1830-1849 History of Italy 1860-1871

Papal State and Papacy, 1849-1860

After the Roman Republic had been occupied by a coalition of Austrian, French, Spanish and Neapolitan troops, papal rule was proclaimed reinstated on July 14th 1849. Pope Pius IX. dis not return to Rome until April 12th 1850.
Pope Pius IX., early in his papacy mistaken by many for a liberal, described himself as "anticonstitutional". Cardinal Antonelli was appointed secretary of state. A motuproprio of 1849 abolished the constitution, established a Council of State . In 1850 a cabinet, including 3 laymen, was appointed. Communal self-administration, although announced, was never implemented. Cardinal Antonelli reestablished the Police State. Austrian and French troops remained in the country. Members of the previous State Council of 1847 were given long prison terms, even moderate liberals were threatened with arrest; many fled the country. Prisons were filled with thousands of political prisoners; as the previous administration was dismantled, the countryside suffered from banditry. State finances were in very poor shape; in 1852 a Financial State Council was convoked, which decided to introduce paper currency in order to address the extraordinary state debt. 10 % of state revenue had to be used to pay the interest on state debt (in 1853 100.000.000 French Francs).
The liberal and patriotic movement, which in 1846 to 1848 had regarded Pope Pius IX. as a potential leader in their movement toward a unified Italy, had given up on him; in these circles, the Papal State was now merely regarded an obstacle on the road to unification.
Piemont-Sardinia now supported liberal-patriotic circles within the states of northern and central Italy, thus destabilizing their respective governments, in the hope to later annex them.
In 1853, the Papal State had a population of 3,124,668, of whom 283 were Protestants and 9,237 were Jews.
In 1859, war broke out between France and Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia on one side and Austria on the other; the Austrian troops were withdrawn from the Romagna, the Marches and Umbria. Again these regions revolted; papal troops reestablished law and order in the Marches and Umbria, but in the Romagna the revolutionaries prevailed; the provisional government declared the people's desire to be united with Piemont-Sardinia; this was approved by a plebiscite. King Vittorio Emmanuele annexed the Romagna, Modena and Parma on March 25th 1860.
The Papal State, deprived of the Romagna, was still protected by French troops. The papal administration recruited a force of Swiss, Austrian, French and Belgian mercenaries.
Then, Guiseppe Garibaldi embarked with his one thousand volunteer Redshirts to conquer Sicily/Naples and the Papal State (=> Garibaldi's Expedition). When Garibaldi was close to completing the conquest of Naples, Cavour acted, forestalling a Garibaldian invasion of the Papal State by occupying the eastern part (Umbria, the Marches) with Italian troops, while Lazio was formally occupied by French troops. Umbria and the Marches, together with Naples-Sicily, were unilaterally annexed by Piemont-Sardinia (Italy, Oct. 11th 1860).

Biography of Pius IX., from Catholic Encyclopedia 1911 edition
Biography of Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli, from Encyclopedia of the 1848 Revolutions, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Le Condizione dello Stato Pontifico (1846), Elezuione di Pio IX., Riforme Pontifiche (1848), I Regolari e Voluntari Pontifiche al Po (1848), Pio X., La Politica, Le Allocuzioni, I Proclami (1848), I Bolognesi Scacciano gli Austriaci, Tumulti di Roma (1849), Proclamazione della Republica Romana(1849), Assedio di Ancona e di Roma (1849), Fine della Repubblica Romana (1849), La Dura Reazione a Roma, Il Moto Rivoluzionario nelle Romagne e nelle Marche (1859)
Preparazione della Spedizione Piemontese nelle Marche e nell'Umbria (1860), L'Assedio di Ancona, from Cronologia, in Italian
Article Kirchenstaat 1848-1859 (Papal State 1848-1859), from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1888-1889, in German
DOCUMENTS Stamp of the Romagna, 1859, from Sandafayre Stamp Gallery; from digilander
Stamps of the Papal State, from Digilander
Encyclicals of Pius IX. : Exultavit Cor Nostrum, 1851; Apostolicae Nostrae Caritatis, 1854, from Papal Library
REFERENCE Book Reviews : Papal State, from History Book Reviews

Franz Xaver Seppelt, Georg Schwaiger, Geschichte der Päpste (History of the Popes), München : Kösel 1964, 572 pp., in German [G]
Ang. Jos. Nürnberger, Papsttum und Kirchenstaat 1800-1870 (Papacy and Papal State 1800-1870), 3 Vol.s, Mainz 1897-1900, in German [G]

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First posted on August 31st 2002, last revised on March 27th 2006

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