1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tuscany

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TUSCANY (Toscana), a territorial division of Italy, consisting of the western part of the centre of the peninsula, bounded N.W. by Liguria and Emilia, E. by the Marches and Umbria, S.E. by the province of Rome and W. by the Mediterranean. It consists of eight provinces, Arezzo, Firenze (Florence), Grosseto, Livorno (Leghorn), Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Pisa and Siena, and has an area of 9304 sq. m. Pop. (1901), 2,566,741. The chief railway centre is Florence, whence radiate lines to Bologna (for Milan and the north), Faenza, Lucca, Pisa and Leghorn, and Arezzo for Rome. Siena stands on a branch leaving the Florence-Pisa line at Empoli and running through the centre of Tuscany to Chiusi, where it joins the Florence-Rome railway. The line from Rome to Genoa runs along the coast throughout the entire length of Tuscany, and at Montepescali throws off a branch joining the Empoli-Chiusi line at Asciano, and at Follonica another to Massa Marittima.

Except towards the coast and around Lucca, Florence and Arezzo, where the beds of prehistoric lakes form plains, the country is hilly, being intersected with sub-Apennine spurs. The most fertile country in Tuscany is in the valley of the Arno, where the plains and slopes of the hills are highly cultivated. In strong contrast with this is the coast plain known as the Maremma, 850 sq. m. in extent, where malaria has been prevalent since the depopulation of the country in the middle ages. Here in the first half of the 19th century the grand duke Leopold II. of Tuscany began an elaborate system of drainage, which was gradually extended until it covered nearly the whole of the district. The greater part of the Maremma now affords pasture to large herds of horses and half-wild cattle, but on the drier parts corn is grown, the people coming down from the hills to sow and to reap. The hill country just inland, especially near Volterra, has poor soil, largely clayey, and subject to landslips, but is rich in minerals. But for the Maremma, Tuscany is one of the most favoured regions of Italy. The climate is temperate, and the rainfall not excessive. The Apennines shelter it from the cold north winds, and the prevailing winds in the west, blowing in from the Tyrrhenian Sea, are warm and humid, though Florence is colder and more windy than Rome in the winter and hotter in summer, owing to its being shut in among the mountains. Wheat, maize, wine (especially the red wine which takes the name of Chianti from the district S.S.W. of Florence), olive oil, tobacco, chestnuts and flowers are the chief products of Tuscany. Mules, sheep and cattle are bred, and beeswax is produced in large quantities. But the real wealth of Tuscany lies in its minerals. Iron, mercury, boracic acid, copper, salt, lignite, statuary marble, alabaster and Sienese earth are all found in considerable quantities, while mineral and hot springs abound, some of which (e. g. Montecatini and Bagni di Lucca) are well known as health resorts. The industries of Tuscany are exceedingly varied and carried on with great activity. There are universities at Pisa and Siena. Viareggio and Leghorn are much frequented for sea-bathing, while the latter is a prosperous port.

The main art centres of Tuscany are Florence, Pisa and Siena, the headquarters of the chief schools of painting and sculpture from the 13th century onwards. While the former city, however, bore as prominent a part as any in Italy in the Renaissance, the art of Pisa ceased, owing to the political decline of the city, to make any advance at a comparatively early period, its importance being in ecclesiastical architecture in the 12th, and in sculpture in the 13th century. Siena, too, never accepted the Renaissance to the full, and its art retained an individual character without making much progress.

The language of Tuscany is remarkable for its purity of idiom, and its adoption by Dante and Petrarch probably led to its becoming the literary language of Italy. (See Italian Language, vol. xiv. p. 895.)

See E. Repetti, Dizionario geografico fisico storico della Toscana (6 vols., Florence, 1834–1846). See also G. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (2 vols., London, 1883). On medieval and Renaissance architecture and art there are innumerable works. Among those on architecture may be mentioned the great work of H. von Geymiiller and A. Widmann, Die Architektur der Renaissance in Toscana.  (T. As.) 

History.—Etruria (q.v.) was finally annexed to Rome in 351 B.C., and constituted the seventh of the eleven regions into which Italy was, for administrative purposes, divided by Augustus. Under Constantine it was united into one province with Umbria, an arrangement which subsisted until at least 400, as the Notitia speaks of a “consularis Tusciae et Umbriae.” In Ammianus Marcellinus there is implied a distinction between “Tuscia suburbicaria" and “Tuscia an non aria,” the latter being that portion which lies to the north of the Arno. After the fall of the Western empire Tuscia, with other provinces of Italy, came successively under the sway of Herulians, Ostrogoths, and Greek and Lombard dukes. Under the last-named, “Tuscia Langobardorum,” comprising the districts of Viterbo, Corneto and Bolsena, was distinguished from “Tuscia Regni,” which lay more to the north. Under Charlemagne the name of Tuscia or Toscana became restricted to the latter only. One of the earliest of the Frankish marquises was Boniface, either first or second of that name, who about 828 fought with success against the Saracens in Africa. Adalbert I., who succeeded him, in 878 espoused the cause of Carloman as against his brother Louis III. of France, and suffered excommunication and imprisonment in consequence. Adalbert II. (the Rich), who married the ambitious Bertha, daughter of Lothair, king of Lorraine, took a prominent part in the politics of his day. A subsequent marquis, Hugo (the Great), became also duke of Spoleto in 989. The male line of marquises ended with Boniface II. (or III.), who was murdered in 1052. His widow, Beatrice, in 1055 married Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, and governed the country till her death in 1076, when she was succeeded by Matilda (q.v.), her only child by her first husband. Matilda died in 1114 without issue, bequeathing all her extensive possessions to the Church. The consequent struggle between the popes, who claimed the inheritance, and the emperors, who maintained that the Countess had no right to dispose of imperial fiefs, enabled the principal cities of Tuscany gradually to assert their independence. The most important of these Tuscan republics were Florence, Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia and Lucca.

The Return of the Medici.—After the surrender of Florence to the Imperialists in August 1530 the Medici power was re-established by the emperor Charles V. and Pope Clement VII., although certain outward forms of republicanism were preserved, and Alessandro de’ Medici was made duke of Florence, the dignity to be hereditary in the family. In the reign of Cosimo III. Siena was annexed (1559); the title of grand duke of Tuscany was conferred on that ruler in 1567 by Pope Pius V. and recognized in the person of Francis I. by the emperor Maximilian II. in 1576. Under a series of degenerate Medici the history of Tuscany is certainly not a splendid record, and few events of importance occurred save court scandals. The people became more and more impoverished and degraded, a new and shoddy nobility was created and granted wide privileges, and art and letters declined. Giovan Gastone was the last Medicean grand duke; being childless, it was agreed by the treaty of Vienna that at his death Tuscany should be given to Francis, duke of Lorraine, husband of the archduchess Maria Theresa, afterwards empress. In 1737 Giovan Gastone died,[1] and Francis II., after taking possession of the grand duchy, appointed a regency under the prince of Craon and departed for Austria never to return. Tuscany was governed by a series of foreign regents and was a prey to adventurers from Lorraine and elsewhere; although the administration was not wholly inefficient and introduced some useful reforms, the people were ground by taxes to pay for the apanage of Francis in Vienna and for Austrian Wars, and reduced to a state of great poverty. Francis, who had been elected emperor in 1745, died in 1765, and was succeeded on the throne of the grand duchy by his younger son, Leopold I.

Leopold resided in Tuscany and proved one of the most capable and remarkable of the reforming princes of the 18th century. He substituted Tuscans for foreigners in government offices, introduced a system of free trade in The Reforms
of Leopold II.
foodstuffs (at the suggestion of the Sienese Sallustio promoted agriculture, and reclaimed wide areas of marshland to intensive cultivation, He reorganized taxation on a basis of equality for all citizens, thereby abolishing one of the most vexatious privileges of the nobility, reformed the administration of justice and local government, suppressed torture and capital punishment, and substituted a citizen militia for the standing army. His reforms in church matters made a great stir at the time, for he curbed the power of the clergy, suppressed some religious houses, reduced the mortmain and rejected papal interference. With the aid of Scipione de’ Ricci, bishop of Pistoia, he even attempted to remove abuses, reform church discipline and purify religious worship; but Ricci’s action was condemned by Rome. Ricci was forced to resign, and the whole movement came to nothing. (See Pistoia, Synod of.) The grand duke also contemplated granting a form of constitution, but his Teutonic rigidity was not popular and many of his reforms were ahead of the times and not appreciated by the people. At the death of his brother, Joseph II., in 1790, Leopold became emperor, and repaired to Vienna. After a brief regency he appointed his second son, Ferdinand III., who had been born and brought up in Tuscany, grand duke.

During the French revolutionary wars Ferdinand tried to maintain neutrality so as to avoid foreign invasions, but in 1799 a French force entered Florence and was welcomed by a small number of republicans. grand duke was forced to fly, the “tree of liberty” Was set up, and a provisional government on French linesThe French Occupation. established. But the great mass of the people were horrified at the irreligious character of the new regime, and a counterrevolution, fomented by Pope Pius VII., the grand ducalists and the clergy, broke out at Arezzo. Bands of armed peasants marched through the country to the cry of “Viva Maria!” and expelled the French, not without committing many atrocities. With the assistance of the Austrians, who put an end to disorder, Florence was occupied and the grand ducalists established a government in the name of Ferdinand. But after Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory at Marengo the French returned in great force, dispersed the bands, and re-entered Florence (October 1800). They too committed atrocities and sacked the churches, but they were more warmly welcomed than before by the people, who had experienced Austro-Aretine rule. Joachim Murat (afterwards king of Naples) set up a provisional government, and by the peace of Lunéville Tuscany was made a part of the Spanish dominions and erected into the kingdom of Etruria under Louis, duke of Parma (1801). The new king died in 1803, leaving an infant son, Charles Louis, under the regency of his widow, Marie Louise of Spain. Marie Louise ruled with reactionary and clerical tendencies until 1807, when the emperor Napoleon obliged Charles IV. of Spain to cede Tuscany to him, compensating Charles Louis in Portugal.

From 1807 to 1809, when Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Baciocchi, was made grand duchess, Tuscany was ruled by a French administrator-general; the French codes were introduced, and Tuscany became a French department. French ideas had gained some adherents among the Tuscans, but to the majority the new institutions, although they produced much progress, were distasteful as subversive of cherished traditions. After Napoleon’s defeats in 1814 Murat seceded from the emperor and occupied Tuscany, which he afterwards handed over to Austria, and in September Ferdinand III. returned, warmly welcomed by nearly everybody, for French rule had proved oppressive, especially on account of the heavy taxes and the drain of conscription. At the Congress of Vienna he was formally reinstated with certain additions of territory and the reversion of Lucca. On Napoleon’s escape from Elba Murat turned against the Austrians, and Ferdinand had again to leave Florence temporarily; but he returned after Waterloo, and reigned until his death in 1824.

The restoration in Tuscany was unaccompanied by the excesses which characterized it elsewhere, and much of the French legislation was retained. Ferdinand was succeeded by his Reswnuom son, Leopold II., who continued his father’s policy of benevolent but somewhat enervating despotism, The Restoration.which produced marked effects on the Tuscan character. In 1847 Lucca was incorporated in the grand duchy. When the political excitement consequent on the election of Pius IX. spread to Tuscany, Leopold made one concession after another, and in February 1848 granted the constitution. A Tuscan contingent took part in the Piedmontese campaign against Austria, but the increase of revolutionary agitation in Tuscany, culminating in the proclamation of the republic (Feb. 9, 1849), led to Leopold’s departure for Gaeta to confer with the pope and the king of Naples. Disorder continuing and a large part of the population being still loyal to him, he was invited to return, and he did so, but accepted the protection of an Austrian army, by which act he forfeited his popularity (July 1849). In 1852 he formally abrogated the constitution, and three years later the Austrians departed. When in 1859 a second war between Piedmont and Austria became imminent, the revolutionary agitation, never completely quelled, broke out once more. There was a division of opinion between the moderates, who favoured a constitutional Tuscany under Leopold, but forming part of an Italian federation, and the popular party, who aimed at the expulsion of the house of Lorraine and the unity of Italy under Victor Emmanuel. At last a compromise was arrived at and the grand duke was requested to abdicate in favour of his son, grant a constitution, and take part in the war against Austria. Leopold having rejected these demands, the Florentines rose as one man and obliged him to quit Tuscany (April 27, 1859). A provisional government, led by Ubaldino Beruzzi and afterwards by Bettino Ricasoli, was established. It declared war against Austria and then handed over its authority to Boncompagni, the Sardinian royal commissioner (May 9). A few weeks later a French force under Prince Napoleon landed in Tuscany to threaten Austria’s flank, but in the meanwhile the emperor Napoleon made peace with Austria and agreed to the restoration of Leopold and other Italian princes. Victor Emmanuel was obliged to recall the royal commissioners, but together with Cavour he secretly encouraged the provisional governments to resist the return of the despots, and the constituent assemblies of Tuscany, Romagna and the duchies voted for annexation to Sardinia. A Central Italian military league and a customs union were formed, and Cavour having overcome Napoleon’s opposition by ceding Nice and Savoy, the king accepted the annexations and appointed his kinsman, Prince Carignano, viceroy of Central Italy with Ricasoli as governor-general (March 22, 1860).Union with the Italian Kingdom. Union WM The Sardinian parliament which met in April contained deputies from Central Italy, and after the occupation of the Neapolitan provinces and Sicily the kingdom of Italy was proclaimed (Feb. 18, 1861). In 1865, in consequence of the Franco-Italian convention of September 1864, the capital was transferred from Turin to Florence, where it remained until it was removed to Rome in 1871.

Since the union with Italy, Tuscany has ceased to constitute a separate political entity, although the people still preserve definite regional characteristics. It has increased in wealth and education, and owing to a good system of land tenure the peasantry are among the most prosperous in Italy.

Bibliography:—A. von Reumont, Geschichte Toscanas (2 vols., Gotha, 1876–1877); Zobi, Storia civile della Toscana (Florence, 1850); E. Robiony, Gli ultimi dei Medici (Florence, 1905); C. Tivaroni, Storia crilica del Risorgimento italiano (9 vols., Turin, 1888, &c.); M. Bartolommei-Gioli, Il Riwolgimento toscano e l’azione popolare (Florence, 1905). See also under Florence; Medici; Ferdinand III.; Leopold II.; Bartolommei; Ricasoli, &c.  (L. V.*) 

  1. The history of Tuscany from 1530 to 1737 is given in greater detail under Medici.