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The Revolutions of 1820 were a revolutionary wave in Europe. It included revolutions in Spain, Portugal and Italy for constitutional monarchies, and for independence from Ottoman rule in Greece. Unlike the revolutionary wave in the 1830s, these tended to take place in the peripheries of Europe.
A revolutionary wave or revolutionary decade is a series of revolutions occurring in various locations within a similar time span. In many cases, past revolutions and revolutionary waves have inspired current ones, or an initial revolution has inspired other concurrent "affiliate revolutions" with similar aims. The causes of revolutionary waves have been studied by historians and political philosophers, including Robert Roswell Palmer, Crane Brinton, Hannah Arendt, Eric Hoffer, and Jacques Godechot.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
The 1820 revolution began in Sicily and in Naples, against King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, who was forced to make concessions and promise a constitutional monarchy. This success inspired Carbonari in the north of Italy to revolt too. In 1821, the Kingdom of Sardinia obtained a constitutional monarchy as a result of Carbonari actions, as well as other reforms of liberalism.
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of the Italian peninsula and for a time the region of Ifriqiya from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of the southern peninsula. The island was divided into three regions: Val di Mazara, Val Demone and Val di Noto; 'val' being the Arabic word meaning 'district'.
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was the largest of the states of Italy before the Italian unification. It was formed as a union of the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Naples, which collectively had long been called the "Two Sicilies".
The Carbonari was an informal network of secret revolutionary societies active in Italy from about 1800 to 1831. The Italian Carbonari may have further influenced other revolutionary groups in France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Brazil and Uruguay. Although their goals often had a patriotic and liberal basis, they lacked a clear immediate political agenda. They were a focus for those unhappy with the repressive political situation in Italy following 1815, especially in the south of the Italian Peninsula. Members of the Carbonari, and those influenced by them, took part in important events in the process of Italian unification, especially the failed Revolution of 1820, and in the further development of Italian nationalism. The chief purpose was to defeat tyranny and to establish constitutional government. In the north of Italy other groups, such as the Adelfia and the Filadelfia, were associate organizations.
The Holy Alliance would not tolerate this state of affairs and decided in October 1820 to intervene. In February, 1821, it sent an army to crush the revolution in Naples. The King of Sardinia also called for Austrian intervention. Faced with an enemy overwhelmingly superior in number, the Carbonari revolts collapsed and their leaders fled into exile.
The Holy Alliance was a coalition linking the monarchist great powers of Russia, Austria and Prussia. It was created after the final defeat of Napoleon at the behest of Tsar Alexander I of Russia and signed in Paris on 26 September 1815. The alliance aimed to restrain liberalism and secularism in Europe in the wake of the devastating French Revolutionary Wars, and it nominally succeeded in this until the Crimean War (1853–1856). Otto von Bismarck managed to reunite the Holy Alliance after the 1871 unification of Germany, but the alliance again faltered by the 1880s over Austrian and Russian conflicts of interest with regard to the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire.
Charles Felix was the Duke of Savoy, Piedmont, Aosta and King of Sardinia from 1821 to 1831.
Colonel Rafael del Riego led a large part of the Spanish army in a mutiny, demanding that the liberal constitution of 1812 be restored. King Ferdinand VII Trienio Liberal agreed, but secretly asked for aid from the Congress system which, in the Congress of Verona of 1822, agreed to have France send 100,000 troops, which promptly defeated Riego's forces and reinstalled an absolute monarchy.
Rafael del Riego y Flórez was a Spanish general and liberal politician, who played a key role in the outbreak of the Liberal Triennium.
The Trienio Liberal is a period of three years in the modern history of Spain between 1820 and 1823, when a liberal government ruled Spain after a military uprising in January 1820 by the lieutenant-colonel Rafael de Riego against the absolutist rule of Ferdinand VII.
The Congress of Verona met at Verona on 20 October 1822 as part of the series of international conferences or congresses that opened with the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15, which had instituted the Concert of Europe at the close of the Napoleonic Wars.
Beginning with a military insurrection in the city of Porto, in northern Portugal, in 1820 that quickly and peacefully spread to the rest of the country, the Revolution resulted in the return in 1821 of the Portuguese Court to Portugal from Brazil, where it had fled during the Peninsular War, and initiated a constitutional period in which the 1822 Constitution was ratified and implemented.
The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.
One should bear in mind that Brazil´s and Portugal´s histories were intertwined at that time.
According to Kenneth Maxwell, "the important point about Brazil is that it became economically and politically emancipated between 1808 and 1820 while acting as the centre of the Luso-Brazilian Empire", that meaning Brazil´s independence was proclaimed after the nation had had an "imperial-like" experience.
Kenneth Robert Maxwell is a British historian who specializes in Iberia and Latin America. A longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, for fifteen years he headed its Latin America Studies Program. His May 13, 2004 resignation from the council involved a major controversy over whether there had been a breach of the so-called "church-state separation" between the council itself and its magazine Foreign Affairs. As of December 2004, Maxwell is a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the university's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, where he directs the Center's Brazil Studies Program.
"This unusual circumstance explains why in 1820 it was Portugal that declared independence from Brazil, and only afterwards, that Brazil declared its independence from Portugal", as one may read in the Manifesto issued by the rebels in Oporto in 1820:
"[...] The idea of the status of a colony to which Portugal in effect is reduced afflicts deeply all those citizens who still conserve a sentiment of national dignity. Justice is administered from Brazil to the loyal people in Europe [...]"
The 1820s decade ran from January 1, 1820, to December 31, 1829.
Victor Emmanuel I was the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia (1802–1821).
Ferdinand VII was twice King of Spain: in 1808 and again from 1813 to his death. He was known to his supporters as the Desired and to his detractors as the Felon King. After being overthrown by Napoleon in 1808 he linked his monarchy to counter-revolution and reactionary policies that produced a deep rift in Spain between his forces on the right and liberals on the left. Back in power in 1814, he reestablished the absolutist monarchy and rejected the liberal constitution of 1812. A revolt in 1820 led by Rafael de Riego forced him to restore the constitution thus beginning the Liberal Triennium: a three year period of liberal rule. In 1823 the Congress of Verona authorized a successful French intervention restoring him to absolute power for the second time. He suppressed the liberal press from 1814 to 1833 and jailed many of its editors and writers. Under his rule, Spain lost nearly all of its American possessions, and the country entered into civil war on his death.
Ferdinand II was King of the Two Sicilies from 1830 until his early death in 1859.
Ferdinand I, was the King of the Two Sicilies from 1816, after his restoration following victory in the Napoleonic Wars. Before that he had been, since 1759, Ferdinand IV of the Kingdom of Naples and Ferdinand III of the Kingdom of Sicily. He was also King of Gozo. He was deposed twice from the throne of Naples: once by the revolutionary Parthenopean Republic for six months in 1799 and again by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805.
The 1848 Revolutions in the Italian states, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 in Europe, were organized revolts in the states of the Italian peninsula and Sicily, led by intellectuals and agitators who desired a liberal government. As Italian nationalists they sought to eliminate reactionary Austrian control. During this time period of 1848, Italy was not a unified country, and was divided into many states, which, in Northern Italy, were ruled by the Austrian Empire. A desire to be independent from foreign rule, and the conservative leadership of the Austrians, led Italian revolutionaries to stage revolution in order to drive out the Austrians. The revolution was led by the state of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Also, the uprisings in the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, particularly in Milan, forced the Austrian General Radetzky to retreat to the Quadrilatero (Quadrilateral) fortresses.
Francis I of the Two Sicilies was King of the Two Sicilies from 1825 to 1830 and a member of the Spanish royal family.
The Latin American Wars of Independence were the revolutions or a revolutionary wave, that took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America. These revolutions followed the American and French Revolutions which had profound effects on the British, Spanish, Portuguese, and French colonies in the Americas. Haiti, a French slave colony, was the first to follow the United States; the Haitian Revolution lasted from 1791 to 1804, when they won their independence. The Peninsular War with France, which resulted from the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, caused Spanish Creoles in Spanish America to question their allegiance to Spain, stoking independence movements that culminated in the wars of independence, which lasted almost two decades. At the same time, the Portuguese monarchy relocated to Brazil during Portugal's French occupation. After the royal court returned to Lisbon, the prince regent, Pedro, remained in Brazil and in 1822 successfully declared himself emperor of a newly independent Brazil. Cuban independence was fought against Spain in two wars. Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War in 1898.
Guglielmo Pepe was an Italian general and patriot. He was brother to Florestano Pepe and cousin to Gabriele Pepe. He was married to Mary Ann Coventry, a Scottish woman who was the widow of John Borthwick Gilchrist, linguist and surgeon to the East India Company.
The Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, also known as the Constitution of Cádiz and as La Pepa, was the first Constitution of Spain and one of the earliest constitutions in world history. It was established on 19 March 1812 by the Cortes of Cádiz, the first Spanish legislature. With the notable exception of proclaiming Roman Catholicism as the official and sole legal religion in Spain, the constitution was one of the most liberal of its time: it affirmed national sovereignty, separation of powers, freedom of the press, free enterprise, abolished feudalism, and established a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. It was one of the first constitutions that allowed universal male suffrage, through a complex indirect electoral system. It was repealed by King Ferdinand VII in 1814 in Valencia, who re-established absolute monarchy.
Spain in the 19th century was a country in turmoil. Occupied by Napoleon from 1808 to 1814, a massively destructive "war of independence" ensued, driven by an emergent Spanish nationalism. An era of reaction against the liberal ideas associated with revolutionary France followed the war, personified by the rule of Ferdinand VII and – to a lesser extent – his daughter Isabella II. Ferdinand's rule included the loss of the Spanish colonies in the New World, except for Cuba and Puerto Rico, in the 1810s and 1820s. A series of civil wars then broke out in Spain, pitting Spanish liberals and then republicans against conservatives, culminating in the Carlist Wars between the moderate Queen Isabella and her uncle, the reactionary Infante Carlos. Disaffection with Isabella's government from many quarters led to repeated military intervention in political affairs and to several revolutionary attempts against the government. Two of these revolutions were successful, the moderate Vicalvarada or "Vicálvaro Revolution" of 1854 and the more radical la Gloriosa in 1868. The latter marks the end of Isabella's monarchy. The brief rule of the liberal king Amadeo I of Spain ended in the establishment of the First Spanish Republic, only to be replaced in 1874 by the popular, moderate rule of Alfonso XII of Spain, which finally brought Spain into a period of stability and reform.
The Revolutions of 1830 were a revolutionary wave in Europe which took place in 1830. It included two "romantic nationalist" revolutions, the Belgian Revolution in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the July Revolution in France along with revolutions in Congress Poland and Switzerland. It was followed eighteen years later, by another and possibly even stronger wave of revolutions known as the Revolutions of 1848.
The history of the kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, from the First Treaty of San Ildefonso and the beginning of the reign of Queen Maria I in 1777, to the end of the Liberal Wars in 1834, spans a complex historical period in which several important political and military events led to the end of the absolutist regime and to the installation of a constitutional monarchy in the country.
The Liberal Revolution of 1820 was a Portuguese political revolution that erupted in 1820. It began with a military insurrection in the city of Porto, in northern Portugal, that quickly and peacefully spread to the rest of the country. The Revolution resulted in the return in 1821 of the Portuguese Court to Portugal from Brazil, where it had fled during the Peninsular War, and initiated a constitutional period in which the 1822 Constitution was ratified and implemented. The movement's liberal ideas had an important influence on Portuguese society and political organization in the nineteenth century.
The royalists were the Latin American and European supporters of the various governing bodies of the Spanish Monarchy, during the Spanish American wars of independence, which lasted from 1808 until the king's death in 1833. In the early years of the conflict, when King Ferdinand VII was captive in France, royalists supported the authority in the Americas of the Supreme Central Junta of Spain and the Indies and the Cádiz Cortes that ruled in the King's name during the Peninsular War. After the restoration of Ferdinand VII in 1814, royalists supported his claim to rule Spanish America, but were split between those that supported his insistence to rule under traditional law and liberals, who sought to reinstate the reforms enacted by the Cádiz Cortes.
Giuseppe Maria Rosaroll-Scorza was an Italian essayist and a general in the army of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. He was also the father of the Italian patriotic hero Cesare Rosaroll.
The Portuguese Constitution of 1822 approved on 23 September 1822 was the first Portuguese constitution, marking an attempt to end absolutism and introduce a constitutional monarchy. Although it was actually in force only for two brief periods, 1822-23 and 1836-38, it was fundamental to the history of democracy in Portugal. It was replaced by the Constitutional Charter of 1826.