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Italy became a nation-state in 1861 A.D. when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor Emmanuel II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito Mussolini established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 A.D. and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999 A.D.. The official language is Italian, but in some regions German, French, and Slovene are spoken.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Italy - Acts 18:2; Acts 27:1, Acts 27:6; Hebrews 13:24), like most geographical names, was differently used at different periods of history. As the power of Rome advanced, nations were successively conquered and added to it till it came to designate the whole country to the south of the Alps. There was constant intercourse between Palestine and Italy in the time of the Romans.
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