Tuscany 1815-1860 - 19th Century Encyclopedia Entries



Meyer 1902-1909


Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1902-1909, Article : Toskana
After the fall of Napoleon I., Tuscany was restored to Ferdinando, in addition, according to the final act of the Vienna Congress 1815 he received the Principality of Piombino, the Stato dei Presidii formerly belonging to Naples, the island of Elba and the claim on succession in Lucca. Ferdinando III. died on June 18th 1824, he was succeeded by his son Leopoldo II., who, supported by his minister Fossombroni, tried to rule in the way of his father and grandfather. Road construction, projects to drain the maremmas, an expansion of the port of Livorno, industrial fairs, the reorganization of education proved the energy and insight of the government, and only after the death of Fossombroni 1844 the reactionary influence of Austria became clearly felt also in Tuscany. In consequence of the abdication of Duke Carlo of Lucca, the Grand Duke of Tuscany in October 1847 took possession of Lucca, and ceded Fivizzano to Modena, Pontremoli to Parma. The Paris February Revolution in 1848 also inspired an insurrection in Tuscany. Beforehand the Grand Duke on February 17th had proclaimed a liberal constitution. It was followed by a new press law (May 21st), the establishment of ministries of culture and education (June 5th) and the opening of the chambers (June 26th), without the revolutionary party being appeased. The cabinet Capponi, appointed in August, took stern measures, but when during a rebellion in Livorno in which Guerrazzi (see there) was the mainleader, the military joined the rebels, and the people rose in Florence, the Grand Duke, intimidated, threw himself into the arms of the Democratic Party and appointed a cabinet Montanelli- Guerrazzi, but fled on January 23rd 1849 to Siena, and on February 21st to Gaeta. Already on February 8th the Chamber of Deputees appointed a provisional government, which convoked a constituant assembly. The latter on March 27th charged Guerrazzi with the dictatorship. Simultaneously in Florence the counterrevolution began, and aided by the troops and the National Guard, it won so quickly, that already on April 11th and 12th the republic was abolished. A deputation invited Leopoldo to return, the latter on May 1st from Gaeta appointed General Serristori as commissioner extraordinary, and on the 24th appointed a new cabinet under Baldasseroni. Already on May 12th the resistance of Livorno was overcome by the Austrians, and on the 25th they entered Florence. On his return on July 28th the Grand Duke proclaimed a general amnesty, but in 1850 concluded a military convention with Austria, according to which 10,000 Austrians were stationed in Tuscany for the time being, and in 1851 he concluded a concordat with Rome, which granted unrestricted freedom to the church. By decree of May 8th 1852 the constitution of 1848 was abolished and unrestricted sovereignty of the Grand Duke restored. The Austrian troops evacuated Tuscany only in the spring of 1855. When after the outbreak of the war between Austria and France in the spring of 1859 the Grand Duke had rejected joining Sardinia, on April 27th a rebellion broke out in Florence, which caused Leopoldo to leave the country. Immediately a provisional government was established, the King of Sardinia proclaimed dictator. The latter did reject the dictatorship, but accepted the protectorate over Tuscany and appointed his ambassador in Florence, Boncompagni, as commissioner general for the duration of the War of Independence. Grand Duke Leopoldo II. on July 21st abdicated the throne in favour of his oldest son Ferdinando IV., who by proclamation to the Tuscans promised to maintain the constitution and to recognize the rights of the nation. This disregarded on August 11th the convened National Assembly decided on the deposition of the House of Lorraine, and after the plebiscite on March 11th and 12th 1860 on March 22nd Tuscany was annexed into the new Kingom of Italy. In April 16th King Vittorio Emmanuele held his entry in Florence. The deposed grandducal family lives in Austria.
source in German, posted by Zeno





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First posted on June 28th 2009

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