THE VENETIAN POPULATON IN NINETEENTH CENTURY
Without a shadow of a doubt, the XIX century was by some distance the most dark and miserable period of what was previously known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice. When thinking about what followed the fall of the state in 1797, it should be emphasised the ‘antimyth’ pointing to decline, ageing, economic and moral decline in Venice, is merely a fable. Everything, from economic and social figures to the thoughts and actions of Venetians, demonstrates this. From May 1797, in fact, everything was ruined, starting with the fruitful connections with the main land and the Domini da Mar (“Domains of the Sea”). Furthermore, there was a collapse in the profound relationship between the Patriciate and the people, with the latter suffering from an economic downturn (the figures regarding unemployment and poverty are striking) and the fleeing of people and capital, into the clutches of the French and Austrians. The fiscal greed exercised by the French and the Habsburgs added to the gloom. The situation was disastrous, to the extent that it was not until the end of the century, thanks to the social climate fostered by the unification, that a recovery became possible. This was especially true of sectors which had traditionally been central to the city’s existence; a pertinent example is the dockyard, which began to thrive once again.
Presented by Prof. Marco Zanetto