(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)
|Introduction||The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present-day Monaco in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family secured control in the late 13th century, and a principality was established in 1338. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad link up to France and the opening of a casino. Since then, the principality’s mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world-famous as a tourist and recreation center.|
|History||Monaco first gained its name from the nearby Phocaean Greek colony, in the sixth century BC, which referred to the Ligurians as Monoikos, from the Greek Μόνοικος “single house”, from μόνος “alone, single” + οίκος “house”, which bears the sense of a people either settled in a “single habitation” or of “living apart” from others. According to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area. A temple was constructed there by Phocaeans, the temple of Hercules Monoikos.
Following a land grant from Emperor Henry VI in 1191, Monaco was re-founded in 1228 as a colony of Genoa. Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, when François Grimaldi (“Malizia”, Italian for “The Malicious”) and his men captured the fortress protecting the famous Rock of Monaco while he was dressed as a Franciscan monk – or, in Italian Monaco, although this is a coincidence as the area was already known by this name.
From 1793 to 1814, Monaco was under French control. The Congress of Vienna designated Monaco as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860 when the Treaty of Turin ceded to France the surrounding county of Nice (as well as Savoy). During this time there was unrest in the towns of Menton and Roquebrune, which declared independence, hoping for annexation by Sardinia. The unrest continued until the ruling prince gave up his claim to the two towns (some 95% of the country) to France in return for four million francs. This transfer and Monaco’s sovereignty was recognised by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861.
Until the 1911 constitution, the princes of Monaco were absolute rulers. In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, part of the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque international policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests.
In 1943, the Italian army invaded and occupied Monaco, setting up a Fascist administration. Shortly thereafter, following Mussolini’s collapse in Italy, the Nazi German Wehrmacht occupied Monaco and began the deportation of the Jewish population. Among them was René Blum (Paris, 13 March 1878 – Auschwitz, 30 April 1943), who founded the Ballet de l’Opera in Monte Carlo. He was held in the Drancy deportation camp outside of Paris, France from where he was then shipped to the Auschwitz concentration camp where he died.
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco acceded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949. A new constitution, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment, provided for women’s suffrage, and established a Supreme Court of Monaco to guarantee fundamental liberties. In 1993, the Principality of Monaco became a member of the United Nations, with full voting rights.
In 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco specified that, should there be no heirs to carry on the Grimaldi dynasty, the principality would still remain an independent nation rather than revert to France. Monaco’s military defense, however, is still the responsibility of France.
On 31 March 2005, Prince Rainier III, too ill to exercise his duties, relinquished them onto his only son and heir, Prince Albert Alexandre Louis. Prince Rainier died on 6 April 2005, after a reign of fifty-six years, and his son succeeded him as Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.
Following a period of official mourning, Prince Albert II formally assumed the princely crown on 12 July 2005, in a celebration that began with a solemn Mass at Monaco cathedral, where his father had been buried three months earlier. His accession to the Monegasque throne was a two-step event, with a further ceremony, drawing heads of state for an elaborate levée, held on 19 November 2005 at the historic palace in Monaco-Ville. Albert II is also the son of the late princess Grace, once the actress, Grace Kelly.
|Geography||Location: Western Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of France, near the border with Italy
Geographic coordinates: 43 44 N, 7 24 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 1.95 sq km
land: 1.95 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 4.4 km
border countries: France 4.4 km
Coastline: 4.1 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 12 nm
Climate: Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers
Terrain: hilly, rugged, rocky
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Agel 140 m
Natural resources: none
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (urban area) (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: NA
Environment – current issues: NA
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: second-smallest independent state in the world (after Holy See); almost entirely urban
|Politics||Monaco has been governed as a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Sovereign Prince of Monaco as Head of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (the head of government), who presides over a four-member Council of Government (the Cabinet). The minister of state is a French citizen appointed by the prince from among candidates proposed by the French government. Under the 1962 constitution, the prince shares his power with the unicameral National Council (parliament). The twenty-four members of this legislative body are elected from lists by universal suffrage for five-year terms. The principality’s local affairs are directed by the Communal Council, which consists of fifteen elected members and is presided over by the mayor.|
|People||Population: 32,796 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.8% (male 2,488/female 2,369)
15-64 years: 62.4% (male 10,110/female 10,353)
65 years and over: 22.8% (male 3,048/female 4,428) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 45.5 years
male: 43.5 years
female: 47.5 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.375% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 9.09 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 12.96 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 7.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 5.18 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.96 years
male: 76.14 years
female: 83.97 years (2008 est.)