Friday, 29 October 2010

The truth


With the bloodbath of Magenta and Solferino(above) San Martino over and the Austrians on retreat it was on the 18th of January 1860, the Emperor admitted to Lord Cowley that, though there was as yet no arrangement between himself and Victor Emmanuel on the subject, he intended to have Savoy. After the long series of denials of any such design, the admission caused the most indignant feeling in the English ministers and in the Queen, who wrote to Lord John Russell: 'We have been made regular dupes.' She went on to say that the revival of the English Alliance, and the hymns of universal peace chanted in Paris on the occasion of the Commercial Treaty, had been simply so many blinds, 'to hide from Europe a policy of spoliation.' Cavour came in for a part of the blame, as, during the war, he denied cognisance of the proposal to give up Savoy. The best that can be said of that denial is, that it was diplomatically impracticable for one party in the understanding of Plombières to make a clean breast of the truth, whilst the other party was assuring the whole universe that he was fighting for an idea.
cowleyLoading Imagegiven away in a newspaper were these paper soldiers of 1859Loading Image

When the war was broken off, Cavour fully expected that Napoleon, of whom he had the worst opinion, would then and there demand whole pay for his half service; and this had much to do with his furious anger at Villafranca; but later, in common with the best-informed persons, he believed that the claim was finally withdrawn. When, however, Napoleon asked again for the provinces—not as the price of the war, but of the annexations in Central Italy—Cavour instantly came to the conclusion that, cost what it might (and he thought that, amongst other things, it would cost his own reputation and popularity), the demand must be granted. Otherwise Italian unity would never be accomplished.
the peace of villafranca

sapper 1859

Savoy regt 1859

Italy, 1859emilian officer 1859 of artillery

emilian infantry 1859

In spite of this, however, and in spite of the difficulty of judging an act, all the reasons for which may not, even now, be in possession of the world, it is very hard indeed to pardon Cavour for having yielded Nice as well as Savoy to France. The Nizzards were Italians as the lower class of the population is Italian still; they had always shown warm sympathy with the hopes of Italy, which could not be said of the Savoyards; and Nice was the birthplace of Garibaldi!

Loading Image1859

England would have supported and applauded resistance to the claim for Nice on general grounds, though her particular interest was in Savoy, or rather in that part of the Savoy Alps which was neutralised by treaty in 1814.
Major General Savoy

It was the refusal of Napoleon to adopt the compromise of ceding this district to Switzerland which caused the breach between him and the British ministry. From that moment, also, Prussia began to increase her army, and resolved, when she was ready, to check the imperial ambition by force of arms. 'The loss of Alsace and Lorraine,' writes an able publicist, M.E. Tallichet, 'was the direct consequence of the annexation of Nice and Savoy.'

Savoy 1859Piedmontese infantry

If anything could have rendered more galling to Italy the deprivation of these two provinces, it was the tone adopted in France when speaking of the transaction. What were Savoy and Nice? A barren rock and an insignificant strip of coast! The French of thirty-four years ago travelled so little that they may have believed in the description. The vast military importance of the ceded districts has been already referred to. dead horse fattori
Savoy Chassuer 1859

Some scraps on the Nice frontier were saved in a curious way: They were spots which formed part of the favourite playground of the Royal Hunter of the Alps, and it was pointed out to Napoleon that it would be a graceful act to leave these particular 'barren rocks' to his Sardinian Majesty. The zig-zags in the line of demarcation which were thus introduced are said to be of great strategic advantage to Italy. So far, so good; but it remains true that France is inside the Italian front-door.Lancers of Genoa 1859

Loading Image

At the elections for the new Chamber in March 1860, the Nizzards chose Garibaldi; and this was their real plebiscite—not that which followed at a short interval, and presented the phenomenon of a population which appeared to change its mind as to its nationality in the course of a few weeks. In voting for Garibaldi, they voted for Italy.Magnificent statue of Anita . she was Garibaldi's South american wife.

savoy Brigade 1859

The Nizzard hero made some desperate efforts on behalf of his fellow-citizens in the Chamber, not his natural sphere, and was on the brink of making other efforts in a sphere in which he might have succeeded better. He had the idea of going to Nice with about 200 followers, and exciting just enough of a revolution to let the real will of the people be known, and to frustrate the wiles of French emissaries and the pressure of government in the official plebiscite of the 15th of April.original Garibaldian uniform
Cavalry office Savoy 1859

The story of the conspiracy, which is unknown in Italy, has been told by one of the conspirators, the late Lawrence Oliphant. The English writer, who reached Turin full of wrath at the proposed cession, was introduced to Garibaldi, from whom he received the news of the proposed enterprise.Tiralleur officer Savoy 1859

Oliphant offered his services, which were accepted, and he accompanied the general to Genoa, where he engaged a diligence which was to carry the vanguard to Nice. But, on going to Garibaldi for the last orders, he found him supping with twenty or thirty young men; 'All Sicilians!' said the chief. 'We must give up the Nice programme; the general opinion is that we shall lose all if we try for too much.' Volunteers of Savoy 1859

He added that he had hoped to carry out the Nice plan first, but now everything must be sacrificed to freeing Sicily. And he asked Oliphant to join the Thousand, an offer which the adventurous Englishman never ceased to regret that he did not accept. As it was, he elected to go all the same to Nice, where he was the spectator and became the historian of the arts which brought about the semblance of an unanimous vote in favour of annexation to France.

Officer of artillery Lombardy 1859

Loading ImageFrench 1859

The ratification of the treaty—which, by straining the constitution, was concluded without consulting Parliament—was reluctantly given by the Piedmontese Chambers, the majority of members fearing the responsibility of upsetting an accomplished fact. 54mm Italian dragoons in 1859 by AMB group
Cavour, when he laid down the pen after signing the deed of cession, turned to Baron de Talleyrand with the remark: 'Now we are accomplices!' His face, which had been depressed, resumed its cheerful air. In fact, though Napoleon's dislike of the central annexations was unabated, he could no longer oppose them. Victor Emmanuel accepted the four crowns of Central Italy, the people of which, during the long months of waiting, and under circumstances that applied the most crucial test to their resolution, had never swerved from the desire to form part of the Italian monarchy under the sceptre of the Re Galantuomo.
 The King of Sardinia, as he was still called, had eleven million subjects, and on his head rested one excommunication the more. The Bull fulminated against all who had, directly or indirectly, participated in the events which caused Romagna to change hands, was published a day or two before the opening of the new Parliament at Turin.

Emilian Cavalry attached to the Savoy regiment of the King 1859

Loading Image

Addressing for the first time the representatives of his widened realm, Victor Emmanuel said: 'True to the creed of my fathers, and like them, constant in my homage to the Supreme Head of the Church, whenever it happens that the ecclesiastical authority employs spiritual arms in support of temporal interests, I shall find in my steadfast conscience and in the very traditions of my ancestors, the power to maintain civil liberty in its integrity, and my own authority, for which I hold myself accountable to God alone and to my people.'Piedmont Dragoons by GPS . These are Italian m,ade toy soldiers and expensiveLoading ImageAustrians1859

The words: 'Della quale debbo ragione a Dio solo ed ai miei popoli,' were added by the King to the speech prepared by his ministers; it was noticed that he pronounced them with remarkable energy. The speech concluded: 'Our country is no more the Italy of the Romans, nor the Italy of the Middle Ages; no longer the field for every foreign ambition, it becomes, henceforth, the Italy of the Italians.'

No comments:

Post a Comment