Italian Unification


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Treaty of Vienna

  • restore old ways, stability
  • conserevative
  • stop future French invasions (by splitting up 3 states made by Napoleon, weaken Italy to make France weak)
  • control and domincance for Austria 

Central Duchies: Tuscany - some freedom of expression, Parma - progressive, Modena - government officers replaced by Austrian nobility and conservative

Naples: King Ferdinand restored to throne, cruel rule, had to get Austrian approval for changes

Sicily: forced to unite with Naples, British-inspired constitution gone

Piedmont: Victor Emmanuel restored, conservative, none of Napoleon's changes

Papal States: censorship, Code Napoleon abolished in most parts, Austrian garrisons in Papal States, tortured people with modern ideas

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Napoleon's rule

  • ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity
  • Pope had less power, monasteries closed down, church land sold
  • better trade and transport, industry encouraged
  • peasants dismissed as unimportant, further divide between North and South
  • Code Napoleon - fairer legal system, equality
  • focus on war, conscription, deaths of  italians fighting for France, high taxation to pay for war
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Secret Societies

Carbonari: wanted liberty, wanted to remove French (then Austrians), revolt against monarchy, South mostly, big, mild aims, not radical, loyal members

Adelfi: wanted destruction of Austrian rule and a democratic republic, North, anti-French, watned liberty and freedom of speech

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Troppau Doctrine


Austria, Prussia and Russia

agreed they'd intervene militarily to support govmts overthrown by revolutions

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Naples Revolt 1820-1

July 1820: General Pepe led revolt, wanted constitution based on Spanish 1812 one (parliament had control over ministers through whom the monarchy ruled), wanted political liberties guaranteed, no church censorship (church had been restored to power in 1818 under TofV), lots of Carbonari involved

Consitution granted 9th July by King Ferdinand (limited King's power, vote to adult males

Ferdinand's rule: poverty, corruption, restrictions on personal freedoms

Wanted: Nobility - land confiscated under French rule

Business classes - end to excessive bureaucracy

Everyone - end to brigand attacks

March 1821 - Metternich sent troops into Naples and revolt collapsed (after Ferdinand requested help)

Only regionally based, some success but Carbonari divided amongst themselves so not strong enough, and Austria too powerful

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Piedmont revolt 1821

Wanted: to get rid of Austria, and have a constitutional monarchy under Charles Albert

Events: provisional govmt, started in Alessandria, spread to Turin, VE abdicates -> CHarles Felix, Felix not in Piedmont, Charles Albert appointed regent and issued constitution, Felix returns and rejects constitution, wouldn't accept a challenge to him, Felix asks Metternich for military support, revolt put down.

Another revolt at Novara in April 1821 but defeated.

Failed because Austria too strong and revolutionaries had no powerful people on their side, not enough popular support.

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Other early revolts

Sicily - wanted independence from Naples, riots in Palermo, sent away Neapolitan governor, burnt govmt buildings down, Ferdinand 'forced' to grant consititution, asked Metternich for help, troops came in and crushed revolt. Hugely repressive rule, trade guilds abolished

Modena 1831 - rebellion planned, wanted help from leader Duke Francis, Francis left, prov. govmt. set up, Francis returned with Austrian army, defeated revolutionaries and arrested, exiled or executed suspected revolutionaries.  Bologna refused to help

Parma 1831 - inspired by French in 1830 and Modena riots, student-organised riots, demanded constitution, leader (Duchess Marie-Louise) fled, prov. govmt., Austria intervened and restored order.

Papal States - wanted liberal reforms and a state system like the Napoleonic one, Feb revolutionaries captured Ancona and Perugia, March prov. govmt. in Bologna, new financial system, fairer judicial system, then Austrians intervened and removed prov. govmt., was organised by upper class so only really about extending their power

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Mazzini and Young Italy


  • republican, radical, nationalist
  • equal political and civil rights for citizens
  • violent revolution of people rising up 
  • no foreign help, didn't want France to replace Austria again
  • redistribution of wealth (not popular with middle and upper classes)

Great vision

But lived in exile after 1831 so out of touch with citizens and their problems, ppl felt little relevance to their everyday lives, ideas were too revolutionary

Campaigned persistently, published lots of writings about nationalism, not popular with Pope, attacked dynastic rights

Young Italy founded in 1831 in France

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Other important revolutionaries

Vincenzo Gioberti - Rome and Papacy important, suggested federation led by Pope, seemed to believe King of Piedmont should lead to drive out Austria, no revolution, not radical, no foreign influence

Cesare Balbo - asked King of Piedmont to annex Lombardy-Venetia (under Austrian control) and Romagna (in Papal States) to make a barrier against foreign influence in Northern Italy, wanted Piedmontese lead, diplomacy with Europe, constitutional monarchy, not democracy

Massimo D'Azeglio - conservative, not revolution, change would come on its own, didn't want Papal States to lead, papal tyranny

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Causes of the 1848 revolutions

1. Economy

Bad harvest '46/'48, food shortages and riots

In North, underemployment in Textile Industry, machinery destroyed by workers

South, land enclosure taking land from peasants

2. Pope Pius IX

liberal reforms:released about 2000 political prisoners, ended press censorship in 1847, freer press, armed civic guard for people's protection, Council of State created to advise Pope on how to run Papal States

3. Metternich

Austrians occupied Ferrara in July 1847 (reaction to Pope), Pope formal protest, set up treaty with Tuscany and Piedmont (not Austrian controlled) for trade without taxes

Pope had stood up to Austria

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Sicily and Naples 1848

Sicily: wanted independence from Naples, cholera outbreak, and repression from Ferdinand

Jan - rebels took Palermo, demanded 1812 constitution, Ferdinand's compromise rejected as it would not give autonomy, neapolitans driven from island, prov. govmt. set up, elections, declared Sicily independent from Naples

King Bomba, started bombing Sicily in September 1848, only managed to take control again in March 1849

Naples: January secret societies rose up in Salerno, spreading from Sicily, Ferdinand had to give concessions, promised to free political prisoners

Mass demonstrations, Ferdinand not able to rely on Austrians so much after they occupied Ferrara as Pope wouldn't let Austrian troops through Papal States, constitution granted - 2 chambers but King could veto laws and choose upper chamber - national guard under King's control, free press but no civil liberties, moderates and radicals were split in what they watned

May - Ferdinand stopped constitution, became police state, went on to retake Sicily

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Other 1848 revolutions

Tuscany: workers unhappy (conditions, pay, unemployment), Grand Duke granted constitution, fled to Naples, prov. govmt. but disagreements on whether to join Roman Republic

Modena and Parma - occupied by Austrians, left by March 1848, rulers fled, prov. govmt., agrees to join with Piedmont which in return sent its army to help

Lombardy: under harsh Austrian rule and all money went to Austria, unrest in Jan, middle class tobacco strike, riots, Austrians come in, 61 killed, Austrians withdraw, prov. govmt., ask Piedmont's support

(5 days of Milan: Austrian garrison driven out and prov. govmt. formed)

Venice: demonstrations to free Daniel Manin (anti-Austrian), Austrian army relents, Venetian Republic declared, ask for Piedmont's help, survived after Piedmont's defeat til Aug 1849 then besieged by Austrians and surrendered

Papal States - parliament but not very liberal, allocution, Roman Republic

13th March 1848 - Metternich resigned as unrest spread in Vienna

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Piedmont Revolution 1848

  • Charles Albert saw Lombardy's request for support as opportunity to annex it
  • Statuto granted - 2 chambers, lower elected (2.5% of public voting), guaranteed civil liberties, King has power to appoint ministers, veto laws and appoint upper chamber
  • (difficult for Pope not to respond to calls for change, granted parliament though a lot less liberal than other states - shows his limitations)
  • 22nd March 1848 - war with Austria as a response to Lombardy's call for help
    • Charles Albert also wanted to avoid France intervening, and avoid revolution in Milan spreading to Piedmont
  • troops from Papal States (Durando), Naples (Pepe)
  • Durando going against orders, Pope didn't want to fight Catholic Austria
  • Pope's Allocution: did not want war against Austria, C.A. was the agressor, did not want united Italy or to be considered for leading an Italian Confederation
  • Piedmontese were initially successful, but 30,000 French troops on border, C.A. didn't trust troops from other states, Radetzky (Austrian soldier) had persuaded Austria to fight for Lombardy
  • July - defeat of Piedmont at Custozza, Piedmontese out of Lombardy
  • Further defeat at Novara in March 1849
  • Charles Albert abdicated -> Victor Emmanuel II
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Roman Republic

  • assassination of PM, Rossi, appointed by Pope, Pope fled
  • Galletti government, reforms e.g. abolition of tax on corn grinding, programme of public works (employment), constituent assembly meetings (dominated by radicals, est. Roman republic)
  • Elections -> assembly ********* Pope of power, Mazzini appointed leader of Republic with Garibaldi (triumvirate)
  • govmt had few allies, opposition from France for actions against Pope, no big army
  • reforms e.g. 12 new newspapers started, reformed taxation to help poor, no death penalty
  • urged Rome, Piedmont, Florence & Venice to work together to get rid of Austrians
  • Collapsed July 1849:
    • Pope asked for help
    • French troops(6,000) marched on Rome April 1849, Garibaldi defeated them
    • Napoleon trying to get Catholic support by helping Pope
    • conditions worsened in Rome
    • Another French attack in June, 20,000 French troops, defeated Rome, French garrison til 1870
    • Pope returned, repressive rule: inquisition, corruption, death penalty, public floggings
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