Vienna Settlement and Restoration Italy

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The Vienna Settlement and Restoration Italy

In 1815 the Napoleonic wars came to an end, Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia began to draw up a settlement which they hoped would ensure peace across Europe. 

Austrian foreign minister Prince Klements Metternich had a considerable impact over Italian affairs for the next 30 years.

Metternich called Italy a 'geographical expression'; the idea of Italy becoming a united state was fanciful. For centuries the Italian peninsula was home to a number of states with different cultures, customs, governments and language (only 2.5% of the Italian population spoke Italian, the rest spoke dialect).

Settlement of 1815, known as the Treaty of Vienna, mirrored the diversity of Italy. Primarily it reflected Metternich's wishes and the desires of Austria (who had great control over Italian affairs) - many of the demands after 1815 for political change were not for the desire to unite Italy but to destroy Austrian control.

In 1815 Metternich wanted to restore Italy to pre-1796 order (Ancien Regime) - this was reflected in the terms of the Vienna settlement. He wanted to have a conservative settlement thereby crushing the hopes of liberals and nationalists across Europe.

The Treaty of Vienna impacted the following states:

The Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont)

  • Vienna treaty recognised the restoration of the House of Savoy as the rightful rulers of Piedmont. Victor Emmauel I immediately returned to Piedmont and began to restore the absolutist state. 
  • Code Napoleon was repealed, as were various rights, such as free and

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