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Italy, united in 1861, has significantly contributed to the cultural and social development of the entire Mediterranean area. Many cultures and civilizations have existed there since prehistoric times.
Culturally and linguistically, the origins of Italian history can be traced back to the 9th century BC, when earliest accounts date the presence ofItalic tribes in modern central Italy.Linguistically they are divided into Oscans, Umbrians and Latins. Later the Latin culture became dominant, asRome emerged as the dominant city around 350 BC. Other pre-Roman civilizations include Magna Graecia in Southern Italy and the earlierEtruscan civilization, which flourished between 900 and 100 BC in the Center North.
After the Roman Republic and Empire, that dominated this part of the world formany centuries, came an Italy whose people would make immeasurable contributions to the development of European philosophy, science, and art during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Dominated by city-states for much of the medieval and Renaissance period, the Italian peninsula also experienced several foreign dominations. Parts of Italy were annexed to the Spanish, the Austrian and Napoleon'sempire, while the Vatican maintained control over the central part of it, before the Italian Peninsula was eventually liberated and unified amidst much struggle in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In the late-19th and early 20th century, or the new Kingdom of Italy, the country built a colonial empire, colonizing parts of Africa, countries along the Mediterranean and a small concession in Tianjin, partof the Tientsin area of China. For the first time since the Roman Empire, Italy saw itself returning to being a major power, also winning in World War I. Later, from 1922 to 1943, Italy was ruled by the Fascists, led by Benito Mussolini,[1] who joined together with Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II, under the Italian Social, or better known "Republic of Salò". Aftersurrendering in September1943, Italy remained a a battlefield until 1945, the end of the war.
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In 1946, the due to a referendum, the Kingdom of Italy was abolished,[2] and 2 June 1946 saw the birth of the Italian Republic. The 1950s and 1960s in Italy saw a period of rapid modernization and economic growth succeeding the disastrous consequences of World War II, and eversince, Italy has been one of the founding nations, or has joined, several organizations, such as the European Economic Community, which later became the European Union, the United Nations, NATO, UNESCO, the G7, which afterwords became the G8, the G20, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Italy is currently ranked as a regional power,[3][4][5][6][7] and Italy has beenclassified in a study, measuring hard power, as being the 11th greatest worldwide national power.[8] Origins of the name
The name Italy (Italia) is an ancient name for the country and people of Southern Italy. Mythological roots of the name date back to a legendary ancient king named 'Italus', though a more likely origin may be from ancient Oscan VÍTELIÚ, meaning "land of young cattle", as Italy was aland rich in cattle since ancient times. The name Italia was imposed upon the Roman Republic by the conquering Italic tribes of the contemporary Abruzzo region, centering in the area of Corfinium (Corfinio). Coins bearing the name Italia were minted by an alliance of Italictribes (Sabines, Samnites, Umbrians and others) competing with Rome in the 1st century BC. By the time of Emperor Augustus,the multi-ethnic territory of Italy was included in the Roman province Italia as the central unit of the Empire; Cisalpine Gaul, the Upper Po valley, for example, was appended in 42 BC. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire and theLombard invasions, "Italy" or "Italian" gradually became the collective name for diverse states appearing on the peninsula and their overseas properties. Pallotino...
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