The Vatican is an independent city-state located as an enclave in the Italian capital Rome. Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, which gave the Pope and the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church independence after many years of conflict with the Kingdom of Italy. The Pope has his office as supreme leader of the Church in that he represents the Holy See, an international legal entity separate from the Vatican. It is by the Holy See as the Church maintains diplomatic relations with other states and international organizations.
Those writing research paper on the topic have to remember that the Vatican’s main function is to assure the independence of the Holy See so that the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church should not be dependent on any other earthly power, the way it had been before in 1929. The population of Vatican City is around 800 people, of which only about 450 are citizens. For both area and population, these are the world’s smallest sovereign state. Vatican’s name comes from Vatican Hill in Rome, and around its territory there is a wall that is about 3200 feet long. Vatican City was written in 1984 in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Until 1870 the Pope was a prince of the Papal States, which covered a significant part of the Apennine peninsula, but in the context of Italian unification incorporated its territories in the emerging Kingdom of Italy. The Pope went from being a sovereign prince to be dependent on the Italian Kingdom, and declared himself as a “prisoner of the Vatican.”
It was not until 1929 under Benito Mussolini’s period as prime minister as the conflict could be resolved by the Lateran Treaty. The treaty reflected the Vatican control over important churches in Rome, where the Vatican did form a sovereign city-state, as well as churches and administrative buildings outside the Vatican area was granted extraterritoriality as foreign embassies.
The Lateran Treaty also established a concordat that among other things gave the church an opportunity to influence the Italian family and education law, most of these privileges were abolished by a new concordat in 1984.
The Vatican has no diplomatic relations with other states and rarely have any bilateral relations with countries other than Italy, but through the inter-governmental organizations it has the ability to have the contacts with other states. The cooperation of these organizations is rather technical in nature, with issues such as terms of communications and copyright.
The income to the Vatican is ensured by the sale of stamps, coins and souvenirs, from fees for entrance to the Vatican Museums and from the sale of various publications. Incomes and living standards of the people who work in the Vatican are comparable or slightly better than those who work in the city of Rome.
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