A summary of Italian unification timeline
Italian unification was a process of revolution between 1800s and 1961. During this period of about 60 years, there were daring actions and revolutionary ideas that later shaped the history of Italy. This process began in the 18th century with the destruction of traditional values and institutions. There were widespread liberal ideas from Britain and France. By the year 1789, the French Revolution was the origin of liberal Italians. Military and political events dominated the first half of the 19th century leading to a unified kingdom of Italy in 1861. In this Italian unification timeline, you will find detailed description of events and the people behind these events.
Italian Unification Timeline: 1800s to 1861
1815 –The Vienna Settlement. There was a new map for Europe, drawn by powers, which had conquered Napoleon-Austria, Russia, Prussia and Great Britain. The purpose of this was to renegotiate the spheres of control and create balance of powers to foster peace. In addition, the new map was to restore monarchial influence and avert future revolts.
1820 – Cadiz Revolt. An upheaval broke on January 1, 1820 in Cadiz, Spain. Troops leaving for South America are on the frontline, demanding the reestablishment of the Spanish Constitution of 1812. Ferdinand VII succumbs to the pressure in March and this marks the start of revolts that would later spread across Europe in the first half of the 19th century.
1831 – Romagna and Modena revolts. A second wave of revolutionary protests erupts in Bologna, Perugia and Ancona, with middle class liberals challenging the rule of the Pope. This was a demonstration of anger after the restoration and loss of power. Like other revolts dotting the Italian unification timeline, the aim of the liberals was to have an independent state with no further ambitions.
1833 –Young Italy Revolts. Giuseppe Mazzini organizes the first revolts with the aim of having a unified republic. Mazzini’s movement is crushed with the arrest of several patriots as others seek asylum abroad, including Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Italy after Pius IX in 1846
1846 – Election of Pope Pius IX. Many saw Pius IX as a liberal Pope upon his election. He released prisoners after assuming office. There was hope that he would help to bring change in Italy.
January 1848 – May 1849 – Riots in Sicily. Liberals demanded the restoration of the 1812 constitution and Sicily’s independence. The revolutionaries took over the capital, overpowering 5,000 troops. They put a parliament in place and declared Sicily an independent state. The Neapolitan army crushed the separatists in May 1849.
1850 – Saccardi laws. The Kingdom of Sardinia adopted the Saccardi laws, leading frosty relationship with the Catholic Church. Following this development, Pius IX retuned to Rome, Garibaldi went in exile in New York City, while Mazzini flew to London. During this period, the authorities introduced the postage stamp, another major event in the Italian unification timeline.
1855- Sardinia- Russia War. The Kingdom, with the support of France and Great Britain enters into war against Russia with the intention of securing diplomatic backing of the two allies.
Italian unification timeline after Crimean War
1859 – National Society revolutions. Revolts against the Grand Duke Leopold erupted in April in Florence, leading to his ousting. Baron Bettino Ricasoli took over the government that supported Piedmont merger. In May 1859, the national Society led peaceful upheavals in Tuscany, Modena and Parma, with all the leaders fleeing and leaving provisional governments in place.
4 June 1859 – The Battle of Magenta. There was heavy bloodshed as the Austrians faced humiliating defeat.
24 June 1859 –The Battle of Solferino. Austrians were kicked out of Italy following the defeat in the battle. In November 1859, the Treaty of Zurich was signed, ending the war.
1860 – Brigands War. There was social unrest among the lower class population, protesting against poor living conditions and land ownership disparities. The Piedmontese state introduced new taxes to help settle a 2.5 billion lira of national debt.
1861 – Birth of Italian State. Victor Emanuel II, King of Italy gathered his deputies for Italy’s first parliament in Turin on March 17, 1861. On March 27, 1861, the new government declared Rome as the capital city though it was not part of the new nation.
From these events, it is evident that the revolts dominated the Italian unification timeline from early 1800s to early 1860s.
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