THE RESTORATION (1814-1847)


With the collapse of Napoleon's empire, Italy had to accept the new political conditions imposed by the most powerful European countries in Vienna. In 1814 the plenipotentiary minister Bellegarde announced the annexation of Lombardy to the Hapsburg Empire. In April 1815 the state-centralizing constitution of the Lombard-Venetian Kingdom was adopted, according to which laws were to be promulgated by the central government in Vienna, while their execution was left to the two governments of Milan and Venice.

Representative councils, in which members of the rich landed property and trade bourgeoisie held positions of privilege, were formed through elections. But soon many factors contributed to the development of general discontent and aspirations for the independence and unification of Italy. Among them the oppressive Austrian rule, the presence of an equally oppressive police force, the imposition of heavy taxes.

Austria imposed its power on Bergamo and its provinces without meeting a real opposition; the main troubles it had to face were essentially social rather than political and were due to drought, famine, poverty and the danger of epidemics.

 


Picture: Luigi Deleidi called "the fog": Austrian soldiers training on St.Augustine’s glacis.