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Nice

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Country France
Time zone CET

The County of Nice or Niçard Country (French: Comté de Nice / Pays Niçois, Italian: Contea di Nizza/Paese Nizzardo, Niçard Occitan: Comtat de Niça/País Niçard) is a historical region of France, located in the south-eastern part, around the city of Nice.

A map of the County of Nice showing the area of the Kingdom of Sardinia annexed in 1860 to France (light brown) and to Italy (yellow). The red area was already part of France before 1860.

Its territory lies between the Mediterranean Sea (Côte d'Azur), Var River and the southernmost crest of the Alps. It was initially a part of the ancient County of Provence, then it became in 1388 a part of the Duchy of Savoy (that became the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1720). The region received the name County of Nice during the fifteenth century, after being integrated into Savoy. From 1388 to 1861 the history of the County of Nice was fully integrated with the history of Italy. Its historical capital city is Nice.

It was annexed to France in 1860, during the Italian Wars of Independence, in exchange for French military help against Austria. Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was born in Nice, strongly opposed the cession of the Nizzardo to France, arguing that was not done with "universal" vote; in 1866 there were popular riots in the city, promoted by "Garibaldini" in favor of the unification of Nice with Italy.

The Italian Irredentism has claimed the County because of the former sovereignty of Savoy, which was the core of the Italian state; nevertheless, the local language of the County of Nice is Niçard. During World War II Nice was included administratively in the Kingdom of Italy.

Since 1861 the County has matched with the Arrondissement of Nice that is the biggest part of the Alpes-Maritimes department, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Nevertheless the name County of Nice is still used today for this cultural and historical region that has kept its whole personality.

Population amounted to 506,694 inhabitants in 1999.

See also

Sources

  • Amicucci, Ermanno. Nizza e l’Italia. Mondadori Editore. Milano, 1939.
  • Barelli Hervé, Rocca Roger. Histoire de l'identité niçoise, Nice: Serre, 1995. ISBN 2-84410-223-4
  • http://flagspot.net/flags/fr-ctnic.html (flag/history).

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Contea di Nizza
County of Nice
Constituent country of Piedmont-Sardinia

1388–1848
File:Comte de Nice File:Nice
Flag Coat of arms
The county inside modern France
Capital Nice
History
 - Union with Savoy 1388
 - French conquest 1796
 - Savoyard restauration 1814
 - Perfect fusion 1848
Area
 - 1751 4,000 km² (1,544 sq mi)
Population
 - 1751 250,000 
     Density 62.5 /km²  (161.9 /sq mi)
Today part of Provence, France

The County of Nice or Niçard Country (French: Comté de Nice / Pays Niçois, Italian: Contea di Nizza/Paese Nizzardo, Niçard Occitan: Comtat de Niça/País Niçard) is a historical region of France, located in the south-eastern part, around the city of Nice.

Its territory lies between the Mediterranean Sea (Côte d'Azur), Var River and the southernmost crest of the Alps. It was initially a part of the ancient County of Provence, then it became in 1388 a part of the Duchy of Savoy (which became the Kingdom of Sardinia, usually referred to as Piedmont-Sardinia, in 1720). The region received the name County of Nice during the fifteenth century, after being integrated into the Piedmontese state. From 1388 to 1860 the history of the County of Nice was tied to that of Piedmont-Sardinia. Its historical capital city is Nice.

The County was annexed to France in 1860, during the Italian Wars of Independence. By an 1858 secret agreement concluded at Plombières between Napoleon III of France and Sardinian prime minister Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, France agreed to support Piedmont in a war against Austria in order to wrest the provinces of Lombardy and Venetia from Austrian rule. In exchange for French military assistance, Piedmont was to cede Nice and Savoy to France. The annexation was temporarily put into doubt after the Italian war of 1859, during which Napoleon III concluded a separate peace with Austria before Venetia could be captured. In March of 1860, however, as Piedmont was in the process of annexing Parma, Modena, and the Marches, Napoleon III agreed to sanction Piedmont's Italian acquisitions in exchange for Nice and Savoy. France annexed the provinces by the provisions of the Treaty of Turin, signed on March 24, 1860. The treaty was followed by plebiscites in Nice on April 15 and 16 and in Savoy on April 22 and 23 by which the vast majority of the inhabitants of the two territories voted to approve the treaty and join France. France took formal possession of Nice and Savoy on June 12, 1860. Nevertheless, the Italian nationalist leader Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was born in Nice, strongly opposed the cession of his home city to France, arguing that the County of Nice was essentially Italian and should not be sold as a "ransom" to French expansionism.

Though not among the most prized territories coveted by Italian nationalists after 1860, some Italian nationalists considered the County of Nice as part of "Italia irredenta," Italy's "unredeemed territories." During World War II, when Italy occupied parts of southwestern France, Nice was included administratively in the Kingdom of Italy.

As the County was too small to form its own department, the government added it to the arrondissement of Grasse, detached from the neighboring Var department, to create the Alpes-Maritimes department. Since 1860 the County has been largely coterminous with the Arrondissement of Nice, one of two arrondissements of the Alpes-Maritimes, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Nevertheless the term County of Nice is still used today to identify the territory as a distinct cultural and historical region, particularly to distinguish it from neighboring Provence.

The historical language used by inhabitants of the County of Nice was Niçard, though it has been almost entirely supplanted by French since 1860.

Population amounted to 506,694 inhabitants in 1999.

See also

Sources

External links


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