• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was Austrian Military strength the most important reason for the failure of the 1848-9 revolutions?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐To what extent was Austrian Military strength the most important reason for the failure of the 1848-9 revolutions? In 1848-9 there were a series of revolutions in the Italian states. These were organized revolts in the states of Italy led by intellectuals and agitators who desired a liberal government. As Italian nationalists they sought to eliminate reactionary Austrian control. During this time period, Italy was still not a unified country, and was divided into many states, which, in Northern Italy, were ruled by the Austrian Empire. A desire to be free from foreign rule, and the conservative leadership of the Austrians, led the Italian people to stage a revolution in order to drive out the Austrians. However, the revolutionary?s had very little success and although the degree to which the Austrian Military strength could be sited as the most important reason for the failure of the 1848-49 revolutions, conversely, there were other highly contributing factors that must also be taken into consideration when exploring the failures of these specific revolutions. To begin with the revolution seemed successful. The revolution was led by the state of Piedmont, one of the four states where the Austrian leaders were forced to grant liberal rights. ...read more.


Piedmont had now suffered humiliating defeat by the Austrians in two battles and it was also to have important short- and long-term repercucssions. Before the first campaign against the Austrians, Charles Albert has famously claimed that Italy would ?fare da se? (?go it alone?). By this he meant that Italians did not need foreign help to get rid of the Austrians. Military defeat in 1848 and 1849 proved Charles Albert wrong. The strength of the Austrian Military had been too much for Italy and the revolution but it is reasonable to say that some consideration must also be given to other drawbacks that Italy suffered from, namely, a lack of international allies, a lack of unity and a lack of popular support together with the Popes actions and poor leadership/organisation skills. To defeat the Austrian Military, Italians would need help from foreign allies to counter-balance the might of Austria but the Pope?s influence on the Catholic powers of Europe was counter-revolutionary. France, who was traditionally Austria?s enemy might have at one stage been considered an ally, but France chose military action against Italian nationalists, crushing the Roman Republic and therefore giving little optimism to those in the nationalist camps. ...read more.


In conclusion Austria?s military supremacy was probably the single most important factor in the failure of the revolutions. This was due to the Austrian army being superior in numbers, better equipped and much better lead than any other army in the Peninsula. In any conflict Austria were bound to win, even if the revolutionary forces had been able to present a united front, which they did not. By the middle of 1849 it was clear that the revolutions had failed, just as they had in 1820 and 1831, Lombardy and the Venetian Republic came under tighter Austrian control and worst of all, the strongest state, Piedmont had suffered humiliating defeat by the Austrian in two battles during 1848. Despite, ?Italy? , as in earlier revolutions suffering from major setbacks such as lack of unity, lack of popular support and a lack of international allies, I consider and have taken into account that the Austrian Military strength played an even more significant vital role in the failure of the 1848-9 revolutions. Austria remained dominant in a divided Italy and the Revolution was lost. Austria then went on to take the leading role in restoring the old regimes in 1849. ________________ Elliot MillsPage ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    The main reason why the German revolutions of 1848 failed was because they failed ...

    3 star(s)

    As a whole, the middle class people were a group that could have led the masses to a revolution but failed to do so. They were not representative and did not have the same ideas as the peasants and they were more interested in looking after their own economic priorities, and wanted to keep the princes ideas of order.

  2. How Far was the Failure of the 1848-9 Italian Revolutions Due to the Intervention ...

    In the same month, Charles Albert introduced the Statuto in Piedmont, which lead to a constitutional monarchy. Charles Albert saw that Lombardy was available for annexation, so he declares war on Austria and invades Lombardy, where by troops from all over Italy join him.

  1. Compare and access the main reasons for the failure of the Italian revolutions due ...

    Agricultural prices had fallen which was had a big affect on the poor people living in Sicily; this caused riots in Palermo led by the trade guilds. The riots involved a demand for a new constitution and a new form of government.

  2. Why did the 1848 revolutions in italy fail?

    This was due to the fact that the nationalist movements had become significantly anticlerical since the Pope's allocution. Pope Pius IX initially appeared liberal due to the reforms he introduced such as 2000 political prisoners, ending press censorship by the church and giving more powers to laymen.

  1. The Battle of the Denmark Strait and the Failure of Operation Rheinbung

    However, she was laid down in 1916 and commisioned in 1919. Although she was large - larger than Bismarck - she weighed several thousand tons less and her armour pattern, while being thick in some areas, was generally poor. Tovey also had five cruisers, six destroyers, the battleship King George

  2. Why did the Revolutions of 1848 did not lead to a united Germany?

    This directly conflicted with Metternich's actions, he censored newspapers and closed down political societies, one would have to yield in this case it is Metternich when the popular uprisings become to much for Austria and they use Metternich as a scapegoat.

  1. Why did the early revolutions fail to unite Italy?

    An army mutiny in Turin force Emmanuel to abdicate. Charles Albert took charge of the liberals but when Emmanuel?s brother, Charles Felix, returned to Turin, he issued a statement denouncing Charles Albert as a rebel and refused to accept the constitutional government.

  2. To what extent was the strength of the French army the main reason for ...

    Other innovations included the policy of amalgame where recruits were trained ?on the march? by veterans. This meant new troops could be deployed instantly, instead of undergoing months of preliminary training at a barracks, but also developed comradeship among the troops and officers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work