History of Monaco
Founded at an unknown date in prehistory as a Ligurian settlement, Monaco was known to the Greeks of Marseille as Monoikos, and later to Romans as Monoecus. It was celebrated during all pagan antiquity for its temple of Hercules (Hercules Monoecus.)
A colony of Genoa in 1215, Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, except when under French control from 1789 to May 17, 1814. Designated as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860 by the Treaty of Vienna, Monaco's sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. The Prince of Monaco was an absolute ruler until a constitution was promulgated in 1911.
Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to France and the opening of a casino. In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, written into the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests.
Prince Rainier III, the current ruler of Monaco, acceded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949. The current heir apparent, Prince Albert, was born in 1958.
A new constitution, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment, provided for female suffrage, established a Supreme Court to guarantee fundamental liberties and made it difficult for a French national to transfert its residence there.
In 1993, Monaco became an official member of the United Nations with full voting rights.
The principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center.
- See also : Monaco, List of the Princes of Monaco
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