1815 to 1871
ItalyThe unification of Italy was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the consolidation of different states of the Italian Peninsula into a single state, the Kingdom of Italy. Inspired by the rebellions in the 1820s and 1830s against the outcome of the Congress of Vienna, the unification process was precipitated by the revolutions of 1848, and reached completion in 1871, when Rome has officially designated the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
The Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars were a series of conflicts fought principally in Northern Italy between the French Revolutionary Army and a Coalition of Austria, Russia, Piedmont-Sardinia, and a number of other Italian states.
In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by the last emperor, Francis II, after its defeat by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. The Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars destroyed the old structures of feudalism in Italy.
After 1815, Freemasonry in Italy was repressed and discredited due to its French connections. A void was left that the Carboneria filled with a movement that closely resembled Freemasonry but with a commitment to Italian nationalism and no association with Napoleon and his government. The response came from middle-class professionals and businessmen and some intellectuals.
After Napoleon fell, the Congress of Vienna restored the pre-Napoleonic patchwork of independent governments. Italy was again controlled largely by the Austrian Empire and the Habsburgs, as they directly controlled the predominantly Italian-speaking northeastern part of Italy and were, together, the most powerful force against unification.
Conservative governments feared the Carboneria, imposing stiff penalties on men discovered to be members. Nevertheless, the movement survived and continued to be a source of political turmoil in Italy from 1820 until after unification.
In 1820, Spaniards successfully revolted over disputes about their Constitution, which influenced the development of a similar movement in Italy. Inspired by the Spaniards, a regiment in the army of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, commanded by Guglielmo Pepe, a Carbonaro, mutinied, conquering the peninsular part of Two Sicilies.
In Milan, Silvio Pellico and Pietro Maroncelli organized several attempts to weaken the hold of the Austrian despotism by indirect educational means. In October 1820, Pellico and Maroncelli were arrested on the charge of carbonarism and imprisoned.
The Piedmont revolt started in Alessandria, where troops adopted the green, white, and red Tricolore of the Cisalpine Republic. The king's regent, prince Charles Albert, acting while king Charles Felix was away, approved a new constitution to appease the revolutionaries, but when the king returned he disavowed the constitution and requested assistance from the Holy Alliance.
The Duke of Modena, Francis IV, was an ambitious noble, and he hoped to become king of Northern Italy by increasing his territory. In 1826, Francis made it clear that he would not act against those who subverted opposition toward the unification of Italy. Encouraged by the declaration, revolutionaries in the region began to organize.
Mazzini's activity in revolutionary movements caused him to be imprisoned soon after he joined. While in prison, he concluded that Italy could − and therefore should − be unified, and he formulated a program for establishing a free, independent, and republican nation with Rome as its capital.
After 1830, revolutionary sentiment in favor of a unified Italy began to experience a resurgence, and a series of insurrections laid the groundwork for the creation of one nation along the Italian peninsula.
On 5 January 1848, the revolutionary disturbances began with a civil disobedience strike in Lombardy, as citizens stopped smoking cigars and playing the lottery, which denied Austria the associated tax revenue. Shortly after this, revolts began on the island of Sicily and in Naples.
In February 1848, there were revolts in Tuscany that were relatively nonviolent, after which Grand Duke Leopold II granted the Tuscans a constitution. A breakaway republican provisional government formed in Tuscany during February shortly after this concession.
On 23 February 1848, King Louis Philippe of France was forced to flee Paris, and a republic was proclaimed. By the time the revolution in Paris occurred, three states of Italy had constitutions—four if one considers Sicily to be a separate state.
The First Italian War of Independence, part of the Italian Unification, was fought by the Kingdom of Sardinia and Italian volunteers against the Austrian Empire and other conservative states from 23 March 1848 to 22 August 1849 in the Italian Peninsula.
Charles Albert, the King of Sardinia, urged by the Venetians and Milanese to aid their cause, decided this was the moment to unify Italy and declared war on Austria. After initial successes at Goito and Peschiera, he was decisively defeated by Radetzky at the Battle of Custoza on 24 July.
The First Battle of Custoza was fought on July 24 and 25, 1848, during the First Italian War of Independence between the armies of the Austrian Empire, commanded by Field Marshal Radetzky, and the Kingdom of Sardinia, led by King Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont.
Before the powers could respond to the founding of the Roman Republic, Charles Albert, whose army had been trained by the exiled Polish general Albert Chrzanowski, renewed the war with Austria. He was quickly defeated by Radetzky at Novara on 23 March 1849.
The Carbonari condemned Napoleon III to death for failing to unite Italy, and the group almost succeeded in assassinating him in 1858, when Felice Orsini, Giovanni Andrea Pieri, Carlo Di Rudio and Andrea Gomez launched three bombs at him.
The Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Magenta on 4 June and pushed back to Lombardy. Napoleon III's plans worked and at the Battle of Solferino, France and Sardinia defeated Austria and forced negotiations; at the same time, in the northern part of Lombardy, the Italian volunteers known as the Hunters of the Alps, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, defeated the Austrians at Varese and Como.
Napoleon III's plans worked and at the Battle of Solferino, France and Sardinia defeated Austria and forced negotiations; at the same time, in the northern part of Lombardy, the Italian volunteers known as the Hunters of the Alps, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, defeated the Austrians at Varese and Como.
The Expedition of the Thousand was an event of the Italian Risorgimento that took place in 1860. A corps of volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi sailed from Quarto, near Genoa and landed in Marsala, Sicily, in order to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, ruled by the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.Milan, Italy.
Sardinia annexed Lombardy from Austria; it later occupied and annexed the United Provinces of Central Italy, consisting of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy of Parma, the Duchy of Modena and Reggio and the Papal Legations on 22 March 1860.
Sardinia handed Savoy and Nice over to France at the Treaty of Turin, a decision that was the consequence of the Plombières Agreement, on 24 March 1860, an event that caused the Niçard exodus, which was the emigration of a quarter of the Niçard Italians to Italy.
On 14 May Garibaldi proclaimed himself dictator of Sicily, in the name of Victor Emmanuel. After waging various successful but hard-fought battles, Garibaldi advanced upon the Sicilian capital of Palermo, announcing his arrival by beacon-fires kindled at night.
The Third Italian War of Independence was a war between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire fought between June and August 1866. The conflict paralleled the Austro-Prussian War and resulted in Austria conceding the region of Venetia to France, which were later annexed by Italy after a plebiscite. Italy's acquisition of this wealthy and populous territory represented a major step in the process of Italian unification.
Garibaldi proceeded to the mainland, crossing the Strait of Messina with the Neapolitan fleet at hand. The garrison at Reggio Calabria promptly surrendered. As he marched northward, the populace everywhere hailed him, and military resistance faded: on 18 and 21 August, the people of Basilicata and Apulia, two regions of the Kingdom of Naples, independently declared their annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.
At the end of August, Garibaldi was at Cosenza, and, on 5 September, at Eboli, near Salerno. Meanwhile, Naples had declared a state of siege, and on 6 September the king gathered the 4,000 troops still faithful to him and retreated over the Volturno river.
Though Garibaldi had easily taken the capital, the Neapolitan army had not joined the rebellion en masse, holding firm along the Volturno River. Garibaldi's irregular bands of about 25,000 men could not drive away the king or take the fortresses of Capua and Gaeta without the help of the Sardinian army.
In response to the depictions of southern Italy, the Piedmontese parliament had to decide whether it should investigate the southern regions to better understand the social and political situations there or it should establish jurisdiction and order by using mostly force.
The proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy was the formal act that sanctioned the birth of the unified Kingdom of Italy. It happened with a normative act of the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia — the law 17 March 1861, n. 4761 — with which Victor Emmanuel II assumed for himself and for his successors the title of King of Italy.
Cavour died unexpectedly in June 1861, at 50, and most of the many promises that he made to regional authorities to induce them to join the newly unified Italian kingdom were ignored. The new Kingdom of Italy was structured by renaming the old Kingdom of Sardinia and annexing all the new provinces into its structures. The first king was Victor Emmanuel II, who kept his old title.
In June 1862, he sailed from Genoa and landed again at Palermo, where he gathered volunteers for the campaign, under the slogan o Roma o Morte. The garrison of Messina, loyal to the king's instructions, barred their passage to the mainland. Garibaldi's force, now numbering two thousand, turned south and set sail from Catania.
On 28 August the two forces met in the Aspromonte. One of the regulars fired a chance shot, and several volleys followed, but Garibaldi forbade his men to return fire on fellow subjects of the Kingdom of Italy. The volunteers suffered several casualties, and Garibaldi himself was wounded; many were taken, prisoner.
On 28 August the two forces met in the Aspromonte. One of the regulars fired a chance shot, and several volleys followed, but Garibaldi forbade his men to return fire on fellow subjects of the Kingdom of Italy. The volunteers suffered several casualties, and Garibaldi himself was wounded; many were taken prisoner.
Victor Emmanuel sought a safer means to the acquisition of the remaining Papal territory. He negotiated with the Emperor Napoleon for the removal of the French troops from Rome through a treaty. They agreed to the September Convention in September 1864, by which Napoleon agreed to withdraw the troops within two years.
The seat of government was moved in 1865 from Turin, the old Sardinian capital, to Florence, where the first Italian parliament was summoned. This arrangement created such disturbances in Turin that the king was forced to leave that city hastily for his new capital.
In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Austria contested with Prussia the position of leadership among the German states. The Kingdom of Italy seized the opportunity to capture Venetia from Austrian rule and allied itself with Prussia.
Austria tried to persuade the Italian government to accept Venetia in exchange for non-intervention. However, on 8 April, Italy and Prussia signed an agreement that supported Italy's acquisition of Venetia, and on 20 June Italy issued a declaration of war on Austria.
In 1870 Lazio after the capture of Rome and in 1918 Trentino-Alto Adige and Julian March after the First World War. In this regard, National Unity and Armed Forces Day was also established, which is celebrated annually on November 4, recalling the Italian victory in the First World War, a war event considered to complete the process of unification of Italy.
The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War from 1 to 2 September 1870. Resulting in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and over a hundred thousand troops, it effectively decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government.
On 20 September, after a cannonade of three hours had breached the Aurelian Walls at Porta Pia, the Bersaglieri entered Rome and marched down Via Pia, which was subsequently renamed Via XX Settembre. Forty-nine Italian soldiers and four officers, and nineteen papal troops, died.
The Capture of Rome on September 20, 1870, was the final event of the long process of Italian unification also known as the Risorgimento, marking both the final defeat of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX and the unification of the Italian peninsula under King Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy.