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ITALST292 Lecture Notes - Franco-Prussian War, Carbonari, Absolute Monarchy

Italian Studies
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Il Risorgimento: The Creation of the Italian State
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
11:25 AM
Italy's unification influenced by European revolutionary unrest (e.g. France) at end 18th century
Risorgimento: term used to refer to Italian unification (means 'resurgence')
o The political resurgence that brought Italy together as a country-> only became a country in
the 1900s
o The church had a great influence on the politics at the time
o Political desensitization: trying to keep control of the state
Began: 1815 - Congress of Vienna, end of Napoleonic rule
Ended: 1871 - Franco - Prussian War
o Prussa was a Germany kingdom
Carbonari = 'coal-burners'; secret Italian organization inspired by French revolution; interested in
o Drawn from middle class and intellectual class... Smart people (just out of the
o They were becoming quite powerful and the authorities were getting scared
1830: Insurrections laid groundwork for creation of unified Italy; adoption of the tricolore instead
of papal flag
o This is similar to the flag Italy now has
First Italian War of Independence: 1848- 1849
Post- Napoleon: Italian states returned to Austria or local monarchs (including Pope)
Italians desire change from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy as a minimum, prefer
o Absolute monarchy: can make or break laws as they see fit; no constitution that is binding
on the monarch
o Constitutional monarchy: there are boundaries as to what the monarch can do; they do not
have absolute control
March 1848: King Carlo Amberto of Sardinia declares war on Austrians, invades Lombardo-Veneto;
Italian states help out and bottle-up Austrians in Austrian Quadrilateral Fortresses (Verona,
Mantua, Legnago, Peschiera); Austrians under General Radetsky; Naples withdraws from war
o Quadrilateral: is a strong hold developed by the Austrians
Austrians defeat Italians at Custoza (near Verona): Austrians were better trained-> Italians were
exhausted and out of supplies
Insurrection in Milan = expulsion of Austrian garrison after five days of street fights (aka "Cinque
giornate di Milano")-> the five days of Milan
Austrian army took over Milan, but as result of popularity of Milanese, were forced to retreat.
Soon, King of Sardinia, urged by Venetians and Milanese to aid their cause, decided this was
moment to unify Italy, declared war on Austria.
armistice quickly agreed to, Radetzky regained control of all of Lombardy-Venetia except for
Venice itself, where a republic was proclaimed.
armistice lasts 7 months: King of Sardinia cancels it & leads state to war (1848); Austrians win at
battle in Piedmont; King of Sardinia surrendered and abdicates for his son, Vittorio Emanuele
Venice resists the Austrians
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