Italico Valore - A more successful 1848 revolution in Italy - a TL

19. EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENTS
19. EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENTS

The Victorian era was in full swing and the British Empire sat on the throne of the world: an empire that went from Canada to New Zealand via India and the Cape, absorbed in its splendid isolation. Queen Victoria, loved by her subjects together with her husband Albert, reigned over an empire on which the sun never set. Industrial, scientific and naval development had allowed the United Kingdom to take a position of advantage over other European powers and thanks to the superiority of the royal navy it dominated the sea and trade, the lifeblood of the empire with precious Chinese, Indian and African goods that flowed into London, transforming the city into an unparalleled cultural and industrial center, where Victorian high society, dominated by conservative religious and social morals of the time, had turned into a global model and, helped by the vastness of his empire, he easily spread cultural, political and industrial ideas.

The French Republic experienced the decade as a period of stabilization and settlement following the revolution, during which the republican institutions consolidated, also helped by the charisma and moderation of Cavignac who remained president until 1857 when he died in office leaving the government to Adolphe Thiers and his alliance between conservatives and liberals who marginalized the Democrats who had been in opposition since the beginning of the republic. Despite growing consensus among the urban proletariat, France still possessed an agricultural economy with the countryside a conservative stronghold that allied with the urban bourgeoisie that with Cavignac's interventionist policies had increased its power and wealth by expanding the French industrial base. Occasionally this social division had escalated in more heated situations with urban clashes between political opponents but never of the levels of the June Days, the population remembered what had happened when the army arrived. These clashes shook the republican structure but it remained standing thanks to the moderate policies of the president who was able to regn in his coalition inspired in part by the United States from which inspiration was taken for some institutions such as the Supreme Court. France did not embark on foreign adventures, preferring to focus on her internal problems; this does not mean that the armed forces were not a pillar of the republic which was also led by a general, receiving substantial investments which made them the first on the European continent. French military interest was concentrated in Algeria, a place of gradual colonization and for the moment limited to the coasts and in Egypt where Prosper Enfantin had established a company to dig a canal in the Suez area. Recognizing the usefulness of the project but also the costs, France invited the Italian Confederation and the United Kingdom to participate in the project. The Italians agreed quickly while the British hesitated for a few years until they entered the company and construction began in 1859.

The German area had been deeply shaken by the events of 1848-1849 with the experience of the Frankfurt Parliament which would represent one of the highest points for German liberal history and the beginning of a serious discussion on the need for a unified German state. Although it had been suppressed by reactionary weapons, the seeds of unity had been widespread among the minds of the bourgeois and the major thinkers of the time who began to compose songs, paint paintings, create statues and architectural works aimed at glorifying the German spirit. Austria had been heavily defeated by the revolutions with an internal instability caused by political and national reasons with the spread of liberal ideas and the unrest of minorities who asked for a reform based on the Hungarian model. Franz Joseph and Schwarzenberg refused to take these requests into consideration and fell back on a return to reactionary absolutism by repressing any anti-imperial demonstration. In this repressive climate, Franz Joseph was assassinated by a Hungarian patriot in 1853, angered by the emperor's failed concessions to his people. Schwarzenberg died in 1852 and with them gone the Austrian reactionary age came to an end with the coronation of Maximilian I, just twenty-one but of liberal ideas: he had opposed repressions during the revolution and in the early years of his reign he worked to reform its domains with freedom such as that of the press, the establishment of an imperial parliament elected with requirements of census, age and education, the beginning of the promotion of other nationalities in their local bureaucracy and the impulse to industrialize Austria, starting from Vienna and Prague and later spreading throughout the empire. Led by his nobility of mind and great cunning Maximillian did everything possible to improve the life of his subjects and restore Imperial prestige, moving away from the Balkans and focusing on Germany recovering the influence lost in the south, one of the most prominent examples was the marriage in 1856 between Maximillian and Elisabeth Von Wittelsbach (“Sissi”). Prussia, after the experience of the war for Schlesweig and the defeat, was getting back on its feet: military reforms followed the defeat, aimed at transforming the Prussian army into one of the best in Europe since after the Napoleonic wars relative continental peace had made the military fall into a state of quiet, but also an economic boom in the Rhineland area gave a strong boost to the Prussian economy which began the slow process of industrialization, favored by the control of the Rhine and the surrounding areas rich in coal and iron which allowed Prussia to develop a large and well-stocked industrial base. In this decade the division of Germany began to emerge in the North (led by Prussia which influenced most of the states and of the Protestant religion) and South (Led by Austria and composed of the southern Catholic kingdoms); outside the courts and in elegant living rooms ideas of German unity were spreading, not of a monarchical but republican nature, since the kings had refused the crown when they could take it meant that they were not interested in seeing a united Germany and then the bourgeoisie would have had to take matters in hand.

The "Sick man of Europe", the Ottoman Empire, was in the midst of the Tanzimat era, a series of reforms aimed at modernizing the decadent Islamic empire which, after its peak in the seventeenth century, had begun a slow decline with the gradual erosion of its power in Africa and in the Balkans, with the growth of local nationalist movements which were strongly opposed to the Turkish domination which continued from the fifteenth century. The long period of peace enjoyed by the empire favored the implementation of reforms and modernizations among the population, such as the reform of the way of dressing that went from a Turkish to a Western style, the release of the first banknotes, the creation of a ministry of education and the Ottoman national bank among many. Slowly the empire was starting to rise after the decline of previous years, trying to solidify its foundations in order to be able to rise again. On the other side of the Bosphorus, however, the Slavic populations were conspiring against Constantinople: seeing Greece as an example of success thanks to European aid, Romanians and Serbs, who already owned their states, were spreading discontent among their compatriots under the yoke Ottoman, giving rise to acts of civil resistance and some small local revolt, crushed by the new imperial army. Realizing that they would not be able to defeat the Turks alone, the Slavic peoples turned to the only power that would listen to them: Russia.

Russia, the giant of the east, had avoided the collapse of the Austrian empire and returned to its semi-isolation from Western European affairs, absorbed in the consolidation and extension of the empire. The most important event of the decade was the death of Nicholas I and the succession of his son Alexander II. Tsar Alexander II was a reformer: he had seen firsthand the vastness and backwardness of Russia, based mainly on subsistence agriculture and serfdom and had understood that the motherland would not have had a future without change. So he embarked on the most ambitious reform campaign since the time of Peter the Great, touching on subjects such as justice, the economy and civil society but strangely not the army, not much loved by the pacifist Tsar. During his reign, the foundations were laid for a nascent Russian industry in major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg and the emergence of an urban middle class as a consequence of industrialization, literacy campaigns began among the rural masses by means of public tutors and religious ones to recover the abyss of development that existed with western countries and censorship was removed, promoting the reformist political discourse among the upper classes who no longer had to fear the secret police by proposing reforms. Alexander II also laid the foundations for the future emancipation of serfs which was declared in 1861, putting an end to the centuries-old tradition of tying farmers to the land and allowing greater mobility between cities and countryside, thanks also to the reduction of secret police checks. The liberal wave of the decade fully fulfilled the Russian Empire and its Tsar was its main proponent. A sector that underwent few interventions was that of the armed forces: the navy began to use the first steamships while the absence of a war to verify the preparation of the ship to no reform was considered except the expansion of ground forces and a principle of modernization of their equipment.
 
Interesting update. I am particularly intrigued by the situation in Austria. Will we see an earlier Danube Federation? And how is the situation in the "Italian" cities of the Empire?
 
Nice to see that the Crimean War was averted. I hope the January Uprising and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 are butterflied away as well.
 
Interesting update. I am particularly intrigued by the situation in Austria. Will we see an earlier Danube Federation? And how is the situation in the "Italian" cities of the Empire?
I am not aware of Maximilian's plans since he wqs shipped off to Mexico OTL but ITTL he remains in Austria but I doubt he would go for something so radical. Afterall Austria's ambitions still lie in Germany. The Italian lands are still restless having known rebellion during 1848 but administrative and military reforms are doing their job to keep them suppressed.
Nice to see that the Crimean War was averted. I hope the January Uprising and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 are butterflied away as well.
A clash in the Balkans is, in my opinion, inevitable. Too many interests and different people lie there and it will boil over as the ideas of liberalism and nationalism spread there but the Ottomans might well resist them...or not?
 
Interesting update. I am particularly intrigued by the situation in Austria. Will we see an earlier Danube Federation? And how is the situation in the "Italian" cities of the Empire?
IOTL, starting after the war of 1859 but peaking after the war of 1866, the Austrian government started to penalize the Italian-speaking communities of Dalmatia, which were considered "unreliable". This included restrictions on Italian schools, but also the parish priests registering baptizes and marriages with the Croat version of the family names (incidentally, it is easy to differentiate between Serbs and Croats, since they have different religions, but the same is practically impossible to do the same when Italians and Croats are involved). It is quite possible that the same policies will be implemented in the 1850s ITTL, in particular since both Croatia and Dalmatia are under Vienna's direct government.
 
A clash in the Balkans is, in my opinion, inevitable. Too many interests and different people lie there and it will boil over as the ideas of liberalism and nationalism spread there but the Ottomans might well resist them...or not?
Well, hopefully Russia at least gets an actual victory out of it rather than what happened IOTL (a tiny Bulgaria that was nowhere near worth just how many lives and money they lost) even if the Ottomans lose.
 
A clash in the Balkans is, in my opinion, inevitable. Too many interests and different people lie there and it will boil over as the ideas of liberalism and nationalism spread there but the Ottomans might well resist them...or not?
My money is on troubles starting in Serbia, and spilling over into Bosnia (which is what happened IOTL too, although late 1860 to early 1870s, peaking in 1875), and Wallachia/Moldavia will not lag behind by much. Ottoman repression of Christian insurrections in 1875 ( Russian volunteers participated in the insurrections) were the spark for the was of 1877-78. Even if the Ottomans are more successful in starting to modernize, it is doubtful that the reforms will be applied in the Balkans, and the religious tensions cannot be butterflied away
Afterall Austria's ambitions still lie in Germany
Even more to the point, the dominant culture is a German one
 
IOTL, starting after the war of 1859 but peaking after the war of 1866, the Austrian government started to penalize the Italian-speaking communities of Dalmatia, which were considered "unreliable". This included restrictions on Italian schools, but also the parish priests registering baptizes and marriages with the Croat version of the family names (incidentally, it is easy to differentiate between Serbs and Croats, since they have different religions, but the same is practically impossible to do the same when Italians and Croats are involved). It is quite possible that the same policies will be implemented in the 1850s ITTL, in particular since both Croatia and Dalmatia are under Vienna's direct government.
Yes, I was referring to this, although with Maximilian's "reform", one would expect a not-so-heavy-handed approach (unless the Italians are made the only exception, which is not exactly a smart move). Regardless, the situation in cities like Zara and Fiume are potentially explosive whatever the approach. On the one and, antagonizing too much the Italian-speaking communities will eventually lead to open revolt as soon as possible (like it happened in 1848); on the other hand, with no restrictions, the party advocating for annexation to Italy will be gaining more traction by simply being allowed to make public propaganda. Maybe a compromise can be reached; after all, from what I gather, the repression of the Italian element was heavier in the cities under the Crown of Saint Stephen, while TTL Dalmatian remains in proper "Austrian" hands, so...
 
I am not aware of Maximilian's plans since he wqs shipped off to Mexico OTL but ITTL he remains in Austria but I doubt he would go for something so radical. Afterall Austria's ambitions still lie in Germany. The Italian lands are still restless having known rebellion during 1848 but administrative and military reforms are doing their job to keep them suppressed.
I remember reading "The crypt of the capuchins" by Joseph Roth I had the impression that there was quite a strong movement of South Slavs who would have been happy to stay in the Empire under a "Triple Monarchy". I always wonder if such a solution could have worked better than OTL Ausgleich.
 
Yes, I was referring to this, although with Maximilian's "reform", one would expect a not-so-heavy-handed approach (unless the Italians are made the only exception, which is not exactly a smart move). Regardless, the situation in cities like Zara and Fiume are potentially explosive whatever the approach. On the one and, antagonizing too much the Italian-speaking communities will eventually lead to open revolt as soon as possible (like it happened in 1848); on the other hand, with no restrictions, the party advocating for annexation to Italy will be gaining more traction by simply being allowed to make public propaganda. Maybe a compromise can be reached; after all, from what I gather, the repression of the Italian element was heavier in the cities under the Crown of Saint Stephen, while TTL Dalmatian remains in proper "Austrian" hands, so...
Don't forget Trieste, Pola, Spalato, Trau': all Italian-speaking cities, with the last one holding the distinction to be the very last place where the flag of the Serenissima was lowered in 1797 (it was hidden under the altar of the church, and recovered at the end of WW1).
IOTL, the repression of the Italian element was heavier under the Crown of St. Stephen because Croatia was under it too. I honestly don't see much change with Croatia and Dalmatia under direct Vienna rule. ITTL, the repression of the Italian insurrections in Zara and Dalmatia will be followed by restrictions on the use of Italian (in particular the Italian newspapers will be harassed and censored , and some Italian schools will be closed). It will be on of the most sore points in the relations between Vienna and Milan.
 
I remember reading "The crypt of the capuchins" by Joseph Roth I had the impression that there was quite a strong movement of South Slavs who would have been happy to stay in the Empire under a "Triple Monarchy". I always wonder if such a solution could have worked better than OTL Ausgleich.
Not for the Hungarians, sirrah (and don't forget that the Bohems will not be happy either, or even the Serbs in what would be a Great Croatia to all effects).
 
Does somebody has any ideas on how to make the American Civil War end more quickly? Like 1863 or early 1864.
 
Not an expert on the subject, but maybe, if after Gettysburg Meade goes more decisively after Lee, you can have earlier destruction of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee might well die in a subsequent battle, and, with Grant in control of Vicksburg, I guess the war is as good as over by September/October 1963. This assuming (as I am assuming) that butterflies did not affect the US history too much up to this point (I would expect that the main effects will be in less Italian immigration to the US).
 
This assuming (as I am assuming) that butterflies did not affect the US history too much up to this point (I would expect that the main effects will be in less Italian immigration to the US).
Since the POD is in 1848, and within one year has significantly changed the map of Europe, I suppose there will be some significant impacts on the USA to over the next decade (just to make an example, emigration from Hungary and Germany too will be reduced). Which these impacts would be, and how they may affect the Civil War in the USA (assuming that there is a Civil War, I mean) it is very difficult to forecast, but also offers significant leeway in changing the first years of the war.
 
A civil war is nearly certain by the 1840's in my opinion.
I'd say that it is a possible outcome, but many times in history states have gotten to the very brink of war, and nothing happened.
Even if it does, the war might happen in 1857 or later in the 1860s
 
civil The thing is that the civil war in the US is that in addition to slavery the north and south had very different views on the future. Many people in the north were also increasing angry over the political dominance the south had the majority of the power in per clivll-war US. That was one of the reasons the 1860 election was so important.
 
Since the POD is in 1848, and within one year has significantly changed the map of Europe, I suppose there will be some significant impacts on the USA to over the next decade (just to make an example, emigration from Hungary and Germany too will be reduced). Which these impacts would be, and how they may affect the Civil War in the USA (assuming that there is a Civil War, I mean) it is very difficult to forecast, but also offers significant leeway in changing the first years of the war.
This is very true. Do you have any sources on emigration from the Italian states in the pre-unitarian era? I am not finding anything so far. In my answer, given the OP's post, I assumed he planned to have the war play out in a way pretty similar to OTL, which of course, is not a given with a POD in 1848.
 
Despite the revolutionary events in Europe, US history, in my opinion, won't change much: America was in isolation during this period and focused on the continent. The divide between north and south would remain even if immigration from Europe is diminished. I'm not an expert on US history but I think that a civil war was unavoidable as long as the comtrasts between north and south remain. Abolitionist would still rise and European events would not influence the New World as much.
 
civil The thing is that the civil war in the US is that in addition to slavery the north and south had very different views on the future. Many people in the north were also increasing angry over the political dominance the south had the majority of the power in per clivll-war US. That was one of the reasons the 1860 election was so important.
I'm pretty well aware of the fact that the Northern States wanted very different things from what the Southern States wanted (and among these things, abolition of slavery was not there: correct me if I'm wrong, but the Republicans were rather against allowing in the new states), and obviously the growing manufacturing sector of the North could not see eye to eye with the agrarian South. However, my point is that the Southern States marched blindly off the cliff: the failure to agree on a compromise candidate for the Democrats, for example, handed over a landslide victory to Lincoln (while it is not guaranteed that Stephen Douglas would have gained enough electoral votes to win against Lincoln, he would have at least put up a much better fight; in any case, it was not difficult to forecast that Northern voters were much more numerous than Southern ones); 11 Southern states seceded even before the inauguration of Lincoln (why? even if the Republicans were against the expansion of slavery, fighting them in Congress and Senate was certainly a better tactic than a sudden secession; the funny difference between using secession as a threat and actually seceding is that the latter is pretty definitive; furthermore, it might have been better to secede before the election, if they were so convinced that the way of life of the south was doomed); the attack on Fort Sumter (again, why?). Who knows what the future would bring? It is not inconceivable that the Southern states can become enough of a nuisance that they are allowed to negotiate a mutually agreeable secession, or that the Southern states cannot keep up their opposition and the slavery problem solves in a peaceful way over the time.
It is also quite possible that a civil war
IMHO, the civil war was a strong possibility but not a given: by comparison, Prussia and France had a crisis every year from 1867 to 1870, and always stopped at the last moment (if Louis Napoleon had not declared war, for reasons which had little to do with Prussia posturing, the war would have been avoided in 1870 too), and the same happened in Europe between 1900 and the start of WW1 (which again happened for the strangest crisis of all, but if FF is not assassinated in Sarajevo the war will not start).
 
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