The long debilitating War of Spanish Succession
ended with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713. Despite all the fighting,
it was difficult at the end to distinguish winners from losers. The
resulting treaty of Utrecht addressed the balance-of-power issues
that had precipitated the war, but it also provided for a variety
of territorial realignments--a sort of zero-sum game with principalities
exchanged like poker chips.
that she had become the property of a new player, Duke Victor Amadeus
II of Savoy. Yet one must hope that the Duke did not print too much
stationery with his new title, because he had to return the island
to King Philip V of Spain just five years later.
In 1720 Spain
passed it along to Austria, though not for long. Spain
declared war on Austria in 1733, and King Philip V sent his son Charles
to recapture Naples and Sicily. Young Charles (who was later to rule
Spain as King Charles III following the death of his father in 1746)
carried out his assignment efficiently and in 1738 he was crowned
King of a new and independent nation that he welded together, the
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
descendants remained on the throne of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
in a continuous line--interrupted only temporarily by Napoleon's period
of occupation and the republican uprisings of 1848--until their overthrow
by Garibaldi on behalf of the Kingdom of Savoy in 1860.