Italian Unification - 1815

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Il Risorgimento - 1815

The Italian Situation in 1815

  • Italy was divided into various kingdoms and principalities; these were Lombardy and Venetia (occupied and directly ruled by Austria), the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (a monarchy ruled by Victor Emmanuel I, an Italian), the Central Duchies (of Modena, Parma, and Tuscany - it was ruled by Habsburgs), the Papal States (ruled by Pope Pius VII, with close relations to the Austrian Empire), and finally the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies/Naples (a corrupt and bankrupt state ruled by King Ferdinand I, a Spanish Bourbon).
  • Lombardy and Venetia - the richest provinces in Italy, compulsory education until the age of 12, lower levels of illiteracy than other states, high taxation, made up 1/8 of the Austrian Empire and contributed to 1/4 of her tax revenue, the official language was German, all official positions were held by Austrians, heavy censorship, no personal freedoms, and modern history was banned in education.
  • Piedmont-Sardinia - capital was Turin, the second most economically developed nation in the peninsula, initially no personal freedoms (remarkably even beards were banned as they were seen as revolutionary), generally conservative.
  • Central Duchies - no real personal freedoms, education was not too controlled, French legal system used in Parma (under the Duchess Marie-Louise, a notably liberal/progressive ruler).
  • The Papacy - absolute rule of Pope who was elected by other cardinals, extremely conservative, no freedoms, frequent Papal inquisitions, ghettoisation of Jews, smallpox vaccine and street lights banned as they were seen as evil (very backward), education provided by the Church, pro-Austrian and pro-status quo.
  • Naples - monarchy supported by clergy, very poor, a corrupt kleptocracy, virtually no freedoms, almost no education (very high levels of illiteracy).
  • Prince Klemens von Metternich in 1815 on Italy - "Italy is just a geographical expression".

The European situation in 1815

  • Treaty of Vienna (1815) redrew the political map of Europe, and re-created the kingdoms of Italy. It also confirmed Austrian


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