|Motto||"Pax tibi, Marce, Evangelista meus"|
|National Anthem||Inno Nasionale Veneto|
|Region||[http:// European Continent]|
- Napoleonic Occupation
- Telosanti Occupation
- Telosanti Civil War
- Evangelist (Official)
1,008,049 sq km
The Republic of Venice, also known as La Serenissima, is a naval superpower location in Southern Europe. Stretching from the French Alps to the Balkan coast to the outskirts of Rome, it is arguably the dominant nation in the southern-central region of Europe, sharing the Italian Peninsula with the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.
Venice is also the current seat of Archbishop Anacleto, head of the Evangelist Church .
More information on the Republic of Venice can be found here, including the republic's military forces.
Founding and Rise
The origin of the Republic of Venice is centered in it's capital city, Venice. Venice was founded in the late seventh century from several communites for the purpose of mutual defense from the barbarians as the Western Roman Empire declined. In the first years of the eighth century, these early Venetians elected their first leader, Ursus, who was confirmed by the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) and given the titles Hypatus (Translated to Consul) and Dux (Duke). Ursus' son, Deusdedit succeeded him. During Deusdedit's reign, Venice became the only remaining Byzantine possesion to the north, and the farthest east in Europe. With the rise of the first Holy Roman Empire, Venice was divided between pro-Frankish, pro-Byzantine, and pro-Venetian. Deusdedit was assasinated early in his reign and the usurper, Galla Gaulo, faced the same fate within a year.
During the reign of Gaulo's successor, Domenico Monegario, Venice transformed from a fisherman's village to a port of trade and center of merchants. Monegario placed great emphasis of shipbuilding, which paved the way for Venetian dominance of the Adriatic Sea. Next to the throne was Maurizio Galbaio, who was pro-Byzantine. At this time, the Byzantine Empire was prospering, while Venice rode along. Maurizio's son, Giovanni was also pro-Byzantine. Giovanni opposed the slave trade and, as a result, clashed with Charlemange of the Holy Roman Empire. Giovanni was overthrown and the pro-Frankish faction seized power through Obelerio Antoneri. Obelerio engaged in talks with Pepin, Charlemange's son, about moving Venice to the Holy Roman Empire and away from the Byzantines. When this was discovered, the Venetian people revolted. Pepin arrived with an army to take the port by force. Obelerio was able to flee the city during the ensuing seige. When the seige was beaten back by the people of Venice, they found their connections with the Byzantines severed. The pro-Venetian faction took over, and in 811, achieved independance.
Following the traitorous Obelerio, Agnello took the throne. Agnello was born outside the current borders of Venice and had immigrated during his childhood. He pushed for Venetian expansion, sending the tiny navy to expand his influence along the Adriatic Sea. Agnello also started moving Venice towards it's modern state, constructing bridges, canals, fortifications, and stone buildings. Following his father, Giustiniano continued this work. It was also Giustiniano who stole the body of Saint Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria and proclaimed him the patron saint of Venice. Under Pietro Tradonico, Venice began to establish it's military might, which would later influence many crusades. Pietro also made Venice a divider between the rivalry of the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, often engaging in relations with both. Around the year 1000, the Doge of Venice, Orseolo, declared himself the Duke of Dalmatia, officially starting the colonial empire of Venice. At this time, Venice had a firm grip over the Adriatic Sea. As the only other considerable power in Europe at the time, Venice played a major role in balancing power between the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.
Venice often remained neutral in conflicts, such as that between the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. Oftentimes, Venetian involvment only came when there was direct benefit to Venice itself. An example of this being the war between the Italio-Normans of Apulia and the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Here, Venice fought alongside the Byzantines and, though eventually losing, received a declaration stating Venetian surpremacy of the Adriatic and exemption of taxes for merchants, the latter part attributing to a great accumulation of wealth. Venice served as the "middleman", funneling expencive spices and silk, among other things, from the Byzantines to the rest of Europe. Thus controlling almost all trade from east to west, Venice became one of the richest nations of Europe.
Venice was was an avid participant of the Crusades, being involved from the very begining. 200 Venetian ships assisted in capturing Syrian coastal cities in the First Crusade. By 1123, Venice had virtual autonomy in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Venice gained extensive trading privileges in the Byzantine Empire and in exchange their ships often provided the Empire with a navy. In 1182 there was an anti-Western riot in Constantinople, in which Venetians were the main targets. During the Fourth Crusade, Venice was crucial to the transportation of the crusaders to the Byzantines. When the crusaders couldn't afford to pay for the Venetian's services, the Doge took advantage and offered transport if they would to capture the Dalmatian city of Zadar, which had rebelled against Venetian rule in 1183 and was too well fortified for Venice to take alone. Upon the completion of this task, Venice held out on the deal and ferried the crusaders to Constantinople. The city was finaly captured and sacked in 1204. The Venetians, who accompanied the crusader fleet, claimed much of the plunder from the city as payment including the famous four bronze horses which were brought back to adorn St. Mark's basilica. As a result of the partition of the Byzantine Empire which followed, Venice gained some strategic territories in the Aegean Sea, about 3/8th of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire was reestablished in 1261, but never regained it's full power, leaving Venice the sole power in the eastern Mediterranean.
From the mid 1200s to the mid 1400s, Venice was mostly involved in a series of wars with other Italian city-states. The end of the 1400s in seen as the peak of the Venetian Republic. At this time, Venice was the among the largest cities in Europe, second only to Paris, and most likely the richest in the world. It's territory extended 27,000 square miles and boasted a population of about 2.3 million. By comparison, England at the time had 3 million inhabitants.
Decline and Fall
In 1628, Venice became involved with Italian politics for the first time in over a century. The Duke of Mantua, Ferdinando I Gonzaga, died and his successor was determined to be a French prince, Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers. This changed the balance of power in northern Italy, which had until now been controlled by the Spanish through Milan. In the ensuing war, Venice was allied with France against the Habsburgs and Savoy. The Venetian army was defeated in an attempt to come to the aid of Mantua, which was under siege by German troops, and Mantua itself was savagely sacked. The peace which recognized Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers as duke of Mantua was made practically without Venice's participation. The war exposed Venice to a plague, killing off a fifth of the population within 16 months.
Sometime in the mid 1600s, Barbary pirates ventured into the Adriatic. Operating out of Ottoman ports, they raided Venetian merchants. The Venetian navy responded immediately. Sailing in with a full battlefleet, Venice bombarded the fort, freed prisoners, and sank every ship in the port. The Ottomans reacted strongly, claiming no knowledge of pirates. The situation was settled through diplomacy, but 3 years later the tensions erupted into the Cretan War, which lasted 25 years and dominated Venice's attention for much of the sevententh century. There was no clear victory, but portions of Venice's land was lost during the war, and more was lost during the Morean War several years later. The Ottomans and Venetians clashed again in 1714, resulting in further loss of Venetian land. By this time, Venice's grip on the Adriatic was weakened, thanks to Ottoman possesions to the east, and rival Genoa and Livorno to the west and south.
More wars and increasing Barbary pirate presence weakened Venice's navy. By 1796, it's navy numbered 4 galleys and 7 galliots, down from the 36,000 ships they once owned at the nation's peak. In 1797, Napolean pursued a fleeing Austrian army towards the waning Venice. When the Austrians crossed into Venice, the terms of neutrality were breached. Napolean marched in days later and disolved the republic. By the time of it's fall, Venice was the longest standing single nation in history, longer lasting than even the famed Roman Empire. Venice also outlasted it's most prominent rivals by several hundred years.
The Modern Era
Following it's collapse, Venice remained in apparent anarchy. This anarchy was everywhere, from southern France to Greece. Out of this chaos rose Catholic Europe .
During the Dominion Wars, Europe was divided in two. The Coalition stood on one side while the World Military Dominion and it's territories stood on the other. During the war, Catholic Europe/Dominion hold over the previously Byzantine Iberian Peninsula was broken. Though many members of the Coalition were involved, much of the progress there can be attributed to the forces of the Russian and Telosan Empires. While Russia pressed up against Catholic Europe forces in the Pyrenees, Telosanti forces landed in the city of Venice. Shortly thereafter, Catholic Europe fell, leaving Venetian lands in Telosan's hands. The territory was largely forgotten as the rest of the war raged on.
Following the fall of the Dominion, the Telosan Empire was thrown into turmoil. It withdrew on itself, showing all the signs of a dying nation. The emperor was assasinated by the prince's men. When Prince Tresoan took the thrown, the Telosanti Civil War began. Telosan divided up into 4 regions, Asia, America, Africa, and Europe. The war was costly, ending in Tresoan being overthrown and the breakup of the nation. From the ashes of Telosan Europe, the long forgotten Venetian Republic reemerged. The government was refounded, though different than it once was. The popular war leader, Domenico Contarini, was declared Doge. As it was starting, the Byzantine Empire reached out to Venice, it's rival, ally, and enemy, risen from the sands of time. An agreement was made and after 200 years, the Most Serene Republic of Venice gazed upon the world again.
The Republic of Venice is governed by an elected Pregadi and an elected Doge. While the Pregadi runs the day to day workings of the country, the Doge acts as the public face, handling foreign affairs as well as domestic policy.
State Elections: 16
Government Elections: 16
Head of State Elections: Must be a Signorian.
Branches of Government
Doge: The elected head of state, he serves until death, abdication, or imprisonment. He is elected by raffle from the ranks of the Pregadi. Only those who's names are listed in the Golden Book are eligible for this seat.
Collegio: The College of Elders, whose members are also called Elders. They serve as the cabinet, with each Elder heading a department. They are appointed by the Doge and serve for as long as the current Doge remains in power. 2 of these offices are the Capitani Generali (The heads of the Army and Navy).
Pregadi: The Senate. There are 120 seats, which are filled by the noblemen of Venice. They take care of the day to day legislation of the country and it's members are called Signorians. Their names must be listed in the Golden Book in order to participate in the Pregadi.
Council of Ten: Consisting of 10 members, the council is the Supreme Court of Venice. It's members are called Inquisitori. They are appointed by the Pregadi.
Maggior Consiglio: The Major Council is a temporary legislative body that exists only during elections. It consists of all the members of the Pregadi and the Minor Council. Since it consists of all the nobles of Venice aside from the Doge, new Signorians are elected from this enlarged council.
Minor Consiglio: The Minor Council consists of all nobles not already serving as the Doge, Signorians, or any other government office. They have little role in government between elections, but are sometimes called upon to break ties in the Pregadi.
Arengo: The People. They elect the Registrari, the regional heads of state.
The Doge: The head of state. He is elected through a complex system intended to eliminate bias, fraud, and bribery. The Doge is elected by the Pregadi from a pool of 9 candidates, 8 being selected by drawing from the Pregadi and the 9th being the Doge's heir. He served until death, abdication, or imprisonment. The election process started by placing 120 uniform balls in a ceremonial urn, 1 for each member of the Pregadi. A Serenissimi would then go outside and recruit the first child he came across. The child would then select 30, each containing the name of one Serenissimi. From these thirty, 9 were selected by the same process. They then appoint 40 members of the Pregadi as candidates. Of these forty, 12 were selected the same way the first 30 were. The 12 then appointed 25, who were then reduced to the final 8, from which the new Doge would be elected.
The Elders: Members of the Collegio, they are appointed by the Doge and can serve for as long as that Doge remains in power or until convicted of a serious crime or otherwise removed.
The Signorians: Members of the Pregadi, they are elected from the ranks of the Maggior Consiglio. Their names must be listed in the Golden Book in order to be eligible for this office. They serve for 6 year terms.
The Inquisitori: The chief justices of Venice. They are appointed by the Pregadi based on virtue, seniority, and credibility. They serve 20 year terms and may not be re-elected.
The Registrari: The Registrari are the local heads of state. They are elected by the Arengo (People) and serve as governors of the provinces of Venice.
Famous or notable citizens of Venice include:
- Drake Reed - Deceased
- Doge Domenico Contarini
- Admiral Enrico Dandolo
- Gran Maestro Marcello Participazo
- Archbishop Anacleto
- High General/Capitano Generale di Terrafirma Nicolau Celeste