To What Extent Did the Revolutions of 1848-9 Fail in Italy Due to Poor Leadership?

1047 Words Oct 16th, 2011 5 Pages
The failures of 1848-9 could be blamed on the poor leadership of Individuals such as Charles Albert and Mazzini. However there are other contributing factors that should be taken into account.

Although Charles Albert seems to be successful in uniting the states of Italy to strengthen his campaign, for example, by joining Lombardy and Venetia with Piedmont and merging their armies into one in 1848, and aiding the rebels in Lombardy, his poor leadership effected the outcome of the 1848-9 Revolutions. Albert was uncomfortable with non-Piedmontese revolutionaries and made them swear an oath of loyalty to Piedmont, nor would he accept volunteers from other states in his army. This lack of unity hindered his chances of success. After Lombardy
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Mass support is an important aspect of a Revolution to insure success. The fact that the liberals viewed politics as a middle-class affair and did not want to encourage popular support or involve peasants, put them at a disadvantage. Liberals did not view social reform as an important issue, therefore they made no efforts to improve the lives of ordinary people. Peasants did not gain from being under a liberal-dominated revolutionary government and found themselves no better off than when they had been under a monarchy before.

Italy’s lack of international allies, was a further reason for the Revolutionary failures of 1848-9. A valuable factor beyond the control of revolutionary leaders, was the strong military powers of Italian enemies. Austria, for example, was a well led vast military force; superior in numbers and equipment. With this advantage, the Austrians were bound to win, even if the revolutionary forces had been able to present a united front. Examples of the Austrian might against Italy are during the Riots in Milan where the Austrians reacted harshly and killed 61 people. In 1848-9 Italy needed allies to counter balance the Austrian might, however Italy’s lack of International allies put them at a disadvantage. Furthermore the Pope’s influence on Catholic powers in Europe was counter-revolutionary, further preventing Italy from success. France, a traditional enemy of Austria, offered her military aid to Italy, It could be argued that the fact that

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