PAP World History
March 20, 2012
Vatican City & Papal States
Vatican City, though relatively small, is swiftly growing and incessantly changing. Located inside the city of Rome within Italy, the Vatican, often referred to as the Holy See, is the world’s smallest state. (Holy See (Vatican City)) Vatican City is not only the world's smallest independent state, however the workings of its administration and economic affairs are exceptional, similar to it’s non-commercially based economic construction, which does not conform to any model. Its exceptionally inimitable physical features continue to maintain an immense impact towards the country’s people and its great mixtures of customs and mores. (Vatican: The Holy See) Vatican City is the last remnant of the Papal States, which has been shaped by its long history, a history shaped by numerous forces, forces that continue to shape the way of life, and religion in the small state of The Vatican. Established in 1929, The Vatican is landlocked within the walls of Southern Europe, and is an enclave of Rome and is the last remnant of the Papal States; a group of territories in central Italy attained over the centuries by the Catholic Church and governed by the pope. (Vatican: The Holy See) It rests on a small hill in northwestern Rome on the west bank of the Tiber River. The little state is shaped roughly like a triangle and is enclosed by a high stone wall. (Scott) Three gates give entry. It is surrounded by medieval beauty and Renaissance walls that divide it from the city beyond. Within its walls is a vast complex of courtyards, gardens, and magnificent buildings, the largest and most striking of which is the vast arched Saint Peters Basilica the leading church of Roman Catholicism. (Scott) Thanks to the temperate; mild, rainy winter weathers about half of the state's area is covered by the healthy growing and very attractive Vatican gardens. (Holy See (Vatican City)) The area's boundaries follow a city wall that was originally constructed to protect the Pope. Beyond its territorial boundary however, the Lateran Treaty of 1929 grants the Holy See extraterritorial authority over 23 sites in Rome and five outside of Rome, including the Pope’s summer residence, the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo. (Holy See (Vatican City)) Under the treaty, the Catholic Church relinquished all claims to the Papal States in return for financial compensation and dominion over the Holy See within the state of Vatican City. (Scott) Before1860 the Papal States, lead by the Pope, governed the majority of Central Italy. The papacy has a very long and complex history, dating back to medieval times. Over the centuries, succeeding popes came to rule in Papal States across Europe, particularly in France as well as taking direct power of much of Italy in a worldly as well as spiritual capacity for 1000 years. Mercenaries and international armies were hired to look after and defend their lands. By 1860, however, most of the Papal States had been absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy with the city of Rome last to capitulate in 1870. (Marcus) Subsequent to Rome becoming part of the Italian kingdom, in the next ten years, position of the Pope and Catholic Church became an irregularity. Even though legitimately they considered themselves captive, the Pope and his obligations were largely recognized and they were composed in the Vatican grounds. It was the Lateran treaty of 1929, mentioned earlier, that renowned the Vatican State. The treaty was agreed upon between Benito Mussolini, King Victor Emmanuel III and Pope Pius XI. (Marcus) All parties approved of the fact that it was not to be associated, or thought of, as a last vestige of the Papal States. Approximately about a little more than 800 citizens of Vatican City either reside within the Vatican's walls or serve in the Holy See's diplomatic...
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