To What Extent Did the Revolutions of 1848-9 Fail in Italy Due to Poor Leadership?

Topics: Pope, Italy, Rome Pages: 3 (1057 words) Published: October 26, 2011
The failures of 1848-9 could be blamed on the poor leadership of Individuals such as Charles Albert and Mazzini. However there are other contributing factors that should be taken into account.

Although Charles Albert seems to be successful in uniting the states of Italy to strengthen his campaign, for example, by joining Lombardy and Venetia with Piedmont and merging their armies into one in 1848, and aiding the rebels in Lombardy, his poor leadership effected the outcome of the 1848-9 Revolutions. Albert was uncomfortable with non-Piedmontese revolutionaries and made them swear an oath of loyalty to Piedmont, nor would he accept volunteers from other states in his army. This lack of unity hindered his chances of success. After Lombardy in particular, Charles Albert was extremely unpopular and was seen as a traitor to liberalism, portraying him as a bad leader. Furthermore his slow and hesitant advance at Custozza, illustrates his inexperience of war, and although he had higher numbers of troops than Austria at this point, he was unprepared and advanced too slowly. The fact that he quickly abdicates after Piedmont is defeated, leaving Piedmont with fees of 65 million francs to pay for French reparations further illustrates poor leadership as he abandons his state in a time of hardship, therefore emphasizing a weakness of his leadership. Mazzini, although he enforced positive reforms and cooperated with the provisional government in Rome, performed actions that showed signs of weak leadership. Mazzini made the mistake of releasing the previously captured french soldiers out of the trust that France and Italy could make a peaceful agreement, his naivety towards the situation had bad repercussions on his state and his hopes to persuade the french diplomatically were not realistic. Even though his intentions were good, Mazzini was not a strong leader that the Revolutions of 1848-9 needed. Furthermore as conditions in Rome grew worse he made radical changes,...
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