Villafranca, Treaty of 1859

Villafranca, Treaty of (1859)


a treaty concluded in Villafranca, in northern Italy, on July 11 between France and Austria upon the former’s initiative and excluding the Sardinian Kingdom (Piedmont), which was an ally of France in the Austro-Italo-French war of 1859. The contracting parties pledged to work toward the creation of an Italian confederation with the pope of Rome as honorary president. Austria was to cede Lombardy to France and France was to turn over this territory to Piedmont. Venetia was to remain under the sovereignty of Austria. The rulers of the states in central Italy who had been driven out by the popular uprising of 1859 were to be returned to their thrones. Finally, the pope was to be advised to carry out necessary reforms in his lands. The conditions of the Treaty of Villafranca violated the Pact of Plombieres of 1858, according to which Venetia was to be ceded to Piedmont. The main articles of the Treaty of Villafranca were reaffirmed in the Zurich treaties of 1859. How-ever, the part of the Austrian-French agreement concerning the creation of an Italian confederation was swept aside by the revolutionary events of 1859-60, which led to the establishment of a unified Italian state (which united the whole territory of the Apennine Peninsula except Rome).