Republic of Cospaia
Repubblica di Cospaia
Motto: Perpetua et firma libertas
|Historical era||Early Modern|
|25 May 1826|
|The seventeenth century||3.3 km2 (1.3 sq mi)|
• The seventeenth century
The Republic of Cospaia was a small state within modern day Italy, located in northern Umbria, independent from 1440 to 1826. It was located in what is now the hamlet (frazione) of Cospaia in the comune of San Giustino in the Province of Perugia.
It unexpectedly gained independence in 1440 after Pope Eugene IV, embroiled in a struggle with the Council of Basel, made a sale of territory to the Republic of Florence. By error, a small strip of land went unmentioned in the sale treaty and its inhabitants declared themselves independent. On May 25, 1826, Cospaia was divided between Tuscany and the Papal States. The treaty was signed by the fourteen surviving members of Cospaia, in exchange for a silver coin, and being allowed to grow up to half a million tobacco plants a year.
Cospaia was an early centre of tobacco production within Italy, using 25 hectares of fertile soil to grow it. Each citizen was awarded a silver coin by the church to help convince them to continue farming tobacco. One of the reasons for the prosperity of Cospaia was that it was the only place in Italy that didn't follow with the papal ban on tobacco growing, thus ensuring a monopoly on production.
The Republic of Cospaia did not have a formal government or official legal system. There were no jails and there was no standing army or police force within the tiny nation. There was a council of elders and a chief's family who governed at one point, with the Church of Annunciation as their headquarters.
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Media related to Cospaia at Wikimedia Commons