Il Risorgimento - 1815-1850
Factors that limited the progress towards unification
- Regionalism - The people of the various kingdoms and principalities of Italy did not feel unified or any sense of solidarity; there was virtually no nationalism in the early 19th Century. This division came about due to linguistic differences across the peninsula and different cultures.
- Austrian Intervention and Metternich - See the uprisings of 1821, 1830, and 1848.
- Poverty and Illiteracy - The spread of nationalist ideas through literature and letters were stunted by the literacy barrier; the vast majority of the people that lived in the Italian lands could not read or write. This meant that the influence of intellectuals like Mazzini was greatly limited and, in due course, the political progress of the unification was arrested. In addition to this, poverty meant that peasants had other concerns than nationalism and politics.
- Logistical Difficulties - Italy is a huge peninsula and the fact that there were few roads prevented travel across the lands. Therefore, key nationalist thinkers could not travel Italy to spread their ideals.
- Education - Most education was provided by the Roman Catholic Church, which greatly controlled what was taught in schools. Modern history was generally banned, so people had no knowledge of the existence of an Italian people. This, coupled with the censorship and control of education in Lombardy and Venetia by Austria, did not improve literacy levels or spread knowledge of Italy's rich past. Finally, education was - apart from in Lombardy and Venetia - exclusive almost entirely to the upper-middle classes and the upper classes. Literacy remained poor and stayed that way for a considerable length of time.
1820-1 - The Revolutions across Italy
Revolutions in the Two Sicilies 1821
- 1820 - Bad harvests across Italy and parts of Europe
- * Revolutions in Spain in the same year spread to the army
- * Ferdinand I was a Spanish Bourbon, so used Spanish troops to keep order
- * Revolutions spread to Naples
- 1820 - Ferdinand I writes up a new constitution to save himself
- * UMS - Universal Manhood Suffrage - introduced (partial democracy)
- October 1820 - New democratically-elected Parliament meets for the first time
- January 1821 - Ferdinand I travels to Laibach to tell the Austrian Emperor about 'how great their democracy is'
- * He returns to Naples with the Austrian army
- * The constitution is abolished
- * The rebel ringleaders are executed
- The revolution experienced intial successes, but eventually failed due to Austrian intervention
Revolutions in the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia 1821
- January 1821 - Revolts led by nationalist students flare up across Victor Emmanuel I's Kingdom
- * Initially broken up by the Piedmontese police
- * The army then defects and the liberals of Piedmont join
- * Victor Emmanuel I announces a new constitution based on UMS
- * The revolutionaries declare total Italian unification
- * Mazzini, one of the leading revolutionaries, declares war on Austria
- January 1821 - Victor Emmanuel I abdicates and gives power to his brother, Charles Felix
- * The new…