Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
Archduke Gottfried of Austria
Archduke Gottfried of Austria was a member of the Tuscan line of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary and Tuscany by birth. Gottfried was the titular Grand Duke of Tuscany from 8 November 1948 to 21 January 1984. Gottfried was born in Linz, Austria–Hungary, the eldest child and son of Archduke Peter Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Princess Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Gottfried was raised with his three siblings in Salzburg and Vienna until the end of World War I in 1918, when his family emigrated to Lucerne, Switzerland, he died in Bad Ischl, aged 81. Gottfried married Princess Dorothea of Bavaria, fifth child and fourth daughter of Prince Franz of Bavaria and his wife Princess Isabella Antonie of Croÿ, on 2 August 1938 civilly and religiously on 3 August 1938 in Sárvár, Kingdom of Hungary. Gottfried and Dorothea had issue: Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, married on 28 April 1965 in Salzburg, Friedrich Hubert Edler von Braun, son of Erich Edler von Braun and Baroness Elisabeth von Teuchert-Kauffmann und Traunsteinburg.
They have three children: Bernadette Edle von Braun, she has illegitimate issue Dominik Edler von Braun, married on 25 August 1995 in New York City, Countess Tatiana Angela von Nayhauss-Cormons, daughter of Count Mainhardt von Nayhauss-Cormons and Sabine Beirlein. They have three children: Justus Edler von Braun Ludovic Edler von Braun Edina Edle von Braun Felix Edler von Braun, married on 27 May 2006 in Berlin, Gabrielle Hinzmann, they have on daughter: Stella Edle von Braun Archduchess Alice of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, married on 7 May 1970 in Salzburg, Baron Vittorio Manno, son of Baron Antonio Manno and Bonile Maria Ainair Rossilon. They have two children: Leopoldo dei baronni Manno Niccolò dei baronni Manno, married on 22 May 2004 in London, Manon Sybille Duflos, they have three children: Arturo dei baronni Manno Paolo dei baronni Manno A son Domitella dei baronni Manno, married on 24 April 1999 in Salzburg, Pierre-Emmanuel Derriks, son of Michel Derriks and Anne Mottard. They have four children: Felicie Derriks Ombeline Derriks Fleur Derriks Corentin Derriks Archduke Leopold of Austria, Prince of Tuscany, married on 19 June 1965 in St. Gilgen, Laetitia de Belzunce d'Arenberg, daughter of Henry de Belzunce and Marie-Thérèse de la Poëze d'Harambure.
They have two sons. Archduchess Maria Antoinette of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, married on 13 April 1974 in St. Gilgen, Baron Hans Walter von Proff zu Irnich, son of Oskar Natterman and Margarete Wutt, adopted by his stepfather Baron Max von Proff zu Irnich, they have two children: Baron Maximilian von Proff zu Irnich, married on 29 May 2010, Baroness Sidonia von Ledebur, daughter of Baron Ernst von Ledebur and Alix von Watzdorf. They have one son: Baron Cornelius von Proff zu Irnich Baroness Johanna von Proff zu Irnich, married on 1 October 2011 in Starnberg, Florian Prechtl, they have two children: Franz Prechtl A child 14 March 1902 – 8 November 1948: His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Gottfried of Austria, Prince of Tuscany 8 November 1948 - 21 January 1984: His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Gottfried, The Prince of Tuscany Knight of the Austrian Order of the Golden Fleece
Archduke Leopold Salvator of Austria
Archduke Leopold Salvator, Prince of Tuscany, was the son of Archduke Karl Salvator of Austria and Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Leopold was born in Bohemia, he was a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, held the title Archduke of Austria. He was a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece. On October 24, 1889 Leopold Salvator married Infanta Blanca of Spain, eldest daughter of Carlos, Duke of Madrid, they had 10 children: Archduchess Dolores of Austria Archduchess Immaculata of Austria. Archduchess Margaretha of Austria. Archduke Rainer of Austria Archduke Leopold of Austria, he married secondly in 1932 Alicia Gibson Coburn. Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria. Archduke Anton of Austria. Archduchess Assunta of Austria. Archduke Franz Josef of Austria, he married secondly in 1962 Maria Elena Seunig. Archduke Karl Pius of Austria. Lost Waltz: A Story of Exile by Bertita Harding
Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany was the last Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1859 to 1860. The House of Habsburg-Lorraine continued to hold the title as pretenders until the end of World War I. Born at Florence, he was the son of Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies, he and his family were forced to flee Florence on 27 April 1859, with the outbreak of a revolution inspired by the outbreak of a war by France and Sardinia-Piedmont against Austria as part of the unification of Italy. The family took refuge in Austria. After the end of the war, Leopold II abdicated on 21 July and Ferdinand succeeded him as Grand Duke. Ferdinand proved unable to return to Florence to claim his throne, an elected Tuscan National Assembly formally deposed him only a month on 16 August. Ferdinand still hoped to recover his throne, as both France and Austria had promised to recognize his rights to it in the Armistice of Villafranca. However, neither power was willing to take any steps to bring about his restoration.
The Kingdom of Sardinia annexed Tuscany on 22 March 1860, ending Ferdinand's hopes to reclaim the throne. Ferdinand spent the rest of his life in exile in Austria, he died there, in Salzburg, in 1908. He married twice and had issue: From his first marriage in Dresden on 24 November 1856 to Princess Anna of Saxony, daughter of King John I of Saxony, was born: Archduchess Maria Antonietta, she became abbess of the Theresia Convent in the Hradschin in Prague. From his second marriage in Frohsdorf on 11 January 1868 to Princess Alice "Alix" of Parma, daughter of Charles III of Parma: Archduke Leopold Ferdinand, he took the name Leopold Wölfling. He married thrice, without issue. Archduchess Luise. Married first King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony and after divorcing him married second Enrico Toselli and had issue by both marriages. Archduke Josef Ferdinand, he married, Rosa Kaltenbrunner and, after divorcing her married, secondly Gertrud Tomanek, by whom he had issue. Both marriages were morganatic.
Archduke Peter Ferdinand, Prince of Tuscany. Married Princess Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, had issue. Archduke Heinrich Ferdinand. A major general in the Austrian army, morganatically married Maria Karoline Ludescher, had issue. Count Heinrich von Habsburg married Helvig Schutte on 13 May 1939 Count Ulrich von Habsburg married Friedericke von Klinkowstrom on 29 October 1964 Count Eugen von Habsburg married Gabriele Wetsching on 27 May 1995 Countess Julia von Habsburg Countess Sara von Habsburg Count Clemens von Habsburg married Gislinde Angerer on 12 October 1996 Countess Anna-Lea von Habsburg Count Benedikt von Habsburg Count Philip von Habsburg married Bettina Drescher Countess Zoe von Habsburg Countess Ava von Habsburg Countess Helvig von Habsburg married Baron Hans Jordis von Lohausen Count Christoph von Habsburg married Ebba von Mohrenschildt on 19 May 1973 Count Dominik von Habsburg married Pia Rittinghausen on 17 February 2007 Count Pius von Habsburg Count Hubertus von Habsburg Countess Maximiliana von Habsburg Count Maximilian von Habsburg married Michaela Bobner on 4 May 2001 Count Tino von Habsburg Count Matheo von Habsburg Count Konstantin von Habsburg married Maria Antonia Gall on 7 May 2005 Count Ferdinand von Habsburg Count Felix von Habsburg Count Ferdinand von Habsburg married Lisa Winter in 2015 Count Elmerice von Habsburg married Alexander Fairfax in May 2015 Count Othmar von Habsburg married Helen Moster on 19 December 1944 Countess Ulrike von Habsburg married Prince Lutipold of Liechtenstein on 22 November 1969 and has issue Countess Elisabeth von Habsburg married Stephen Schencker on 10 July 1971 and has issue Count Albrecht von Habsburg married Birgit Guttenberg on 18 July 1997 Count Clemens von Habsburg Countess Veronika von Habsburg Archduchess Anna Maria Theresia.
She married Prince of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein. Archduchess Margareta Archduchess Germana Archduke Robert Salvator Archduchess Agnes Maria Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold in 1856. Risorgimento Genealogy of Ferdinand IV Grand Ducal House of Tuscany Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany, ThePeerage.com
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
House of Lorraine
The House of Lorraine originated as a cadet branch of the House of Metz. It inherited the Duchy of Lorraine in 1473 after the death of duke Nicholas I without a male heir. By the marriage of Francis of Lorraine to Maria Theresa in 1736, with the success in the ensuing War of the Austrian Succession, the House of Lorraine was joined to the House of Habsburg, was now known as Habsburg-Lorraine. Francis, his sons Joseph II and Leopold II, grandson Francis II were the last four Holy Roman Emperors from 1745 to the dissolution of the empire in 1806. Habsburg-Lorraine inherited the Habsburg Empire, ruling the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1918. Although its senior agnates are the Dukes of Hohenberg, the house is headed by Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, oldest grandson of the last emperor Charles I; the house claims descent from Gerard I of Paris whose immediate descendants are known as the Girardides. The Matfridings of the 10th century are thought to have been a branch of the family.
The Renaissance dukes of Lorraine tended to arrogate to themselves claims to Carolingian ancestry, as illustrated by Alexandre Dumas, père in the novel La Dame de Monsoreau. What is more securely demonstrated is that in 1048 Emperor Henry III gave the Duchy of Upper Lorraine first to Adalbert of Metz and to his brother Gerard whose successors retained the duchy until the death of Charles the Bold in 1431. After a brief interlude of 1453–1473, when the duchy passed in right of Charles's daughter to her husband John of Calabria, a Capetian, Lorraine reverted to the House of Vaudemont, a junior branch of House of Lorraine, in the person of René II who added to his titles that of Duke of Bar; the French Wars of Religion saw the rise of a junior branch of the Lorraine family, the House of Guise, which became a dominant force in French politics and, during the years of Henri III's reign, was on the verge of succeeding to the throne of France. Mary of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots came from this family.
Under the Bourbon monarchy the remaining branch of the House of Guise, headed by the duc d'Elbeuf, remained part of the highest ranks of French aristocracy, while the senior branch of the House of Vaudemont continued to rule the independent duchies of Lorraine and Bar. Louis XIV's imperialist ambitions forced the dukes into a permanent alliance with his archenemies, the Holy Roman Emperors from the House of Habsburg. After neither Emperor Joseph I nor Emperor Charles VI produced a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's yet unborn daughter, Maria Theresa. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Francis of Lorraine who agreed to exchange his hereditary lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. At Charles's death in 1740 the Habsburg lands passed to Maria Theresa and Francis, elected Holy Roman Emperor as Francis I; the Habsburg-Lorraine nuptials and dynastic union precipitated, survived, the War of the Austrian Succession. Francis and Maria Theresa's daughters Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina became Queens of France and Naples-Sicily, respectively.
Apart from the core Habsburg dominions, including the triple crowns of Austria and Bohemia, several junior branches of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine reigned in the Italian duchies of Tuscany and Modena. Another member of the house, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, was Emperor of Mexico. In 1900, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria contracted a morganatic marriage with Countess Sophie Chotek, their descendants, known as the House of Hohenberg, have been excluded from succession to the Austro-Hungarian crown, but not that of Lorraine, where morganatic marriage has never been outlawed. Otto von Habsburg, the eldest grandson of Franz Ferdinand's younger brother, was universally regarded as the head of the house until his death in 2011, it was at Nancy, the former capital of the House of Vaudemont, that the former crown prince married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen in 1951. The following is a list of ruling heads of the house of Ardennes-Metz and its successor houses of Lorraine and Habsburg-Lorraine, from the start of securely documented genealogical history in the 11th century.
Adalbert, Duke of Upper Lorraine r. 1047/8 Gérard, Duke of Lorraine, r. 1048–1070 Theodoric II r. 1070–1115 Simon I, r. 1115–1138 Matthias I, r. 1138–1176 Simon II, r. 1176–1215 Frederick I, r. 1205/6 Frederick II, r. 1206–1213 Theobald I, r. 1213–1220 Matthias II, r. 1220–1251 Frederick III, c. 1251–1303 Theobald II, r. 1303–1312 Frederick IV, r. 1312–1328 Rudolph, r. 1328–1346 John I, r. 1346–1390 Charles II, r. 1390–1431Charles II died without male heir, the duchy passing to Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, consort of Naples by marriage to Duke René of Anjou. The duchy passed to their son John II; the title now went to Nicholas' aunt Yolande. The House of Lorraine was formed by Yolande's marriage to René, Count of Vaud
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence. Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. Tuscany was ruled by the House of Medici until the extinction of its senior branch in 1737. While not as internationally renowned as the old republic, the grand duchy thrived under the Medici and it bore witness to unprecedented economic and military success under Cosimo I and his sons, until the reign of Ferdinando II, which saw the beginning of the state's long economic decline, it peaked under Cosimo III. The Medicis' only advancement in the latter days of their existence was their elevation to royalty, by the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1691. Francis Stephen of Lorraine, a cognatic descendant of the Medici, succeeded the family and ascended the throne of his Medicean ancestors. Tuscany was governed by Marc de Beauvau-Craon, for his entire rule.
His descendants ruled, resided in, the grand duchy until its end in 1859, barring one interruption, when Napoleon Bonaparte gave Tuscany to the House of Bourbon-Parma. Following the collapse of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the grand duchy was restored; the United Provinces of Central Italy, a client state of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, annexed Tuscany in 1859. Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia in 1860, as a part of the unification of Italy, following a landslide referendum, in which 95% of voters approved. In 1569, Cosimo de' Medici had ruled the Duchy of Florence for 32 years. During his reign, Florence purchased the island of Elba from the Republic of Genoa, conquered Siena and developed a well-equipped and powerful naval base on Elba. Cosimo banned the clergy from holding administrative positions and promulgated laws of freedom of religion, which were unknown during his time. Cosimo was a long-term supporter of Pope Pius V, who in the light of Florence's expansion in August 1569 declared Cosimo Grand Duke of Tuscany, a title unprecedented in Italy.
The international reaction to Cosimo's elevation was bleak. Queen Catherine of France, though herself a Medici, viewed Cosimo with the utmost disdain. Rumours circulated at the Viennese court. Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and his cousin King Philip II of Spain reacted quite angrily, as Florence was an Imperial fief and declared Pius V's actions invalid. However, Maximilian confirmed the elevation with an Imperial diploma in 1576. During the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought against the Ottoman Empire, siding with the Holy Roman Empire; the Holy League inflicted a crushing defeat against the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto. Cosimo's reign was one of the most militaristic Tuscany had seen. Cosimo experienced several personal tragedies during the years of his reign, his wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562, along with four of his children due to a plague epidemic in Florence. These deaths were to affect him which, along with illness, forced Cosimo to unofficially abdicate in 1564; this left Francesco, to rule the duchy.
Cosimo I died in 1574 of apoplexy, leaving a stable and prosperous Tuscany behind him, having been the longest ruling Medici yet. Francesco had little interest in governing his realm, instead participating in scientific experiments; the administration of the state was delegated to bureaucrats. He continued his father's Austrian/Imperial alliance. Francesco is best remembered for dying on the same day as his second wife, Bianca Cappello, spurring rumours of poisoning, he was succeeded by his younger brother, whom he loathed. Ferdinando eagerly assumed the government of Tuscany, he commanded the draining of the Tuscan marshlands, built a road network in Southern Tuscany, cultivated trade in Livorno. To augment the Tuscan silk industry, he oversaw the planting of Mulberry trees along the major roads, he shifted Tuscany away from Habsburg hegemony by marrying the first non-Habsburg candidate since Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence, Christina of Lorraine, a granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici.
The Spanish reaction was to construct a citadel on their portion of the island of Elba. To strengthen the new Tuscan alliance, he married the deceased Francesco's younger daughter, Marie, to Henry IV of France. Henry explicitly stated that he would defend Tuscany from Spanish aggression, but reneged. Ferdinando was forced to marry his heir, Cosimo, to Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria to assuage Spain. Ferdinando sponsored a Tuscan colony in America, with the intention of establishing a Tuscan settlement in the area of what is now French Guiana. Despite all of these incentives to economic growth and prosperity, the population of Florence, at dawn of the 17th century, was a mere 75,000 souls, far smaller than the other capitals of Italy: Rome, Venice and Naples. Francesco and Ferdinando, due to lax distinction between Medici and Tuscan state property, are thought to be wealthier than their ancestor, Cosimo de' Medici, the founder of the dynasty; the Grand Duke alone had the prerogative to exploit the state's salt resources.
The fortunes of the Medici were directly tied to the Tuscan economy. Ferdinando, despite no longer being a cardinal, exercised much influence at successive Papal conclaves. In 1605, Ferdinando succeeded in getting his candidate, Alessandro de' Medici, elected as Pope Leo XI. Leo XI died