Mining History of Sardinia
Between the end of 1600 and the first decade of 1700, the balance between the European powers changed in an irreversible way. The crisis of the Spanish Empire after the death of Carl II (on November 1 1700), set off bloody wars over the division of its immense territories. The Spanish empire included the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Milan, the colonies of Central and Southern America, the Philippines, as well as Spain.
The Treaty of Utrecht on 2 April 1713, and the Treaty of Rastadt on 6 March 1714, estabilished a new European and international order. An uncontestable affirmation of Great Britain coincided with the unconditioned surrender of Spain . Great Britain became the real arbitrator in Europe. The balance between France and Austria allowed England to impose its control on the seas and international trade.
With the peace of Utrecht Sardinia came to know the government of Austria. This condition lasted a few years, because already in 1718 Vittorio Amedeo II of the Savoy Dinasty received Sardinia in exchange for Sicily, in accordance with the pacts stipulated in London and signed in Hague in 1720.
The Savoy Dinasty was reluctant to accept Sardinia, a land that they did not want. Instead, they had asked for Tuscany. They tried, uselessly, “to barter it”, and to have other territories or cities like Venice in exchange. All the efforts proved in vain, and on 8 August 1720 the Kingdom of Sardinia was created: on 2 September of the same year Felice Pallavicino, the Baron of Saint Remy, was named viceroy.
In 1720 Sardinia was characterized by a great economic, social and cultural backwardness. Sardinian society was composed of farmers, shepherds (owners and servants), craftsmen who made up part of the lower class. The feudal lords, the noblemen, the high clergy, the knights and the high bureaucrats made up part of the privileged class. They were less numerous and very rarely resident in Sardinia, but had the most power.
It was necessary to create basic conditions for the development of Sardinia. The selected areas were agriculture and mining.
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