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Excerpt from The Historical Causes of the Present State of Affairs in Italy: Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture, Delivered Before the University of Oxford, 31 October 1923 I have already stumbled on the secret of Italian social and political life in using the word cities Italy always has been pie-eminently the land of cities; she is SO still. England has become a land of industrial occupation and of city life, but She is not a land of cities, like Italy. If you write a history of England on the basis of locality, you write a history of the several Shires, like the Victoria County History. A similar local history of Italy would be a history of the cities, into which each country district would come in as the appendage of each city. For the Middle Ages this is Obvious, as the city was then the normal political unit. From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century Italy was indeed divided up into larger political areas, but the only real life of Italy under the later despots was cultural, not political at all. And that cultural life was an affair of the academies and artists and Operas of each individual city. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.