A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: The Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was an independent and sovereign state in 1776 when the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. Although Parma fell under French rule during the Napoleonic Wars, it was reconstituted by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Mutual recognition between the Duchy of Parma and the United States occurred in 1850 and diplomatic relations were established in 1853. Parma was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Mutual Recognition, 1850.
The first known act of mutual recognition between the United States and the Duchy of Parma occurred in June 1850 when the Duke of Parma appointed a representative to the United States. At the time, this representative, Chevalier Rocco Martuscelli, was the Chargé d’Affaires at Washington for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. With consent of the Government of the Two Sicilies, Martuscelli presented his credentials as representative of the Duke of Parma in the United States in June 1850.
No Consular Presence.
There is no known record of U.S. consular agents sent to Parma prior to its incorporation into the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (1860) and then the Kingdom of Italy (1861).
On January 24, 1853, Don Giovacchino Marco di Sastrustegui, the Spanish Minister Resident, was accredited as Consul of Parma for the State of California, resident in San Francisco.
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1853.
On June 20, 1853, U.S. Secretary of State William L. Marcy addressed a note to Don Angel Calderón de la Barca, Minister Resident from Spain, stating that the President would receive him on the following day for the ceremony of presentation of his credentials as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Duke of Parma.
Cessation of Diplomatic Relations, 1860.
The Ministers of Spain appear to have represented Parma in the United States up to the incorporation of that Duchy into Piedmont-Sardinia in 1860.
Key Diplomatic Events
Proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, 1861.
The aftermath of the Franco-Austrian War brought about a series of plebiscites in the northern Italian states. By going to the ballot box, the states voted to join Piedmont-Sardinia, with the ultimate goal of unifying the entire peninsula. It should be noted that Piedmont-Sardinia was one of the more powerful states in the peninsula, as well as having one of the most liberal political systems. Garibaldi’s march to “liberate” the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1860 brought the southern peninsula into the fold, and the new Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on March 17, 1861, with the royal family of Piedmont-Sardinia as the new ruling monarchs of Italy.
U.S. Recognition of Italian Independence, 1861.
The United States officially recognized the Kingdom of Italy when it accepted the credentials of Chevalier Joseph Bertinatti as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Italy on April 11, 1861.
- Howard R. Marraro. Diplomatic Relations Between the United States and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Volume I: 1816-1850. (New York: S.F. Vanni (Ragusa), 1951), 35-37.