Map of the Imperial Circles (early 16th century). Duchies are shown in purple

On February 19, 1416, Emperor Sigismund I created the County of Savoy within the Duchy of Savoy, giving it unprecedented political autonomy1. Thus the Emperor rewards the Savoys for their loyalty. The ceremony takes place at the Château de Chambery in the presence of the German and Savoyard courts1. The date of the event, 19 February, has been chosen by identity movements as a “national” Savoyard holiday 3,4 .

The duchy, during this period, occupied a “special position” within Imperial Italy (Reichs Italiana)5,6. However, as a member of the imperial circle of Rhine-Superior (Oberrheinische Reichskreis), along with the duchies of Tuscany, Genoa, Milan or even the Po7 plain, it was one of the major imperial fiefdoms in the central-northern region of Italy. is believed. After the reform of the imperial system in the late 15th century, he was the only person who had a seat and the right to vote in the imperial diet5,6. However, the duke would never use it5,6,8.

After the occupation of the duchy by the French (1536–1559), but also because of its proximity to the border and its location on the road to Italy, Duke Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy decided to move the capital from the Duchy of Chambéry to Turin. . After the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 15639,10. On February 7, 1563, Turin symbolically became the capital of the Kingdom of Savoy, with the entry of the ducal couple9.

Map of the Duchy of Savoy in 1631.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, Duke of Savoy Victor-Amédée II supported King Philip V of Spain, then replaced by 11. In 1703–11 the Duchy and County of Nice were occupied by France. In 1713 the Treaties of Utrecht ended the occupation. The Duke of Savoy receives the Kingdom of Sicily in the same year, in exchange for his support for the other powers. However, under pressure from Great Britain, he exchanged this kingdom with the House of Austria for Sardinia by the Treaty of London. The exchange took effect in 1720, at the end of the War of the Quadruple Alliance.

In 1860, the Italian Revolution (Risorgimento) and a plebiscite for the unification of Italy federated the various states of Italy and installed King Victor-Emmanuel II of Sardinia on the throne of a constitutional monarchy with the support of the French Emperor Napoleon III. ,

On 22 April of the same year, during the ratification of the Treaty of Turin, after a census plebiscite (130,533 “yes”/”yes” and the territory “235 “no”), the territories of Savoy as well as the county of Nice, were annexed to the duchy. Under, conditionally ceded to France, the new departments of Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Alpes-Maritimes are formed.

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