The DUCHY OF MILAN was a constituent state of the Holy Roman Empire
Italy . It was created in 1395, when it included
twenty-six towns and the wide rural area of the middle Padan Plain
east of the hills of
Montferrat . During much of its existence, it was
wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss
Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by
Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to
Habsburg Austria with
Treaty of Baden (1714)
Treaty of Baden (1714) , concluding the War of the Spanish
Succession . The Duchy remained an Austrian possession until 1796,
when a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte conquered it, and it
ceased to exist a year later as a result of the Treaty of Campo Formio
, when Austria ceded it to the new
Cisalpine Republic .
After the defeat of Napoleon, the
Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna of 1815 restored
many other states which he had destroyed, but not the Duchy of Milan.
Instead, its former territory became part of the Kingdom of
Lombardy–Venetia , with the
Emperor of Austria
Emperor of Austria as its king. In 1859,
Lombardy was ceded to the
Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia , which would
become the Kingdom of
Italy in 1861.
* 1 History
* 2 French rule
* 3 Spanish rule
* 4 Austrian rule and the
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Further information: History of
House of Visconti had ruled
Milan since 1277, in which year
Ottone Visconti defeated
Napoleone della Torre . The Duchy of Milan
(Ducatus Mediolani) as a state of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire was created on
1 May 1395, when
Gian Galeazzo Visconti
Gian Galeazzo Visconti , lord of Milan, purchased a
diploma for 100,000 Florins from King Wenceslaus . It was this
diploma that installed Visconti as Duke of
Milan and Count of
At its foundation the duchy included 26 towns and spanned from the
Montferrat to the Lagoons of Venice , and included all the
former towns of the
Lombard League .
Milan thus became one of the
five major states of the Italian peninsula in the 15th century.
When the last Visconti Duke, Filippo Maria , died in 1447 without a
male heir, the Milanese declared the so-called
Ambrosian Republic ,
which soon faced revolts and attacks from its neighbors. In 1450
mercenary captain Francesco Sforza , having previously married Filippo
Maria Visconti's illegitimate daughter Bianca Maria, conquered the
city and restored the Duchy, founding the
House of Sforza .
During the rule of the Visconti and Sforza, the duchy had to defend
its territory against the Swiss , the French and the Venetians , until
Betrayal of Novara
Betrayal of Novara in 1500 when the duchy passed to the
Louis XII .
In 1498, the Duke of Orleans became King of France as
Louis XII , and
immediately sought to make good his father's claim to Milan. He
invaded in 1499 and soon ousted
Lodovico Sforza . The French ruled the
duchy until 1512, when they were ousted by the Swiss, who put
Lodovico's son Massimiliano on the throne. Massimiliano's reign did
not last very long. The French, now under Francis I , invaded the area
in 1515 and reasserted their control at the
Battle of Marignano
Battle of Marignano . The
French took Massimiliano as their prisoner. The French were again
driven out in 1521, this time by the Austrians, who installed
Massimiliano's younger brother,
Francesco II Sforza .
Following the French defeat at
Pavia in 1525, which left the imperial
forces of Charles V dominant in Italy, Francesco joined the League of
Cognac against the emperor along with Venice , Florence the Pope , and
the French. This resulted quickly in his own expulsion from
imperial forces, but he managed to remain in control of various other
cities in the duchy, and was again restored to
Milan itself by the
peace concluded at Cambrai in 1529.
In 1535, Francesco died without heirs, the question of succession
again arose, with both the emperor and the King of France claiming the
duchy, leading to more wars. The
Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma was created in 1545
from a part of the Duchy of
Milan south of the
Po River , as a fief
Pope Paul III 's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese , centered
on the city of
The emperor held the duchy throughout, eventually investing it on his
son Philip . The possession of the duchy by Spain was finally
recognized by the French in the
Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.
The Duchy of
Milan remained in Spanish hands until the War of the
Spanish Succession (1701-1714), when the Austrians invaded it (1701).
The Treaty of Baden , which ended the war in 1714, ceded
AUSTRIAN RULE AND THE CISALPINE REPUBLIC
The duchy remained in Austrian hands until it was overrun by the
French army of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796. The duchy was ceded by
Austria in the
Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, and formed the central
part of the new
Cisalpine Republic . After the defeat of Napoleon,
based on the decisions of the
Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna on 9 June 1815, the
Milan was not restored. The Duchy instead became part of the
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia , a constituent of the Austrian Empire
and with the
Emperor of Austria
Emperor of Austria as its king. This kingdom ceased to
exist when the remaining portion of it was annexed to the Kingdom of
Italy in 1866.
* List of rulers of
* List of Governors of the Duchy of
House of Sforza
* ^ See: the Nobiles - "Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church, 304–306". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
* ^ A B C Simonde de Sismondi, Jean-Charles-Léonard (1832).
Italian republics: or the origin, progress, and fall of italian
* ^ Knight, Charles (1855). The English cyclopedia: geography.
* ^ Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II), The Commentaries of
Pius II (Northampton, Massachusetts, 1936-37) pp. 46, 52.
* ^ Cecilia M. Ady, A History of
Milan under the Sforza, ed. Edward
Armstrong (London, 1907) pp. 56-60.
* ^ Cartwright, Julia (1899). Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan,
1475-1497: a study of the Renaissance. Hallandale.