Italian Unification, 1815-1871

Events

The Vienna Settlement

November 1814 - September 1815

The Congress of Vienna was led by Klemens von Metternicht, the foreign minister of Austria. The settlement dealt with the reorganization of Europe to achieve balance of power, restoration, legitimacy, and compensation after Napoleon's conquests of Europe.

Uprisings in The Kingdom of Two Sicilies and Sardinia

1821

The Carbonari led an uprising in Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia to the march of 'Long live liberty and the constitution', and found support in the army and the bourgeoisie.
King Ferdinand was forced to yield to the demands of a constitution similar to the Spanish one (the uprising was based on that of the Spanish), which limited royal powers, decreased centralization, and reduced the influence of the capital.
The regime was short-lived, however; it had too many enemies.
- The King sought to recover his former powers
- The Sicilian dissidents attempted to reestablish their island's separate status (though their attempts were suppressed by the Neapolitan constitutional govt.)
- Ferdinand earned approval for military intervention from Metternicht. (The Congress of Vienna granted Austria the prerogative of intervening for restoration purposes)

Young Italy Founded

1831

Young Italy was a political movement for Italian youth (under age 40) founded by Mazzini. Its goal was to create a united Italian republic through promoting a general insurrection of the Italian reactionary states and in the lands occupied by the Austrian empire.
All its revolts failed, including ones in Piedmont and Savoy, Sicily, Abruzzi, Lombardy-Venetia, Romagna, and Bologna.
This is perhaps due to the fact that there was no one to unite under, and all liberal ideas were too disparate to achieve a common ideology under which all of Italy would be united.

Pope Pius IX

1846

Pope Pius, at first, was seen as a liberal pope.
He released 2000 political prisoners, ended press censorship, reformed education, the law, and papal administration, gave laymen a greater share in public affairs, allowed Jews out of the ghetto, and granted Rome a constitution to replace the Papacy.
Thus, due to these liberal reforms, many people hoped Italy would be united under the Pope.

Economic Crisis/Harvest Failure

1847

In 1847, there were bad corn harvests and an outbreak of potato blight.
Cereal prices increased by ~50% in industrial towns, thus consumers spent less on things other than foodstuffs.
This saw the declining demand of craft and industrial production and increasing unemployment. This led to an acute credit crisis, meaning poor people had to borrow from the rich and subsequently incurred huge debts.
Thus, this economic discontent fostered the environment for revolution.

REVOLUTIONS

1848

UPRISINGS

1849

Siccardi Laws

1850

Restricted the power of the church by forming Concordats (agreements) between the Church and state.
Abolished separate courts for the people and the clerical people.
Removed rights for criminals to seek sanctuary in churches.
Restricted religious groups in their right to buy property
Reduced the number of feast days during which people were forbidden to go to work.

Piedmont joins the Crimean War

1855

Plombieres meeting

1858

Second War of Independence

1859

Garibaldi's Conquest of Sicily

1860

Victor Emmanuel becomes the First King of Italy

1861

French troops agree to leave Rome

1865

Austro-Prussian War

1866

Venetia went to Italy

Franco-Prussian War

1870 - 1871

Rome becomes the capital

1871