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(born March 14, 1844, Turin, Piedmont, Kingdom of Sardiniadied July 29, 1900, Monza, Italy) King of Italy (1878–1900) and duke of Savoy. The son of Victor Emmanuel II, he fought in the wars against Austria (1866). After ascending the throne in 1878, he led his country out of its isolation and into the Triple Alliance (1882). However, a tariff war with France led to economic difficulties (1888), and Umberto's colonial policy in Africa was ended by Italy's defeat by Ethiopia (1896). Facing increasing social unrest, he supported the imposition of martial law (1898) and created a period of turmoil that culminated in his assassination by an anarchist.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Umberto I, visit Britannica.com.
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