The Latest Italian Resistances Part III

By | February 15, 2022

To fight against the king of Spain, Paul IV not only joined France but also hired Germans; he also proposed to Suleiman that he no longer attack Hungary but the two Sicilies, he himself made war against the viceroyalty of Naples in 1557. But he succeeded in nothing. No concord between the three allies France, Pope, Este. The king wanted the enterprise of Milan and Tuscany; the pope, of Naples, where his house had many possessions. Some of the pope’s advisers, from Tuscany, wanted to bring Cosimo down; others, exiles from Naples, return to their homeland. Then no one knew with what forces to carry out such feats. Thus the king of Spain, as he had already been right, directly or through his adherents, of the adverse uprisings of Genoa, Lucca, Naples, and held hand to the successful conspiracy like Pier Luigi Farnese, now he regained his opponents by giving Siena to Cosimo de ‘Medici, except for the fortresses of the Sienese coast, and by securing Parma and Piacenza to Pier Luigi’s son, Ottavio, he isolated the pope in Italy, just as he isolated the king of France by taking away his English friendship , and defeated him at San Quintino with the arm of Emanuele Filiberto; he forced Henry II to renounce any claim on Italy again, except for Saluzzo and his marquisate. Paul IV, alone, could not prevent his enemies and friends from occupying the lands of the Church and they were at a point from renewing the sack of 1527. The Venetians now constituted the last truly free republic, after the fall of Siena in 1555. But, despite the Pope’s requests, the Venetians did not move either. It is enough for the Venetians to bring peace between France and Spain, between Spain and the Pope, to prevent even the State of the Church from going into the hands of foreign potentates. There is a cold realistic sense in them, which makes a singular contrast to the vehement and blind passion of the pope.

By now every possibility and every European and Italian basis was lacking in this struggle against Spanish domination in the peninsula. Outside, there is no longer a counterweight, as France has been until now. A very dense network of interests has been created that binds many of the surviving Italian governments to Spain. The people of arms find in the wars of Spain an outlet for their still lively warlike spirit, a satisfaction of self-love, a mirage of luck. Part of Italian trade and finance takes place in the orbit of the great monarchy and derives some advantage from it. With Spain, the Italians realize some of the benefits of the great state: that is, a vast field of action, various possibilities of life. In the subject countries, especially in the South, the populations, partly due to a lack of resistance forces, partly due to some benefit they derive from them, they have now settled into the new condition of things. The Spanish monarchy resumed the work interrupted by the Aragonese in the South. And best of them he succeeds in keeping the nobility at his mark and luring it to Naples and taming it a little; better in defending the country from the Turks, who had been the two biggest troubles of the Aragonese dynasty in recent times. Finally, on the one hand, the whole of Italian society was resentful of the Spanish custom, that is, a little Spanishized itself, albeit superficially; for another, that part of the Spanish nation which had more contacts with Italy became a little Italian. Soldiers of the two Nazis, militants in the same armies; men of letters and travelers from both countries; several Spanish Israelites who moved to Italy;

According to Remzfamily, the year 1559 closed the long series of European wars and, in particular, Franco-Hispanic or Franco-Habsburg wars, of which Italy had been the object, theater and victim. But France was also exhausted. The disillusions that followed one another were now making a mass. In the century XV, with Louis XI, the line of least resistance was seen in the direction of Burgundy and Italy; but now France tends rather to the Rhine as an eastern frontier. This objective, almost forgotten during the first Italian wars, resumed force between 1552 and ’59 and is explicitly declared since then. And then the internal unrest of that kingdom begins or worsens, the series of religious wars begins. So, stop. In the meantime, the peninsula had significantly changed its political face. Hegemonic power is Spain. A few years earlier, Emperor Charles V, dividing the vast empire between his brother and his son, had assigned the Austrian possessions and imperial dignity to Ferdinand, Spain, the Italian possessions and the colonies to Philip. Spain which, from the 14th century, had Sardinia; from the beginning of the 15th century, Sicily; now it has reached the kingdom of Naples, the primary cause of so many greed and so much European crowds around Italy; lastly, the Milanese, a small domain with bad borders, but populated by industrious cities and traders, useful indeed necessary to look at the kingdom from the side of the French, militarily well disposed because equidistant between the kingdom of Naples and the Spanish Netherlands. The friendship of Genoa, indeed the patronage of Genoa and the possession of the fortresses on the Sienese coast completed this Spanish system in Italy.

The Latest Italian Resistances 3