Vatican City State

Stato della Città del Vaticano
  • S. H. Steinberg
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


For many centuries until Pius IX’s reign, with some comparatively short breaks, the Popes bore temporal sway over a territory stretching across mid-Italy from sea to sea and comprising an area of some 16,000 square miles, with a population finally of some 3,125,000 souls. 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 a settlement of the ‘Roman question’ was arrived at by three treaties between the Italian Government and the Vatican. On that day there was signed (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 750,000,000 lire in cash and 1,000,000,000 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.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1952

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  • S. H. Steinberg

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