But, in the meantime, mediators, negotiations, the conclusion of an agreement in Asti (June 22, 1615) rather advantageous for him, even if concluded with the hope that in Madrid they would not approve it, and then the mediators, including Venice, would have sided with his part. How it really happened. And then the war burned, in 1616, also by the will of the new and combative governor of Milan, Don Pietro di Toledo. But this time, with closer solidarity between Piedmont and Venice. The Venetian Senate gave large financial subsidies. Frenchmen could be hired who came with Lesdiguières. Other aid was given by the King of England. With the great English navigator Gualtiero Raleigh, the duke also combined a surprise blow on Genoa. And the Raleigh felt confident that he could take her even by force, if the surprise were not there. But the English king, or that in the end he did not feel like breaking with Spain or, as it seems, did not agree with Raleigh, for the fair division of the bear’s skin, denied consent and sent the adventurous navigator to conquer Guiana. Of course, once again there was no great offensive resolve on the part of the duke: either this depended on the greater energy of the Toledo that besieged Vercelli, or on the concern not to get even more excited against the Italian governments with a resolutely war of conquest, or from poor coordination. military between the Savoy and Venice. There was some real military collaboration, more on the Austro-Hispanic side: offensive points of the Toledo on the Venetian territory; participation of the Duke of Ossuna viceroy of Naples in the war of Gradisca; gathering of mercenaries and ships in Naples and Brindisi and naval operations in the Adriatic, weakly faced by the Venetian captains, so the others were able to proclaim victory. And yet lands of Lombardy were occupied by the Piedmontese and it seemed for a moment they were to march on Milan. From Tuscany, Medici contributions to the Spanish governor ceased. In Italy, among the adversaries of Spain, between 1616 and ’17, optimism, trust, incitement to the duke to send a fleet to rebel Naples, incitement to Venice not to linger in Friuli, incitement to the pope and the other princes to unite. “Up on Italians, on principles, on people, on arms, on arms, on the defense, on the defense of Italy, of our homeland. Union, union; league, defensive and offensive league…! ”.
Reality did not answer. According to thembaprograms, the decisive actions did not come. The suture between the two allies did not take place when in the autumn of 1617 they put down their arms. Small were the territorial gains of Savoy. But there were some of a different nature: a great resonance of his name and of the family, an almost popularity for the whole peninsula, which is a very significant and expressive fact of the spirit of the Italians. Among the independent states and also among the subject populations, manifestations of interest or even opposition, for the little lord who faced the colossus and was able to deal on an equal footing with the powerful monarch. Wishes for victory were raised, there were desires to follow that flag, the name of the prince was acclaimed in the streets. In Carlo Emanuele the warrior prince, that is the true prince, was seen and praised, the one who in leading the people in arms finds the greatest title of praise and almost its raison d’etre. We saw the opinion of the invincibility of Spain dead thanks to him. The act of rebellion in Spain was hailed and boasted as a vindication of Italian honor, a document of Italian value. Carlo Emanuele, with the defense of Asti, “had benefited all of Italy for all the centuries”, said the Venetian orator to that of the Duke of Savoy in Rome. She wished him to someday become “the redeemer of his boldness” and the restorer of his greatness. And in that discussion of Spain and France and Italy and “freedom of Italy”, and in that try to configure what could have been the structure of the peninsula, when it was freed from foreigners, someone, thinking of a unitary state , wrote:
Other wars of Carlo Emanuele followed. When the Thirty Years’ War broke out, he immediately thought of rescuing the Bohemians. And in this sense, he carried out diplomatic negotiations; he conceived extensive cooperation with Holland and Venice and France and England; he plotted to overthrow De Luynes, minister of France, who was against these designs; he reached an agreement with Venice and finally succeeded, after the “sacred slaughter” and the Spanish occupation of Valtellina, a great alpine road useful for joining Austrian Habsburgs and Spanish Habsburgs, to reach an understanding with Louis XIII and Richelieu, with whom, in 1624, French politics regained energy in Spanish relations. Various and not all compatible objectives were before his eyes: Milanese, Genoa, Monferrato, Geneva, Bugey, Gex and other French territories. And it was a war fought from the Alps to the Ligurian sea, with a Franco-Piedmontese expedition to Genoa, the Spanish stronghold in Italy, militarily and financially, which should have been accompanied by a naval expedition under the Duke of Guise; and with a Spanish invasion in Piedmont, which was repelled thanks especially to the valiant resistance of the small fortress of Verrua, but which distracted the Franco-Piedmontese forces from the objective of Genoa, and, together with the lack of naval cooperation, contributed to the failure of that undertaking. Until, in 1626, unbeknownst to Savoy and Venice, the French and the Spaniards agreed. Shortly afterwards, with the death of Ferdinando and Vincenzo II Gonzaga, the question of Monferrato was reopened. It was now a European question; indeed, after the French revival, it was one of the knots of the great dispute between the Bourbons and the Habsburgs. Current opinion, that possession of the Milanese was a condition of superiority in Italy and in Europe for those who owned it: but the Milanese, now that the Savoy state was in force, could be preserved either with the Savoy alliance or with the possession of Monferrato. A few decades earlier, the great fortress of Casale had been built by the Gonzagas, at a cost that would have been enormous even for countries like France and Spain. But it was said by some, even close to the prince: what will this great fortress be for? Great fortresses are useful to the forts; rather they bring harm to the little ones, because they awaken the greed of the older ones, demand their collaboration for the defense, bring more servitude than freedom. what will this great fortress do? Great fortresses are useful to the forts; rather they bring harm to the little ones, because they awaken the greed of the older ones, demand their collaboration for the defense, bring more servitude than freedom.