After the fall of the Carolingian Empire, the Valle d’Aosta was part of the fragile kingdom of Burgundy, which included Provence and the linguistically Franco-Provençal areas (Valle d’Aosta, Savoy, French-speaking Switzerland, Dauphiné, Lionese) and whose unity was lost in 1032, with the death of the last king.
Bishops and counts became independent in the various regions: among others the count of Maurienne and Aosta Umberto, founder of the dynasty of the Counts of Savoy, stood out. Among his descendants was Thomas I, who around 1191 granted the inhabitants of Aosta a charter of franchises.
Among other things, it established that the imposition of new bounties could not ignore the consent of the taxpayers, which involved the recognition of citizens’ representative bodies. Thus was born the assembly of states, which brought together representatives of the clergy, nobility and citizens of Aosta and which was then extended to include communities throughout the region.
In 1536 the Savoy states, in the throes of a political crisis since the second half of the previous century, were invaded by the troops of the king of France and the Protestant canton of Bern, while Geneva, converted to Calvinism, proclaimed its independence. The assembly of states of the Aosta Valley, the only Savoyard territory free from occupation, reacted on a political level by setting up a local government – the Conseil des Commis – which assumed full powers and signed a treaty with the King of France which, renewed several times, it ensured a period of peace that lasted until the end of the 17th century.
The restoration of the Savoy monarchy in the second half of the sixteenth century led to a progressive centralization of power, which resulted in the revocation of the ancient franchises in 1770, the abolition of local representative bodies and a uniform political-juridical regime throughout the Kingdom of Sardinia, of which the Aosta Valley was now part. The autonomist spirit, however, was not lost and manifested itself several times during the French Revolution and during the nineteenth century, to assume a clear position of vindication after the First World War, when the requests for political autonomy were now added to the relative ones. to the protection of linguistic particularism.
During fascism, deaf to any regionalist openness, a nucleus of autonomist and federalist resisters organized themselves into the clandestine group “Jeune Vallée d’Aoste”, where there was no lack of personalities in favor of political independence or the annexation of the region to Switzerland or France . At the end of the Second World War, thanks to the liberation struggle that took on particular autonomist connotations in the Valley and to counter the strong movement in favor of annexation to France, the Aosta Valley obtained a limited political and administrative autonomy, in consideration of its historical, linguistic and economic peculiarities.