The following post used to be on my former blog, but I’m moving it on this blog.
Risorgimento is an Italian word meaning resurgence. In history, it is the name given to the process known as the unification of Italy, which occurred in the mid to late 1800s. Italy for many centuries was divided.
As you can tell by this map of Italy 1815, the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia is under the Austrian Empire. The Austrians are ruled by the Habsburgs. The Habsburgs also rule Modena, Parma, and Tuscany. The Italians were full of nationalism and wanted these foreign rulers out. So here is a timeline of Risorgimento.
1848: Revolutions arise throughout Europe, including in the Italian states.
Mar 17, 1848: Revolts occur in Lombardy-Venetia.
Mar 22, 1848: Revolutionaries in Venetia declare the Republic of San Marco.
Mar 23, 1848: Seeing an opportunity to drive the Austrians out, the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont declares war on Austria. Tuscany, The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the Papal states sided with Sardinia but The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States drop out of the war early.
Feb 9, 1849: More revolutionaries go to the Papal States and overthrow Pope Pius IX and set up a new Roman Republic.
Mar 23, 1849: Sardinia is badly defeated and surrenders to Austria. King Charles Albert abdicates in favor of his son Victor Emmanuel II.
Apr 25, 1849: Napoleon III, emperor of France, comes to the Pope’s aid and sends a French army garrison to attack the Roman Republic. They besiege the city of Rome.
Jul 2, 1849: Rome falls and the Roman Republic ends. The Pope is given back control and the Papal States arise again. A French garrison stays in Rome to protect the Pope.
Aug 27, 1849: The Republic of San Marco is defeated. Lombardy-Venetia is now back under full Austrian control.
Jan 26, 1855: Sardinia-Piedmont, in an attempt to gain favor from France for the Italian cause, enters the Crimean war.
Feb 25, 1856: The Crimean War ends. Sardinia gains sympathy but no help for the cause.
Jan 14, 1858: Felice Orsini, an Italian, led an attempt on Napoleon III’s life. Ironically, this brought the Italian cause to Napoleon III’s attention even more.
Apr, 1859: Sardinia does various military maneuvers near the border with Lombardy-Venetia to provoke Austria.
Apr 23, 1859: Austria delivers an ultimatum to Sardinia-Piedmont to cease and desist. Sardinia does not.
Apr 29, 1859: Austria declares war. Since Sardinia didn’t attack first, France sides with Sardinia-Piedmont and declares war on Austria.
Jun 4, 1859: Battle of Magenta. (Franco-Sardinian victory) On this day, Modena overthrows its Habsburg rulers.
Jun 24, 1859: Battle of Solferino. (Franco-Sardinian victory)
Jul 11, 1859: An armistice is declared.
Aug 16, 1859: Tuscany overthrows its Habsburg rulers.
Nov 10, 1859: Treaty of Zurich. Austria cedes Lombardy to France who immediately cedes it to Sardinia.
Dec 3, 1859: Parma overthrows its Habsburg rulers.
Dec 8, 1859: Parma, Modena, Tuscany, and the Papal Legations (Romanga) combine together to form a Sardinian client state of the United Provinces of Central Italy.
Mar 22, 1860: The United Provinces of Central Italy complete a plebiscite (poll) and agree to be annexed by Sardinia-Piedmont.
Mar 24, 1860: Treaty of Turin between Sardinia-Piedmont and France. Plebiscites will held in Savoy and Nice to see if they will be ceded to France in exchange for France’s help. Also, in exchange for this, France will recognize the annexation of the United Provinces of Central Italy.
Apr 15 – 16, 1860: Plebiscite in Nice. They vote to join France.
Apr 22 – 23, 1860: Plebiscite in Savoy. They vote to join France.
May 5, 1860: With British approval, Giuseppe Garibaldi and his redshirt army leave Genoa in Sardinia-Piedmont to set sail for Sicily to conquer the island from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
May 11, 1860: Garibaldi lands in Sicily.
May 27 – 28, 1860: Siege of Palermo. The city falls to Garibaldi.
Jun 12, 1860: Nice is annexed by France.
Jun 14, 1860: Savoy is annexed by France.
Jul 20, 1860: Milazzo is attacked.
Jul 26, 1860: Messina is surrendered to Garibaldi. Sicily is now under the control of Garibaldi who becomes dictator of Sicily. But there are other strongholds in the area that haven’t fallen yet.
Aug 19, 1860: Garibaldi sets sail for the city of Calabria, which is on the Italian mainland.
Aug 21, 1860: Calabria is attacked and conquered.
Sep, 1860: Strongholds remaining in Sicily surrender.
Sep 7, 1860: Naples falls to Garibaldi. King Francis II of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies retreats to the stronghold of Gaeta.
Oct 1 – 2, 1860: Garibaldi wins the Battle of the Volturnus. The Sardinian army, which crossed the Papal State of the Marches to reach Southern Italy, arrives.
Oct 21, 1860: The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies is formally annexed by Garibaldi’s troops after a plebiscite, but Francis II still retains the fortress of Gaeta.
Oct 26, 1860: The meeting of Teano Bridge. Garibaldi agrees to hand over the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to Sardinia-Piedmont.
Nov 4, 1860: Sardinia-Piedmont annexes the Papal states of Umbria and The Marches.
Feb 13, 1861: The stronghold of Gaeta surrenders.
Mar 17, 1861: The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed with Turin as its capital. This leaves only the Papal State of Latium (the area around Rome protected by France) and Austrian held Venetia.
1864: (Sorry I couldn’t find a precise date for this anywhere…) The capital of Italy is moved from Turin to Florence. While Rome was proclaimed capital of Italy, it wasn’t capital officially because they were still under Papal control.
Jun 14, 1866: Italy sides with Prussia in the Austro-Prussian war.
Aug 23, 1866: After Prussia is victorious, Austria ceded Venetia to Italy.
Sep 20, 1870: After the French garrison is forced to leave for the Franco-Prussian war, Italy annexes the last Papal State and makes Rome its capital. Italy is finally united.
Risorgimento ends here as Italy is now united. Thanks for reading this post and I hope that this timeline helps you.