Monday, 23 March 2009

THE POLITICAL MAP BEFORE THE STORM plus Soldiers of the wars commercially available

The political map of Italy in the summer of 1814 showed the Pope (Pius VII.) reinstated in Rome, Victor Emmanuel I. at Turin, Ferdinand III. of Hapsburg-Lorraine in Tuscany, the Genoese Republic for the moment restored by the English, Parma and Piacenza assigned to the Empress Marie-Louise, and Modena to the Austrian Archduke Francis, who was heir through the female line to the last of the Estes.

Guard Corps Naples Kingdom 1815romeo
 Murat was still  at Naples, Ferdinand IV. in Sicily, Austria acknowledged supreme in Lombardy and Venetia, and the island of Elba ironically handed over to Napoleon.
Murat by Romeo
 These were the chief features, so far as Italy was concerned, of the Treaty of Paris, signed on the 30th of May 1814. Next year the Congress of Vienna modified the arrangement by providing that the Spanish Infanta Maria Louisa, on whom had been bestowed the ex-republic of Lucca, should have the reversion of Parma and Piacenza, while Lucca was to go in the end to Tuscany. Murat having been destroyed, the Neapolitan Bourbons recovered all their old possessions.
 San Marino and Monaco were graciously recognised as independent, which brought the number of Italian states up to ten. The Sardinian monarchy received back the part of Savoy which by the Treaty of Paris had been reserved to France. It was also offered a splendid and unexpected gift—Genoa.

Lord William Bentinck entered Genoa by a convention concluded with the authorities on the 18th of April 1814.
 A naval demonstration following an ably-conducted operation, by which Bentinck's hybrid force of Greeks and Calabrese, with a handful of English, became master of the two principal forts, hastened this conclusion, but the Genoese had no reluctance to open their gates to the English commander, who inspired them with the fullest confidence.

Greek Napoleonics by Treefrog
flat greeks

 He came invested with the halo of a constitution-maker-under-difficulties; it was known that he had stopped at nothing in carrying out his mission in Sicily; not even at getting rid of the Queen, who found in Bentinck the Nemesis for having led a greater Englishman to stain his fame in the roads of Naples. Driven rather than persuaded to leave Sicily, Marie Antoinette's sister encountered so frightful a sea voyage that she died soon after  joining her relations at Vienna.

semi flat greeks
 Lord William had acquired the art of writing the finest appeals to the love of freedom; a collection of his manifestoes would serve as handy-book to anyone instructed to stir up an oppressed nationality. He immediately gave the Genoese some specimens of his skill as a writer, and by granting them at once a provisional constitution, he dispelled all doubts about the future recognition of their republic.

greek nand calabrian troops
 What was not, therefore, their dismay, when they were suddenly informed of the decision of the Holy Alliance to make a present of them to the people whom, of all others, they probably disliked the most.
 Italians had not ceased yet from reserving their best aversion for their nearest neighbours.
Bentinck did not mean to deceive; perhaps he thought that by going beyond the letter of his instructions he should draw his government after him. That he did, in effect, deceive, cannot be denied; even Lord Castlereagh, while necessarily refusing to admit that definite promises had been made, yet allowed that, 'Of course he would have been glad if the proclamation issued to the Genoese had been more precisely worded.'
Calabrian napoleonic troops
 The motive of the determination to sacrifice the republic was, he said, 'a sincere conviction of the necessity of a barrier between France and Italy, which ought to be made effectual on the side of Piedmont.
 The object was to commit the defence of the Alps and of the great road leading round them by the Gulf of Genoa, between France and Italy, to the same power to which it had formerly been entrusted.
 On that principle, the question relating to Genoa had been entertained and decided upon by the allied sovereigns. It was not resolved upon because any particular state had unworthy or sordid views, or from any interest or feeling in favour of the King of  Sardinia, but solely to make him, as far as was necessary, the instrument of the general policy of Europe.'A better defence might have been made.
Piedmont was destined to serve as a bulwark, not so much against France, which for the time was not to be feared, as against Austria, absolute except for the subalpine kingdom in all Italy.
 The ends then looked very rough-hewn.Piedmont was a hotbed of reaction and bigotry.
True, she had a history differing vastly from that of the other Italian states, but the facts of the hour presented her in a most unattractive light.
 The Genoese felt the keenest heart-burnings in submitting to a decision in which they had no voice, and which came to them as a mandate of political extinction from the same powers that confirmed the sentence of death on Genoa's ancient and glorious rival.
After the Congress of Vienna finished its labours, there were, as has been remarked, ten states in Italy, but out of Sardinia (whose subjugation Prince Metternich esteemed a mere matter of time) there was one master. The authority of the Emperor Francis was practically as undisputed from Venice to the Bay of Naples as it was in the Grand Duchy of Austria.
 The Austrians garrisoned Piacenza, Ferrara and Commacchio; Austrian princes reigned in Tuscany, Parma, Modena and Lucca; the King of Naples, who paid Austria twenty-six million francs for getting back his throne, thankfully agreed to support a German army to protect him against his subjects.
austrian cavalry 1859
 In the secret treaty concluded between himself and the Emperor of Austria, it was stipulated that the King of the Two Sicilies should not introduce into his government any principles irreconcilable with those adopted by His Imperial Majesty in the government of his Italian provinces.
As for the Roman States, Austria reckoned on her influence in always securing the election of a Pope who would give her no trouble. Seeing herself without rivals and all-powerful, she deemed her position unassailable. She forgot that, by giving Italy an unity of misery, she was preparing the way for another unity. Common hatred engendered common love; common sufferings led on to a common effort.
 If some prejudices passed away under the Napoleonic rule, many more still remained, and possibly, to eradicate so old an evil, no cure less drastic than universal servitude would have sufficed.
Italians felt for the first time what before only the greatest among them had felt—that they were brothers in one household, children of one mother whom they were bound to redeem.
 Jealousies and millennial feuds died out; the intense municipal spirit which, imperfect as it was, had yet in it precious political germs, widened into patriotism. Italy was re-born.

general of naples

These are kits and soldiers avaible from Italian companies representing a multitude of regiments from the Italian wars of independence . The top photo is by Castel.The kepi is a vatican army one of the Zouaves.I will try to keep you informed on this blog of new soldiers that become available.

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