V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 5. Revolutions in Europe, 1848–1852 > d. Italy
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1846–47)
d. Italy
Italy's revolutions, which began to take shape before the Paris rising, proceeded against two interrelated problems: (1) Austrian dominance in northern Italy, and (2) the demand for liberal, political reform. Because Italians viewed the conservative government as linked to Austrian influence, the middle classes found support for the revolution among nobles as well as among the working class. The latter suffered from the devastating harvests of 1846–47 and the increases in prices that accompanied them.  1
1846, June 15
THE ELECTION OF PIUS IX increased liberal activity because of his liberalism. Liberals organized banquets and demonstrations and demanded the organization of a civic guard, which they saw as the first step toward armed resistance against the Austrians.  2
Piedmont. Charles Albert, influenced by liberal nobles such as Camillo di Cavour, eased press censorship and revised the police system (1847). He then expanded his army (Jan. 1848) and, on Feb. 13, 1848, yielded to liberal demands—he promised to create a civic guard, gave the government a two-chamber parliament, and lowered the price of salt.  3
March 4
Constitution (Statute) promulgated, the basis for the later constitution of the kingdom of Italy. The king also appointed Cesare Balbo as prime minister, and Balbo began preparing for war against Austria.  4
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.