Carlo Alberto - 19th Century Encyclopedia Entries



Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Meyer 1885-1892,


Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Article : Karl, Konungar af Sardinien : (4) Karl Albert (1884)
Carlo Alberto, son of prince Carlo Emanuele of Savoy-Carignan, born in Turin on October 29th 1798, early declared himself sympathizing with the Italiam Liberal Party, the plans for the unification of Italy he shared, and with whom he was in a trusting relationship. When the Revolution of 1821 broke out in Sardinia, and King Vittorio Emanuele abdicated in favour of his brother Carlo Felice, in order not to become the cause for a civil war, Carlo Alberto was charged with taking over government in the name of the new king, who was abroad. He appeased the revolution and introduced the Spanish constitution of 1820, but when Austria threatened to suppress the revolution with arms and when Carlo Felice refused to recognize the new constitution, he saw himself unable to save anything and resigned government. Banished from his country, he first took up residence in Naples, then in Paris, and in 1823 he participated as a volunteer in the French expedition into Spain, to give proof of his breach with the Liberals. Afterward he regained the favour of Carlo Felice and in 1829 was appointed Viceroy of Sardinia. Upon the death of Carlo Felice in 1831, Carlo Alberto succeeded to Sardinia's throne. By soul and heart a warm supporter of the cause of Italy's patriots, and a decided enemy of Austria, he did not dare to immediately break with his predecessor's absolutist, pro-Austrian policy, but quietly prepared for the coming struggle by giving the army excellent equipment and a good organization. Further he strove to improve state finances, the material development of the entire country, had a new law book compiled, and generously supported arts and sciences. Personally he lived a simple life; his religiosity bordered on bigotry.
When the revolutionary movement again broke out in Italy in 1847, Carlo Alberto in the same year implemented several reforms in liberal spirit, such as a reform of police and jurisdiction, the mildening of press cemnsorship, and on February 8th 1848 he introduced a written constitution. When shortly after the inhabitants of Lombardy rose in rebellion against Austria, he was the first of Italy's princes who supported them. In the distance the prospect of winning the Lombard Iron Crown, perhaps the rule over all of Italy appeared, but then his hopes were destroyed. After several victorious skirmishes, he was utterly defeated at Custozza (July 25th 1848) and was forced to sign the truce of Vigevano. In 1849 his army surrendered at Novara (March 23rd). In order to provide his people better peace conditions, he abdicated in favour of his son Vittorio Emmanuele II. and went to Portugal. Already on July 28th that year he died in Porto. He was married to Maria Teresa of Tuscany (born in 1801, died in 1855)

source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article : Karl (52)
Carlo Alberto, son of Prince Carlo Emmanuele of Savoy-Carignan, and of Marie Christine, daughter of Duke Karl of Saxony and Courland, born on Octoner 29th 1798, already in 1800 succeeded his father in the Piemontese and French possessions, under the title Prince of Carignan, under the guardianship of his mother, who remarried the Prince of Montleart. He was raised in Dresden and Paris. Since 1817 he lived on the family estates in Piemonte, where in 1821 he took the lead of the revolution. King Vittorio Emmanuele I. on March 13th abdicated and temporarily appointed Carlo Alberto regent, until the successor Carlo Felice would arrive. Carlo Alberto immediately swore an oath on the Spanish constitution and instituted a provisional junta. After an Austrian army had been set in morion against Piemonte, the prince left Turin on March 21st and lived, banned by the Sardinian court, in Florence, later in France, from where in 1823 as a volunteer in the army of the Duke of Angouleme he participated in the expedition against constitutional Spain. After his return he was permitted to return to Turin, in 1829 was appointed Viceroy of Sardinia, and when Metternich dropped his objection against Carlo Alberto's right to succeed, after the death of Carlo Felice on April 27th 1831 ascended to the throne. He did not meet the hopes the Liberals had invested in him, but ruled in the absolute style of his predecessor. Only when Pius IX. was elevated onto the papal throne a general political shift in Italy began, he openly took the side of the reform movement, and granted a written constitution to his country. Simultaneously with the rebellion of the Lombards and Venetians on March 23rd 1848 he declared war on Austria, initially made fortunate progress, and earned the title "the sword of Italy" (spada d'Italia), until the Battle of Custozza on July 25th 1848 restored the Austrian dominance, and Carlo Alberto, who barely escaped being abused by the infuriated people, on April 9th concluded a truce. He did resume the war in the spring of 1849, but was defeated on March 23rd 1849 near Novara, still on the battlefield, he abdicated and moved to Portugal, where he died on July 28th that year in Oporto. Of his two sons, the elder, Vittorio Emmanuele II., succeeded him on the throne. Carlo Alberto was marries to Princess Maria Teresa of Tuscany.
See : Cibrario, Notizie sulla vita di Carlo Alberto (Turin 1861).

source in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek





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First posted on June 9th 2009

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