|Kingdom of Sicily
|Regnu di Sicilia
Sicily (Sicilian: Sicilia) is an insular nation south of the Italian Peninsula. It is located entirely on the island of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Kingdom of Sicily was founded in 1130 by the Italo-Norman Hauteville family. During this time, Sicily was one of the most prosperous and wealthiest states in Europe. A dynastic succession crisis caused Sicily to fall into the hands of the Hohenstaufen family. By the end of the 13th century, Sicily was fought over by the crowns of Anjou and Aragon during the war of the Sicilian Vespers. The crown of Aragon won the conflict and Sicily was passed to their hands. When the crowns of Castille and Aragon united in 1479, Sicily was ruled directly by the kings of Spain via governors and viceroys.
French Rule (1701-1755)
Under the Spanish Succession Treaty signed in 1699, all Spanish holdings in Italy were to be surrendered to Bourbon France under Philip d'Anjou should Spain's Charles II die, and this included the island of Sicily. Similar to what they did in Sicily, the French appointed Viceroys to manage the domain on behalf of the king. France ruled over Sicily until 1755.
Independent Sicily (1755) and the late 18th Century
Sicily became independent from France after the Great Silesian War in 1755, separating it from the French holdings in the peninsula (French Naples). Throughout the rest of the 18th century, Sicily would be under the influence of Britain and Austria, who were allied in the war. Sicily also started to establish friendly ties with the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century.
19th Century, political realignment with the French
In 1814, the French were defeated by the British-Austrian-Ottoman coalition and was forced to sign the Treaty of Vienna. The treaty created the independent Kingdom of Naples to the north, which, immediately after independence, had ambitions to invade Sicily. Throughout 1816 to 1820, several naval battles ensued between the two independent kingdoms. Neither Britain and Austria wanted to intervene in the conflict, and so the Sicilians went to the French for help. The French kingdom signed an alliance with Sicily, guaranteeing Sicilian independence throughout the 19th century.
In the 19th century, the British interference in Italian politics (particularly in Venice and Naples) left Sicily with disdain for Britain. This sentiment grew worse after the Venetians invaded the Papal States in 1908 with British support. Sicilian volunteers fought in the conflict between Anglo-Venetian alliance and Austria that erupted shortly after. The war ended with defeat for the Austrians and the Sicilian volunteers. The event aligned Sicily with the Tripartite Coalition, a continental anti-British alliance between France, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire.
During the outbreak of the Great War, Sicily joined the war on the side of the Tripartite Coalition, after being promised land in the Kingdom of Naples in the north (which was allied to Britain).