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Savoy is a region of Europe traditionally part of north-western Italy, but largely absorbed into France in 1860 as part of the political agreement that brought about the unification of Italy.

For details of the départements of Savoie and Haute-Savoie created after annexation by France, see Savoie and Haute-Savoie.

From 1416 to 1714 Savoy was the independent Duchy of Savoy.

Its capital was Chambéry (Chiamberì), on the rivers Leysse and Albane, hosting the family's castle and the Savoyard senate. The state included six districts:

Table of contents
1 History
2 French Occupation
3 Annexation and Opposition
4 See also
5 Other things named Savoy


In 1559, Savoy was returned to the Duke of Savoy by France, as a result of the Peace of Cateau Cambrésis that ended the Italian Wars.

In 1714, as a consequence of the War of the Spanish Succession it was technically subsumed into the Kingdom of Sicily, then (after that island was traded to Spain for Sardinia) the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1720.

It is worth noting that the seat of the Savoyards remained in Turin, in Piedmont, and the name change was really just a political maneuver designed to secure a change in the state's status from duchy to kingdom.

Sardinia was economically and politically moribund in comparison to Savoy and Piedmont, but traditionally had the title "King" associated with its possession (Regnum Sardiniae et Corsicae), hence the renaming.

French Occupation

Savoy was occupied by France's revolutionary forces between 1792 and 1815. The region was first added to the département of Mont Blanc, then in 1798 was divided between the départements of Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva.

On September 13, 1793 the combined forces of Savoy, Piedmont and Valdot fought the occupying French forces at the Battle of Méribel (Sallanches).

Annexation and Opposition

Savoy was annexed by France on March 24, 1860. This followed a referendum in which the people were offered the option of joining France or joining the new Italian state; the disallowed options of either joining Switzerland (with which the region had close ties), or of regaining its independence, were the source of some opposition. With a 99.8% vote in favour of joining France, there were also allegations of vote-rigging.

Some opposition to French rule was manifest when, in 1919 France officially (but contrary to the annexation treaty) ended the military neutrality of the parts of the region that had originally been agreed at the Congress of Vienna, and the Free Trade Zone - both treaty articles having been broken unofficially in World War I.

For reasons such as these, there is currently a peaceful separatist movement in the départements.

See also

Other things named Savoy