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Sardinia

The island of Sardinia, or, according to its Greek name, Surdon, belonged to the Carthagenians, at the period of their first war with the Romans, by whom they were expelled from the island, which became one of the Roman granaries; not long afterwards Corsica and Sardinia formed a single province. While governed by the masters of the world, its population was greater than at present; it then contained forty two towns, but not more than ten which merit the name, can now be enumerated.

The island of Sardinia planned to hold an online referendum on independence from Italy, following in the footsteps of countrys northeastern Veneto region, where a similar vote revealed high separatist moods. Over 2 million people in Veneto took part in the internet referendum on 16-21 March 2014, with 89 per cent of them voting in favor of cutting ties with Rome. Despite the plebiscite having no legal power, it inspired the Sardinian Action Party (PSdAz) to organize an independence online vote in Sardinia. PSdAz advocates withdrawal from Italy and the cultivation of Sardinian traditions and values. Well just ask the Sardinians if they want independence, said John Hills, the Sardinian Action Partys national secretary. Their opinion is important. We believe that this issue has become very relevant today and we want to clarify what exactly is the will of the people. A motion to stage an online referendum was presented before the regional council in Sardinia.

The Vandals, having made themselves masters of Spain and the coasts of Africa, took possession of Sardinia in the seventh century. The Pisans and the Genoese succeeded them in the eleventh; two hundred years afterwards, the popes, who seldom neglected the opportunity of adding to their temporal dominions, endeavoured to unite the island to the territories of the church, and the Pisans were twice constrained to submit. James the Second, king of Arragon, made himself master of Sardinia in the fourteenth century, and it continued under the government of Spain, until the year 1708, when the English took it in the name of the emperor of Germany, who gave it up to the duke of Savoy, and received Sicily in exchange.

The Sardinians remained in a state of barbarism after the middle ages, but comparatively at a late period, and under the paternal government of Savoy, they were made to participate in the light of knowledge, and in the benefits of civilization. By the mid-19th Century the arts and sciences were flourishing, and the house of Savoy were not ignorant that the prosperity and improved condition of the inhabitants, were the result of their wise and enlightened measures. The misfortunes of the reigning family, had, perhaps, contributed in producing these good effects; the conquests of the French deprived them of their other possessions, and the progress of improvement was most rapid when the princes resided in the island.

The inhabitants had for a long time, little intercourse with the other Italians; they might still be distinguished from them. The Sardinian is strong, lively, and courageous, even to rashness; of quick passions, he is ardent in his affections, and violent in his hatred. Fond of the marvellous, from his habits or state of civilization, endowed with a vivid imagination, prone to enthusiasm, these qualities account for his devotion to poetry and the fine arts.

Cagliari, the capital, stands near the base of a steep hill, on a gulf at the southern extremity of the island; a strong castle built by the Pisans rises above it. The population in the mid-19th Century amounted to twenty-eight thousand inhabitants; it was the residence of the viceroy and the principal authorities. The houses were ill built, and the streets are narrow and crooked. The palace of the viceroy was the only building worthy of notice; the others were, a cathedral, thirty-eight churches, twenty-one convents, an university, a college for nobles, an exchange, and a theater.

Among the useful institutions may be mentioned schools of medicine and mathematics, a library, museums of antiquities and natural history, and different hospitals. The town was founded by the Carthagenians, and was, in ancient times, a place of great commerce; the products of its territory are, corn, oil, wine, cotton, and indigo. Sassari, the town next to it in importance, is situated in a fine valley, on the north-west of the island, and contains fifteen thousand inhabitants.

Oristano, a town near the gulf of the same name, carried on a great trade in tunny, a fish which abounded on the neighboring coast, and contains six thousand inhabitants. Bosa, a small harbour at the embouchure of the Terno, on the same side of the island, possesses an ancient cathedral, and several convents; the walls which encompassed the town, are now in ruins. It was peopled by five thousand souls. Alghero, on the same coast, carries on a greater trade in corn than any other place in Sardinia. The population amounted to seven thousand inhabitants; its port cannot admit large vessels, but the spacious and fortified harbor of Porto-Conte, at two miles to the east, might contain several fleets.




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