|Area:||9,694 sq. km|
|Population:||1,528,000 inhabitants (2005)|
|Established:||1933, incorporated into Italy|
The Marches are a province in the southeast of Italy, composed of the marches of Ancona (indeed, the official full name of the province is La Confederazione delle Marche d'Ancona.
The Confederation of the Marches is a confederation of 152 cities, each governed by a hereditary knight. The office of President and the main offices of government rotate amongst the knights on an annual basis. Since 2000, women can inherit knighthoods, but cannot pass them on to their kindred.
The government of the Marches is a representative democracy in which each of the districts of the Marches (see below) elects representatives to a governmental council which meets in Ancona. This council is composed of 30 representatives, 6 from each district of the Marches. The majority party of the council selects a proconsul (officially, primo fra pari, "first among equals"), who then elects a cabinet, one councilor from each district and at least one member of the opposition party. After an election, the proconsul becomes chancellor for four months of the year, and for the remaining eight months the chancellorship rotates between the four other cabinet members. The chancellor runs meetings of the council and signs any laws that are passed by the council. The proconsul sets the agenda for the meetings.
However, this council is not the primary government. Each district of the Marches has its own governmental system which makes laws for that district. The full government council only meets if there is a significant issue for it to address.
The Marches are made up of five districts:
Like Elba to the west, the Marches were a Byzantine settlement (the Exarchate of Ravenna) for long after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Finally, after the fall of the Exarchate, the Marches fell briefly under Lombard rule and later were ceded to the Kingdom of Naples. When Napoleon came through Italy, the Marches fell under French rule along with the rest of the Kingdom. After the First Great War and the fall of the Roman Republic, the Marches remained part of the new Kingdom of Two Sicilies. In 1977, the Marches requested the Italian government's permission to join Italy. I 1979, Two Sicilies acquiesced to that request, and in 1980 the Marches became part of Italy.
The economy of the Marches is based primarily on water-related industries, especially shipbuilding and fishing. However, there is also a significant furniture sector, and furniture from the Marches is exported throughout the Mediterranean.
|Aosta | Ceva | Elba | Friuli | Liguria | Lombardy | Mantova | Marches | Massa | Metropolitan Duchies | Montferrat | Modena | Novellara | Parma | Piedmont | Piombino | Romagna | Trento | Tuscany | Umbria | Veneto|