Europe 1848: First Italian War of Independence
When news of Metternich's flight reached Italy, Milan and Venice seized the opportunity to throw off Austrian rule. Italian nationalists throughout the peninsula rallied to their cause and by the end of April all the major Italian states had joined them in the fight against Austria. However the Papal States and Naples were only in the war to appease popular pressure and pulled out as soon as they could, leaving Sardinia as the main champion of Italian independence.
22 Mar 1848 Republic of San Marco▲
Inspired by the revolutions in Vienna and Milan, Venetian revolutionaries under the leadership of Daniele Manin mounted an insurrection in Venice, in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia in the Austrian Empire. Mutiny began among the Arsenal workers on the morning of 22 March 1848 and soon spread to the Italian garrison. Unable to contain the situation, the Austrian commander, Count Ferdinana Zichy, withdrew with his 3,000 foreign troops that evening and a provisional government of the Republic of San Marco was declared.
23 Mar 1848 First Italian War of Independence▲
The March 1848 revolts in Milan and Venice forced the Austrians to abandon most of Lombardy-Venetia and withdraw to the fortresses of the Quadrilatero (Peschiera, Verona, Mantua, and Legnano). Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Sardinia mobilized and by the 18th was able to field 65,000 troops. Five days later, brandishing the Italian tricolor flag with the Savoyard coat of arms in its center, King Charles Albert of Sardinia declared war on the Austrian Empire and crossed the Ticino river into Lombardy, beginning the First Italian War of Independence.
24 Mar 1848 Provisional Government of Schleswig-Holstein▲
On 18 March 1848 pro-German representatives in the Danish-ruled duchies of Schleswig and Holstein sent a deputation to the Danish king Frederick VII, demanding a constitution, the admission of Schleswig—claimed by both Danish and German nationalists—into the German Confederation, and the formation of a joint Schleswig-Holstein army. When the king dismissed the representatives, prominent individuals in both duchies proclaimed the Provisional Government of Schleswig-Holstein on the 24th. On the same day, the Schleswig-Holsteinian Prince Frederick of Noer, leading a force of riflemen and students, surprised and seized control of the Danish fortress of Rendsburg, capturing the main armory of the duchies.
31 Mar–3 Apr 1848 Vorparlament▲
In the wake of the March Revolution representatives of the states of the German Confederation met in Frankfurt, in the Free City of Frankfurt, in late March 1848. This first gathering—the Vorparlament (pre-parliament)—was in session for four days and chaired by the jurist Carl Joseph Anton Mittermaier of Baden. In a victory of the moderate liberals over the radical democrats, the Vorparlament decided to cooperate with the Bundestag of the German Confederation to form a national constituent assembly.