House of Savoy

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The House of Savoy (Italian: Casa Savoia) was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II. The House of Savoy ruled unified Italy for 85 years with Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II as monarchs. The last monarch ruled for a few weeks before being overthrown by a popular referendum and a new republican government.[1]

Contents

History

The House of Savoy emerged, along with the free communes of Switzerland, in what is now called Switzerland. The name derives from the historical region Savoy in what is now France and Italy. Over time the house expanded from that region to rule almost all of the Italian Peninsula. Yet their growth and survival over the centuries was not based on spectacular conquests, but on gradual territorial expansion through marriage and methodical and highly manipulative political acquisitions.

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