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Piedmont (region, Italy)

Piedmont (pēd´mŏnt), Ital. Piemonte, region (1991 pop. 4,302,565), 9,807 sq mi (25,400 sq km), NW Italy, bordering on France in the west and on Switzerland in the north. Turin is the capital of the region, which is one of the richest in Italy. Piedmont is divided into the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo, Novara, Turin, and Vercelli (named for their capitals). The mostly mountainous and hilly region has the Alps in the north and west and the Apennines in the south.

In the more elevated parts of Piedmont, forest products and fruit are produced and cattle are raised. In the fertile valley of the upper Po River wheat, corn, rice, grapes, honey, and chestnuts are grown. Piedmont has considerable industry, powered in part by well-developed hydroelectric facilities and aided by an extensive transportation network. Manufactures include motor vehicles (mainly at Turin), textiles, leather goods, aluminum, chemicals, glass, wine, and office machines. There is a substantial tourist industry, notably at Lago Maggiore in the northeast, and skiing is a popular activity. There is a university at Turin.

The area of Piedmont was incorporated by Rome in the 1st cent. BC It came to be known as Piedmont by the 13th cent., growing out of Turin and Ivrea, western marches of the Lombard kingdom of Italy. Created in the 10th cent., the marches passed by marriage (11th cent.) to the Savoy dynasty (see Savoy, house of). In the 12th cent. free communes were instituted in many cities, while others remained under feudal lords. Besides the counts (later dukes) of Savoy, the marquises of Saluzzo and Montferrat were powerful nobles. By the 15th cent. Savoy emerged as the chief power.

The French often entered Piedmont via the strategic Mont Cenis and Montgenèvre passes through the Alps, either as allies or as enemies; they greatly influenced Piedmontese history and culture. Moreover, Piedmont was a major battlefield in the Italian Wars (15th–16th cent.), the wars of Louis XIV, and the French Revolutionary Wars. The dukes of Savoy, who in 1720 became kings of Sardinia, had acquired all of present-day Piedmont by 1748. From 1798 to 1814, Piedmont was held by France. After 1814, the region became the nucleus of Italian unification during the Risorgimento, and Turin was the first capital (1861–64) of the new Italian kingdom. Valle d'Aosta was part of Piedmont until 1945.

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Piedmont

Piedmont (Piemonte) Region of nw Italy, bounded to the n, w and s by mountains, and to the e by the Po Valley; it comprises the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo, Novara, Torino, and Vercelli. Already an important region in Roman times, it was later subject to Lombard, then Frankish rule. Under the influence of Savoy from the early 15th century, it became part of the kingdom of Sardinia in 1720. In the early 19th century, it was the focus of the movement for Italian independence, joining a united Italy in 1861. The Po Valley has excellent farmland. Products: grain, vegetables, fruit, dairy. Industries: winemaking, motor vehicles, textiles, glass, chemicals. Area: 25,400sq km (9807sq mi). Pop. (1999) 4,288,051.

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piedmont (physiographic region)

piedmont, any area near the foot of a mountain, particularly the plateau (the Piedmont) extending from New York to Alabama E of the Appalachian Mts. and W of the Atlantic coastal plain. In Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina it is E of the Blue Ridge Mts. The plateau is cut by numerous small rivers, whose fall line is along the eastern edge of the plateau. "Piedmont" is French for "foothills."

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piedmont

piedmont The tract of country at the foot of a mountain range (e.g. the Po Valley, Italy, at the foot of the Alps). The word is derived from the Italian piemonte, meaning ‘mountain foot’.

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Piedmont (city, United States)

Piedmont, city (1990 pop. 10,602), Alameda co., W Calif., a suburb of Oakland; inc. 1907. It is a hilly, residential city. Many of its homes enjoy a spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay area.

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piedmont

piedmont The tract of country at the foot of a mountain range, e.g. the Po Valley, Italy, at the foot of the Alps. The word is derived from the Italian piemonte, meaning ‘mountain foot’.

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piedmont

pied·mont / ˈpēdmänt/ • n. a gentle slope leading from the base of mountains to a region of flat land.

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piedmont

piedmontacquaint, ain't, attaint, complaint, constraint, distraint, faint, feint, paint, plaint, quaint, restraint, saint, taint •spray-paint • greasepaint • warpaint •asquint, bint, clint, dint, flint, glint, hint, imprint, lint, mint, misprint, print, quint, skint, splint, sprint, squint, stint, tint •Septuagint • skinflint • catmint •varmint • spearmint • calamint •peppermint • enprint • screen print •offprint • blueprint • newsprint •footprint • thumbprint • fingerprint •monotint • mezzotint • aquatint •pint • Geraint •Comte, conte, font, fount, pont, quant, Vermont, want •Delfont • vicomte • Frémont •piedmont • Beaumont • Hellespont •passant • poste restante •avaunt, daunt, flaunt, gaunt, haunt, jaunt, taunt, vaunt

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Piedmont

PIEDMONT

PIEDMONT , region in N. Italy which comprised the duchy of *Savoy (a kingdom since 1713), the duchy of Montferrat (under Savoy rule since 1709), the marquisate of *Saluzzo (under Savoy rule since 1598), and the municipalities of *Asti, *Chieri, Cuneo, and *Alessandria. The Jewish communities of Piedmont were formed or expanded following the expulsion of Jews from France in 1306, 1332, and 1394. Loan bankers were among the prominent people who settled in Piedmont. In 1430 Amadeus viii determined the judicial status of the Jews in the duchy of Savoy, stipulating that in each city they were to live in closed quarters. The Jews were frequently subjected to special taxation: in 1551 the annual toleration tax was 500 gold crowns, increased to 14,000 in 1626, but subsequently reduced. In 1708 the Jews were ordered to file a complete inventory of their property every three years. About the middle of the 16th century there were 3,000–4,000 Jews in Savoy, somewhat less in Montferrat, and about 100 in Saluzzo. For a considerable payment, Emmanuel Philibert granted them the monopoly on *moneylending, which continued under his son Charles Emmanuel i. In 1624 there were about 100 Jewish loan-banks in Piedmont. The communities and the loan-bankers were often subjected to demands for exorbitant "gifts." Against a payment of 60,000 ducats a decree was issued in 1603 granting Jews permission to bear defensive weapons when outside the city of *Turin, in addition to the freedom to practice every profession including banking, commerce, and medicine (subject to the bishop's approval). In 1723–29 new enactments were issued, renewing the statutes of 1430 in a milder form, but extending the area to which they applied as a result of the extension of the state of Savoy. The Jews then formed a General Council of Jews (università generale degli ebrei) of Piedmont with branches in Turin, Casale *Monferrato, and Alessandria. In 1723 the Jews were forbidden to own real estate (the prohibition was slightly relaxed in 1729), and were compelled to live in the ghetto, which had been in existence in Turin since 1679. In Casale, *Vercelli, Chieri, Carmagnola, and Saluzzo, the outer walls of the ghettos were completed in 1724, while in Cherasco, *Acqui, and *Moncalvo, the walls were completed in 1730, 1731, and 1732 respectively. The dwellings in the Piedmont ghettos were generally arranged around a central courtyard (ḥaẓer), and every ghetto had a synagogue.

The constitution issued under Charles Emmanuel iii in 1770 reenacted the statutes of 1430, 1723, and 1729, and during this period the voices of non-Jews, such as the publicist Giuseppe Compagnoni, were first raised in defense of Jews. In 1798 emancipation was introduced into Piedmont by French revolutionary forces, and in 1807, 13 rabbis from Italy attended the French *Sanhedrin in Paris. But after a short interval of well-being, Victor Emmanuel i restored almost in toto the 1770 constitution; in 1816 the re-creation of the ghetto was decreed. By then, however, attitudes had changed and men like Vincenzo Gioberti, Roberto and Massimo *d'Azeglio, Carlo *Cattaneo, and others pressed for Jewish emancipation. With the promulgation of the Piedmontese Constitution (Statuto) of 1848 by Prince Charles Albert, the Jews obtained full emancipation and began to participate more actively in political and cultural life. The rabbi of Turin, Lelio *Cantoni, started to reorganize the Jewish communities, and the Jewish publications L'Educatore Israelita (Vercelli, 1853–74), followed by ii Vessillo Israelitico (Cuneo, 1874–1922), made their appearance. In the middle of the 19th century a famous controversy arose over Rabbi Samuel Olper's project to introduce changes in Jewish religious practice. In 1840 and 1881 there were about 6,500 Jews in Piedmont; in 1911, 6,000; in 1931, 4,900; and in 1961, 6,618; and by 1970 this number dwindled to 1,820.

bibliography:

G. Volino, Condizione giuridica degli ebrei in Piemonte prima dell'emancipazione (1904); M.D. Anfossi, Gli Ebrei in Piemonte Loro condizioni giuridico-sociali dal 1430 all'emancipazione (1914); G. Levi, in: rmi, 9 (1934), 511–34; 18 (1952), 412–37, 463–89; B. Terracini, ibid., 15 (1949), 62–77; S. Foa, ibid., 19 (1953), 542–51; 26 (1955), 38ff.; 27 (1961), passim; 28 (1962), 92ff.

[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello]

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