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The 1848 Revolutions in Italy are a part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 in Europe. They took place on the Italian peninsula and Sicily. A group of intellectuals and nationalist activists allied together to call for the formation of a liberal government and the elimination of Austrian control.
Key Facts & Information
Sicilian Revolution of 1848
- As revolutions took place in Rome with people demanding a liberal government, those in other states began to do the same.
- On January 12th in Sicily, people started to demand a provisional government, which is separate from the government of the mainland.
- King Ferdinand II, the King of the Two Sicilies from 1830 until 1859, tried to resist these revolts.
- Revolts also emerged in Salerno and Naples, forcing Ferdinand II and his troops to exit Sicily and constitute a provisional government.
- Palermo, the birthplace of Ferdinand II, became the center of organized revolts in Italy.
- The timing of the revolt was intentionally planned to coincide with the birthday of Ferdinand II.
- The Sicilian nobles were able to bring back the constitution of 1812, establishing the Parliament as the government of the state.
- Vincenzo Fardella was elected president of the Sicilian Parliament.
- Sicily became a quasi-independent state for sixteen months.
- On May 15, 1849, the Bourbon army forcibly took back control of the island.
- At the time, Ruggero Settimo was the head of state.
- Settimo fled to Malta and remained there until his death in 1863.
- The new Kingdom of Italy, with a new national parliament, was formed in 1861.
- Settimo was invited to be the parliament’s President of the Senate which points to the connection between the 1848 revolutions and events in 1860–61.
Five Days of Milan
- The Five Days of Milan was a major uprising in the 1848 revolutions that marked the beginning of the First Italian War of Independence.
- A five-day rebellion against the Austrians was staged in the city of Milan on March 18, 1848.
- The whole city was filled with street fighting, firing and shooting, and barricades.
- The soldiers even urged the rural population to participate.
- At least 100 priests joined in the insurrection.
- The insurrection forced the Austrian garrison of Joseph Radetzky von Radetz and his Austrian soldiers out of Milan on the evening of March 22, despite having no intention of surrendering or withdrawing.
Republic of San Marco
- The Republic of San Marco, also known as the Venetian Republic, was an Italian revolutionary state which existed for 17 months beginning in 1848.
- The republic joined the Kingdom of Sardinia as a means to unite northern Italy against foreign rule.
- However, Sardinia was defeated in the First Italian War of Independence, resulting in Austrian forces recapturing the Republic of San Marco on August 28, 1849.
- Two days prior to Marshal Radetzky pulling back to the Quadrilatero, Daniele Manin, the leader of the Risorgimento in Venice, and his followers entered the Venetian Arsenal in a direct challenge to Austrian forces.
- Manin led his followers with the cry “Viva San Marco” which is the motto of the defunct Republic of Venice.
- Manin was eventually proclaimed president of the Republic of San Marco by the cities of Venetia.
- Despite Manin’s leadership being popular and receiving support by the middle classes, he did not possess the leadership qualities that might have led to lasting independence.
- Following Pope Pius IX fleeing to the fortress of Gaeta, the government of the Papal States was temporarily replaced by a republic.
- On February 9, 1849, the Roman Republic was declared and was led by a triumvirate consisting of Carlo Armellini, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Aurelio Saffi.
- The Roman Republic included freedom of religion in its constitution, in contrast to the prior government, which allowed only Catholicism and Judaism.
- Pope Pius IX and his successors were guaranteed the right to govern the Catholic Church.
- The Constitution of the Roman Republic was the first in the world to abolish capital punishment.
- Although Pope Pius IX had fled the war against the Austrians, many of his constituents had still fought alongside Charles Albert.
- In February 1849, Pope Pius IX was joined by Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany following another violent uprising.
- Charles Albert abdicated, leaving his son, Victor Emmanuel II, to rule.
- The new leadership that took over passed legislation that gave work to unemployed people and abolished burdensome taxes.
- The Roman Republic inspired its constituents to build an independent Italian nation.
- Some of the innovations brought by the new republic were giving some of the Church’s landholdings to peasants, providing secular education, giving freedom to the press and pushing for reforms for prisons and asylums.
- Unfortunately, the republic was short-lived, and many of its reforms brought about monetary issues and inflation, resulting in a doomed economy.
- On July 12, 1849, Pope Pius IX was escorted back into the city and ruled under French protection until 1870.
1848 Revolutions In Italy Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the 1848 Revolutions In Italy Worksheets across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready to use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about the 1848 Revolutions in Italy, a part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 in Europe. They took place on the Italian peninsula and Sicily. A group of intellectuals and nationalist activists allied together to call for the formation of a liberal government and the elimination of Austrian control.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- 1848 Revolutions in Italy Facts
- Sicilian Revolution Timeline
- Picture Narrative
- Identifying Leaders
- The Roman Republic
- Fill In The Facts
- Facts Or False Statements
- Brief Retelling
- The Revolution In Comics
- Viva Italia!
- Learning Recap
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