The Tyrol Rebellion 1809-1810

A.) The Pre-History of the Rebellion

In 1805 Austria had been defeated by Napoleon and had to cede both Tyrol and Vorarlberg to Bavaria in the Peace of Pressburg, Napoleon's ally. The liberal reforms introduced by Bavarian Baron Montgelas were unpopular in conservative, staunchly Catholic Tyrol (seven monasteries in Tyrol were forced to close down; the bishops of Chur and Trent were expelled). The privileges of the Tyrolian estates were cancelled. Also enforced military service in the Bavarian army meets opposition (for centuries Tyroleans had enjoyed the privilege of not having to serve outside of Tyrol). The name "Tirol" was replaced by "Südbayern" (Southern Bavaria).
The Tyroleans, lead by innkeeper Andreas Hofer, in communication with Vienna (since 1806), rose in rebellion (April 1809).

B.) The Military Course of Events

The Tyroleans, lead by Andreas Hofer, rose in rebellion against Bavarian rule in April 1809, inflicting heavy losses on the occupation forces; the rugged mountainous terrain provided a great advantage to the Tyrolians.
On August 13th 1809 the Tyroleans defeated the Bavarians in the third Battle of Mount Isel. The morning after Andreas Hofer assumed the government of Tyrol; he was a devout catholic, beginning every day with holy mass.
In October 1809, Austria signed the Peace of Schönbrunn with Napoleon, abandoning Andreas Hofer and the Tyrolean rebellion. In the 4th Battle of Mount Isel (November 1st), the Tyroleans were defeated. Hofer proclaimed the Tyrolean surrender November 8th 1809. Hofer had to flee and hide; he was betrayed, arrested and carried off to Mantua (Italy), where he was executed on February 20th 1810.
Vorarlberg provided a side show to the Tyrolean Rebellion; lead by Dr. Anton Schneider, the Vorarlberg militia succeeded in defeating Bavarian and Württemberg troops in May 1809; then those who wanted to keep up resistance and those who supported peace quarrelled. In July 1809, Vorarlberg was occupied.

C.) The Legacy

In 1810 the Trentino and South Tyrol were separated from Tyrol and annexed into the Kingdom of Italy, East Tyrol annexed by France (Illyrian Province).
At the Vienna Congress, all of Tyrol was again allocated to Austria.
Andreas Hofer is regarded the regional hero of Tyrol.

Lebensgeschichte Andreas Hofer, from Panorama Innsbruck, in German, mostly on his biography
Andreas Hofer, Un Eroe Tirolese, from Tangram, detailed biography in Italian, focussing on the religious background of the revolt
Biography of Andreas Hofer, from aeiou
Biography of Andreas Hofer, from Catholic Encyclopedia
1912 edition
Geschichte Tirols, detailed timeline of Tyrolean History, in German, by Wolfgang Sailer
Geschiche des Tiroler Schützenwesens : Blütezeit, History of the Tyrolian marksmen, in German, focussing on the 16th century, little on the rebellion of 1809
Vorarlberg Chronik, has a German-language article on the rebellion of 1809
Articles Andreas Hofer, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS The Andreas Hofer Page, has text of Andreas Hofer's surrender proclamation, Nov. 8th 1809, and the Sandwirth Hofer poem, both in English translation
Image of Andreas Hofer, from Bilddatenbank 2000 Jahre Chronik
Andreas Hofer Lied, from Acronet, song in German
Un Eroe di Tirolo - Andreas Hofer, from Coins, Medals and Histories of .., Italian language page on numismatics, features Tyrolian coins minted under Andreas Hofer, English summary
Image : Andreas Hofer and his compatriots, 1809, from Napoleonic Medals
Andreas Hofer, el Tirol en armas, from cronica numismatica, in Spanish
Andreas Hofer Galerie, from Kaiserjägermuseum, paintings featuring a.o. Andreas Hofer; comment in German
Coins issued by Tyrolean Insurrection : 20 Kreuzer, 1809, from Napoleonic Medals
REFERENCE Josef Riedmann, Geschichte Tirols, München : Oldenbourg 2001

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on February 18th 2006

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