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Kingdom of Sardinia

The Kingdom of Sardinia is a former kingdom in Italy.

Table of contents
1 Introduction and General Data
2 History

Introduction and General Data

The Kingdom came into being in 1720 when the kingdom of Sicily ended with the annexation of that island in Austria in exchange for Sardinia.

Although its name was the Kingdom of Sardinia, the main part of the kingdom was Savoy, under which royal house (the House of Savoy) the kingdom resorted. The capital of the kingdom was Turin.


The 18th century

In the 18th century the kingdom didn't play an important role. In 1743 the kingdom was enlarged with Piedmont.

In 1796 Napoleon conquered the kingdom along with the rest of Northern Italy. The king, Charles Emmanuel IV fled to Sardinia.

Restoration and Risorgimento

In 1814 the kingdom was restored and enlarged with Genoa and served as a buffer state against France. In the 19th century the alternative name Sardinia-Piedmont came in use.

In the years after the Restoration Sardinia was transfered into a police state, as all Italian states. The country was ruled by conservative monarchs: Vittorio Emmanuele I and Carlo Felice. In 1831 Carlo Felice was succeded by the moderate conservative Charles Albert. Sardinia industrialized from 1830 onward. A constitution was enacted in 1848 under liberal pressure and under the same pressure war was declared on Austria. After initial success the war took a turn for the worse and Sardinia lost. Like all of Italy, Sardinia was troubled with political instability with alternating governments. After a very short and disastrous second war Charles Albert abdicated on March 23, 1849 in favour of his son Vittorio Emmanuele II. In 1850 a liberal ministry under Count Camillo Benso di Cavour was installed and Sardinia became the machine behind the Italian Unification. In 1859 Sardinia sided with France in a war against Austria. Napoleon III didn't keep his promises to Cavour. Napoleon seized Lombardy. In 1860, however, Sardinia gained Lombardy form France in exchange for Savoie and Nice. On March 5, 1860 Parma, Tuscany, Modena and Romagna voted in referenda to join Sardinia. In 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi started his campaign to conquer southern Italy in the name of Sardinia. He quickly toppled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and marched to Gaeta, were he met Vittorio Emmanuel. Cavour was actually the most satisfied with the unification while Garibaldi wanted to conquer Rome. Garibaldi was too socialistic for the king and his prime minister. On March 17, 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed thus ending Sardinia as a separate kingdom. Sardinia (and especially Piedmont) would become the most dominant and wealthiest region in Italy. The House of Savoy would rule Italy until 1946 (when republic was proclaimed).