When the Napoleonic Empire fell, the Congress of Vienna gave Italy the following structure in 1815: Austria obtained: 1. Lombardo-Veneto with Valtellina; 2. Friuli, Istria, Dalmatia up to and including Kotor; 3. the right of garrison in some points of the Duchy of Parma and of the Legations. In this way he opened the way from his transalpine dominions to northern Italy, and from the Po region to the Apennines. France retained Corsica and the Swiss Confederation the Canton of Ticino. The Kingdom of Sardinia was returned to the Savoy with the borders of 1796 and with the addition of the territory of the suppressed republic of Genoa. The Duchy of Parma , Piacenza and Guastalla, under a badly concealed Austrian tutelage, it fell to Maria Luisa of Austria, wife of Napoleon, on an annuity basis. The Duchy of Modena , under Francesco IV, would have been enlarged by the Principality of Massa and Carrara on the death of Francesco IV’s mother, Maria Beatrice d’Este. The Duchy of Lucca was temporarily assigned to Maria Luisa di Borbone of the branch of the Dukes of Parma. On the death of Maria Luisa of Austria the Bourbons of Parma would have had the Duchy of Parma, and then the Duchy of Lucca would have passed to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The state of the Presidi and the principality of Piombino were added to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany . The Papal State lost Avignon out of Italy and bought back Pontecorvo and Benevento. The Kingdom of Naples and Sicily lost the status of the Presidents.
According to transporthint, Austria had found itself in the best political and military conditions to assert its dominance in Italy. Italy was politically split into nine states, where it had previously been divided into three major political units. That splitting was pernicious to the moral and material development of the country, it was an impediment to the process of merging the nation, it affected the material interests of the nascent Italian bourgeoisie. However, some advantages, regardless of the will of the diplomats of Vienna, Italy drew from the political order of 1815, for the effects of its resurgence, both for the reconstitution of the kingdom of Naples with Sicily, on which avid gaze had turned its attention. England, both for the union of Valtellina with Lombardy and for the annexation of Liguria to Piedmont. The major power of the Sardinian Kingdom did not take long to exert a greater force of attraction on the other countries of Italy, especially on nearby Lombardy. National independence was now understood as a necessity for life and for the material and moral development of the nation.
Thus the Risorgimento posed a problem from 1815: to destroy the political structure given to Italy by the Treaty of Vienna. And another problem was set at the same time: since the restoration of principles meant reaction, a return to old orders and privileges, passing over the interests and sentiments of social classes already elevated by civil equality. The Risorgimento was a struggle for civil and political liberties and for national independence: it was a struggle for the elevation of a people. A spiritual force animates the struggle, a spiritual force that moves in a current of thoughts and feelings of Europe after 1815. A reaction had taken place against the French Enlightenment that had prevailed until then, with its characteristics of humanitarian cosmopolitanism and with the denial of any traditional value: reaction that had manifested itself with the awakening of national traditions, with the cult of the origins of nations, with a renewed fervor of religious and patriotic ideals and sentiments, with all the manifestations of that complex phenomenon which is understood under the name of romanticism, and which it was not just a literary phenomenon. This spiritual force animates the thought and action of the Risorgimento. The social classes that acted in the Risorgimento are formed by a part of the nobility, to which the Napoleonic wars and previous intellectual development had given a military activity, a civil and national conscience, moreover they are made up of almost all the rich bourgeoisie, numerically still scarce, and of that middle class which had had honors and means of life for a military career and offices, which had been free and open to all through civil equality. Unfortunately, below this minority of the nation, the mass of the people only participates in a minimal part in the movement that is initiated: it remains indifferent, if not favorable, to the local and foreign despotism which ensures peace and the defense of religion. after the wars, the Napoleonic bullying and persecutions. That if from the Revolution a new, numerous class of small owners had arisen in France, united with the city bourgeoisie, in Italy the rural population remained morally and materially separated from the city bourgeoisie. The reaction could rest on these forces.
With the exception of the Duchy of Parma and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the reaction raged in all Italian states. To the short-sighted politics of sovereigns and ministers in Turin, Modena, Rome and Naples, it seemed possible to return to the conditions of Italy in 1796. The Lombard-Venetian Kingdom then ended up being an Austrian prefecture administered from Vienna; offenses against the national conscience affected the feelings of the patriots; the suppression of the Napoleon Code and of the institutions of the Italian Kingdom and the changed conditions for the political order, damaged the industrious and intelligent bourgeoisie; the soldierly insolence and the arrogance of the bureaucracy and the police irritated the population of the cities; only the rural class had hypocritical flattery, and was incited by the Austrian government against the nobility and the bourgeoisie, who were hostile to it.
The discontent with the reaction, however different its characters and stimuli were in the various countries, had a common background, and yet it sought a common program of action. The current which inalve all the discontent was given by the Carbonari; and his program seemed capable of resolving all Italian political problems.