The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 1

The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 1

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The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 1

The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

At the beginning of the ninth century, therefore, Western Europe has issued from chaos, and feels the need and benefit of a dual restraint. It looks up to a Roman Pope and a German-Roman Emperor. There exists at Constantinople another Emperor calling himself Roman, and a Church claiming to be Christian and catholic; but the Western Emperor troubles himself little about the former, and the Pope brands the latter as schismatic. Local interests tend more and more to separate the East from the West in spirit, and a broad zone inhabited by barbarians keeps them asunder in fact. European history, so far as it concerns us, is henceforth the history of the West, and if we think of the Byzantine Empire at all, we think of it as sinking deeper and deeper into Asiatic lethargy, which the terrible warriors of Othman shall at last plunge into the sleep from which no man wakes. Of the events in Western Europe itself that belong to the Middle Age, the epoch between Charlemain and Dante, we can refer to only a few of the most important which directly or indirectly moulded the destiny of Italy.

Imperialism and Catholicism, whose compact had been so joyfully celebrated, worked together as allies but a short time, then their separate ambitions and their conflicting interests goaded them to internecine rivalry. Soon after Charlemain's death the empire was split into three fragments. The western portion, comprising Neustria and Aquitaine, -- a considerable part of what was later France, -- fell to Charles the Bald; a central strip, run-

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