Europe 1849: Battle of Novara
Revolutionary feeling was still strong in the Italian states, prompting the Pope to flee Rome in November and leading to republics being declared in Rome and Tuscany in February. However the tide was turning. In March Sardinia renounced its truce with Austria but was swiftly defeated at the Battle of Novara and forced to come to terms, while at the same time Naples began its reconquest of the breakaway Kingdom of Sicily.
5 Jan 1849 Fall of Buda and Pest▲
Learning of the defeat of the southern Hungarian army at the Battle of Mór, Görgey withdrew with the western army towards Buda, which the Hungarian government evacuated for Debrecen on 31 December 1848. Five days later—and just three weeks after the start of the Winter Campaign—the Austrian Prince of Windisch-Grätz marched his troops into the abandoned Hungarian capital of Buda and the neighboring city of Pest.
9 Feb 1849 Roman Republic▲
After fleeing for Gaeta, in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, in November 1848, Pope Pius IX continued to make rulings over the Papal States while refusing to consider liberal concessions, undermining any support he had in the government. In January 1849, despite Pius’s threats of excommunication, universal elections were held for male citizens and a Constitutional Assembly voted into power in Rome. The assembly convened on 8 February and, formally cutting ties with the Pope, proclaimed the Roman Republic shortly after midnight.
18 Feb 1849 Tuscan Republic▲
In the fall of 1848 elections held in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany favored the appointment of a constituent assembly, to the consternation of Grand Duke Leopold II, who eventually fled to join Pope Pius IV in Gaeta on 18 February 1849. That same day a triumvirate consisting of Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi, Giuseppe Mazzoni, and Giuseppe Montanelli took power and proclaimed the Tuscan Republic. A famous author and prominent politician, Guerrazzi was appointed dictator of the republic on 27 March.
4–7 Mar 1849 March Constitution of Austria▲
Franz Joseph I’s replacement of Ferdinand I as Austrian Emperor in December 1848 was seen as illegitimate in Hungary, which held that an Hungarian King (a post traditionally held by the Emperor) could only be displaced by an act of the Hungarian Parliament. In March 1849, under the authorization of Franz Joseph, Austrian Minister of the Interior Count Stadion promulgated a new empire-wide constitution which centralized power in the hands of the Austrian Emperor, revoked the concessions of 1848, reduced the rights of the Empire’s non-German population, and ended the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Hungary. This act ended any possibility of a peaceful end to the Hungarian Revolution.
12 Mar 1849 End of Armistice of Vigevano▲
On 1 March 1849 the Chamber of Deputies in Piedmont voted for the resumption of war between the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Austrian Empire by 94 votes to 24. Eleven days later, in accordance with the Armistice of Vigevano/Salasco, King Charles Albert of Sardinia notified the Austrians that he had renounced the armistice and that the First War of Italian Independence would resume on the 20th. By this point, there were about 62,000 Sardinian troops on the border, spread between Novara and Parma, opposing 73,000 Austrian troops concentrated at Pavia.
19 Mar 1849 Naples resumes war in Sicily▲
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Naples) ended its armistice with the breakaway Kingdom of Sicily, sending its army out from Messina.
22–23 Mar 1849 Battle of Novara▲
On 20 March 1849 Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz led the Austrian army across the Ticino into Piedmont and the following day captured Mortara. On the 22nd, at Novara, the Kingdom of Sardinia brought 45,000 troops against the 70,000-strong Austrians but was routed in a battle that last until the dawn of the 23rd. Driving the defeated Sardinians north towards Borgomanero, the Austrians advanced to occupy Novara and open the road to Turin.