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The Revolutions of 1820 took place in Europe, particularly in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece. It was considered as a revolutionary wave. The main objective of the revolutions in Spain, Portugal, and Italy was to establish constitutional monarchies. That of the revolution in Greece was to claim independence from the Ottoman Empire.
See the fact file below for more information on the Revolutions of 1820 or alternatively, you can download our 27-page Revolutions of 1820 worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTIONS
- In 1815, after Napoleon I’s fall, the revolutions were considered the first challenge to the consecutive order of Europe. Most of the revolutions was a failure, but it showed that the liberal-nationalist strength was getting more powerful so it could eventually sweep away Europe’s consecutive order.
- Most of the years after 1815 were quiet, and most of the people residing in Europe were satisfied with the peace and order in their country following years of revolution and war.
- However, there is a saying that “you cannot please everyone”. The minority of the liberal-nationalist were deeply dissatisfied and eventually organized secret societies to bring down the existing order.The most significant secret society was the Carbonari. It played the main role in the revolutions in 1820.
- The Carbonari was active in Italy from 1800 to 1831. It was an informational network of secret revolutionary societies. It was also said that the Carbonari might have brought its influence to other revolutionary groups residing in France, Greece, Romania, Russia, Spain, Brazil, and Uruguay.
- The main purpose of the revolutions was to defeat tyranny and to establish constitutional governments.
THE REVOLUTION IN SPAIN
- The Spain revolution started when King Ferdinand VII followed reactionary policy. The reactionary policy was meant to restore a past status quo. Additionally, King Ferdinand VII’s firm determination in restoring Spanish rule over against rebellious American colonies proved costly in lives and money and seemed hopeless.
- On January 1, 1820, the liberal officers of a regiment started a revolt and marched on Madrid to demand a constitution, where they originally sailed for South America. The king’s indecision and incompetence allowed the revolt to advance. However, the king might have stopped them because of the little popular support.
- Two months after, the rebels entered Madrid, Spain, in March. King Ferdinand VII granted a constitution by force. However, he appealed to conservative powers to help him overthrowing it.
- Many people, including those who had power, were alarmed by the rising of another revolution. However, their responses were divided. Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, or the emperor of Russia, encouraged a joint intervention by the Quintuple Alliance, the union of great powers set up after the Napoleonic Wars in keeping the peace in the country.
- However, Lord Castlereagh, the British Foreign Secretary, did not want to advance with his suggestion. Lord Castlereagh stated that the Alliance did not have the right to intervene in the revolution unless the revolution threatened other states.
- France, on the other hand, was indecisive about the intervention. Prince Clemens von Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, although opposed to the revolution’s rising, also opposed the intervention.
- Prince Metternich stated that he did not want to separate Britain and include it in the Alliance. Spain was too far to be a threat to his land, Austria.
- Alexander I temporarily dropped his suggestion because of the opposition from the different leaders.
THE REVOLUTION IN ITALY
- Prince Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, quickly changed his position when the revolution in Spain provoked the same revolution in Italy.
- The liberal army officers, who were the Carbonari members, started a revolution against the reactionary king of Two Sicilies (located in the southern part of the Italian peninsula), Ferdinand I, in July 1820.
- The revolution was considered successful because of the incompetence and cowardice of the king. The king feared for his life. That is why he promised a constitution on July 13, 1820.
- The new government earned some supporters from moderate liberal landowners. However, people were quickly alarmed because of the Carbonari’s progressive demands, and disagreements between the two factions started.
- The revolutionary government became more distracted by the revolution in Sicily, which had a long-established government from Naples and demanded freedom or self-government.
- The Neopolitan regime conquered the Sicilians and caused the weakening of the revolution. However, these internal quarrels were not the primary reason why the revolution failed.
- It was the Austrian intervention. Prince Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, could not ignore the revolution in Naples because it threatened one of the pillars of Austria’s international position, its predominance in Italy.
- Prince Metternich knew that Liberal Naples would not accept Austrian instructions and disciplines, and he knew that if the revolution were successful, there would be another revolution somewhere else in Italy.
- The Austrian army could easily defeat the revolution. Still, international affairs, such as Castlereagh, British foreign secretary, insisted that the intervention must happen unilaterally, meaning that they could not involve others other than the country or people already included.
- France was willing to support the revolutionary regime as it meant replacing Austrian influence with its own.
- The tsar of Russia, Alexander I, wanted to stop the revolution. However, he was unwilling to help Austria and stated that he could only intervene under the Quintuple Alliance’s name and supervision.
- Alexander I planned a conference that would discuss the terms if he would intervene, insisted on a mediation with Naples to avert the need for intervention, and an agreement that a more conservative constitution be adopted.
- Metternich knew that Russia had strong military power. He agreed to the Troppau Conference in October 1820 and signed the Troppau Protocol, which stated that the Alliance intervene against the revolt.
- However, Metternich attended a conference in Laibach to deflect the Alliance’s other demands, having no mediation and no need for a constitution. In March 1821, the Austrian army defeated the Neopolitan army in Rieti and defeated the revolutionary regime.
- On the other hand, another revolution was starting in the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Austrian province of Lombardy. Fortunately, it was quickly stopped by the powers at Laibach and with the help of the loyal Piedmontese troops that were aided by an Austrian contingent.
THE REVOLUTION IN GREECE
- The revolution that took place in Spain and Italy failed mainly because the revolt had little support, and the powers were united in defeating the revolution. On the other hand, the Greek revolution was not weakened because of those factors.
- Greece has been under Turkish rule for quite a long time. However, the arising of a revolution was not inevitable. Greece had a privileged position in the Ottoman Empire.
- They managed their own affairs, enjoyed a near-monopoly of trade, and held several high administration positions.
- However, the Greece revolution arose because several educated Greeks who lived outside the Ottoman Empire had a new idea of nationalism. The Philike Hetairia, or the Society of Friends, was a small but active secret society developed in 1814. It was dedicated to gaining Greek independence.
- It started in March 1821 when a Russian general and leader of Hetairia, Alexander Ypsilanti, declared a revolution in Moldavia. However, his target and timing were poor. He thought that the Tsar of Russia would help him, but he was still at Laibach, having a counterrevolution under Metternich’s influence.
- Ypsilanti’s revolution quickly crumbled. However, it was able to start a true revolution of Greece itself. Orthodox Christian Greeks and Muslims had a mutual hostility and were deeply divided by religion.
- The revolution that started in April grew with an elemental fury, driven more by religion than by nationalism. Turkish forces were driven to the south part of Greece, and most of the Muslims were massacred.
- This was Russia’s movement as a direct challenge and claimed the right to protect the Orthodox Church. This pushed Alexander towards war. However, Alexander hesitated because his commitment to the counterrevolution and Alliance was still great, and the war might destroy it, and Austria and Britain would surely oppose it.
- However, those powers wanted to preserve the Ottoman Empire. The influence of Metternich and Castlereagh was used to persuade the Tsar of Russia to keep the peace. In June 1822, the Tsar dismissed Capodistrias and refrained from the war.
- However, the revolution continued, and the European situation changed. The Greek revolt had a big emotional appeal, and Lord Byron, the most famous writer in Europe, died in 1824 while fighting for Greece.
- The pressure on Britain and France became greater. Russia had a new Tsar, Nicholas I. He stated that the failure in stopping the Greeks had decreased their reputation.
- The new Tsar declared a war against the sultan, and the peace treaty that was signed in 1829 assured Greece its independence.
- The fear of Metternich became a reality. The primary break in the status quo of 1815 and the Greek revolution was the key that encouraged several liberal-nationalists everywhere. Thus, it became the mark of the beginning of the end of the conservative order of Europe.
Revolutions of 1820 Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Revolutions of 1820 across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Revolutions of 1820 worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Revolutions of 1820 which took place in Europe, particularly in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece. It was considered as a revolutionary wave. The main objective of the revolutions in Spain, Portugal, and Italy was to establish constitutional monarchies. That of the revolution in Greece was to claim independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Revolutions of 1820 Facts
- Revolutions’ People
- Mark of the Beginning
- Jumbled Revolt
- Filling the Army
- Alliance and Societies
- Questions of 1820
- Revolutionary News
- Crossword Europe
- Weakening Factors
- Analysis of the Revolution
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Link will appear as Revolutions of 1820 Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 5, 2020
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