Imagine we could travel back in time to Italy in 1815. Suppose we spent twenty years from 1815 to 1835 travelling Italy, joining secret societies and revolutionary cells. Lets say we were able to talk to three ‘revolutionaries’; say Charles Albert, who ummed and arred about leading a revolt against Austria in 1821; Enrico Misley who led the revolt in Modena in 1831 and General Pepe who persuaded the King of Naples to grant a constitution in 1821.
Each one would have very different reasons for wanting change. Misley wanted Francesco of Modena to take over Piedmont and grant a constitution. Charles Albert fancied himself as King of Piedmont (and he wanted Piedmont to take over Lombardy). Pepe wanted a liberal constitution in Neapolitan Italy. It’s obvious that they all wanted different things, but what isn’t so clear is the thing that they didn’t have – an idea of what ‘Italy’ meant.
Something to do: Listen to the podcast, and use one of the services below to create a mind map to help you remember the important aspects of and differences between the different ideas presented here. You could even post a comment with a link to your finished mind map.
New Ideas about Italy (podcast)
Episode 6 – New ideas about Italy (transcript)