V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 4. Western and Central Europe, 1815–1848 > g. The Italian States
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1814, April 20)
g. The Italian States
After 1814, the Congress of Vienna placed Italy under effective Austrian control in exchange for the latter's loss of Belgian territory to Holland. Lombardy and Venetia were annexed to Austria, and nine new or revived states were created: kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont), Modena, Parma, Lucca, Tuscany, Papal States, kingdom of Naples, republic of San Marino, and Monaco.  1
Restoration in Italian government. (1) Habsburg Italy (Lombardy and Venetia): Francis I appointed his brother, Archduke Rainier, as viceroy and established two congregations as consultive bodies to the absolute control of the viceroy. In many ways, the government followed the Napoleonic legacy. It confirmed the sale of church lands and the imperial nomination of bishops. It also retained the majority of the civil servants in place during the Napoleonic period. (2) The kingdom of the Two Sicilies (as of Dec. 8, 1816): Ferdinand united the kingdom of Naples and Sicily into the kingdom of Two Sicilies, and he became Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. He maintained an absolutist government under the direction of his leading minister, Luigi de' Medici. Medici attempted to combine absolute government with fair taxes and good administration. His policies were hampered by pressure applied by France and Great Britain, which resulted in a decrease in tariffs by 10 percent for goods carried on French, British, and Spanish ships. (3) Papal States: Pope Pius VII returned after a long exile and restored the Company of Jesus. Under his secretary, Cardinal Consalvi, he managed to recreate a strong administration and establish a bureaucracy on the French model. Pius was assisted by general Catholic revival and ultramontanism but also met with resistance from laymen who were excluded from the government. (4) Modena: Francis IV of Modena, under Austrian suasion, abolished Napoleon's legislation and purged the civil service. (5) Piedmont: Victor Emmanuel I of Piedmont restored, as much as possible, the previous Piedmontese regime, including religious intolerance, return of the Jesuits, customs barriers, and the restoration of guilds. (6) Parma: Maria Louisa of Parma and the infanta Maria Louisa of Bourbon-Parma owed their thrones to Austria and heeded the wishes of Metternich.  2
Famine. This famine was worsened by the restoration of guilds in Piedmont and the establishment of interior and exterior tariffs. Italy also suffered because its people, especially in the south, depended heavily on subsistence agriculture, and so, when crops failed, had little money to purchase from abroad or supplement their harvest. An outbreak of typhus swept through Italy during the famine.  3
Agricultural development. Traditional agriculture dominated the Italian economy. The rising rural population forced families onto marginally productive land, and these families turned to cottage industry to supplement their incomes. Nonetheless, certain crops and regions, particularly the Po Valley, did experience growth. The development of raw silk farms helped fuel the silk industry in France.  4
Industry. Little industrialization occurred in Italy until after 1848, although the numerous fast-moving streams provided sites for some factories, and cottage industry expanded. Since the government did not encourage the development of the railroads, Italy did not generate capital-intensive industries.  5
Urban development. Little urban growth took place. Urban society was characterized by a sharp economic disparity between a small number of wealthy families and a large number of petty traders, artisans, and the poor. Living conditions within cities were bad for the majority.  6
Secret societies. The Carbonari (charcoal burners), who supported a republican form of government, grew rapidly in the early 19th century. They were the first post-1815 group to channel the liberal and nationalist sentiment that had grown during Napoleon's conquests and the reorganization of Italy. The Carbonari borrowed Masonic rituals. The growing concern over pauperization and falling prices combined with the rising tide of nationalism to result in a number of Italian revolutions.  7
Fall in prices. Prices on agricultural produce fell after the famine as a result of an influx of wheat from Russia, more advanced agricultural techniques abroad, and the freedom of trade created as a result of the end of the Continental System. This fall in agricultural prices led to a rise in pauperism and forced marginal peasants either to emigrate or to supplement their incomes through cottage industry.  8
1820, July 2
The Neapolitan Revolution. Encouraged by the news from Spain, the Carbonari in the army led a revolt under Gen. Guglielmo Pepe. This revolt involved moderate landlords and members of a middle class concerned, among other things, with the lot of the poor. Ferdinand promised a constitution (July 15) but was restored to his former position as a result of Austrian intervention under the Troppau Protocol (See 1820–21).  9
July 15–16
Sicilian Revolution. Spurred by the Neapolitan Revolution, economic crisis, and resentment toward conscription and administrative reforms, craftsmen and workers rose in Palermo and demonstrated a violence toward the army not experienced in Naples. The moderates in Naples as well as the newly restored government united in a harsh repression of the Sicilian Revolution.  10
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.