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During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin and Spanish conquests of the region.
After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power.
Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922.
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The Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated its neighbours.The ODA monitors enquiry and complaint levels and the issues complained about.It can intervene if it sees worrying trends or serious matters of concern. A link to our customer service arrangements is provided here. You have stories to tell, and passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather.Get noticed for who you are, not what you look like. If your browser does not support cookies, or you have disabled them, you will be unable to log in to the site or to use some of the search functionality.If you're using Internet Explorer, and have specified an abnormally high level of paranoia for your browser, you may be able to remedy the situation by going to your Privacy settings under Internet Options, and selecting a privacy level of "Medium" for all sites, or just for this one.During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery.Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean.This problem may also occasionally be caused by a glitch in Microsoft Internet Explorer.If all your cookie settings are correct, as described above, and the problem persists, then please close Internet Explorer and reboot your computer.