Born in Turin on 14 March 1844 from Vittorio
Emanuele II and Maria Adelaide di Ranieri, Umberto I (Humbert I)
ascended the throne on 10 January 1978.
He was interested mainly in military affairs and foreign policy. In order
to compete with the other European powers, he followed a policy of
colonial expansion in Africa, occupying Eritrea (1885-96) and Somalia
(1889-1905). The treaty of Uccialli in 1889 recognized the Italian
territories in Eritrea and the Italian protectorate in Ethiopia: the
protectorate was held until the of Addis Abeba peace treaty (26
October 1896). The Italian protectorate over the Somalia's coast was
recognized in 1889.
Umberto I became increasingly authoritarian. Escaping two attempts on his
life, he was killed in Monza on 29 July 1900 by the anarchist Gaetano
Bresci, due to the repression of the popular risings in 1898; his son Vittorio
Emanuele III succeeded him.
The coins minted by Umberto I were essentially the same of Vittoro
Emanuele II, with the exception of the taller
for the Eritrea colony, that was coined in the Rome and Milan mints from
1890 to 1896.
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