On December 29, 1848, the provisional government, established after the Pope's departure, called for the election on January 21, 1849, of a constituent assembly to prepare a constitution for the newly established Roman Republic, but so to word it that it could be extended to all of Italy once unity was achieved. It also decreed universal manhood suffrage for all males over twenty-one and declared any male over twenty-five eligible for office. Elections saw a large turnout of voters, despite a papal edict censuring the convocation of a constitutional assembly and forbidding participation in the elections.
metel modeles. french cavalry dragopons1870 and below 1854. The look in Italy was that one below but you can see here the changes in 16 years. Metal modeles do four second empire figures. Only three are just for the Italian campaign
The assembly convened on February 5, 1849. Four days later, it abolished the temporal power of the pope and proclaimed the Roman Republic. It then proceeded to designate a ruling Triumvirate as executive. It also made Giuseppe Mazzini an honorary Roman citizen and invited him to come to Rome.
Shortly after his arrival on March 5 he was elected to the Triumvirate together with Aurelio Saffi and Carlo Armellini. The republican government faced a threefold task: to introduce needed socio-economic and political reforms, to redact a constitution suited to the immediate needs of the republic, but which could be extended to a future united Italy, and to prepare a defense of the republic against the pope's supporters.
The last proved to be the most urgent. The Catholic powers of Europe responded with troops to the pope's appeal from Gaeta for help in putting down his rebellious subjects and restoring his temporal power. Austrian forces threatened the Roman Republic's northern borders.
The French Second Republic, now under the firm control of the conservatives and its newly elected president, Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, dispatched an expeditionary force which landed at the Roman port of Civitavecchia at the end of April.
Neapolitan troops, led by their king, massed to the south, and Spain disembarked four thousand soldiers at Gaeta in preparation for marching on Rome.
With French troops a few kilometers from Rome in Civitavecchia, tortuous negotiations ensued between Roman republican leaders and the French. Finally, after two months the French began their attack on the capital. Outnumbered and outgunned by superior French forces,
Rome put up a brave but futile resistance which ended on July 1, 1849. Despite the battles raging on the city's perimeters, the assembly continued to discuss the provisions of the constitution and on July 1 approved it. Written by the only Italian assembly elected by universal suffrage in 1848-49, the Roman charter was truly the people's constitution.
At noon on July 3 it was solemnly proclaimed in the Campidoglio, Rome's city hall. That evening French troops entered the city. Garibaldi led a small detachment of his men north towards Venice to help in its defense, but pursued by Austrian troops, he barely escaped with his life.
Other republican leaders avoided arrest and imprisonment with the help of foreign passports given them by the American and English consuls in Rome. Mazzini remained unmolested in the city until the middle of July, after which he returned to his foreign exile. Meanwhile Pope Pius IX appointed a Commission of Cardinals to govern Rome while he remained under the protection of King Ferdinand II. The commission abolished all republican measures, instituted a repressive regime, and worked to root out the last vestiges of radicalism. Pius IX finally returned to Rome in April 1850 guarded by a French garrison. Thus ended what some historians consider to be the most advanced experiment in republicanism and representative government in Italy during 1848-49
The General with Andrea Aguyar his black bodyguard
Towards the end of April, Garibaldi, who had been stationed at Rieti, was ordered to bring his legion to Rome. Those who witnessed the arrival saw one of the strangest scenes ever beheld in the Eternal City. The men wore pointed hats with black, waving plumes; thin and gaunt, their faces dark as copper, with naked legs, long beards and wild dark hair hanging down their backs, they looked like a company of Salvator Rosa's brigands.
The origin of the red shirt might have remained in poetic uncertainty had it not been mentioned a few years ago in a volume of reminiscences published by an English naval officer. The men employed in the Saladéros or great slaughtering and salting establishments for cattle in the Argentine provinces wore scarlet woollen shirts; owing to the blockade of Buenos Ayres, a merchant at Monte Video had a quantity of these on his hands, and as economy was a great object to the government, they bought the lot cheap for their Italian legion, little thinking that they were making the 'Camicia Rossa' immortal in song and story.
The coming to Rome of the 1200 legionaries aroused private fears in the hearts of the more timid inhabitants, but Garibaldi knew how to keep his wild followers in hand, and gallant was the service they rendered to Roman liberty.
garibaldi with his black servant
The preliminaries of the French intervention in Rome are well known but the word dishonesty, brought against the French government for their part in the matter is apt.
It is proved that the restoration of the Temporal Power was the aim of the expedition from the first; it is equally proved that the French sought to get inside Rome by distinct disclaimers of any such intention. 'We do not go to Italy,' they said, 'to impose with our arms a system of government, but to assure the rights of liberty, and to preserve a legitimate interference in the affairs of the peninsula.' They adopted a curious method of assuring the rights of liberty.
The Pope would not have anything to do with the affair. 'If you say openly that you are going to give me back my Temporal Power, well and good; if not, I prefer the aid of Austria.'
Induno.The Call of Garibaldi
Louis Napoleon was far less Papal in his sentiments than were most of the assenting deputies; his own opinion was more truly represented by the letter which, as a private citizen, he wrote to the 'Constitutionnel' in December 1848 than by his subsequent course as President.
General Oudinot landed at Civitavecchia on the 25th of April, his friendly assurances having persuaded the local authorities to oppose no resistance, an unfortunate error, but the last. The correct judgment formed by the Roman Government of the designs of the invaders was considerably assisted by a French officer, Colonel Leblanc, who was sent to Rome by Oudinot to come to an agreement with Mazzini for the amicable reception of the French, and who, losing his temper, revealed more than he was meant to reveal. His last words, 'Les Italiens ne se battent pas,' unquestionably expressed the belief of the whole French force, from the general-in-chief to the youngest drummer. They were soon going to have a chance of testing its accuracy.
The General was a legend in his own lifetime.
The Roman Assembly passed a vote that 'force should be repelled by force.' Well-warned, therefore, but with the proverbial coeur léger, Oudinot advanced on Rome with 8000 men early on the 30th of April. At [Pg.151] eleven o'clock the two columns came in sight of St Peter's, and soon after, the first which moved towards Porta Angelica was attacked by Colonel Masi. Garibaldi attacked the second column a mile out of Porta San Pancrazio. At the first moment the superior numbers of the French told, and the Italians fell back on Villa Pamphilli, but Colonel Galetti arrived with reinforcements, and before long Garibaldi drove the French from the Pamphilli Gardens and had them in full retreat along the Civitavecchia road. Oudinot was beaten, Rome was victorious.
The French ministers, bombarded with reproaches by friends and foes, and most uneasy lest their troops in Italy should be destroyed before they could send reinforcements, did disown Oudinot's march on Rome, and Ferdinand de Lesseps was despatched nominally 'to arrange matters in a pacific sense,' but actually to gain time