last moon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The life of Giuseppe Garibaldi - 10th Part

On December 12th, 1848, Giuseppe Garibaldi enters in Rome while his legion of volunteers came to be stationed at Rieti. Garibaldi was politically active: on the  21st of   January 1849, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of the future Republic which is organized around a triumvirate with Carlo Armellini, Giuseppe Mazzini and Aurelio Saffi, who arrives in Rome on March 6.On February 8, 1849, the Roman Republic was proclaimed.

The other major event of March is the resumption of fighting against the Austrians by Charles Albert and the Austrian victory at Novara (22-23 March 1849) that seals the final defeat of the Piedmontese, the return to those borders of before the conflict started and the abandonment of Milan.

Pope Pius IX called for international help: Austria, France, Spain and Naples give an answer to his call. Louis Napoleon, anxious to gain the support of French Catholics, reserves to himself the honor of restoring the Pope and, on April 25, 7000 men commanded by General Oudinot landed at Civitavecchia. Garibaldi, who was appointed brigadier general of the Roman Republic shows to be the most brilliant general of the Roman army. He defeats the French on April 30 but he does not use his victory, by order of Mazzini and for political reasons, what he strongly criticized after the landing of new French troops. This is the first confrontation between the two men and from  then Garibaldi will start keeping his distance against the man he calls his "master."

On May 9, Garibaldi triumphantly confronts the Neapolitans before returning to Rome because of Oudinot's movements . French forces are increased to 30,000 men, he can then animate the resistance due to the disproportion of forces. He faces the well trained and equipped French troops but  resists only a month, from June 3 to July 2, in fierce fighting in which many of his friends fall: Emilio Morosini, Luciano Manara, Andrea Aguyar. He becomes fiercely anticlerical because of the position of the clergy, mostly loyal to the pope that support the French and Austrians.

The Italian and international press follow the actions of Garibaldi:   the British newspaper The Times, sends a special envoy who does not hide his admiration for Garibaldi.

With the end of the Roman Republic, Garibaldi refuses the proposal of the Ambassador of the United States to board an American ship and left the city, with 4,700 men he harangued with shouts of "Who Loves Italy follow me! "With the intention of bringing the war in Umbria, Marche and Tuscany. A number of supporters went into exile in Uruguay, where the war is still, with the complicity of the Uruguayan consul in Genoa. Surrounded by the armies of different nations, Garibaldi crossed the Apennines and must show trick to avoid a direct confrontation. Pursued by the troops of Field Marshal of Aspre Constantine, with only 1,500 men, he takes refuge in the Republic of San Marino, July 31, after having laid down their arms, and declared himself a refugee. He acknowledges that "the Roman war for Italian independence is over."

...to be continued...

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