymous with war; league meant initiative and direction and superiority of someone. And this overshadowed them. They knew of the duke’s great thoughts. They feared the offensive nature of the league, the conquest of the Milanese. But if the Milanese were to have the Savoy, says the Duke of Mantua at the beginning of ‘609, “he and the other princes of Italy would have all been united with Spain, like those who want equal and not superior”. If anything, the pope would also need to join the league and have the Milanese for his nephew. All the more, therefore, Carlo Emanuele considered it convenient to ally himself with the King of France. And there was the treaty of Bruzolo (April 24, 1610) which was an offensive and defensive alliance: action on the Milanese, to be then ceded to the duke, who would thus have ceded the Savoy. In this treaty, those tendencies of French politics towards Italy that were being developed by Francis I took concrete form: that form, which, with few changes, remained until 1859. The start of the enterprise was set for May; in mid-May, Henry IV was killed. In this treaty, those tendencies of French politics towards Italy that were being developed by Francis I took concrete form: that form, which, with few changes, remained until 1859. The start of the enterprise was set for May; in mid-May, Henry IV was killed.

According to microedu.net, the death of the king gave someone in Italy reason for tranquility, as if peace were assured and the Duke of Savoy was deprived of an opportunity to fish in the troubled waters. To others it gave cause for concern: they could have compromised with France; to have given the Spanish governors a pretext to burden their hand, and to carry out other bullying. In reality, the Spaniards saw some sign of a storm on the horizon and took their precautions. The Count of Fuentes, who governed the Milanese area, had taken possession of the Marquisate of Finale in 1602; he had claimed Novara to Spain; he had taken the principality of Monaco as protection, and there, as in Portolongone, in Piombino, at the mouth of the Valtellina, elsewhere, built fortresses. So much so that even the empire, from which not only Spain held the Milanese, but also many of those small feudal lords depended, whom Spain now held in his tutelage, had cause for discontent. Even more the independent Italian states: especially Venice. There is an anti-Spanish current that tends to grow. And not because it is Francophile. We look at the whole Italian history of the last century and we get the experience that calling a foreigner to chase another is substituting one master for another. Only the harmonious union of the princes and peoples of all of Italy can remedy this. France and Spain are placed on the same plane. Both are “foreigners”. A foreign dominion, just because it is such, is led to ruin its subjects. The aversion to foreign governments is becoming a motivated love of independence.

Italy under the Spanish Domination 02