The Roman Question was a political dispute between the Italian State and the Roman Catholic Church (the Papacy) that lingered between 1861 (the year the Papacy lost its Papal States) and 1929 (the year it signed the Later Pacts with the Italian State).
The Roman Question was triggered when Rome was declared the undivided Capital of Italy in 1861. After the annexation of Rome in 1780 the popes considered themselves as "prisoners in the Vatican." During the Roman Question, Italians were torn between fulfilling their national aspirations of independence as a state with Rome as its capital, and allegiance to the Pope, as members of the Roman Catholic Church.
This dividing issue was later brilliantly resolved with the emergence of practical leaders in both the State of Italy and the Papacy. It took the pragmatism of Mussolini and the shrewdness of Pope Pius XI to reach the kind of accord which satisfied the needs and of both sides of the Roman Question. In the Lateran Pacts of 1929 both sides achieved their desired goals. The Italians got the recognition of the Holy See of the new realities on the ground (the new Italian State), and the Holy See obtained sovereignty that woud enable him to function from Rome without being subject to the Italian State.
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