A Concise History of Italy
OverviewSince its creation in 1861, Italy has struggled to develop an effective political system and a secure sense of national identity. This concise history covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire in the west to the present day, but focuses on the difficulties Italy has faced in forging a nation state during the past two centuries. The opening chapters consider the geographical and cultural obstacles to unity, and survey the long centuries of political fragmentation in the peninsula since the sixth century. It was this legacy of fragmentation that Italy's new rulers had to strive to overcome when the country became united, more by accident than design, in 1859-61.