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What were the forces for change on the Italian Peninsula up to 1848?
Effect of Napoleonic Rule • Division of Italy into 4 then 3 territorial units • Code Napoleon etc. • Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
Early concepts of Italia • Dante Alighiere (author of The Divine Comedy) wrote of ‘Italia’ as a country in the early 14th Century • Niccolo Machiavelli (author of The Prince) also spoke of Italia in the 16th Century as a single cultural entity. • Much of the 19th Century Composer Giuseppe Verdi’s music (of the 1840s) made direct allusions to ‘enslaved peoples’ and had a tendency to incite violence between Italian nationalists and Austrian soldiers.
Rise of liberalism, radicalism and nationalism from 1815: • Grew out of reactionary measures imposed by Metternich and the congressmen from 1815: • LIBERALS: Pushed for a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY whereby the ruler’s power was limited by a parliament elected by property owners designed to guarantee rights and freedoms. • RADICALS: tended to push for more Republican and Democratic solutions to the situation imposed in 1815. • NATIONALISTS: Supported sometimes by both liberals and radicals, believed in he concept of NATION STATES (as opposed to dependency on mother countries within empires).
…often gave rise, in Italy, to SECRET SOCIETIES: • Generally educated, middle class types born out of freemasonry and the desire in the 1790s to drive out the French. • CARBONARI : meaning ‘Charcoal Burners’ – very active in Southern Italy – 60,000 members in Naples. Engaged in secret revolutionary activity with various goals: Naples (1820-1) aimed at forcing Ferdinand I to grant a constitution; Sicily (1821) independence from Naples; Piedmont (1821) constitutional Monarchy. • Adelfi – Northern-based and aimed at expulsion of Austrians; Italian Federation – aimed at creation of North Italian Constitutional Monarchy.
Revolutions of 1820-1: •
Naples: Motivated by Ferdinand I’s increasing of Church censorship of media and halting key public works and encouraged by contemporary Spanish revolt. Started with 100 soldiers and 30 Carbonari advancing on Avellino, leading to a wider spread rising and the defection of army regiments led by General Pepe. July 1820 – Ferdinand agreed to Spain 1812-style constitution with Pepe at head of army. • Sicily: Riots began in the capital Palermo, stemming from wish for independence from Neapolitan King who they felt was neglecting their needs. Neapolitan governor sent home forcibly by boat! TWO REVOLUTIONS UNDONE by decision of Neapolitan revolutionary assembly to subdue the Sicilian rebels AND by the sending of Austrian troops into Naples in October 1821 after Ferdinand I had appealed to the members of the Holy Alliance. Piedmont (1820-1): - Encouraged by news of the Neapolitan revolt, Carbonari members, determined to rail against Victor Emmanuel I’s reactionary rule, set up a revolutionary government in Alessandria named ‘The Kingdom of Italy’ and declared war on Austria. Following an army mutiny, V.E. I decided to abdicate. Second in line to throne, CHARLES ALBERT, was turned to as a leader who might tolerate a constitution based on the 1812 Spanish model. Charles Felix, first in line to the throne, then appealed to Metternich and the rebels were crushed by an Austrian/Charles Felix-loyalist force at the Battle of Novara in April 1821.
‘King Wobble’ (pictured c. 1831)
The revolutions of 1831-2: •
Central Duchies’ rebels encouraged partly by relative moderation of rulers there – Ferdinand III in Tuscany (education and hospital reforms + flourishing Antologia journal) and Marie Louise in Parma (Code Napoleon-style legal system) and partly by REVOLUTION IN PARIS, JULY 1830. MODENA revolt kicked off after Duke Francesco IV had betrayed Enrico Misley’s plans to form a united Italy with the Duke as monarch, Febraury 1831. Rebels took over city of Modena in the Duke’s absence. This, in turn, encouraged rebels in PARMA to rise up and demand a constitution from Marie-Louise, who fled in terror. These revolutionaries agreed to a joint army command with the rebels in Modena. However, Modena quickly subdued by Duke Francesco at the head of an Austrian force. An Austrian army also reoccupied Parma.
The revolutions of 1831-2 (continued): • PAPAL STATES: Following an unsuccessful attempt by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte to seize power in Rome, liberals from among the professional classes, spurred on by Ciro Menotti, one of the leaders of the Central State rebellions decided to try to limit the temporal authority of the Pope. Papacy unable to offer much resistance and ‘The Government of the Italian Provinces’ was set up in Bologna. This was also quickly and fiercely suppressed by troops sent by Metternich. • Revolutions had all failed at Austrian hands BUT there had at least been some collusion between revolutionaries in separate states AND some attempt at unification.
A Young Italy meeting
Mazzini and ‘Young Italy’: • Garibaldi (on why he joined ‘Young Italy’ in a failed revolt in Genoa in 1834): ‘He alone was awake when all around were slumbering’. • Beliefs: the next stage in World History to be dominated by nation states; strongly opposed to the idea of a FEDERAL ITALY and claimed in 1829 ‘The fatherland of an Italian is not Rome, Florence or Milan but the WHOLE of Italy’ (i.e. North and South); believed in democratic ‘revolution from below’; prepared to tolerate the assistance of individual rulers who would fight Austrian occupation – hence (1831) called [unsuccessfully] upon Charles Albert to ‘put yourself at the head of the nation…with Union, Liberty, Independence as your banner’. • Founded ‘Young Italy’ in 1831 (unsatisfied with progress of Secret Societies) with the aim of ‘remaking Italy as one independent nation of freemen and equals’ and requiring members to swear to work for ‘one free independent republican nation’. Campaigned peacefully but also took part in several flawed revolutionary acts: Naples, 1832 (where the peasants failed to be ‘a volcano about to erupt); A failed army coup in Piedmont in 1833; attempted uprisings in Piedmont and Genoa (1834) for which both Mazzini and Garibaldi were both condemned to death in their absence.
Mazzini and ‘Young Italy’ (continued): - Although he spent 1834-7 in Switzerland and 1837-49 in London, his value to Risorgimento was that of a legend and inspiration, writing prolifically in his exile. He would return in 1849…
The Roman Republic, 1849