Vatican City State

  • John Paxton
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


HISTORY. For many centuries the Popes bore temporal sway over a territory stretching across mid-Italy from sea to sea and comprising some 17,000 sq. miles, with a population finally of over 3m. In 1859–60 and 1870 the Papal States were incorporated with the Italian Kingdom. Although, by an Italian law dated 13 May 1871, there was guaranteed to His Holiness and his successors for ever, besides the use of the Vatican and Lateran palaces and the villa of Castel Gandolfo, a yearly income of 3,225,000 lire, this allowance remained unclaimed and unpaid until 11 Feb. 1929, when the ‘Roman question’ was settled by three treaties between the Italian Government and the Vatican: (1) A Political Treaty, which recognized the full and independent sovereignty of the Holy See in the city of the Vatican; (2) a Concordat, to regulate the condition of religion and of the Church in Italy; and (3) a Financial Convention, in accordance with which the Holy See received 750m. lire in cash and 1,000m. lire in Italian 5% state bonds. This sum was to be a definitive settlement of all the financial claims of the Holy See against Italy in consequence of the loss of its temporal power in 1870. The treaty and concordat were ratified on 7 June 1929. The treaty has been embodied in the Constitution of the Italian Republic of 1947.

Stato délia Città del Vaticano

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Paxton

There are no affiliations available

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