The Revolution of 1820 in Italy

The Revolution of 1820 in Italy

Following the example of everything that happened in Spain, in Italy there was a similar situation. Although there was no "Kingdom of italy"As such, yes there was two great kingdoms that participated in the Revolutions of 1820: the Kingdom of Naples and the Kingdom of Piedmont. However, most revolutionary movements were driven by secret societies, like charcoal.

The Kingdom of Naples, also known as that of the “Two Sicilies"It was the one that covered the most land of all the kingdoms of the Italian peninsula and the most absolutist. It was ruled by the Bourbon house, strong defenders of this authoritarian system. But the population did not agree with the maintenance of this system.

Seeing that the Spaniards took up arms against the absolute monarchy, the Liberals of the Kingdom of Naples they understood that another reality was possible. For this reason, through the secret societies that proliferated at the time, several protests were instigated.

In July 1820, a revolt broke out in the city of Naples. The uprising had been prepared by the carbonari, an Italian nationalist and liberal group led by Guglielmo Pepe, whose objective was the unification of the Italian peninsula. The movement was a success and Fernando I was forced to sign the Constitution proposed to him by the rebels. It was a Magna Carta very similar to the Spanish Constitution of 1812.

The Kingdom of Piedmont was also one of the most affected, since it was at the epicenter of Italian nationalism. It was controlled by Victor Emmanuel I, a member of the House of Savoy and defender of the Old Regime. The monarch had been on the throne for only 6 years, as he returned to Turin in 1814 due to the Napoleon's defeat.

Since his return, various factions within the country advocated for a unification of all the Italian kingdoms. The unstable situation of its neighbor, the Kingdom of Naples, caused the Carbonari within Piedmont to revolt in March 1821.

The king Victor Manuel IUnable to control the situation, he abdicated on his brother Carlos Félix. The new monarch signed the constitution drawn up by the liberal rebels and thus began the brief liberal stage within the Kingdom of Piedmont.

Both revolts, the one in Naples and the one in Piedmont, ended up in failure due to foreign intervention. Much like what happened in Spain, the absolutist leaders met first in the Troppau Congress and later in the Laibach Congress to finalize the Liberal aspirations of Naples and Piedmont, respectively. In the case of Naples, it was King Ferdinand I who turned to the Holy Alliance for help. Something very similar to what happened with Ferdinand VII with the Verona Congress.

However, the end of the riots was but the beginning of the nationalistic yearnings within Italy. The population of the different kingdoms had an awareness of belonging to a common nation, so it would not take long for the artificial system set by foreign absolutist powers to collapse. It was a matter of time.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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