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Failure of the Italian Revolutions Essay

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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 significance the efforts of the revolutionary ideologues try to put on it” which shows that Italy was not considered a country this was because it was separated into different states and each had their own rulers. The system of government was mainly autocratic which meant that just one man was in charge of the entire state and so it would be true to say that Italy was not a democratic country. The French Revolution that began in 1789 meant that countries all over Europe were under the control of Napoleon Bonaparte, Italy included until the battle of Waterloo where Napoleon was defeated. All progress that had been made in the country was reversed with the Treaty of Versailles which meant that the autocratic kings were reinstated into Naples, Sardinia-Piedmont and Sicily and the duchies of Parma, Modena and Tuscany were given back to Austrian rule. The people of Italy had tasted a better life under Napoleon’s rule and wanted change, this led to the revolts.
From 1815 to 1848 the nationalist ...


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...n power vowed to grant a representative government and a constitution. These visions then diffused into France which caused the King, Louis Philippe, to abdicate and a republic was created. The vote for every man in France was also promised. The revolutionary feeling swept into Belgium, where liberal reforms were passed, and into Holland reform was granted by the King before revolutionary unrest could take hold. As this was taking place, ideas of a unified Germany were also emerging and the German Confederation reforms, similar to those just granted in Holland, were proposed. In March of that year, the revolutionary ideology passed into the Austrian Empire. Riots occurred in Vienna and the Royal Family believed that the Empire was in jeopardy. Due to this, Chancellor Metternich was discharged, and with him went the ideas that had previously dominated most of Europe.


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