First Italian War of Independence

The Springtime of Peoples

Europe 1848.0411

First Italian War of Independence

The Year of Revolution, the Revolutions of 1848-1849, the Hungarian Revolution, the First Italian War of Unification and the First Schleswig War (11 April 1848)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

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.

Main Events

Republic of San Marco

Venetian revolutionaries mounted an insurrection in Venice, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia in the Austrian Empire, and successfully incited the Italian garrison to mutiny. The Austrian commander, Count Ferdinana Zichy, withdrew and a provisional government of the Republic of San Marco was declared.

Provisional Government of Schleswig-Holstein

German nationalists in Kiel, Duchy of Holstein, proclaimed a provisional government of Schleswig-Holstein over concerns that the Kingdom of Denmark would annex the Duchy of Schleswig. The Danish crown, which held sovereignty over both duchies, considered this an act of rebellion.

First Italian War of Independence

The Kingdom of Sardinia declared war on the Austrian Empire in support of the revolutions in Milan and Venice, beginning the First Italian War of Independence.


The German Ante-Parliament (Vorparlament) met in Frankfurt, Free City of Frankfurt, and decided to cooperate with the Bundestag of the German Confederation to form a national constituent assembly.

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