The Instigator
logiman
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
sansvoix
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Italy was an inferior nation in the early modern era

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
logiman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 583 times Debate No: 70835
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

logiman

Pro

Alright, rules for this debate are:

NO TROLLING

NO CUSSING

3 ROUNDS

I happen to have remarkable historical knowledge so i'm sure this will be interesting. Let's begin
sansvoix

Con

Before we properly start, I need you to confirm what you mean by 'Inferior' and what you mean by 'The Early Modern Era'.

I'll just outline it on the assumption that 'Inferior' means that Italy was below other western nations, and that 'The Early Modern Era' refers to the period between the foundation of the Kingdom of Italy (1861) and the outbreak of WWII (1939).

Military Power

Italy was by no means a weak military power during the period. In 1914, Italy had the world's fifth largest standing army, at around 1,250,000 men; when mobilised, Italy managed to field an army of around 5,600,000 men (1). While its army was smaller and less-effective than those of Britain, France, Germany and Russia, it was still impressive for a country Italy's size.

The Italian Navy also maintained six Dreadnought Battleships, more than France, Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When Italy entered WWII, it had the fourth largest navy in the world, with nineteen cruisers, fifty-nine destroyers, sixty-seven torpedo boats and 116 submarines (2)

Economic Power

Italy's GDP in 1913 was about $96bn in today's money. While this is not as much as France's $129bn or Austria-Hungary's $122bn, it was more than double that of Spain, $40bn, and more than quadruple that of the Ottoman Empire ($18bn) (3). For a country of Italy's size and development level, it was doing fairly well economically compared to its neighbours.

In terms of industry, Northern Italy was primarily industrialised, with manufacturing centred around cities such as Turin, Brescia, Milan and Rome, while Southern Italy was primarily agrarian, brought on largely by mismanagement by the feudal Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Many Italian luxury car brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and the gigantic FIAT conglomerate were established during the period of the Kingdom of Italy, laying the foundations for the Italian automotive industry's rapid growth in the postwar period.

Science and Culture

Italy produced more Nobel Laureates (Seven) in the Early Modern Period than Russia (four), Poland (five), Spain (three) and Belgium (six), to name but a few. The Kingdom of Italy is well-known for Guglielmo Marconi's invention of the long-range radio, Camillo Golgi's advancements in neuroscience and Enrico Fermi's work in the field of nuclear physics; he later went on to be one of the instrumental scientists behind the Manhatten Project.

Italy's universities were also considered to be the among the best and most-established institutions in the world, training up a generation of professionals and artists from across the world.

Culturally, the Kingdom of Italy is known for the writings of authors such as Alessandro Manzoni and Giuseppe Mazzini; the music of composers such as Verdi, Puccini and Rossini; and the various achievements of its sportsmen. Italy won numerous medals in the Olympic Games, as well as two FIFA World Cups and had a very successful cycling team during the Early Modern Period.


(1) http://spartacus-educational.com...
(2) https://books.google.co.uk...
(3) http://www.lse.ac.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
logiman

Pro

Apparently, you were unaware that the Early Modern Era is usually referred to as the 14th-early 19th centuries. Therefore your argument up to this point has been invalid, now we will truly begin.

Arguments

Italian Wars (1494-1559)
Italian Wars caused Italy's gradual upheaval through constant foreign occupation, badly damagingItaly's scattered city-states. First came the Spanish, reeking havoc upon the Italian mainland from 1559 to 1713[1]. Soon Italy became a battleground for its neighbors France and Spain, constantly competing for domination of the Peninsula. Italy's military was in shambles, unable to defend its own borders from the oncoming hoards of foreign invaders during Spain's occupation, the Plague terrorized the already weak Italy. When Spain's Empire declined, so did Italy. Austria seized control of Italy in 1713 and held it until 1796 [1]. At this point Italy was in turmoil, badly shaken from many invasions.

Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)

With no hope of unification in sight, it was easily taken by Napoleon's massive French Army raging through western Europe. Italy once again lost its independence and became a client state of the French Empire[3]. Southern Italy especially was impoverished and cut off from the rest of Europe.

1814

While Italy's neighbors France and Austria grew rich and prosperous from their conquests and trade, Italy remained at the bottom as a poor and unorganised. after many foreign occupations, Italy was sapped of its strength. After the Congress of Vienna in 1814, Italy suffered Austria's oppression a second time[2].


(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://www.infoplease.com...
(3) http://www.britannica.com...
sansvoix

Con

I am aware of what the Early Modern Period is, but throughout the period, Italy was not a nation, it was a group of small feudal states and republics. The entire debate is irrelevent, as it is impossible to judge a group of states as one, when there is so much difference between them. It is like comparing Germany in the eighteenth century to France in the eighteenth century. One was a fully unified country, the other a motley collection of states that would obviously constitute an inferior nation.

I assumed that you were unaware of what the Early Modern Period is, so the title of the debate should have been 'The Italian States were a group of inferior nations in the Early Modern Era'.

Also, for most of the Early Modern Era, Italy was not even a concept. There was no real Pan-Italian Nationalism until after the Congress of Vienna, and even then, it was another thirty years before it entered mainstream thought.

I'll have to concede, since the Italian States, with the possible exception of Venice and the Papal States in the first half of the Early Modern Period, were a group of petty fiefdoms for the most part.
Debate Round No. 2
logiman

Pro

Indeed I was referring to the many scattered Italian states. I was simply making it easier for less educated people to understand. You never know what kind of person might accept your debate. I'm sorry you were confused, but I thought you would be able to figure out what I meant. Apparently I was wrong about you but oh well. Now that you concede with my argument there is nothing left to debate about. You were too busy criticising my work instead of actually debating with me. So this is over.
sansvoix

Con

I did concede the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by UnderdogRising 2 years ago
UnderdogRising
Why not talk about Italy's failed occupation of Ethiopia right before WW2. This was when Mussolini was in charge with his political party The National Fascist Party. It's a good point that Fascism played a role in their slow advancement into the modern era.
Posted by logiman 2 years ago
logiman
Early Modern: 14th-18th century.
Posted by logiman 2 years ago
logiman
Inferiority as in inferior to other nations at the time based on military, economics and actions by itself and other countries.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
On which bases? You're going to want to be clear here, because if you're not, then you'll leave it up to judges to decide what are the most important factors. How should we assess inferiority?
Posted by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
Nice profile picture.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
logimansansvoixTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
logimansansvoixTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded the debate, resulting in loss of arguments and conduct for him.