Early to middle ages
Around 1000 BC Phoenician seafarers, who came from
the eastern Mediterranean, founded a commercial branch
on the site of what is now Monaco (and other locations
on the Mediterranean coast). From 500 BC Greeks settled
here, whose temple in honor of Herakles Monoikos formed
the basis for the name of the city (the name Monoikos
means something like the "unique"). From the 2nd century
the Greeks were ousted by the Romans, since 154 BC. the
designation "Herculis Monoeci portus" is handed down.
The Romans followed in the 6th century AD. the Visigoths
as rulers on today's French Riviera, from the 8th
century Monaco belonged to the Franconian Empire.
Merchants from Genoa were granted the right of
establishment in Monaco by the Roman-German Emperor
Friedrich Barbarossa in 1162, and the Roman-German
Emperor Heinrich VI. Monaco of the Republic of Genoa as
a gift including all sovereign rights. Monaco was also
affected by the often bloody clashes between the Papal
Guelphs and the Ghibellines, loyal to the emperors,
which raged in many Italian city-states at the end of
the 12th and 13th centuries.
In 1297 the noble family of the Grimaldi settled in
Monaco, Francisco Grimaldi took over the city as Rainier
In 1498, the sovereignty of Monaco was recognized by
France and Savoy provided the state remained under
In 1612 Honor¨¦ II of Monaco (also: Onorato II.)
Assumed the title of prince. After the death of the last
male heir, the dynasty and name were continued by the
Gayon-Matignon family, who were married.
The state was annexed by France in 1793 as part of
the French Revolution. After the final defeat of
Napoleon against the Allied Powers Russia, Austria,
Prussia and Great Britain, the Grimaldis got their
property back through the decisions of the Congress of
Vienna in 1815, but Monaco was placed under the
patronage of the Kingdom of Sardinia. When Sardinia was
annexed to Italy in 1861, Prince Charles III. Grimaldi
that France recognized Monaco as a sovereign state.
According to AbbreviationFinder,
towns of Menton and Roquebrune, which had previously
belonged to Monaco, fell to France. A customs union
between Monaco and France was closed four years later.
In 1865, a casino was opened in Monaco that was to
become world famous and attract an exclusive clientele,
not least because gambling was forbidden in France at
that time. The casino, which also became an opera house,
was designed by the French architect Charles Garnier,
who also designed the Great Opera in Paris. It provided
the state with so much income that the Monegasque prince
was able to grant his subjects tax exemption.
In 1911 Monaco received a first constitution under
the regent Prince Albert I. Grimaldi, seven years later
a new agreement was concluded with France, which
confirmed the sovereignty of Monaco and established that
if the Grimaldi family died out, the territory would
fall to France. In 1949 Prince Rainier III. Regent of
Monaco who married American actress Grace Kelly in 1956.
At the end of the 1950s, extensive land reclamation
measures expanded the state area by around 30%.
In the new constitution of 1962, which is still valid
today, the prince renounced the establishment of his
rule "by grace of God", Monaco became a constitutional
hereditary monarchy. A two-chamber system with partially
directly elected MPs was introduced, whereby the prince,
as head of state, remained dominant and endowed with
far-reaching powers compared to other democratic
systems. In terms of foreign policy, Monaco continued to
be represented by France.
The beginning of the new millennium was marked by
discord between Monaco and the government of France,
which assumed that the state was favoring money
laundering, which Prince Rainier III. criticized as an
attack on Monegasque sovereignty. In fact, Monaco does
not levy income, wealth and inheritance tax, which leads
to capital flight from abroad. (However, in an agreement
signed with France in 1963, many of Monaco¡¯s tax breaks
are not applicable to French citizens.) Although
Monaco¡¯s tax policy is classified as ¡°problematic,¡± the
OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development) has so far failed to Blacklisted "countries
that are considered non-cooperative in the fight against
Prince Rainier III died on April 6, 2005. His son
Albert became the new prince of Monaco.
On February 15, 2006, the basic agreement with France
of October 24, 2002 entered into force. Monaco has thus
further detached itself from France and, in particular,
increased its foreign policy scope. After Monaco
previously had to obtain "prior agreement" from France
on all foreign policy decisions, an "appropriate and
regular vote" on the basic principles of Monaco 's
international relations has been agreed since 2006.
Monaco has expanded its diplomatic relations with other
countries since the basic agreement was signed. In
addition, it is now possible for a Monegasque citizen to
become head of government.