The German populations of these lands seem in Roman times to have been scanty, and Roman subjects from the modern Alsace and Lorraine had drifted across the river eastwards.
While the other primitive populations of the peninsula were either hellenized or latinized, or subsequently absorbed by the Slavonic immigration, the Albanians to a great extent remained unaffected by foreign influences.
A Bourbon at Versailles, a Habsburg at Vienna, or a thick-lipped Lorrainer, with a stroke of his pen, wrote off province against province, regarding not the populations who had bled for him or thrown themselves upon his mercy.
Milan and Piedmont were comparatively well governed; but repugnance to Austrian rule in the former case, and the contagion of French Jacobinical opinions in the latter, brought those populations into increasing hostility to the rulers.
At last, on the 24th of March, the treaty was signed whereby the cession was agreed upon, but subject to the vote of the populations concerned and ratification by the Italian parliament.
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