The revolutions of 1848-9 Why did they fail to unify Italy?
Exam question • To what extent were the 1848 revolutions caused by economic factors? • CAUSATION – what makes things happen • You would have 40 mins in the exam! • A useful starting point … • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutions_of_1848_in_the_Italian_states
Causes of the revolutions General causes: • Nationalist demands: get rid of the Austrians, and unite Italy. • Liberal demands: political freedoms, constitutions, administrative reforms. • Wider European crisis: 1846-7, harvest failures caused unrest throughout Europe.
Stage 1 -‘The War of the Princes’ Revolutions led by Italian states
Sicily Causes: • 1830, Ferdinand II made King of Naples. Promised reforms, but they did not last. • 1840s, a period of political repression. • 1840s, coincided with an outbreak of cholera. 1848, revolt: • Call to arms by Sicilians, clashes with Neapolitan troops. Fighting continued for months. • Sicilians won and set up their own provisional government. A separatist movement. – not for Unification.
Naples Causes: • Ferdinand II. • Followed on swiftly from the riots in Palermo, Sicily. 1848 revolt: • Huge demonstration in the city of Naples. • Ferdinand II agreed to a parliament, a national guard, and freedom of the press. • However, the peasants continued to revolt, and demanded land reform (ie. redistribution of land). This was used as an excuse to appoint a conservative government. • Rising suppressed in Naples. The army was sent to suppress the revolt in Sicily and reunification of Naples and Sicily was forced.
Other revolts followed on … • February 1848, constitutions promised in Tuscany and Piedmont. • March 1848, the Pope promised a constitution for the Papal States. • Rulers of Modena and Parma had to leave their duchies.
Success against Austria • Milan (part of Lombardy at this time, controlled by Austria) led the way … • Tobacco boycott in Milan: started a successful revolt against the occupying forces of Austria. • Austria was busy with a revolt in Vienna. • Venetia then also revolted against Austria, who surrendered, and a republic was set up. • Austrian Army retreated to the Quadrilateral, four great forts in Venetia.
Success against Austria • Piedmont: Charles Albert I was persuaded to declare war on Austria by the revolutionaries in Milan – an Italian leader! • Garibaldi and his Legion arrived and fought the King in the mountains.
The Empire Strikes Back • Once the Austrians had resolved their internal problems, things went wrong for Italy … • The Austrians force-marched reinforcements across the Alps under General Radetzky. • June 1848, Charles Albert was defeated by the Austrian Army at the Battle of Custoza. • He returned to Piedmont after signing an Armistice. • Lombardy was left in Austrian hands. • In Venetia, Venice was besieged by Austrian troops
The Empire Strikes Back • Nine months after withdrawing from the war defeated, Charles Albert rejoined the war. • Possible reasons? • He was heavily defeated – again! - by the Austrian Army at the Battle of Novara. • He abdicated as Monarch. • Venetia was left fighting alone – the city of Venice was actually the last Nationalist outpost to fall in Italy, in 1849.
Stage 2 - ‘The War of the People’ - the Roman Republic
The Pope – a Liberal??? The move against Catholicism: • Many people hoped the Pope would lead a unified Italy • Pius IX was known as ‘the Liberal Pope’ • The Pope's military commander had disobeyed orders and taken his army to join Charles Albert. • The Pope distanced himself from this with the Allocution, which stated his intent: not war with Austria, drew back from the idea of a united Italy, returning to absolutism and reactionism.
Dilemma! • Many nationalists in Italy were also Catholics (including Charles Albert). • Where did their loyalties lie? • Most people ignored the Pope. • Many liberals and nationalists became anti-clerical. • Not a united front against the Austrians.
Mazzini and Garibaldi: Events: • ‘War of the Princes’ had failed, now the ‘War of the People’. • 1849, the chief minister of the Pope was murdered. Rioting followed in Rome, and the Pope fled to Naples. A republic was established in Rome. • March 1849, Mazzini arrived in Rome and was elected head of a Triumvirate (a council). Rule was ”fair, enlightened and tolerant”.
Mazzini and Garibaldi: • The Pope asked for help. An army of 20,000 was sent by the (Second) French Republic against the Roman Republic. • June 1849, Rome fell to the French forces, despite a strong defense led by Garibaldi. • 1850, the Pope returned to Rome
Overall reasons for failure • Lack of co-operation between the revolutionary groups • Liberals thought there should be constitutions in each state before unification; the radicals disagreed. • Different ideas about how to unify Italy: • Mazzini and a republic. • Pope Pius IX and a confederation (Gioberti) • Charles Albert and a kingdom. • Provisional government were inexperienced and under-resourced, and therefore easy to topple. • Lack of popular support except at the height of the revolts. There was both a fear of radical social reform and a lack of interest in liberal reform. • Pope disappointed many by issuing the ‘Allocution’ • Military superiority of Austria once their own revolutions had been squashed (perhaps the most important??).
Overall positive results • The new Piedmont king, Victor Emmanuel II, was patriotic. • The defence of Rome brought Garibaldi to the fore. • Piedmont became more liberal, with a constitution ‘Statuto’….this offered opportunities for members to gain experience in Statecraft... • Many nationalist refugees moved to Piedmont; it became a ‘hotbed’ for nationalist ideas.