1902 Encyclopedia > Italy > Italian History - Achievement of Independence

Italy
(Part 38)




ITALY - HISTORY (cont.)

Italian History - Achievement of Independence


The malarious tranquillity of Italy beneath her Austrian and Bourbon despots was rudely shaken by the French Revolution. This is not the place to describe Napoleon's campaign of 1796. But the treaty of Campo Formio, which resettled Italy in 1797, has to be described. Northern and Central Italy was redivided into four republics,—the Cisalpine, with its capital in Milan; the Ligurian, with Genoa for capital; the Cispadane, with Bologna; the Tiberine, with Rome. Venice (where the last doge, Luigi Manini, had dissolved the republic of St Mark amid the execrations of the populace in the month of May) was flung, together with her territory between the Adige and the Adriatic, as a compensation for other losses, to the Austrian empire. In the next year, 1798, Lower Italy became the Parthenopsean republic, with Naples for its capital. Carlo Emmanuele TV., now king of Sardinia, resigned his dominions. Pius VI. fled from Rome, and died in France in 1799. The whole of the old order of the peninsula was thus destroyed at a blow. Yet the people, at^first, gained little but an exchange of masters, increased taxes, and a participation in the doubtful glories of the French republic. While Bonaparte was absent in Egypt, his recent settlement of Italian affairs was upset, and the French were everywhere driven out of the peninsula by force of arms. He returned, and Marengo (1800) made him once more master of Italy. Four years later, having proclaimed himself emperor, he took the Lombard crown in St Ambrogio at Milan. Italy now ranked as his kingdom, and a new settlement of her provinces had to be effected. The pope was left in Rome, and Ferdinand in Naples. Tuscany was rechristened the kingdom of Etruria, and given to the Bourbons. The Ligurian and Cisalpine republics were placed under the viceroy Eugene Beauharnais. After Austerlitz, Venice was added to this North Italian kingdom ; and in 1806 Bonaparte made the Bourbons yield Naples to his brother Joseph. When Joseph went in 1808 to Madrid, Joachim Murat succeeded him as king in Naples. Sicily remained in the hands of Ferdinand. In 1809 Pius VII. was deposed, and sent to France, and Rome was declared a part of the French empire. The gingerbread kingdom of Etruria was abolished, and Bonaparte's sister, Eliza, wife of a Colonel Bacciocchi, was made duchess of Tuscany, with the titles of duchess of Lucca and princess of Piombino. Ephemeral as were Bonaparte's successive divisions and redivisions of Italy into provinces for his generals and relatives, they exercised no little influence. From the period of the French rule we may date a new sense of nationality among Italians generated by the military service of recruits drawn together from all districts in Napoleon's armies, by the temporarj obliteration of most ancient boundaries, by the dethronement of alien and unloved princes, by the equal administration of one code of laws, and by the spirit of the revolution which animated all French institutions. Italy began to feel herself a nation, and though it was long before Europe suffered her to win national rights, the demand for them, which in our own days became too imperious to be resisted, was created in her people at this epoch.

The congress of Vienna in 1815 took down from the theatre of Italy all Bonaparte's decorations, and set up the old scenery in very nearly the old places. Vittorio Emmanuele I. received back his kingdom of Sardinia, with the addition of Genoa. Venice and Milan were formed into the province of Lombardo-Venezia for Francis II., emperor of Austria. The old duchy of Parma was given for her lifetime to Maria Louisa, who, though the wife of Bonaparte, was still an Austrian princess. Upon her death it was to be restored to its former Bourbon princes, who received in the meanwhile Lucca as an equivalent. The Austrian Ferdinand III. was once again grand-duke of Tuscany, with the reversion of Lucca after Maria Louisa's decease. Francis, son of the Austrian archduke Ferdinand and Beatrice d'Este, became duke of Modena, with the reversion of Lunigiana on the same event. Pius VII. got back all the states of the church, and on his re-entry into Rome restored the Jesuits, who had proved their indispensability to tyrants. The Bourbon Ferdinand I. again joined Naples to his crown of Sicily. We have been careful to label these Ferdinands and Francises with their respective names of Austrian or Bourbon, in order that the partition of Italy between the two dynasties, and the large preponderance of Austrian over Bourbon influence, might be apparent. One significant detail has been omitted. The congress of Vienna recognized the independent republic of San Marino. On the top of a little mountain at the outskirts of the Apennines which overlook the sea by Bimini, sat Liberty, the queen of a few hundred citizens, surveying the muddy ocean of Franco-Spanish, Italo-Teutonic despotism which drowned Italy through all her length and breadth.

The Italian sovereigns, on returning to their respective states, proved that exile and the revolution had terrorized them into more determined tyranny. The civil and political reforms which had been instituted at the end of the last century were abandoned. The Jesuits were restored ; many suppressed monasteries were re-established ; and the mortmain laws were repealed. Elementary education was narrowed in its limits, and thrown into the hands of the clergy. Professors suspected of liberal views were expelled from the universities, and the press was placed under the most rigid supervision. All persons who had taken part in the Napoleonic governments, or who were known to entertain patriotic opinions, found themselves harassed, watched, spied upon, and reported. The cities swarmed with police agents and informers. The passport system was made more stringent, and men were frequently refused even a few days' leave of absence from their homes. The Code Napoleon was withdrawn from those provinces which had formed part of the Italian kingdom, while, in the papal states, the administration was placed again in the hands of ecclesiastics.

This political and spiritual reign of terror, which had for its object the crushing of Italian liberalism, was sanctioned and supported by Austria. Each petty potentate bound himself to receive orders from Vienna, and, in return for this obedience, the emperor guaranteed him in the possession of his throne. The Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, powerfully defended and connected with Austria by land and sea, became one huge fortress, garrisoned with armed men, in perpetual menace of the country. Under these conditions the Italians were half maddened, and thousands of otherwise quiet citizens, either in the hope of finding redress and protection, or only from a feeling of revenge, joined secret revolutionary societies; for it must not be supposed that the revolution had left the Italians as passive as it found them. A new spirit was astir, which was not likely to be checked by the arrangements of the European congress—the spirit of national independence. During the convulsions caused by Napoleon's conquest of Italy, the allied powers had themselves fostered this spirit, in order to oppose French rule. The Austrians, the English, and Murat, in turn, had publicly invited the Italians to fight for their national independence. And now the people, who relied upon these proclamations and expected the fulfilment of so many promises, found themselves by the consent of Europe delivered over, tied and gagged, to a foreign oppressor. To take but one example : Ferdinand, when he quitted Naples in May 1815, addressed a proclamation to his subjects, solemnly engaging to respect the laws that should in his absence be decreed by a constitution. In June he pledged himself at Vienna to introduce into his kingdom no institutions irreconcilable with those which Austria might establish in her own dependencies. Accordingly in 1816 he put an end to the Sicilian constitution of 1812.

Tyranny was met by conspiracy; and in a short while, the Carbonari societies, with Sanfedisti and many other revolutionary associations, had extended their organization through the length and breadth of the peninsula. The discontent of the Italians smouldered for five years; but in 1820 it broke into open flame. On the 1st of January in that year the Spaniards proclaimed their constitution of the Cortes, which was modelled on the type furnished by the earlier French Eevolution. Moved by this example, the royal army mutinied at Naples in July, and a few days afterwards Palermo rushed to arms. Ferdinand was so surprised by the sudden outbreak of this revolt that he hastily granted the constitution, named his son Francis vicar-general of his kingdom, and betook himself to Austria. The Austrians marched 80,000 men into Lombardy, and Great Britain and France sent their fleets down to the Bay of Naples. At a congress held in the spring of 1821 at Laybach, the allied powers authorized Austria to crush the revolution in Lower Italy. Austrian troops entered Naples on the 23d of March; and, when Ferdinand followed them, he had nothing to do but to execute vengeance, by mock trials, on his insurgent subjects.

While these events were taking place, another military insurrection broke out in Piedmont, where the Spanish constitution was proclaimed. The king felt himself bound by the congress of Laybach, and refused to make any concessions. Therefore, on the 13th of March, he abdicated ; and in the absence of his brother and heir, Carlo Felice, his distant cousin, Carlo Alberto, prince of Carignano, was appointed regent. Carlo Alberto represented a branch of the reigning house which had been separated nearly two centuries from the throne. Educated, during the French occupation, more like a private citizen than like a prince, he grew up with liberal inclinations, and there is no doubt that his concessions to the insurrectionists in Piedmont at this moment were actuated by sympathy rather than by any vulgar desire to gain power. When, however, Carlo Felice returned and declared that his brother's abdication had been forced and therefore illegal, Carlo Alberto's sense of loyalty to the dynasty overcame his liberal instincts. He submitted to the new king's authority, and the old regime was re-established in Piedmont on as absolute a basis as before.

These movements were followed by state trials and executions, and the terrorism of the tyrannies augmented. Silvio Pellico, at the close of an inefficient disturbance at Milan, was sent to life-imprisonment at Spielberg. In the papal states Leo XII. adopted a coercive policy still more grinding and humiliating. For nine years the despots and the conspirators confronted each other, until the July revolution of Paris in 1830 gave new hope and energy to the latter. On this occasion the conflagration burst out at Modena, where the duke Francesco IV. had been for some time past in secret negotiation with the patriotic party headed by Ciro Menotti. It appears that the secret object of this autocrat was to employ the revolution against his neighbours, and to make himself sovereign of Upper Italy by the help of the conspirators. But when the revolution declared itself, and spread to Parma, Bologna, and the Bomagna, Francesco turned upon his friend Menotti, and succeeded in putting him to death. It took but little time or trouble to check this revolt, which was unsupported by armed force. Austrian troops moved into Emilia and Bomagna, restored the old order, and marched on to Rome, which they occupied. Louis Philippe, now king of the French, being jealous of the Austrians at Rome, occupied Ancona for the French in 1832 ; but the cause of Italian liberty received no support from the bourgeois king, who strove to keep on good terms with established authorities.

From 1831 until 1846 Italy remained discontentedly and uneasily tranquil. The infamous misgovernment of Rome and Naples continued ; and in Lower Italy numerous petty insurrections, caused by the misery of the people, and the cholera which raged in 1837, were easily suppressed. Yet it was clear to all competent observers that this state of things could not last. The Italian sovereigns wert, seated over a volcano, which vibrated to the least stir in its neighbour, France, and which was slowly accumulating explosive material. Among the most powerful instruments now invented by the party of independence must be reckoned the scientific congress. This body, ostensibly formed for the study of science, assembled every year in some Italian city. Its meetings really served to propagate liberal opinions and to establish relations between the patriots of different districts. Meanwhile the great men who were destined to achieve the future union of Italy had appeared upon the stage, and were busy through this period with their pen and voice. Giuseppe Mazzini, born in 1808 at Genoa, made himself the recognized head of a party called by the name of Young Italy. It was his aim to organize the forces of the revolution, and to establish the one and indivisible republic in Europe. Though he strove in the cause of Italy, his scheme for the regeneration of society far exceeded the limits of that country. He declared war upon established order in its ancient forms all over the world, and was willing to use conspiracy, if not assassination, in order to achieve his ends. Thus, though the spirit infused into the Italians by Mazzini's splendid eloquence aroused the people to a sense of their high destinies and duties, though he was the first to believe firmly that Italy could and would be one free nation, yet the means he sanctioned for securing this result, and the policy which was inseparable from his opinions, proved obstacles to statesmen of more practical and sober views. It was the misfortune of Italy at this epoch that she had not only to fight for independence, but also to decide upon the form of government which the nation should elect when it was constituted. All right-thinking and patriotic men agreed in their desire to free the country from foreign rule, and to establish national self-government. But should they aim at a republic or a constitutional monarchy1? Should they be satisfied with the hegemony of Piedmont % Should they attempt a confederation, and if so, how should the papacy take rank, and should the petty sovereigns be regarded as sufficiently Italian to hold their thrones ? These and many other hypothetical problems distracted the Italian patriots. It was impossible for them, in the circumstances, first to form the nation and then to decide upon its government; for the methods to be employed in fighting for independence already implied some political principle. Mazzini's manipulation of conspiracy, for instance, was revolutionary and republican; while those who adhered to constitutional order, and relied upon the arms of Piedmont, had virtually voted for Sardinian hegemony. The unanimous desire for independence existed in a vague and nebulous condition. It needed to be condensed into workable hypotheses; but this process could not be carried on without the growth of sects perilous to common action.





The party of Young Italy, championed by Mazzini, was the first to detach itself, and to control the blindly working forces of the Carbonari movement by a settled plan of action. It was the programme of Young Italy to establish a republic by the aid of volunteers recruited from all parts of the peninsula. When Carlo Alberto came to the throne, Mazzini addressed him a letter, as equal unto equal, calling upon the king to defy Austria and rely upon God and the people. Because Carlo Alberto (who, in spite of his fervent patriotism and genuine liberality of soul, was a man of mixed opinions, scrupulous in his sense of constitutional obligation, melancholy by temperament, and superstitiously religious), found himself unwilling or unable to take this step, the Mazzinisti denounced him as a traitor to 1821 and a retrogressive autocrat. In his exile at Geneva, Mazzini now organized an armed attempt on Savoy. He collected a few hundred refugees of all nations, and crossed the frontier in 1833. But this feeble attack produced no result beyond convincing Carlo Alberto that he could not trust the republicans. Subsequent attempts on the king's life roused a new sense of loyalty in Piedmont, and defined a counter-body of opinion to Mazzini's. The patriots of a more practical type, who may be called moderate liberals, began, in one form or another, to aim at achieving the independence of Italy constitutionally by the help of the Sardinian kingdom. What rank Sardinia would take in the new Italy remained an open question. The publication of Vincenzo Gioberti's treatise, II Primato morale e civile degli Italiani, in 1843, considerably aided the growth of definite opinion. His utopia was a confederation of Italian powers, under the spiritual presidency of the papacy, and with the army of Piedmont for sword and shield. This book had an immense success. It made timid thinkers feel that they could join the liberals without sacrificing their religious or constitutional opinions. At the same date Cesare Balbo's Speranze d'ltalia exercised a somewhat similar influence, through its sound and unsubversive principles. In its pages Balbo made one shrewd guess, that the Eastern Question would decide Italian independence. Massimo d'Azeglio, who also was a Piedmontese ; the poet Giusti, the Baron Bicasoli, and the .Marchese Gino Capponi in Tuscany; together with Alessandro Manzoni at Milan, and many other writers scattered through the provinces of Italy, gave their weight to the formation of this moderate liberal party. These men united in condemning the extreme democracy of the Mazzinisti, and did not believe that Italy could be regenerated by merely manipulating the insurrectionary force of the revolution. On political and religious questions they were much divided in detail, suffering in this respect from the weakness inherent in liberalism. Yet we are already justified in regarding this party as a sufficient counterpoise to the republicans; and the man who was destined to give it coherence, and to win the great prize of Italian independence by consolidating and working out its principles in practice, was already there. The count Camillo Benso di Cavour had been born in 1810, two years later than Mazzini. He had not yet entered upon his ministerial career, but was writing articles for the Bisorgimento, which at Turin opposed the Mazzinistic journal Concordia, and was devoting himself to political and economical studies. It is impossible to speak of Mazzini and Cavour without remembering the third great regenerator of Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi. At this date he was in exile; but a few years later he returned, and began his career of popular deliverance in Lombardy. Mazzini, the prophet, Garibaldi, the knight-errant, and Cavour, the statesman, of Italian independence, were all natives of the kingdom of Sardinia. But their several positions in it were so different as to account in no small measure for the very divergent parts they played in the coming drama. Mazzini was a native of Genoa, which ill tolerated the enforced rule of Turin. Garibaldi came from Nice, and was a child of the people. Cavour was born in the midst of that stiff aristocratical society of old Piedmont which has been described so vividly by D'Azeglio in his Ricordi. The Piedmontese nobles had the virtues and the defects of English country squires in the last century. Loyal, truthful, brave, hard-headed, tough in resistance, obstinately prejudiced, they made excellent soldiers, and were devoted servants of the crown. Moreover, they hid beneath their stolid exterior greater political capacity than the more genial and brilliant inhabitants of Southern and Central Italy. Cavour came of this race, and understood it. But he was a man of exceptional quality. He had the genius of statesmanship,—a practical sense of what could be done, combined with rare dexterity in doing it, fine diplomatic and parliamentary tact, and noble courage in the hour of need. Without the enthusiasm, amounting to the passion of a new religion, which Mazzini inspired, without Garibaldi's brilliant achievements, and the idolatry excited by this pure-hearted hero in the breasts of all who fought with him and felt his sacred fire, there is little doubt that Cavour would not have found the creation of United Italy possible. But if Cavour had not been there to win the confidence, support, and sympathy of Europe, if he had not been recognized by the body of the nation as a man whose work was solid and whose sense was just in all emergencies, Mazzini's efforts would have run to waste in questionable insurrections, and Garibaldi's feats of arms must have added but one chapter more to the history of unproductive patriotism. While, therefore, we recognize the part played by each of these great men in the liberation of their country, and while we willingly ignore their differences and disputes, it is Cavour whom we must honour with the title of the Maker of United Italy.

From this digression, which was necessary in order to make the next acts in the drama clear, we now return to the year 1846. Misrule had reached its climax in Rome, and the people were well-nigh maddened, when Gregory XVI. died, and Pius IX. was elected in his stead. It seemed as though an age of gold had dawned; for the greatest of all miracles had happened. The new pope declared himself a liberal, proclaimed a general amnesty to political offenders, and in due course granted a national guard, and began to form a constitution. The Neo-Guelfic school of Gioberti believed that their master's Utopia was about to be realized. Italy went wild with joy and demonstrations. The pope's example proved contagious. Constitutions were granted in Tuscany, Piedmont, and Rome in 1847. The duke of Lucca fled, and his domain was joined to Tuscany. Only Austria and Naples declared that their states needed no reforms. On the 2d of January 1848 a liberal demonstration at Milan served the Austrians for pretext to massacre defenceless persons in the streets. These Milanese victims were hailed as martyrs all over Italy, and funeral ceremonies, partaking of the same patriotic character as the rejoicings of the previous year, kept up the popular agitation. On the 12th of January Palermo rose against King Ferdinand II., and Naples followed her example on the 27th. The king was forced in February to grant the constitution of 1812, to which his subjects were so ardently attached.

While Italy was thus engaged in making terms with her own sovereigns, the French revolution broke out. Louis Philippe fled to England, and the republic was declared. This altered affairs in Italy, and threw a temporary power into the hands of the Mazzinisti. Sicily pronounced herself independent of the Bourbons, and called the duke of Genoa to the throne. In Naples, the moderate liberal government, of which Poerio had been a member, yielded to a more radical administration. The patriots and the king's troops came to blows, ending in Ferdinand's victory and the remodelling of the constitution. Lombardy rose in insurrection. The Austrians were expelled from Milan, and the governor of Venice capitulated. Provisional republican governments were formed, at Milan under the presidency of Casati, at Venice under that of Daniele Manin. Impelled by the overwhelming enthusiasm which prevailed in Upper Italy, Carlo Alberto declared war on Austria in March. On the 8th of April he pushed his troops beyond the Mincio; while Piacenza, Parma, Modena, and the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom voted their union to Sardinia by universal suffrage. But the Austrian general, Radetzky, though he lost a battle at Goito, and was forced to witness the capitulation of Peschiera in May, had not given up the game. The pope's troops were established at Vicenza to support the Sardinians. These Radetzky compelled to surrender in June; he then attacked Carlo Alberto's army, who were engaged in the investment of Mantua. A complete victory upon the 25th of July at Custozza enabled Radetzky to re-enter Milan. Carlo Alberto had to retire beyond the Ticino and to beg for an armistice. News of this Austrian victory reached Naples, and gave Ferdinand the heart to quell the Sicilian revolt. On the 30th August Messina was bombarded, and such atrocities were perpetrated in the miserable city that the admirals of the French and English fleets had to interfere and extort an armistice from the conquerors. In the meanwhile, affairs had begun to change in Borne. The pope, frightened at the revolution which had already outrun his control, pronounced against the Austrian war and Italian alliance. This roused republican hostility. His minister, the excellent Count Pellegrini Bossi, was murdered in November, and anarchy seemed to threaten the city. Pius escaped in disguise to Gaeta, where he was received by Ferdinand, whom not long since he had denounced as a rogue. From Gaeta he opened the new year, 1849, with a threat of excommunication to his subjects. The Romans were so irritated that the moderate liberal party had to yield to the ultraradicals; and on the 9th of February Rome was declared a republic. The government was entrusted to three dictators, of whom Mazzini was the head. Tuscany, meanwhile, had lost her grand-duke. After opening parliament in January with a declaration that he intended to prosecute the war against Austria, he escaped in February on the English war-steamer "Bulldog" to Gaeta. A provisional government was established in Florence, and Mazzini did his best to render Tuscany a part of the new Boman republic. At this epoch two important personages appeared upon the scene—Gino Capponi, who led the moderate liberals, and Urbano Battazzi, who headed the democratic party. The Florentines were not at bottom out of sympathy with their duke. Therefore they rejected Mazzini's overtures, and recalled Leopold upon the understanding that he would respect their free institutions. . Still at Gaeta, the grand-duke mistrusted these advances, begged for Austrian troops, and, when they had arrived, re-entered Tuscany and suppressed the constitution. Such acts of perfidy as these, repeatedly committed by all the petty sovereigns of Italy with the exception of the house of Savoy, forced the people to abandon the theory of federation under existing governments, and to look for their salvation to Piedmont.

This growing confidence in the Sardinian monarchy was not shaken by the disastrous campaign of March 1849, which baptized the cause of Italian independence with the best blood of Piedmont, gave it a royal martyr, and pledged the dynasty of Savoy to a progressive policy from which it never afterwards for a single moment deviated. Pushed by the ultra-radicals, and burning with the purest zeal to liberate Italy, Carlo Alberto took the field again in March 1849 against the Austrians. On the 24th, after some preliminary movements, proving a want of good generalship and discipline in the Piedmontese army, Radetzky obtained a complete victory at Novara. The king of Sardinia abdicated on the field, in favour of his son, the duke of Savoy, Vittorio Emmanuels II. Carlo Alberto, who had lived through times so troublous aud perplexing, who had exposed himself to misunderstanding and misinterpretation, but in whom the devotion to Italy had become a religion, now took refuge at Oporto, where he died, broken-hearted, after a few months of illness. The pathos of this death checked the snarling of discordant parties ; and, when the king's body was brought home to be buried on the heights of the Superga, the heart of Italy recognized his worth. Carlo Alberto, though still anathematized by the republican faction, became the saint of Italy. Hundreds of pilgrims flocked to his tomb. The loyalty of his subjects redoubled; and it was felt that, by serving Italy, they would glorify his memory. More than ever, by the disasters of Novara, were the dynasty and aristocracy and people of Sardinia pledged to that national policy which Carlo Alberto's son triumphantly accomplished. In the cottage homes of Piedmont and Lombardy travellers may still behold the old king's agony depicted side by side with the portraits of Cavour and Garibaldi and Vittorio Emmanuele.

The intrigues of which Gaeta had been a centre provoked a crusade of the Catholic powers against republican and anti-papal Rome. A French expedition, under General Oudinot, landed at Civita Vecchia on the 25th of April, and on the 29th reached the walls of the city. The Neapolitan army took up a position at the base of the Alban hills. Spaniards arrived at Fiumicino, and Austrians entered the Legations. The French professed to come as friends o but the triumvirs of the Roman republic refused them entrance, and General Oudinot established his camp on the Janiculan. Garibaldi, who was guarding the frontier of the Abruzzi, returned and defeated the Neapolitans at Palestrina on the 11th of May. Still his assistance did not suffice to avert the French attack, and on July 2, after a siege of four weeks, the city capitulated. Mazzini and Garibaldi made good their escape. The French troops entered and held Rome for the pope. It was not until April 1850, however, that Pius IX. ventured to return. When he arrived in his capital, he began the reactionary reign, supported by his French garrison and Jesuit advisers, which only ended with the semi-forcible entry of the Italians in 1870.

With the fall of Rome the hopes of the revolutionary party ended. Austrian troops replaced their ducal puppets in Parma, Modena, and Tuscany. King Ferdinand, rightly now named Bomba, terrorized his subjects into silence by the aid of Swiss mercenaries, artillery, and dungeons too loathsome to be described. Only Venice still held out, blockaded in the Adriatic and bombarded from the land, through all the horrors of famine, conflagration, and cholera, until the month of August. Few episodes in the history of that noble city are more glorious than this last desperate and patient struggle; and few names upon her muster-roll of heroes are equally illustrious with that of the lion-hearted and blameless Daniele Manin.

In the disastrous year 1849 it seemed as though the fate of Italy was sealed. The republicans had done their best and failed at Milan, Rome, and Venice. The power of Piedmont was broken at Novara. And yet we have good cause to say that the miseries of this epoch wrought the future salvation of the race. The former vain trust in the Italian sentiment of petty courts, the Neo-Guelfic mysticism of Gioberti's party, the Utopian confidence in papal liberalism, the vague schemes of confederation which had assumed many visionary forms, were all dissipated for ever. To rightly thinking men it became clear that the regeneration of Italy must be entrusted to Piedmont. When Vittorio Emmanuele entered Turin in silence after Novara, with a demoralized army and a ruined exchequer, the spirit of his people was cast down, but not extinguished. They had assumed responsibility, and were not going to abandon it. " The house of Savoy cannot retreat" became the watchword of the throne. D'Azeglio's Nous recommencerons expressed the determination of the ruling ^ classes. It is true that at this crisis they had to combat the hostility and bitter jealousy of the republicans. Mazziui's party stirred up Genoa to revolution, and La Marmora received the ignoble task of restoring that intractable city to a sense of duty. " Better Italy enslaved than delivered over to the son of the traitor Carlo Alberto," exclaimed the prophet of democracy, whom no reverses could persuade that in such politics as those of Italy the half is better than the whole. But Mazzini was no longer a power of the first magnitude. The work which he had done for Italy was solid and abiding. Still he had failed to carry the bulk of the nation with him. Men of more sober aspirations saw that to aim at national independence and European reconstruction at one leap was Utopian. Italy must first be made; and the only power capable of calling her into existence was Piedmont, still free and puissant among a crowd of feeble and anarchical despotisms. The experience of '49 proved that the armies of Piedmont, in the hour of need, could rely on volunteers of pith and nerve, in cities so downtrodden even as were Rome and Venice; for it must not be forgotten that the republicans who sustained both sieges were members of the bourgeoisie and proletariate. This consolidation of opinion after the events of 1849 was proved by Gioberti's recantation of his earlier mysticism. In 1851 he published a new treatise the Rinnovamento, which distinctly indicated Piedmont as the substantial basis of Italian independence. Daniele Manin, now an exile in Paris, declared his adhesion to the same doctrine. The constitutional party was further strengthened by the adhesion of the leading republicans, Pallavicino and La Farina; and in 1857 the main point of unanamity was secured by the formation of the Società Nazionale, which kept sectarian jealousies in the background. Garibaldi, at this time less republican than he afterwards became, was himself a president of this political association. Henceforward the genuine Mazzinisti formed a permanent minority. They could do little more than to impede without perplexing or baffling the policy of the Piedmontese statesmen, who felt themselves to be supported by the instincts of the race at large.





Vittorio Emmanuele began his reign with Massimo d'Azeglio for minister. He steadily refused all Austrian advances, though enforced by his own wife and mother, both of whom were Austrian archduchesses. The house of Savoy had pledged itself to Italy, and the house had never broken faith. The first cares of the new ministry were devoted to internal reforms, to the organization of the army by La Marmora, and to financial measures. In 1850 they passed the so-called Siccardi law, which abolished ecclesiastical courts. This was followed by a law of civil marriage; and in 1854 the ecclesiastical reforms were completed by Rattazzi's bill for restricting religious corporations and placing church property under state control. The necessity of these measures is demonstrated by the fact that the little kingdom of Sardinia counted 41 bishops, 1417 canonries, about 18,000 persons vowed to a monastic life, and one ecclesiastic to every 214 inhabitants. Their importance will be understood when we reflect that these laws were extended to Italy after the union.

Meanwhile Cavour had joined the government in 1850, as minister of commerce. Not least among his great qualities was a thorough understanding of parliamentary tactics ; and, though his first attempts at public speaking were unsuccessful, he soon remedied this defect. Mastery of facts and moral force gave weight to his eloquence far above rhetoric. Meanwhile his study of English politics, and admiration for men like Pitt and Peel, developed what in him was an innate instinct for parliamentary leadership. This sound sense of the conditions of representative government induced him to form a coalition with Rattazzi, the leader of the democrats, in 1852. D'Azeglio and the king were frightened by so bold a step. But Cavour's preponderance in the chambers was irresistible ; and in November 1853 he superseded D'Azeglio as prime minister. From this date the fortunes of Italy were in his hands, and Cavour became one of the foremost men in Europe. It was by his advice that the Sardinian troops under General La Marmora took part with France and England in the Crimean war, where they distinguished themselves in the battle of the Tchernaya. The nation by this step secured powerful allies, forced itself upon the notice of Europe, and accustomed its army to service on a grand scale. At the congress of Paris in 1856 Cavour represented Sardinia, and laid the grievances of Italy before the allied powers. Both France and England remonstrated, but vainly, with Ferdinand II. for his misgovernment.

Cavour had travelled both in England and France, and had observed that, though the English sympathized with Italy and were horrified by what they heard of Neapolitan atrocities, he was not likely to get more than moral support and non-interference from Great Britain. Yet he could not work Italian independence without the help of one of the great powers against Austria. He therefore determined to rely on Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who had expressed his willingness to afford substantial assistance at the proper moment. Between the years 1856 and 1859 it was Cavour's one endeavour to maintain the French emperor in this resolve, and at the same time to drive the Austrians into a seasonable declaration of war.

The situation was delicate and dangerous in the extreme ; and in January 1858 the minister's combinations were seriously imperilled by Felice Orsini's attempt on Napoleon's life. It was only by passing a bill which denned the crime of political assassination that he regained the emperor's confidence. Later in the year, Cavour met Napoleon at Plombières, where the preliminaries to a Franco-Italian alliance for war against Austria were settled.

The cabinet of Vienna, harassed by repeated memorials on the subject of their tyranny in Lombardy, complained to Europe that Piedmont was a standing menace to Italian peace, withdrew its minister from Turin, and demanded the disarmament of the Sardinian kingdom. Louis Napoleon now prepared himself for war. On the 1st of January 1859 Vittorio Emmanuele opened parliament with a speech which declared the coming struggle : " We are not insensible to the cry of suffering that rises to us from so many parts of Italy." The words Grido di dolore were understood to be the watchword of the war. In the early summer of 1859 the French crossed the Alps. The puppets of Parma, Tuscany, and Modena fled, as usual, before the gathering storm,—this time never to return. The battles of Magenta (June 4) and Solferino (June 24) opened Lombardy to the French and Sardinian troops, as far as the Quadrilateralof fortresses protecting Venice. There Louis Napoleon sheathed his sword. He met the emperor Francis Joseph at Villa Franca, and, without consulting his allies, agreed to an armistice. At Plombières he had declared that he meant to free Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic. But now he agreed upon the Mincio as the future boundary between Sardinia and Austria. Venice was not to be liberated. Terrible was the disappointment of the Piedmontese, who had made vast sacrifices for this campaign, and who felt that their king had been insulted. Yet Louis Napoleon was incapable of more. He knew himself to be no general, and he had good reason to be certain that, if he pushed Austria too far, Prussia would take up arms and carry war to France upon the Bhine. Moreover, the gain to Italy proved greater than at first appeared. Tuscany, Modena, Parma, and Romagna declared their determination to join the kingdom. In March 1860 the annexation of Central Italy to Sardinia was effected, and approved by the French emperor. It now appeared that, according to a hitherto secret understanding with Cavour, Louis Napoleon was to take Savoy and Nice as the price of his assistance. This sacrifice of their ancient home, the cradle of their dynasty, the house of Savoy made to the Italian cause. But it was long before the Italians forgave Cavour. He had to bear reproaches from all quarters, especially from Garibaldi, who was never tired of repeating, " That man has made me a foreigner in my own house. "

The same month which witnessed the annexation of Central Italy saw the outburst of a revolution in the south. Bomba was dead ; but his son Francis II., by continued acts of cruelty to state prisoners, and by cowardly oppression of his subjects, had merited the nickname of Bombino. Refugees from Naples spread the tale of Bourbon tyranny all over Europe. Even London trembled with rage at Poerio's sufferings. The insurrection broke out at Palermo, Messina, and Catania. Garibaldi determined to support it. On the 5th of May he set out from Genoa with his volunteers, the famous Mille, each of whom became for Italy a hero. Cavour knew of the expedition and secretly favoured it, though he openly expressed the regret of the Sardinian Government to Europe. It was his policy to wait and see what happened, trusting that the gain of the venture would accrue to the new kingdom. Garibaldi landed at Marsala, and proclaimed himself dictator in the name of Vittorio Emmanuele, king of Italy. The conquest of Sicily was the matter of a few days. In August the general crossed to Spartivento, defeated the royal army, drove Francis II. to Gaeta, and entered Naples on the 7 th of September. There Mazzini joined him, and the difficulties of the situation began to disclose themselves. Garibaldi had no capacity for administration ; yet he was unwilling to resign his dictatorship. He had proclaimed Vittorio Emmanuele; yet he lent an ear to the republicans, who hated Piedmont. Moreover, he hardly concealed his intention of marching on Borne. Had he taken this step, success would have involved reactionary interference on the part of Europe, while failure might have involved the loss of Lower Italy. Meanwhile the natives of the Two Sicilies were slow to accept annexation. They dispensed with the Bourbons gladly; but they were ready to fulfil the prophecy of Bomba, that " whosoever turned the Bourbons out would have enough to do in Lower Italy for the next century." Anarchy began to reign, and the Bourbon party lifted up its head again at Gaeta. In these circumstances, Cavour, after ascertaining that he had the sanction of Napoleon, resolved on sending troops into the papal states. This seemed the only means of preventing Garibaldi's march on Rome, and securing his acquisitions for United Italy. General Cialdini accordingly occupied Urbino and Perugia, defeated the pope's general, Lamoriciere, at Castelfidardo, joined Garibaldi, and helped him to gain a victory over the Bourbon troops on the Volturno. On the 2d of October Cavour defined the situation for the parliament at Turin : " Garibaldi wishes to perpetuate the revolution; we wish to terminate it." Soon after this, Vittorio Emmanuele himself entered the Abruzzi. Garibaldi, with the loyalty which never deserted him, resigned his dictatorship, and returned to Caprera. In November Cavour was able to write to Berlin : " We are Italy; we work in her name ; but at the sam e time it is our policy to moderate the national movement and maintain the monarchical principle."

In February 1861 Gaeta fell, after a resistance ennobled by the courage of Francesco's German consort. The kingdom was annexed by plebiscite, and Vittorio Emmanuele was proclaimed king of Italy at Turin. Europe tacitly assented to Italian independence. Only Rome and Venice now remained to be liberated. The difficulties under which new Italy laboured were enormously increased by the annexation of the Two Sicilies. Ever since the Norman Conquest they had formed a province apart. Temperament, custom, and tradition separated the inhabitants, as far as it was possible, from the sober people.of the north. The national parliament had to contend with brigandage encouraged by the clergy, with deeply-rooted antipathies of race, with the discontent of disbanded officials, and with the multitudinous obstacles which a demoralized society offers to strict government. Upper Italy alone was educated for political existence. Elsewhere the bad government of centuries had made the people permanently hostile to the state, while corruption rendered them untrustworthy as agents. Therefore the business of the country had to be conducted by the Piedmontese. Yet this important fact was neglected in the composition of the parliament, where a due preponderance had not been secured for the colleges of Northern Italy. It was impossible not to own that the work of emancipation and annexation had progressed too quickly. To add to the difficulty, Italy lost her greatest statesman at this juncture. On the 5th of June 1861, Cavour died with the words " A free church in a free state" upon his lips. The last months of his life had been given to planning the peaceable acquisition of Rome by treaty with the pope and Louis Napoleon.

What remains of Italian history between 1861 and 1870 may be briefly told. Ricasoli formed a conservative Government after Cavour's death, and Rattazzi led the opposition. Garibaldi, who vowed never to rest till Rome and Venice had been liberated, headed the party of action. In 1862 he raised a volunteer army and invaded Sicily. Louis Napoleon regarded this as a menace to Rome, and ordered Rattazzi, who was now in power, to check his progress. Cialdini marched to Reggio, where the royal troops were defeated by the volunteers on the, 28th of September 1862. Next day Garibaldi was attacked and beaten at Aspromonte by General Pallavicini. He retired, wounded, to Caprera, whence he published his defence. The blame was seen to lie with Rattazzi, who had thought to follow Cavour's policy of masterly inaction without first settling with France. The sympathy of Europe with Italy was so great after this disaster that in September 1864 Louis Napoleon agreed to a gradual withdrawal of French troops from Rome, provided Italy respected what remained of the pope's temporal power. By the same convention Florence became the capital. This was a good step in advance towards the annexation of Rome. In 1866 the Austro-Prussian war gave a new opportunity to the Italians. They entered into alliance with Prussia, and marched an army across the Mincio. The defeats of Custozza, Monte Suello, and Lissa deprived the Italian troops of any claim to military or naval glory in this war. But the Prussian victory of Koniggratz secured the main objects for which they fought. Venice, with the Quadrilateral, was joined to the Italian kingdom, while Austria kept her Istrian and Dalmatian provinces.

In accordance with the September convention, Louis Napoleon withdrew his garrison from Rome in 1866. This event inflamed the party of action. Mazzini called upon the people to seize the Eternal City; and Garibaldi in 1867 declared his resolve to take Rome or die. Rattazzi, who was again in power, once more attempted the policy which had failed him in 1862. He ignored the obligation which bound Vittorio Emmanuele to defend the papal frontiers, and he hoped that France would tolerate a volunteer invasion. He was mistaken. Louis Napoleon interfered, and the Italian cabinet was forced to discountenance the further proceedings of the volunteers. Disturbances occurred in Rome, and Garibaldi gained a victory at Monte Rotondo. Meanwhile the king appealed to the Italians to preserve his honour, and the emperor sent a new garrison to Rome. Garibaldi's volunteers surrendered at Mentana, on the 4th of November, to the French and papal troops ; and, while the general was retiring to Caprera, he was arrested by order of the Italian Government at Figline. But the end was now not distant.

When the victory of Sedan overthrew the French empire in September 1870, Jules Favre declared the September convention to be at an end; Vittorio Emmanuele was released from his obligations, and on the 20th he entered Rome, which now became his capital. Pius IX. was allowed to retain the Vatican with its dependencies, the church of Sta Maria Maggiore, and Castel Gandolfo on the Alban hill. The state voted him a munificent income, and he was left in peace to play the part of a persecuted prisoner. Thus ended the emancipation of Italy; nor did the events of the following ten years alter the situation created by the king's occupation of Rome in 1870. Vittorio Emmanuele died and was succeeded by his son Umberto in 1878. Pius IX. died the same year, and was succeeded by Leo XIII. The history of Italy during this period has been confined to internal affairs.


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