Essay on Failure of the Italian Revolutions

765 Words4 Pages
The failure of the Italian revolutions cannot be attributed to one reason as there are a plethora of reasons which could be cited as a main cause. The main reasons which could be argued as the most important reasons for the failure of the Italian revolts are the lack of organisation within revolutionary groups, the Austrian army’s strength, the political and military inexperience of those in power, the Pope’s abandonment of the revolution, the hesitation of Charles Albert to front the campaign of unity and Bonaparte’s intervention. In 1815 Italy was not recognised as a country, Metternich, an Austrian statesman, said "The word 'Italy' is a geographical expression, a description which is useful shorthand, but has none of the political…show more content…
The Carbonari, in 1820, participated in a revolt in Naples against King Ferdinand’s government where the peasants and even the royal troops took part. Terrified of the revolting people, King Ferdinand vowed to give all adult males the vote through a constitution. However, he had no intention of doing this and did not grant adult men the vote. Ferdinand told the Congress of Laibach that he had been forced to grant change and requested the Austrians to help regain order within his country. Metternich sent the superior Austrian army into Naples where they easily overcame the rebels. The savage treatment of his people caused uproar and in 1821 the peasants took over Turin, the capital of Sardinia-Piedmont, causing the king (Victor Emmanuel) to relinquish his role and hand power to his nephew, Charles Albert. Victor’s brother, Charles Felix was unhappy with Charles Albert acting as Victor’s replacement and asked Metternich to help him stop the revolts. The Austrian Army marched in again and controlled the peasants but Charles Albert was forced to flee due to his promise of change to the rebels. There were more revolts in Modena, Parma and the Papal States in 1831 led by the Carbonari but yet again the Austrian army quelled them. Also, when Charles Albert reclaimed power in Sardinia there was hope he would support liberal ideas but he left people disillusioned by his cowardice in not supporting reform so not to
Open Document